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Old 12-06-2008, 01:38 AM   #1
Arcesious
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Post Atheist Signs in Washington State Capital

Oh this has been nothing short of hilarious. First, someone puts up a sign promoting secularism and dissing religion, the sign gets stolen, and it gets found and returned. Now more similar signs are being suggested. The religious people of the state are making a big fit over it, with protests and whatnot, and it's hilarious. You should have seen their reactions on Fox News to this whole thing... It's really quite hilarious. However, I do agree that the sign is kind of offensive and out of place. I think it really isn't helping anyone, aside from giving some of the non-religious and religious but less-offendable people a good laugh.

Your opinions?


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Old 12-06-2008, 09:41 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
However, I do agree that the sign is kind of offensive and out of place.

Your opinions?
The notion that these gestures should be considered "offensive", "out of place", "taboo", etc deserves serious consideration. Why should the sign be considered "offensive and out of place"? What it is about "christmas" that deserves our solemn respect?
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Old 12-06-2008, 01:15 PM   #3
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Well, to put a sign dissing religion right next to religious things in the WA Capital is what seems like it was a bad idea. It could put religious people in a bad mood to go and see it, when they only want to have a joyous holiday celebrating the birth of the son of their favorite invisible sky-daddy...

However, a sign like "Festivus for the rest of us" is nice and non-offensive, but the sign currently there is pretty distasteful and mean towards the religious. There's nothing illegal about it, and no one has the right to restrict freedom of speech, but I don't think this sign will help the secular population of the USA get any brownie points with the religious. It's only making them dislike us moreso. I think we all should be able to agree that we'd be much better off if we non-religious tried to show them that we can all be friends.


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Old 12-06-2008, 01:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
However, a sign like "Festivus for the rest of us" is nice and non-offensive, but the sign currently there is pretty distasteful and mean towards the religious.
lol, I'm handing this card out to all of my buddies this year.



I agree: If signs that say "Merry Christmas" are prohibited due to the fact they alienate other religious holidays, then signs that denounce said holiday should also be prohibited. In short: If you don't like it, then don't complain about it, and leave other to their bliss.
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Old 12-06-2008, 08:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
Well, to put a sign dissing religion right next to religious things in the WA Capital is what seems like it was a bad idea. It could put religious people in a bad mood to go and see it, when they only want to have a joyous holiday celebrating the birth of the son of their favorite invisible sky-daddy...
I'm still not understanding the argument. It seems as though you're saying that there is something there that needs to be respected but isn't. Affording things respect when they don't deserve it only further enables the idea that it deserves respect in the first place.

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Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
However, a sign like "Festivus for the rest of us" is nice and non-offensive, but the sign currently there is pretty distasteful and mean towards the religious. There's nothing illegal about it, and no one has the right to restrict freedom of speech, but I don't think this sign will help the secular population of the USA get any brownie points with the religious.
That certainly is one way to do things. I don't think it will accomplish anything useful, but it is one way to do things.

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Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
It's only making them dislike us moreso.
Do you care how much the members of NAMBLA dislike you when you support laws that oppose their beliefs? Or are you willing to stand behind the argument that some ideas are simply wrong and that speaking out against them is right, regardless of whether people dislike you for doing so or not?

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I think we all should be able to agree that we'd be much better off if we non-religious tried to show them that we can all be friends.
I can absolutely be friends with religious people. That does mean I have to take seriously their beliefs. Neither does it mean that my freedom of speech should be cowed by theirs.

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Originally Posted by PastramiX View Post
I agree: If signs that say "Merry Christmas" are prohibited due to the fact they alienate other religious holidays, then signs that denounce said holiday should also be prohibited.
Except this isn't the case here. Nativity scenes, by their very nature, are explicited christian.

