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Buddhism in the News


Friday, December 19, 2008

FOX Host Carlson Afraid that Christianity is In Mortal Danger.

So an Atheist sign in the state capital of Illinois was stolen and now the Atheist group behind the sign wants to replace it with a new one saying, "Thou Shalt Not Steal." Yet Gretchen Carlson apparently doesn't get the point of the replacement sign.

It seems apparent to me that those who would be the most upset by the sign would be rabid Christians. Therefore reminding them that they [most likely Christian] broke a commandment of the very religion they are claiming to defend by stealing that sign is on point and brilliant. It's called using your critics words and beliefs against them. It's a great debate tactic and Carlson's only comeback to it is to claim that Atheists have no right to use the ten commandments because Atheists don't believe in them? That's a nice dodge from the point of Christians stealing despite being commanded NOT too.

So in other words Christians can break the commandments when dealing with Atheists because Atheists shouldn't have the same rights to freedom of expression as Christians enjoy. In part too because Atheists are seen by extreme Christians as evil to be defeated by any means necessary and therefore (to these type of Christians) the end justifies the means (i.e. stealing). It's not too unlike radical Muslims who think "God" will bless them in heaven for killing the nonbeliever because belief in "God" is more important than free will and the commandment against killing. Thus we see that many radical Christians don't actually believe following every commandment by the letter as they often say they do.

Michelle Maulkin actually takes the high road for once in basically saying "Just ignore them." But Carlson is completely freaked out to the point of saying that if they treat them as equals then Christianity might disappear??? Come on. Honestly. It might disappear from the public square (as it should according to the Constitution) but Christianity is not going to disappear from a country [America] that is beyond any measure predominately Christian. Besides, where is their faith that "God" won't let Christianity die out in America?

And should it be about control? Shouldn't your belief in Christianity be personal? Isn't it more about your own salvation than about being the dominate belief system to maintain your feeling of superiority as being "number 1?" I'm a Buddhist and we are no where near the dominate religion in America and I don't care. I don't practice Buddhism so that maybe one day Buddhism can dominate America. I practice it because I find meditation to be helpful in my daily, personal life.

I am a weak Atheist/strong Agnostic, I know many other Atheists and for most it's not about abolishing Christianity but rather about equal representation in the public square. Either everyone gets to have a display or no one should as the public square belongs to everyone and public/government buildings/locations are paid for by everyone--not just Christians. It seems really simple and basic to me.

~Peace to all beings~

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anonyrod said...

You are in a country that has "In god we trust" printed on the money, fat chance you have of equal rights. Hell, they even give Nobel prizes to thieves just because they are Christian.

At least no one got shot.

Carla said...

I started to say, 'Thank God I don't have to listen to this crap in the UK,' but realised what I was saying. Ha!

In any case, this is one of the main things I DON'T miss about America.

Modern Girl said...

To play Devil's advocate, there's not proof that the people who stole the sign were Christian.

It might be interesting to contemplate that for movement.

Of course, there's probably a 99% chance it was Christians. But I try to always give the benefit of a doubt!

Anyway, I try to be tolerant to all faiths, but the right-wing Christianity of the USA has really been on my nerves lately. I'm glad I'm in Canada, where we are surprisingly more secular (at least in the big cities).

They call him James Ure said...


Yeah, I would LOVE to see the day that our money says, "In the constitution we trust."

That would cover everything because the constitution respects religion while at the same time mandating secular government.


Sometimes I wish I could live somewhere else but then I think no, I want to stand and fight. That said I do want to live abroad again for a time just for the culture and experience.

Modern Girl:

Yeah I tried to convey that they weren't necessarily Christian by saying...

"Therefore reminding them that they [most likely Christian] broke a commandment of the very religion they are claiming to defend by stealing that sign is on point and brilliant."

I probably should have been more clear about that point so thanks for underlining that facet.

I try to tolerate everyone too except when certain groups overstep their boundaries like in this instance. They shouldn't be threatened by a sign if they are so confident of the truth of their religion.

Tim said...

My youngest sister just sent me a book on the "Signs of the End Times" as something that we might "discuss." Not sure if it was her intention but I was offended by most (if not all) of the author's view on the Bible and of God's America; I had to kindly tell her to dismiss her memories of my Christian past and that the Bible's apocalyptic writings are based on old Jewish traditional myth and lore and that the author was very devo in his presentation.
She has not e mailed me back. So much for the discussion, I guess.

