As the holiday season settles down and we all get back into harness to deal with the real world, some old familiar patterns linger. Religious right self-appointed victims of persecution are claiming (yet again) that they are being injured. How? Because they can’t put up on public land their precious creche or their precious artifact of one kind or another. Pick an artifact. In Arkansas this all took a refreshing turn: A group of people calling themselves the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers volunteered to put up their own “Box of Knowledge” display on the grounds of the capitol building in Little Rock. The booth featured such books as Richard Dawkins’ “God Delusion” and other publications by atheist and (gasp) non-Christian thinkers. Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan, John Lennon, Thomas Jefferson … Recognize any of those names?
Oh, the screams. Oh, the howls of pain. Oh, the stalling and the balking and the hair-splitting. Verily I say unto you, it throbbed in the night.
Eventually everybody got to put up their display, and the dust settled … until next year. It will be interesting to see what the persecutees present for their rationale as 2010 winds down. It may become a whole new chapter in their career victimology.
Meantime some thoughts come to mind:
1. If you’ve got something you feel inclined to display, what happened to displays on private property? On private property, people can do a lot of things they’d better not do on public property. (A suggestion: try to make it all look less like a yard sale of plastic imitations.)
2. We who don’t march in lockstep–we pay taxes too. Get your trappings off the land we’ve supported with our tax dollars. (See 1 above.)
3. If you really believed your claims, you whiners, you’d go quietly about your business and your celebrations without having to flaunt your act all over town to the boredom of everyone else within range.
Happy solstice. We pay taxes too.