Atheists Threaten Nativity Scene in Athens, Texas

By Mary Lou Bruner

Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – A tiny group of Henderson County  residents want to force the County Commissioners and the County Judge to remove the nativity scene from the Court House Square in Athens, Texas. A national organization which calls itself Freedom from Religion is backing the Atheists in Henderson County.   Mr. Obama mocked Christians once when he didn’t think the microphone was turned on. He insinuated we are backward and ignorant because we cling to our religion and our guns.

He was making fun of us, but we proudly accept the badge of honor Mr. Obama placed on us.   A few Atheists cannot take away the things Christians and Texans hold dear.

When they mess with Christmas, they are messing with Texas. We do not take it kindly that one or two Atheists want to force the whole USA to think like they think. 

The Atheists are only a tiny minority, but they want to rule.  We do not want to take away their right to believe whatever they want to believe, and THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO TAKE OUR RIGHTS AWAY FROM US. 

Their demand to put up a display honoring the Atheistic Religion is disingenuous and childish.  They only want to do this to interfere with the Christian celebration.

There is going to be a rally on the Courthouse Square in Athens, TX at NOON ON DECEMBER 17.   We are asking everyone to come support the Commissioners and County Judge who have so far stood up to the bullies who want to destroy our First Amendment Rights. 

Please understand, this assault is on every religious denomination which believes in God and/or Christ.  That includes Baptists, Methodists, Church of Christ, Church of God, Presbyterian, Episcopalians, Mormons, Quakers, Lutherans, Catholics, Jews, etc.

We hope there will be a huge crowd on the Court House Square in Athens, to support the commissioners and the county judge.  Local ministers and citizens of all denominations will be there to Lead with messages and prayers for our country and our Constitution which are under assault.

This is going to be a little birthday present for Jesus to thank him for what he has done for all of mankind.  We know people are busy at this time of the year but THIS IS CHRIST’S BIRTHDAY for heaven’s sake!!!   If you cannot be there, please pray for the rally to be a success.

We should not let a few Atheists keep us from being able to celebrate a birthday in a peaceful manner.  If the Atheists do not want to come they have the right to stay home.  But they do not have the right to disrupt our meeting.  The right to assemble is also one of our rights listed in the first 10 Amendments.   

If the Atheists do not want to look at the nativity scene when they walk or drive by the courthouse, they can simply turn their heads.

Many Christians live in foreign countries where the majority of the people worship a different god.  They respectfully ignore the religious displays which are common in that country.   Christians wouldn’t try to force the foreign country to change the traditions the people have celebrated for centuries or for thousands of years.

In fact, there are some “minority” Christian groups in America who do not worship like other Christian groups, but they don’t try to force everyone to worship on Saturday or observe the same rituals they observe.   That is because Christians are basically  tolerant people, and they are not bigoted like the Atheists who want to prevent Christians from celebrating Christ’s birthday.

If the Atheists do not like celebrating Christmas, I suggest they go find a country which does everything exactly like they want it done.  When they find such a country, they should move there.  They’re welcome to stay in this country, but they must behave if they want to live peacefully among us.

In addition to asking Christians to attend the rally in Athens on Dec. 17, I am also asking elected officials from other counties across the Great State of Texas to allow your citizens to put up nativity scenes on the court house squares.  Our founding fathers allowed church groups to hold church services inside the court house when the federal buildings were not being used to conduct the people’s business; so there is a precedent for allowing the citizens to use public facilities.

This is America and a few Atheists cannot take away our Constitutional right to Freedom OF Religion just because they do not want religion themselves.  They can remain godless if they choose.  

America was primarily settled by Christians and Jews who were being persecuted because of their religious beliefs.  Christians and Jews are peaceful people.  We are not persecuting anyone for their religious beliefs. We simply want to be able to exercise our religious rights which were given to us in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

It is time for Christians to draw a line in the sand like William B. Travis did at the Alamo.

Texans will not let them run us out of our own country.

Joseph Stalin said:

“America is like a healthy body, and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life.  If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within.

The movie “Agenda” tells about a 1958 Book: “The Naked Communist”  by Cleon Scousin (Author’s name may not be spelled correctly.).  This book lists 45 Communist goals designed to move our people and our culture in a direction that was designed to destroy us.

