We interrupt the 12 Myths of Christmas for this special War on Christmas Bulletin. We will return to the 12 Myths of Christmas on Monday, December 10th.
This blog is in response to a blog titled Christmas and the Religion of Atheism by Charles D. Dern Ph.D. Before I refute Mr. Dern’s claims, let’s look at where Mr. Dern is coming from. He holds a Ph.D. in Moral Theology. Considering the bible is perhaps one of the most immoral books in existence, I can’t imagine what that degree could possible be. He received that degree from The Catholic University of America. He holds an MA in Philosophy from the Roman Catholic Villanova University and prior to that he attended a Roman Catholic Seminary. So Mr. Dern is steeped in Roman Catholic bullshit. So this should be easy.
He begins his protest by bitching that those darn atheists are messin’ with my Christmas. He points out the recent incident in Santa Monica (he lets us know that it means Saint Monica–like that matters) in which a nativity scene on public property had to be removed. Yes, Charlie, it is on public property. It needs to be removed and I will address that soon. This nativity display has been there for almost sixty years (not “over” sixty years). It has since been moved to private property which is perfectly ok. Atheists are not telling Christians to stop displaying nativity scenes, just not on public property.
Mr. Dern then cites an incident in which a mother stopped a school from putting on the Charlie Brown Christmas play. Dern thinks that the mother should have just opted her child out. It doesn’t work that way. His blog is so pedestrian one must wonder if he is just putting us on. Are you having a laugh?
Mr. Dern predicts my argument when he says that atheists cite the “so-called wall of separation of Church & State.” Clearly Dern must have learned his dull and tired debating tactics from the religious right. We’ve heard it all before. “The phrase does not appear in the constitution.” You are right, Mr. Dern. It doesn’t. Do you know what does?
but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
Dern is correct when he cites the 1802 letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association as the source of the wall of separation phrase but he makes a fatal flaw in his argument when he claims that the wall is one-directional.
Clearly our founding fathers did not want government to be involved with religion or religion to be interfering with government. If the religious right were correct and the wall is one-directional (the reason being that we need religion to make sure that America is acting within the principals of religion), than what religious principals are they? Because if a religious test can not prohibit someone from taking office than a Muslim could become president. If so, he could than use that one-directional wall to make America an Islamic nation. Yes, by Mr. Dern’s logic, he could. The founding fathers knew this. They were dead set against a theocracy–shit they were fighting one.
Nobody knows where this ignorant interpretation of Jefferson’s views originated but we know it was popularized by religious right author and anti-separationist activist David Barton in the first version of his hour-long videotape “America’s Godly Heritage” (a second version omits this claim; see Rob Boston, “Sects, Lies, and Videotape,” Church and State, April 1993). These lies have spread like a virus within religious right circles, so much so that people use it in arguments without ever knowing the truth about Jefferson.
He never stated such a thing in the Danbury letter or at any other point in his life. Anybody who does their homework on Jefferson knows that he meant the wall to go both ways. This is a man who cut up the bible, taking out all the miraculous and divinity claims of Jesus to make his own bible. Could you imagine how Mr. Dern would react if he found out Obama was tearing out parts of the bible and making his own? You can find out more on Jefferson’s views here.
The end of his blog is a shit storm of pseudo-intellectual babble. He waxes philosophic about science, intellect and has a looney tunes theory that without religion society is more coarse. Really? Because statistically, nations that are secular are much better off than theocracies.
But perhaps Dern’s most dumbass comment is that atheism is a religion. This is just as inane as Bill O’Reilly’s recent claim that Christianity is not a religion. All I can say in response to Dern’s ignorant claim is if atheism is a religion than not collecting stamps is a hobby.
Unfortunately, when people educate themselves within a belief system, they are shielded from reason. A person’s knowledge becomes retarded by faith-based education. Their critical thinking skills are in critical condition. Sadly, many people suffer from the indoctrination of religion at an early age and it is too difficult to fight against it so they conform.
I’d like to add that it isn’t just the secular who are waging an imaginary war on Christmas, a recent blog posted by a minister also wants to fight against Christmas displays. Why? Because he feels it is too secular and misrepresenting of the birth of Christ. He understands his faith better than those who want the beautiful Caucasian family in the nativity scene.
Let’s not forget that we have other religions besides Christianity in America. What if Islam becomes the dominant religion in America? Will Christians be ok with Islamic displays all over public property during the holiday season? Or what if the atheists win, which I believe we will. Should we put the Flying Spaghetti Monster on every street corner and on every public building?
The answer is an emphatic ‘NO’ to all of the above.
The truth is, there isn’t a war on Christmas but a war on everything that isn’t Christmas.