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Conservative Political Commentary

Quote of the Day

Lady Liberty

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.


Thursday, December 16, 2004

'Tis the season to be a liberal horse's ass
posted by Tom

Here's a heartwarming Christmas tale from the aptly named city of "Bellevue", Washington:

BELLEVUE - You can't miss the Christmas tree in Bellevue City Hall.

"It's decorated with gold balls and gold ribbon," described a city worker.

They don't actually call it a Christmas tree.

"We call it the giving tree because it's meant as a season of giving and that's what it's for," explained Patrice Cole, who just made a donation.

The tree is adorned with requests for gifts from needy families. It generates nearly $25,000 dollars worth of donations. So, you might be surprised that Sidney Stock would look at this tree and say, "I resent it."

Sidney and Jennifer Stock are atheists. They asked the city council to remove the tree because it represents Christmas which is a Christian holiday.

Stock says city hall should "Act as a place where everybody feels welcome. It is impossible for everybody's religious belief to be displayed and non-religious belief to be displayed, so therefore, no religious beliefs be displayed."

The courts already sided with the city on this one.

Barbara Ramey, spokesperson for the city explained. "Courts have ruled that Christmas trees are actually a secular symbol so given that, we are within the court precedents set on this issue," says Ramey.

The Stocks complained after a city worker told them the tree makes him feel out of place, and if he says so, he fears for his job.

The couple's already gotten hate filled phone calls, but they speak out anyway, because they believe many people feel the way they do but stay silent.

"There are a lot of people who've come to this country, maybe have been here for years, who don't feel freedom to say anything," says Jennifer Stock. "So we feel we're saying it for those people. Not just for ourselves."

The city doesn't plan to take the tree down and expects it will go up again next year. They can also expect to hear from the Stocks. Sidney Stock points out that to bring about change, you have to stir the pot.

"I try and be aware of injustice and inequality when it effects anybody or everybody," he says. "Certainly this is something that has been a problem for as long as I can remember."
I'm sure we can all identify with Mr. Stock's overwhelming need to "feel welcome" at City Hall. I know that whenever I have to go into a municipal building, those bureaucratic drones behind the counter better make me feel welcome or I won't renew my license or pay fines or property taxes.

For whom do you think the Stocks voted? Huh? Come on, take a guess. In the words of "Bluto" Blutarksy, "It don't cost nothin'."

What I find sillier than the (Birken)Stocks' PC idiocy is the city's attempt to out-PC them, as reflected in the spokesperson's obsequious assurance that "Courts have ruled that Christmas trees are actually a secular symbol ..." In other words, Mr. and Mrs. Stock, the fact you're utter morons seeking publicity and it scares the shit out of everyone in this city that you folks are not in padded rooms making quilts out of your bellybutton lint, we respect your right to be sollipsistic lunatics, but also want to assure you that the courts have said we're allowed to help the poor with this secular symbol, the CHRISTmas tree.

And you wonder why conservatives are pro-gun ownership. Somebody's got to protect us from these idiots. The government sure won't.

Anyway, Mr. and Mrs. Atheist Stock's previous attempt to uphold the separation of church and state occurred when their child came home from Bellevue's Madalyn Murray O'Hare Public School crying that the kids in her class were talking about "Godzilla" movies.

The ACLU suit is still pending as I write this.

posted by Tom | 12/16/2004 01:22:00 PM
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Blogger Ethan the wonderful. said...

WOW a right-wing blog...thank god. Keep up the good work and loved the bit on thee EU.

5:08 PM, December 18, 2004  
Blogger SIGIAN said...

Speaking as a conservative who happens to be an atheist, I can't tell you how disgusted I am by the kind of radical secularists about whom you posted. I'm sufficiently comfortable with both my own atheism and the majority's religiousity that I don't fear a Christmas tree or even a commencement prayer. Why are these people so insecure? I suspect they're not really confirmed atheists, just skeptical trouble-makers. There seem to be a few thousand or so of us atheists out there who have a huge anti-religious agenda and are very loud. They cause the rest of us to suffer under the bad name they give atheism.

In my personal path to unbelief, I passed through a phase when quite young when I thought all religion evil. This was caused, I think, by an immature understanding of history and an inability to fathom the minds of believers. I don't think it required much in the way of mental maturing to get over this phase, but apparently these couple of hundred or thousand radical secularists haven't been able to leap that short intellectual hurdle. All religion threatens them. They think the main purpose of the United States should be to insulate them from any expression of faith.

I just want y'all to know that these insecure loudmouths don't speak for all atheists, that atheism isn't necessarily incompatible with conservatism, and that not all atheists are interested in attacking religion or denying the essential, valuable, and lasting religious foundations of this republic.

11:55 AM, December 20, 2004  
Blogger Tom said...

Sigian:

When atheists local taxes go up while their Christian neighbors' remain the same because they are unbelievers, I'll take these complaints about Christmas trees, creches, the Ten Commandments, etc. on "public property" seriously. Until then, athiests like Mr. Stock, while they may not believe in the God of traditional religions, worship a deity nonetheless: the god of publicity.

12:37 PM, December 20, 2004  
Blogger SIGIAN said...

There's a line, well short of differential taxation, that I would not want to see crossed. Right now, however, we're far from that line and moving farther away every year.

11:26 AM, December 21, 2004  
Blogger Tom said...

I should have added "for example" with regard to taxation. Government crosses the line when it passes laws that privilege one faith over another, or those of faith over atheists, or enforces any current law unequally based on reasons of faith. That's what the First Amendment says. That's all the First Amendment says. When non-believers can demonstrate such a violation of their constitutional rights through the display of a Christmas tree or nativity scene on government property, I'll reconsider my position.

In other words, until local, state or federal government enacts a statute declaring it to be, say, a misdemeanor for anyone to pass a nativity scene on government property at Christmastime without stopping to pray, or to fail to leave a donation at the Christmas tree in City Hall, the protestations of people like the Stocks are just so much hot hair.

Unless I missed the right to feel welcome in the Constitution.

Is there a line short of law to which you're referring?

3:13 PM, December 21, 2004  

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