Following are a few of those Communist goals from the 1958 book, “The Naked Communist”:

Goal # 28:  Eliminate prayer in the schools on the grounds that it violates the principle of “Separation of Church and State.”

Goal # 40:  Discredit the family as an institution.  Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.

Goal # 17:  Get control of the schools.  Use them as transmission belts for Socialism…Soften the curriculum.  Get control of teacher associations.

Goal # 24:  Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them”censorship” and a violation of free speech and free press.

Goal # 25:  Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography in books, magazines, motion pictures, and television.

Goal # 26:  Present homosexuality, degeneracy, and promiscuity as “normal, natural, and healthy.”

Goals # 20 – 21:  Infiltrate the press; gain control of key positions in radio, television, and motion pictures.

Goal # 27:  Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion.  Discredit the Bible.

The Communists have been quietly working behind the scenes to destroy Americans’ inalienable rights listed in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  Their goal is to destroy our foundations and everything Americans believe in.

Recently the military changed the rules about homosexuals serving openly in the military.

California schools teach first graders how to have sex and the curriculum teaches them they can choose if they want to be a boy or a girl.

President Obama omitted the words “Endowed by our Creator” from the Declaration of Independence. He made this “mistake” twice.

A Democratic campaign commercial showed children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.  The words “under God” were omitted (twice).

The ACLU filed suit: Navy Chaplains Can No Longer Mention Jesus’ Name In Prayer.

College adds Sexual Orientation to Application – to Increase Diversity.

College Bans National Anthem – Too Violent.

Mayor of New York City (Bloomberg) did not invite clergy to the 911 Memorial Service.

ACLU filed suit to have a cross removed from the side of a rural dessert road.  The cross had been there for over fifty years.

The Ten Commandments have been removed form the walls of most schools.   Some people think words such as Don’t kill, Don’t steal, and  Honor your parents  might be harmful to children.

Some cities and towns have passed ordinances disallowing “Manger Scenes” at Christmas time, and store clerks have been ordered to say “Happy Winter” or “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”.

There was a recent proposal to change the way we count time.  Don’t use BC and AD any more because those designations tie all time to the birth of Christ.  They want to call it Common Time now. Thankfully this did not pass.

The U.S. mint “accidentally” printed silver dollars without the U.S. Motto, “In God We Trust.”  They recalled the coins and printed the motto on the edge of the coins so that you can now see the words if you have a magnifying glass.

The president almost always displays a flag behind him when he speaks.  The flag  bears the words “E. Pluribus Unum.”  This is a subtle and gradual  attempt to change the national motto from “In God We Trust” to “E. Pluribus Unum”.  Liberals interpret these words to mean “Out of one — Many” implying America is a nation of diverse people.

But the motto actually means “Out of Many — ONE” which actually means the USA is a UNITED country though the people come from many places.  E. Pluribus Unum encourages assimilation, NOT diversity.  The first three letters of diversity are “div.”   These are also the first three letters of the word Divide as in “United we stand; Divided we fall.”

Diversity ( noun) To give variety to something, To engage in varied operations, to distribute over a wide range of types or classes.

di-verse (adj.) unalike in characteristics, having various forms or qualities.

It is time to get involved.  Ask your local Tea Party to show the movie “Agenda”.

We must get organized before the election of Nov, 6, 2012.  We must replace elected officials who have a Socialistic Agenda in mind for the United States of America.  We must elect representatives who believe the Constitution is the law of the land.  We must be informed about our rights so socialists cannot twist the meaning of the words in the Constitution and make us believe the Constitution says something it does not say.

Those who want to take away our freedoms cannot be taken for granted; they are devious and very clever. We must stand up to them and fight back with informed rebuttal.


  1. You are so ignorant. This entire article is ridiculous. They are not taking your rights you are FORCING your beliefs on them by putting the scene in the courthouse which represents all of you. They only want to be shown the same respect that you are being shown. Can’t you see that? You are so blind.

    3:44 pm CST
    December 13, 2011

    Mary Lou Bruner I would call you the worst journalist of all time but I think it would be an offense to the profession to call you a member of it. This “article” is entirely opinion and is nothing but angry ranting and circular reasoning. I feel so saddened that people will read this and actually take what you have written as a logical argument. This is sickening and pathetic. Please never write anything ever again.