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Originally Posted by PastramiX View Post
In short: If you don't like it, then don't complain about it, and leave other to their bliss.
And then maybe the christians will decide to keep their religion to themselves all on their own?
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:31 PM   #6
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I agree, I don't respect religion, but I do respect people. If the people are acting insane and irrational, or forcing their beleifs on me, then I respect them only in so far as that I have 'unconditional love' for them. I'm willing to forgive even if I never hear the word 'Sorry'.

I agree that speaking out against insanity/ignorance is a good thing. But I do also think however that this sign did not convey a message that will make people think. I quote a part of the sign: "Religion hardens hearts and enslaves minds."

If I were still religious, my reaction to the sign would proabably be "How dare that call me ignorant! They're the ones who are ignorant! Bah Humbug!"

Perhaps: "Try celebrating festivus the Vulcan way- with logic."


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Old 12-08-2008, 10:50 PM   #7
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It's the same thing as posting something on the internet or on a blog: if you put it in the public domain, you open yourself up for potential criticism.

If atheists were going around to the homes of theists and posting these signs in their yards unprovoked, I might see where something inappropriate had occurred. But that isn't what happened. Theists had a message that they wanted to present in public. Atheists also had a message that they wanted to present in public. Both groups have exercised free speech.

To argue that one group's decision to share their viewpoint is in bad taste but not apply the same standard to the other group is to introduce special pleading. On the flip-side, if one were to argue that religious messages of any kind are probably better off left out of the public eye, and that posting any such message were in bad taste, then I think the solution quickly becomes pretty obvious.

My 2 cents.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:35 AM   #8
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I agree that freedom of speech is vital for both sides, but I also think that this sign was in poor taste. All they want is to do is have their religious holiday. After all, wasn't Christmas originally only a Christian holiday? Sure, there's Hanukkah too, but I don't really know how Hanukkah works... They've also got numerous other holidays, like Easter, among others. In this day and age, we share holidays for different reasons of celebration. I don't really see what the point of insulting them in such a time as Christmas is.

If these people set out to make a point about free speech, then so be it. A lot of the secular movement is left in the dark by most of the population, because unlike the religious, we don't congregate together as much. There is nothing unifying about secularism aside from us not being religious. There are millions and millions of us, but the problem is that only a small fraction of us say or do anything. Sure, there's the 'Four Horsemen and friends' on TV though...

My point is, if the secular movement wants to heard and listened to, it would be smarter to approach this in a different way instead of wasting money on signs, buses, and timeslots on biased TV News networks.


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Old 12-09-2008, 11:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
I agree that freedom of speech is vital for both sides, but I also think that this sign was in poor taste.
Why? Please go back and re-read post #2 before responding.

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Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
All they want is to do is have their religious holiday. After all, wasn't Christmas originally only a Christian holiday?
Depends on what you mean by "christmas". Many religions have/had holidays celebrating the winter solstice. Christmas is hardly unique.

And no one is saying that they can't have "their" holiday.

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Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
I don't really see what the point of insulting them in such a time as Christmas is.
It's not about insulting. It's about making things that should be private public. As I stated in my last post (since you're not actually addressing the arguments that I'm posting, I'm going to assume that we're simply talking past each other at this point), once you put something in the public domain it's open season.

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Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
If these people set out to make a point about free speech, then so be it. A lot of the secular movement is left in the dark by most of the population, because unlike the religious, we don't congregate together as much. There is nothing unifying about secularism aside from us not being religious. There are millions and millions of us, but the problem is that only a small fraction of us say or do anything. Sure, there's the 'Four Horsemen and friends' on TV though...
There are lots of reasons for people to come together. Religion is not the only game in town.

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Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
My point is, if the secular movement wants to heard and listened to, it would be smarter to approach this in a different way instead of wasting money on signs, buses, and timeslots on biased TV News networks.
You're taking one thing and trying to turn it into something else. I doubt very strongly that this was step one in a recruiting drive.
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:49 PM   #10
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Well after watching curiously watching the conversation in this tread a few days, I finally went to find out what was so offensive about the sign. After finding the story on the internet, I’m still at a lost about what is so conservational about the sign. Yes, the sign is judgmental about religion and those that follow religion, but Christians are just as judgmental about those that don’t follow the teachings of Christ.

