To be clear at the outset, I’m not a Christian – close but not quite. However, I’m comfortable around people who advocate goodness and mercy.
Also I’ve known, liked, and admired Jews and Buddhists. I don’t know much about ordinary Muslims since I’ve never known any closely; the ones I read about seem crazy and dangerous, but I don’t trust all I read in the national media.
I neither agree nor disagree with agnostics since they agree or disagree with nothing. However, I recently listened to a reputed atheist leader discussing Christmas. He reminded me of a small, nasty boy who enjoys pulling the wings off butterflies.
To justify arguments such as those to remove nativity scenes from public property atheists say the Constitution requires “separation of church and state” a trite expression they manufactured.
The Constitution requires nothing of the sort. The First Amendment simply states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...” The Constitution prohibits government from favoring a particular faith, not the other way around.
A Christ child, a Menorah, or a statuette of Buddha in a park doesn’t require the government to establish a religion, but does “prohibit the free exercise thereof” if the government interferes with such exhibits.
I was born at the beginning of the Great Depression to lovable but irresponsible parents in the poorest part of the country. Ragged, cold and hungry, I dreaded winters. But the pure joy of each and every Christmas is clear in my mind three quarters of a century later. Why would people want to ruin that for kids?
The irony in all this is the strong faith of atheists. The belief in something without evidence, or contrary to obvious evidence, is a faith. It takes enormous faith to gaze at the incredible spectacle of the wheeling starry galaxies and the most infinitesimal particles in an atom, all obeying the same laws, and still firmly believe there is no creator higher than you.
That means atheists have faith in nothing. They want other symbols of faith removed from public property and replaced with … nothing.
If the government enforces the removal of Christian symbols and replaces them with nothing, then they are favoring the atheist faith over all others. That would be “establishing a religion,” the same religion established and required by the Soviet Union: Atheism.
That would violate the Constitution.
Randy Ridgel lives in Kelseyville, Calif.