  2. Its people like you that make me want to leave this intolerant and just plain stupid country. To those who say “just ignore it” or “let them do as they please” read the article or go find more information. The atheist group tried to put up a sign celebrating atheism but they refused to let them. It seems most Christians don’t follow the Christian beliefs.

  3. Looks to me that this is a clear case of badger baiting. A small group of extreme atheists prodding some right wing Christians with a stick is quite pointless. The resulting nonsense, communist atheists article is almost laughable if it was not for the christian fundamentalist rabble rousing undertones.
    I am not offended by a nativity scene on public land, I am not offended by the 10 commandments hanging on a public school wall and I am a atheist. Of course minorities have rights but that does not mean they have the right to remove lawful rights and wishes from the majority.
    Atheists are not destroying America, extremest hate from whatever group or section of society internal and external damages it.
    I take courage that the silent majority will be dismissive of these ridiculous demands made by these few atheists as they will be just as dismissive of the silly article and some of the lunatic fringe replies by some Christians here.

  4. Dear Citizens of Athens. It is a time to take a stand as you are and counter sue this group for violating your rights. I do not have much money, BUT I will gladly donate to your fund to go after a group such as this. In fact, sue each and every Henderson County citizen that is a atheist. When you hit them in the pocketbook, they will rethink what they are doing. Also, please provide them with one way tickets to Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, and Syria would all be greatr place for them to move to.

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS! AND GOD BLESS AMERICA AGAIN AND AGAIN! I I am a resident of Henderson county, and tears filled my eyes to see family, friends and neighbors, taking a long needed stand. I am however sad that some people can be so hateful and mean. So argue all you want..but CHRISTmas will still come!

  6. As far as nativity scenes go, no matter where a nativity scene is found it is not forcing anything on anyone. Great Britain forced religion on people which is one of the many reasons for an American Nation fighting for independence. That country forced a particular religion on the citizens due to the fact that it adopted a “state” religion. Another example would be Germany in WWII. These among a long list of other examples show governments forcing religions and beliefs on the citizens. This is what the intent of “separation of church and state” meant when it was penned so long ago. That Thomas Jefferson wrote, “… I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” did not mean that no “state” property could allow a display of a religious symbol. To make a law against a religion which keeps it from “…the free exercise thereof…” is illegal. As long as that “state” or “government” does not adopt that religion then no law has been broken, no right infringed upon, and no one forced to believe anything. Christmas from its inception in the mid 14th century has always been a religious holiday derived from the Christian religion to commemorate the birth of Christ. This makes the holiday religious in nature and not legally subject to attack from any group due to “…the free exercise thereof…”. Just because some want to say Happy Holidays doesn’t mean that Christmas is not a religious holiday. As in any religious holiday, the patrons of that religion are free to demonstrate peaceably the celebration of that holiday. As a result, Christians, nor a government, can be legally forced to display any representation of any other’s belief during their respective holiday. If that is true then Christians would be able to force Jews to display Christian symbols during their holidays. Or maybe Buddhist should be forced, or some other religions. Reason and common sense as atheists refer to is not being used in this battle at all. What is fair for one group is fair for all and that would get pretty ridiculous if we all acted that way. Looking at the truth of this situation from this standpoint I say it is clear that this is an attack on Christianity which is being cleverly disguised behind a twist of law. Remember, any law that violates any person or group’s rights is illegal. That is why laws are constantly under review. An example of one of those is the law which hasn’t been used since colonial days and that we commonly refer to as “rule of thumb”. A law which stated a wife could not be beaten with anything wider than her husband’s thumb for any transgression against her husband which dictated a beating as punishment. Good thing laws are reviewed to confirm they are fair and just. To talk about the laws in our country and debate the rightness of them is a goog thing. This is the process which eventually sees its way to fairness within the law. I do have to take issue, though, with all comments in which name calling or accusations of lack of intelligence are cited. That only shows personal emotion and not a clear thinking toward problem solving. We all will not see things the same way. That is clear. We all should respect others opinions and beliefs in order to determine what is right within the laws of our nation so that all may be represented without infringing on anyone else. I say this to Christians, athiests, and others alike.

