It’s a well-rehearsed story that occurs annually like clockwork as soon as the Christmas trees, menorahs and nativity scenes start appearing across the country.
Every holiday season, some atheists get their undies in a bunch because they can’t stand that everybody else is celebrating.
So like the proverbial Grinch whose heart was two sizes too small, the atheists pounce on schools, city halls and any building or public space perceived as being in any way connected to government, looking to take away the Who-Pudding and the Roast Beast.
And when the threat of lawsuits isn’t enough to stop the festivities, they use the threat of lawsuits to put up their counter-Christmas displays, ranging from odes to the Founding Fathers (whom they like to imagine as atheists) to plates of spaghetti dedicated to “the Flying Spaghetti Monster.”
But seldom has there been any atheist display as tacky as the one gracing the City Hall in Hallandale Beach, Florida, where a local self-described atheist this week has erected an upside down cross — a consciously Satanic symbol — inscribed with the words “In Chaz We Trust — All Others Pay Cash.”
In case you hadn’t guessed, the atheist’s name is Chaz Stevens.
Get it? Ha ha. …
And in case you couldn’t have guessed this part either, the display of boorishness is not only protesting Christmas trees and menorahs but a banner at City Hall that says “In God We Trust.”
A video of the display titled “Satanic Cross Hallandale Beach” was posted by Stevens on YouTube with a link to Satanicactivism.org.
Stevens claims to be making a point. “Keep church out of state,” he told the Sun-Sentinel.
As usual with these annual tirades, the local atheist is wrong. The concept of separation of church and state, a phrase first coined by Thomas Jefferson, was intended to keep government from interfering with expression of religion, not to shut down religious expression and keep religion out of public life.
The irony is that the anti-Christmas, anti-Hanukkah movement is based in the bitter jealousy and zealotry of modern atheists, who are often some of the most religious bigots around, as demonstrated in this case by Stevens choosing Satanism as his go-to vehicle for mocking others’ beliefs. He actually hates Judeo-Christianity so much that he’d rather endorse devil worship.
(And no, believing there is no God does not mean you have no religion or have a non-religion or an unreligion or whatever. All it means is that like every other religious human being on the planet you have an opinion as to the number of gods that are important.)
Stevens gained notoriety last year by trying to give a Satanic invocation at government meetings. Now he wants to spread his wisdom and sparkling personality to Fort Lauderdale and Doral by planting other Satanic crosses.
It’s not that atheists shouldn’t be allowed to share their faith with others. But until atheists themselves admit that theirs is a religion and start marking actual holidays that are pertinent to their beliefs rather than simply dismissive of others’, then putting up an atheist counterpoint every time there’s a Christmas tree is simply official state-sanctioned harassment of others — the very thing atheists themselves claim to be against.
Christmas and Hanukkah are actual religious holidays that contribute positively to the community. Displays like that put up by Stevens are self-serving and hypocritical, and function only to divide.