They call him James Ure said...


Yeah apparently it wasn't meant to be an honest and open discussion. I have found that when some (not all) radical Christians want a "discussion" that it turns into a monologue.

Kamacharya said...

I agree with your views entirely James. A very well written article indeed!
It is extremely difficult to deal with fundamentalists of any religion because they always think, or rather "know", that what they're doing or saying is the only right thing to do or say.

I don't know who said it, but it's relevant in any case,
"Never trust a man who reads only one book."

Buddha said...

You can start holy wars, burn people alive for believing the earth moves, hire male prostitutes or smoke meth.
Why do you think Jesus died for? So you can get a free pass to heaven.
What other religion has that kind of benefits? NONE!
If I could stand the company, I would join tomorrow!

Alice said...

I feel sorry for the right-wing Christians...always getting picked on and having to defend themselves with non-logic that only makes sense to them. That must be a hard life.

It's ironic and funny that they're offended by Atheists attacking "their" holiday, since the Christians "stole" the tradition from the Pagans! No wonder they don't want to be reminded of "Thou Shalt Not Steal."

StatMama said...

Yeah, that's about right. I am all for everyone having the right to believe as they wish. Christians' tolerance dissolves very quickly when they think that their control is being lost. That isn't about belief, that is about priviledge.

Jato said...

The theft or destruction of a sign is now equated to "killing the nonbeliever" ? Honestly, the atheists were trying to provoke a hostile reaction and they got it. Since there is no body count for this story, its clear that muslims weren't the target audience. I suggest that they display a cartoon of muhammad on their next sign.

It's always a sign of tolerance and good will to insult people of faith on days they hold sacred. That's what the atheists' sign was - an insult to Christians.

Here's the text of the sign - something that was conspicuously absent from your post.

"At this season of THE WINTER SOLSTICE may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds. Placed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation on behalf of it's State Members. "

There is an argument to be made about the proper use of government owned property and religious displays. This sign didn't make an attempt at such an argument. It is a crass insult to Christians of good faith on their holy day.

Brenton said...

I was thinking maybe we should try to get them to put up a sign with the Four Noble Truths.

Or how about a Zen sign that says:

"The sky is blue. The grass is green."

Yours in the dharma,

They call him James Ure said...


The problem is that there are many religions who have holy days in December. The Nativity scene was at the state capital and therefore on public property and thus the Atheist sign was there to represent their philosophy too.

There is nothing wrong with a Nativity scene--except when it is at a state capitol as is the case with the nativity scene mentioned in this post.


I like that sign idea: "The sky is blue. The grass is green." It could be posted for the holidays since Bodhi Day is December 8th.

Jato said...

That's exactly the point. Other religions and groups were allowed to place displays on the same public property with the Nativity scene. Whether this is an appropriate use of public property is a debatable point. I think most people would agree that it's best to sidestep this issue by putting such displays of private faith on private property. The problem with the atheist's sign is that it wasn't just a statement of their belief in reason. It was a formulated negation of the faith of the Nativity scene right next to it.

A menorah is not provocative. The sign was intended to be. It succeeded.

The sign was a childish streetyard taunt from an organization with no concern for the insult it offered to the Christian people of Illinois whose faith the Nativity scene celebrates. It's a small wonder that it was received as such and responded to in kind.

They call him James Ure said...


I guess I can see how the sign would be a taunt but the same can be said of the Nativity display.

It is considered by many separation of church and state supporters to be a taunt to non-Christians as if to say, "I dare you to try and remove this display."

I agree with you that I think the best solution is just to take everything down.

I don't think it's ruining anyone's Christmas to take down a Nativity scene on public property.

People will always have their right (and I will fight for that right) to display symbols of Christianity on their lawns, backyards, cars, rooftops and in their homes.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the reasons I avoid watching fox news at all cost. The USA may have "In God we Trust" on the money, But there is also freedom of (and from) religion as well as separation of Church & State in United States.

Fox news itself is just in the business of marketing hate.

gene said...

"Michelle Maulkin actually takes the high road for once..."

Yeah, I noticed that too. That was a pleasant surprise.

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