  7. I am a Christian man from Henderson Country, Texas,living in a small town just outside Athens. It did my heart good today to see 10,000 or so people rallying peacefully for their rights as taxpayers all around the courthouse.
    History shows that there really was a man named Jesus Christ born approximately 2000 years ago. Even if you are an atheist history says this man did exist. So we are celebrating His birthday, whether you believe He is God’s Son or not.
    You cannot force us to remove this from one little corner of the courthouse lawn, especially when all the other corners are represensative of a secular viewpoint. Even Christians pay taxes and have rights as citizens of a country that allows a myriad of religions. That’s the beauty of America.

  8. I just have a couple things to say as food for thought. First let me say that I love Jesus in all fashions that he may come in. On a cross, in a manger or any of the millions of ways that we depict Christ to have him closer to our heart. However, even more important than that is what he said…am I right? Those red letters are balm to our and others souls. That being said I would like to examine two of the scriptures most stood on by me and those who follow his teachings. Preached and recited a million times in a million Churches. Those who follow his teaching and I mean REALLY follow his teachings and not just jump on a band wagon when baby Jesus (who isn’t real on that courthouse) is threatened. (I promise you Jesus isn’t threatened by this at all…maybe mildly amused) and I say that because Jesus said two things…

    Love one another….
    Love your enemies….

    That would be love your.
    Homeless neighbor
    Muslim neighbor
    Black neighbor
    White neighbor
    Jewish neighbor
    Transgender neighbor
    Christian neighbor
    Addicted neighbor
    Racist neighbor and yes.
    Atheist neighbor.

    If anyone in that list is between you and God…they are closer…to…God. Get the picture?

    And..if anyone in that list is your enemy than would God ask you to love something or someone that he doesn’t in fact love himself? If not than he is the biggest hypocrite of all…to ask me to love some folks that he would not…..and we all know God is not a liar nor a hypocrite….right?

    I don’t think that God or Jesus would have a bit of a problem removing those “images” if it brought one single shred of love to those Atheist and opened a door of thought into love…that is what Jesus did.

    What better way to love them than to do something unexpected and at the very least…shut down the chaos that they intended to bring and all others are now jumping on the bandwagon and as far as I am concerned both the religious and the atheist alike have the same agenda….let’s just do battle….and I don’t see that in Jesus life except to turn over a few tables to let folks know that it sin’t about a “business deal” with God so that everyone else can see your power…(and the same can said in reverse…right?) It’s suppose to be a relationship.. One that we that call ourselves Christians need to be exhibiting at all times to anyone that crosses our path…whether it be the house we live in, school or job we go to, Church we attend or yes…even the Courthouse lawn and it is for this reason I am for removing it…..(she says dodging the stones).

  9. As an Athens native, and an American combat veteran, I am ashamed by this article. I hope the people of my hometown do not agree with what is written here.

  10. I have a correction in my last comment, The lightening will be from East to west. All Eye will see him comming in the clouds that is why all people that are buried, they are buried with their heads are to the west so when that person opens his/her eyes the will be looking East. I dont mean to preach, I just want to get my point through.

  11. I have been reading all the comments pertaining to the Nativity in Athens,Texas and I am with the comments that the Nativity should stay. If the athiests dont like it or it offends them just dont look at it simple as that. But I hope and pray for them that someday they will wake up and realize just how wrong they were. Jesus is my CHRIST and I believe in him as long as I live.The athiests have their rights and us christians have ours. They enjoy their freedom as much as we do, freedom that was given to us by our armed forces. I cant believe there are such individuals that excist amongst us.To the athiests I say, think about it, how did you get here? How was this world made? By who? I just hope that before the lightening from west to east comes that they wake up and believe in Jesus Christ. It would make me reall happy that out of the many atiests who read my comment, will pick up the bible and start reading the book of John, that would not only make me happy, father God would probably cry out of joy that he has gained a soul. And remember that satan will deceive you so you wont believe in God, and when you get to where he is at, he will laugh at you and torment you. I hope that I can save a soul with this comment. May Gods Blessings be with you allways and Have a Merry Christmas.

  12. Lea
    I will bet you are also a Democrat:
    Father, must I go to work?
    No, my lucky son.
    We’re living now on Easy Street
    On dough from Washington!

