So apparently there’s a “furor” over an atheist group’s display at a state capitol building (next to a nativity scene placed by a Christian group). The atheist inscription includes the statement, “There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is just myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”
Certainly, that’s a little harsh, telling religious people that their charished belief system is “just myth and superstition,” etc. But on the other hand, what’s that nativity scene telling us?
Why is that particular birth so significant? Well, according to Christian doctrine, it’s because the baby being born was sent to earth to save us. Save us from what? From our inherent state of depravity so severe that we all deserve to be horribly tortured for all eternity.
Maybe it’s just me, but telling someone they’re enslaved by myth and superstition seems a bit less harsh than telling someone they’re so depraved that eternal torture would be their just desserts.
But what’s also interesting is the specific line of attack being taken by the anti-atheist folks:
“It’s a slam dunk case because it’s hate speech, OK?” Kelly said Thursday. “That sign was hate speech. It has no business being there. The state of Illinois is liable for this because anyone who saw the sign would have assumed… that this was the State of Illinois’ official position.”
To me, the interesting thing about that statement isn’t so much the “hate speech” part (although as I already mentioned, I have to wonder whether a proclamation supporting a worldview that condemns most humans to hell would also qualify), but that last part, about how if there’s an atheist proclamation on government property, it implies governmental endorsement of that sentiment.
Needless to say, that’s precisely the main objection to religious symbols on government property — like the nativity scene right next to the atheist display that offended this guy so much.