If you are going to allow one group to express their view on state property, then you are going to have to allow others the same opportunity.



Last edited by mimartin; 12-09-2008 at 04:28 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles View Post
Why? Please go back and re-read post #2 before responding.

Depends on what you mean by "christmas". Many religions have/had holidays celebrating the winter solstice. Christmas is hardly unique.
Good point, the sign didn't say anything about Christianity in general, so it would be logical to assume that it's message was directed at most if not all of the religious traditions of different religions during this season of the year.

Quote:
And no one is saying that they can't have "their" holiday.

It's not about insulting. It's about making things that should be private public. As I stated in my last post (since you're not actually addressing the arguments that I'm posting, I'm going to assume that we're simply talking past each other at this point), once you put something in the public domain it's open season.
Okay that makes sense to me now.

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There are lots of reasons for people to come together. Religion is not the only game in town.
Something tells me you're saying in reference to Religion vs. Irreligion: "This world ain't big enough for both of us."

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You're taking one thing and trying to turn it into something else. I doubt very strongly that this was step one in a recruiting drive.
It's not my intention to make a Strawman argument, but rather to expand upon the topic.

Well it all kind of ties together, doesn't it? Buses in Europe and the East Coast with anti-religion sayings painted on them, signs with anti-religion sayings, movies like Religulous coming forward with Bill Maher on CNN, and Christopher Hitchens going on Fox News...

What would you call 'step one in their recruiting drive'?

Thinking over this, perhaps now is the best time for the Secular movement to move forward. We've had after all: The Election of Barack Obama, the bad economic situation, Christmas, Prop 8, a Creationism movement pushed forward by people like Sarah Palin and Ben Stein... Among other things.

This all seems to tie together into the same issues (Freedom of Speech, Expression, and Freethought) is what I'm suggesting.


Please feed the trolls. XD
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
Something tells me you're saying in reference to Religion vs. Irreligion: "This world ain't big enough for both of us."
On the contrary, I think Achilles is saying (I hope i'm not overstepping my bounds by making this assumption) that the world is big enough, more than big enough for both to go about their business.






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Old 12-09-2008, 11:20 PM   #13
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Good point, the sign didn't say anything about Christianity in general, so it would be logical to assume that it's message was directed at most if not all of the religious traditions of different religions during this season of the year.
You are the one that specified christmas, hence my response to that effect. Yes, the atheist message was geared toward all religious traditions.

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Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
Something tells me you're saying in reference to Religion vs. Irreligion: "This world ain't big enough for both of us."
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Originally Posted by Astor_Kaine View Post
On the contrary, I think Achilles is saying (I hope i'm not overstepping my bounds by making this assumption) that the world is big enough, more than big enough for both to go about their business.
Going for the two-fer:

Yes and no. In one sense the world is big enough for both, just as there is room enough for people that believe in the Loch Ness Monster and those that don't. The problem is that religious thinking is far too prominent. Once it's relegated to the "fringe thinking" status it deserves, then there will be more than enough room. For right now though, no, there probably isn't.

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Well it all kind of ties together, doesn't it? Buses in Europe and the East Coast with anti-religion sayings painted on them, signs with anti-religion sayings, movies like Religulous coming forward with Bill Maher on CNN, and Christopher Hitchens going on Fox News...
Maher and Hitchens have nothing to do with the sign in Washington.

There is no "atheist leader" or figurehead. This isn't a concerted effort made by some organization. These are independent actions carried out by people who are fed up.

No doubt there is something of an "atheist movement" but it isn't a coordinated effort as you seem to be suggesting.

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Thinking over this, perhaps now is the best time for the Secular movement to move forward. We've had after all: The Election of Barack Obama, the bad economic situation, Christmas, Prop 8, a Creationism movement pushed forward by people like Sarah Palin and Ben Stein... Among other things.
The Culture War has been going on for quite some time.