    We’ve left it up to Uncle Sam,
    So don’t get exercised.
    Nobody has to build a dam,
    We’ve all been subsidized.

    But if Sam treats us all so well
    And feeds us milk and honey,
    Please, Daddy, tell me what the heck
    He’s going to use for money?

    Don’t worry bub, there’s not a hitch
    In this here noble plan.
    He simply soaks the filthy rich
    And helps the common man.

    But father, won’t there come a time
    When they all run out of cash?
    And we have left them not a dime
    When things will go to smash?

    My faith in you is shrinking, son,
    You nosey little brat!
    You do too darn much thinking,
    To be called a Democrat!
    By Clarence J Brown
    and introduced into the Congressional Record in 1949.

  13. It’s ridiculous that you don’t even see how many times you’ve contradicted yourself throughout your so-called “article”. This is more of a rant; you trailed off to different reasons why Atheists are terrible people and Christians are better. I don’t have anything against Christians – I, myself, am a Catholic. But I do have something against Christians who clutch the Bible so dearly and try to force their ideas on others, against those who are so blinded by what they think is right that they make themselves look like complete idiots in the process. That goes for anyone who believes in anything. It’s completely narrow-minded and childish.

    You say that you have a right to free speech and a right to assemble, yet you say that the Atheists have no right putting up a banner displaying what they believe. Now tell me, how is that different from putting up the Nativity scene, something which displays what you believe in?

    You say that Christians are tolerant people, but look at this article. Is this an example of being tolerant? The point of removing the Nativity scene from the courthouse is to separate Church and state. They aren’t going around burning down Churches and screaming at people who believe in God. The problem isn’t the existence of Christianity or the Nativity scene. The problem is that it’s by the court, and they just want to move the scene somewhere else to emphasize the separation of Church and government.

    For the rest of your petty remarks: All of those changes? Yeah, it’s not to banish the existence of Christianity or religion, it’s to become neutral.

  14. Steve:
    I am familiar with LUKE 22:36
    I pray everyone will read LUKE 22 as it is necessary so they may understand Jesus is preparing the disciples for the CHANGE:

    35And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. (WHEN I SENT YOU OUT) PAST

    36Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. (BUT NOW) PRESENT

    37For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. (THAT THIS, THAT IS WRITTEN MUST YET BE ACCOMPLISHED) FUTURE

  15. Brian:
    What would you know about THINKING ?
    I never worry about dying and bitter is reserved for those that do :)

  16. garywfbg :
    Refreshed and thankful you are well.
    I find new hope each time a Christian Warrior comments :)
    I am equally thankful for those who cause them to reaffirm their FAITH and RESOLVE.

  17. I don’t think Mary forced anything down anyone’s throat re Natavity. She Is standing up for her beliefs, and Most rest of us on this page, for right to leave it.

    She is not forcing it on you and neither is Athens and if it offends you stay out of Athens till after Christ Mas..It reminds me of people talking about all the sex on TV, and How Bad it has gotten to watch a program, but they don’t turn it off.

    Complaining and looking at lude part and search Channels for more to complain about…..

    The very Country you live in was founded by People Beliving in God…Its in you Blood.

  18. It appears to me that when a few can interfere with a Celebration like Christmas displaying a manger scene we are in deep trouble. Let the atheists come up with their own celebration decorating the town square as they see fit, (for the occasion only). Us Christians will just ignore it and go our way. After all, we did pay for the Court House and should be able to decorate as we have done for ages. This way we would not be denieing the atheists their fair use of the courthouse square; Although I’m not sure what they could display, but I coulld just drive by and pray for them.

    I wonder if they get paid for the Christmas/Easter holidays. If so, maybe they should give the money back. I wonder if they have a guilty concsience taking this Christmas/Easter holiday pay.

    What is wrong with this Country? Ponder the following:
    1. We can’t Pray in school.
    2. Can’t mention Jesus at a football game or Graduation Ceremony.
    3. A judge can’t have the Ten Comandments in the courthouse.
    4. Our Leader now says that we are NOT a Christian Nation.; Wonder if the islamic nations are Islamic Nations.
    5. Our Troups can’t carry the Bible in Islamic Countries; (wonder if the islamist soldier can have a Koran in their possession).
    6. Our Military condones the Gays, (Queers).

