I just had to say something (okay, I had to release some atheist angst) about this post over at Jill Stanek's blog. It all started when Barbara Walters received a christmas card from President Bush that had a Bible verse inside. No surprise there. But Walters rather astutely wondered whether this card also gets sent to atheists, agnostics, etc. It's a good question. Stanek had a good deal to say about it, but this is what caught my eye:
"What Walters received was a birthday card. Christmas is a celebration of Jesus' birthday. I don't recall the last time I celebrated someone's birthday but was disallowed to mention the one being celebrated for fear of offending someone else who either wasn't sure the person existed, didn't believe the person existed, or didn't like the person."
See, that's interesting, because I don't remember the last time I received a birthday card for someone else's birthday! I get cards for my birthday, but no one has ever sent me a card celebrating, say, Queen Elizabeth's birthday or Shakespeare's birthday. Heck, we have a holiday for great Presidents' birthdays, but I still don't get cards then!
Now, if you want to celebrate the birth of this guy Jesus, that's your business. I hope you have a great party. But perhaps you should think twice before you force your celebration on other people. When you're celebrating your kid's birthday at Chuck E. Cheese's, or whatever, you don't just grab random people and force them to sing the birthday song with you, now do you? Of course not. Because that's rude. They don't know your kid. They don't care about celebrating your kid's birthday. They probably have their own snot nosed brat to worry about. But if you don't force others to celebrate your kids birthday, why do you insist on forcing others to celebrate the birth of some guy who may or may not have lived several millenia ago?
Claiming that there is nothing wrong with sending an atheist or agnostic or person of Jewish faith a card that is all about Jebus seems to betray a misunderstanding of what it would be like to be in the position of the atheist, agnostic or Jew. Any time I hear this nonesense from fundagelicals about how we should just suck it up and deal with having their irrational beliefs forced down our throats, I wonder how they might feel if they received a card celebrating the Saturnalia (look it up, it's where your pretty Christmas tree comes from), or the Winter Solstice, complete with wiccan chants for calling on the power of the Goddess. I'm sure they would be superbly offended. But because they are currently controlling the media and much of the political sphere, they don't see this. Well, might does not make right, people. I think next year I'm going to send out cards celebrating the birthday of Anton LaVey to every bible thumping, soldier in the "war on Christmas", atheist hater I know. Perhaps when I try to force them to celebrate the birth of the founder of Satanism, they'll understand why they should keep their dogma drenched Christmas cards to themselves