I don't see it ending until we move back toward the secular roots our founders promoted. And I don't see that happening any time soon.

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This all seems to tie together into the same issues (Freedom of Speech, Expression, and Freethought) is what I'm suggesting.
Indeed it does. How does this realization fit in with your earlier assertion that the atheist message was "in poor taste"?

Thanks for your response. I am enjoying the exchange.

P.S. First x-mas as an atheist is a little weird, huh?
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:09 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Achilles
The Culture War has been going on for quite some time.
Interesting read...

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I don't see it ending until we move back toward the secular roots our founders promoted. And I don't see that happening any time soon.
What a happy day that will be if I live to see it...

Quote:
Indeed it does. How does this realization fit in with your earlier assertion that the atheist message was "in poor taste"?
Well you've convinced me now that it wasn't...

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P.S. First x-mas as an atheist is a little weird, huh?
Yes, kind of. I'm replacing it with Santa Claus woo to make it fun.


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Old 12-10-2008, 12:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
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The problem is that religious thinking is far too prominent. Once it's relegated to the "fringe thinking" status it deserves, then there will be more than enough room. For right now though, no, there probably isn't.
Ah, so your evil agenda is finally revealed!

Seriously, though, such aggression would seem to indicate that you have learned nothing from the experience of having other people's beliefs shoved down your throat because you appear to be very willing to do the same thing here with yours. People really don't like being preached to, be it by a religious fanatic or an atheist one. A little "live and let live" could go a long way here, and an atheist crusade is unnecessary and counterproductive.

Yes, I know that that would require the other side's backing off as well, but I think that we both know that that is now inevitable. I believe that it will only take a few more lost presidential elections before the GOP dumps the religious right for good because it has become a liability and religious legislation will then come to an end on it's own. Perhaps not fast enough to suit you, but it will happen eventually.
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I don't see it ending until we move back toward the secular roots our founders promoted.
Yes, I do agree with you that religion has no place in our government, and I acknowledge that it was meant to be that way from the beginning in order to avoid exactly what we're going through right now.

Shocked?


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:31 AM   #16
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Ah, so your evil agenda is finally revealed!
As though I've ever been shy about sharing my feelings on the matter

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Originally Posted by Qliveur View Post
Seriously, though, such aggression...
Aggression?

(I feel like Nancy is going to pop up any moment with another post about "persecution")

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...would seem to indicate that you have learned nothing from the experience of having other people's beliefs shoved down your throat because you appear to be very willing to do the same thing here with yours.
*Re-reads his earlier post*

Dude, what are you talking about?

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People really don't like being preached to, be it by a religious fanatic or an atheist one. A little "live and let live" could go a long way here, and an atheist crusade is unnecessary and counterproductive.
As I inquired of PastramiX earlier: "And then maybe the christians will decide to keep their religion to themselves all on their own?"

I thinking lobbying for a little more rational thought in our public discourse is absolutely necessary. And the sooner the better. As for "counterproductive", time will tell.

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Yes, I know that that would require the other side's backing off as well, but I think that we both know that that is now inevitable.
Really? I don't think I know that at all. In fact, if you follow the news at all, I would say that "the other side" shows no sign of backing off. Feel free to read up on what's going on with the school boards in Louisiana and Texas (most importantly Texas) at any time.

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I believe that it will only take a few more lost presidential elections before the GOP dumps the religious right for good because it has become a liability and religious legislation will then come to an end on it's own. Perhaps not fast enough to suit you, but it will happen eventually.
As though this were the only facet to this issue.

I'm really struggling to find the wisdom in this "let's just sit on our asses and hope the problem goes away someday" argument that you seem to want to advance. Could you please help me understand how it is that you hope this will work?

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Yes, I do agree with you that religion has no place in our government, and I acknowledge that it was meant to be that way from the beginning in order to avoid exactly what we're going through right now.

Shocked?
Not at all. You frequently say things that make a lot of sense.
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