    There are more points to ponder than these. This is just a start. All the above are caused because our leaders have weakened to be politically correct bowing down to a few and leaving God, and our savior Jesus out of the picture.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the leaders and people’s fight in Henderson County during this battle. Hopefully, through the help from above this will be a victory that will help turn the tide that is against Christianity.

    PS: When I was in the 2nd grade, We memorized some chapters from Psalms.

  19. I am a Christian, and have no apologies for it. I think that both sides of the argument is equally right and equally wrong. Any person who is a Christian should have enough decency to see and speak the truth “IN LOVE”, not anger. What I mean to say is, As Christians the way to win the lost is not by displaying the same attitude of the unbeliver. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that we, as Christians should have the right to express our faith in the public. However, if we do it by way of nativty scenes, it should not be on the property of the government, and so with that said, I also believe that our govrnment should have to remove ALL of the pagan gods of the greeks,romans,egyptians,and the myriads of other abominations that our so called “Christian” founding fathers had built into the landscape of our nations capital. They are all religious symbols too. Go to D.C. and look at the inside of the dome and take a look at the womb of Isis and then step outside and look outside at the oblisck,which represents the errect phallice of Osiris. Our forefathers were posing as Christians,while all along worshipping Osirus (Satan). The masons initiate every U.S. President, who by the way,all since the venerable George Washington’s administration,have been envolved.Obama was right. America is not a Christian nation, it is and always has been Pagan. As for the currency we all carry,most covet and even worship,(especially the Laodicean church of this age) for which they will be ashamed when they stand before the judgement seat of Christ.Satan is happy that we all aren’t concerned with him running our government. He wants us arguing over manger scenes,while he slowly but surelly robs the Church of the truth. Leave the lost alone.Let them have their seperation of church and state. The state is serving Satan. Christians had better get to fighting the good fight and hit their knees. We are leaving this cursed world behind very soon to stand at the bema seat. We had better be ready.

  20. This country was founded on judeo-Christian values and it’s undeniable, it’s on the coin in your pocket,”in God we trust”. for goodness sake. The USA has been blessed in the past by God’s grace and mercy but the future is uncertain if as a nation we are remove God from every aspect of society. Everyone will stand before God on day and give an account of their lives, no getting around it. what will you say? I’ll say I trust in Jesus! John14:6

  21. @Brian
    I don’t comment so much anymore, I just read mostly the comments of those I have come to know over the years. I know CW is not bitter or intimidated by anything you offer.

    Like most “turn the other cheek” Christians, you have completely missed what that actually means. I don’t believe Jesus was turning the other cheek when he drove the money changers out of the church. I also believe our wars on those who would take God out of our lives (Hitler and others) are something Jesus would approve of, though many died.
    The Civil War was not about Slavery, though the results of freedom can be hailed as a good by-product—It was about states’ rights and since that time the states have given most of their rights to the Feds—-what a shame.

    I believe, like CW, that unless we can have some SERIOUS change, there is going to be some terrible disruptions. We, like our founders are tired of paying for everything and getting no Representation. I am old enough to remember how things use to be and to know deep in my heart, things just aren’t right as they are now.
    A Civil War–I don’t know; what I do know is as someone else has said, I’ve read the back of the Book and as Christians–we win, but it may take another Civil War for this to happen.

  22. I am always amazed at just how vocal and even volatile these comments become around the Christmas Holidays. Can one of these atheists please comment on why they find it so offensive to them what we believe and why the image, mention or belief in God is so vile to them? Why does what I believe offend you? Why do you feel that your opinion or belief should carry more weight than the vast majority of people in America? Do you feel the rights of the one outweight the rights of the many? Are you so insecure of your own beliefs that you ridicule others to bolster your own convictions? What is it? Why do Christian or believers in God frighten you so?

  23. To the people writing big words trying to sound intelligent, you are missing the simplest fact of all. The reason for THIS season is Christ. You do not have to celebrate, but for those of us who DO want enjoy OUR holiday, take off.

  24. When I watch television and am offended by something, I change the channel or turn it off. I would suggest to the atheists that are so offended by what they see in Athens, “Quit looking at it; you morons!”

  25. We are a separate country within a country and we have the right to transmitt our culture on to the next generation. The nativity was a traditional display as I was growing up-a symbol of a belief in something greater than ourselves. It and the singing of carols brought us together once a year and allowed us to give of ourselves to one another. I remember as a child singing carols in public jails and seeing the inmates cry. Whether or not you believe Jesus was God’s son is irrelevant. The display is a symbol of everything we believe as a nation (Texas) and a people (Texans). It shows that underneath it all most of us love one another. “God is love” is expressed at least once a year to a hurting world.

    I know there will be vicious responses to this put forward by Texas hating thugs but, you know what; I don’t care. If you aren’t from Texas, shut up and go home.

  26. In no way is the Federal Gov. going to tell me where i can and can not put up a Nativity scene. 1. I am a tax payer, my tax dollars paid for that court house, fire dept, city streets, (2) It is an attack on CHRISTIANS AND WHAT THE SCENE REPERSENTS. I stand by Athens county and all christians should. Do not be pushed into a corner…if you are come out fighting. ….The decline of this country started when the took prayer out of school, God out of schools, look at the trend….when it was in school it was not perfect but kids minded their parents, no school shootings. As kids the came to the father innocent, God heared the prayers of the pure hearted and blessed the Nation. NowThey do not talk to him any more, he does not hear from them….so how can he bless when nothing is being asked?…..Time is at hand, it is closer than ever. Look at what is going on in the world, read bible prophsey. Those you do not belive…..well they are fixing to get exactly what they want…..but to be to there suprise it will be far worse than they can imagin.

  27. @CWJensen
    I think you either didn’t think about what I wrote, or you just legitimately didn’t understand it.
    It’s okay though.

    You’ll die bitter. =)

  28. Hooray, Hooray, for Athens, Texas who took a stand and REFUSED to take down their Nativity Scene because someone felt it should be removed.
    STICK TO YOUR GUNS, ATHENS. We have let a small group strip us of our Pledge of Allegiance in schools, 10 Commandments, Prayer, Merry Christmas in businesses is now Happy Holidays and so forth. There are more of us who beleive than there are of those who do not. We need to stick together and like Athens also take a stand.

  29. A nativity scene is not a church/state violation. The nativity scene doesn’t state that their is or isn’t a God. It just a display of the birth of Jesus, which is not a question. It is a fact. He was born. So there should be no problem with having the nativity scene up are offended with the birth of a child, we happen to believe that he is God, but that doesn’t mean they have to. Sorry, if theyThey want to put up a sign that says their is no God? Um… Sorry, but that is something that is offensive. The two are comparable in NO way.

  30. I would REALLY like to THANK Mary Lou for INSPIRING all those who commented.
    Sometimes it get REALLY LONELY here and I question if the Christian Soldiers had all passed on.


    The “W” in Christmas

    Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience.

    I had cut back on nonessential obligations – extensive card writing,
    endless baking, decorating, and even overspending.

    Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the
    precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of

    My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting
    season for a six year old.

    For weeks, he’d been memorizing songs for his school’s “Winter Pageant.”

    I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’d be working the night of the production.

    Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his
    teacher. She assured me there would be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation.

    All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then.

    Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.

    So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor

    and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats.

    As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.

    Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as “Christmas,” I didn’t expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment

    songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer.

    So, when my son’s class rose to sing, “Christmas Love,” I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.

    Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright caps upon their heads.

    Those in the front row- center stage – held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song.

    As the class would sing “C is for Christmas,” a child would hold up the letter C. Then, “H is for Happy,” and

    on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, “Christmas Love.”

    The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly,

    we noticed her; a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter “M” upside down – totally unaware

    her letter “M” appeared as a “W”.

    The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered

    at this little one’s mistake. But she had no idea they

    were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her “W”.

    Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised,

    and we all saw it together.

    A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen.

    In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.

    For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:

    “C H R I S T W A S L O V E”

    And, I believe, He still is.

    Amazed in His presence… .humbled by His love.


  31. To those “Omar Buhidma” and other communist types who love to spout their governmental “philosophy”, I would like to ask “from under what rock did you crawl out of?” Atheists are not supposed to enjoy nativity scenes. American was founded by Christian-minded people as “government by the people.” That’s what makes this nation different from all others of the world and is the single greatest reason why we are hated so much.

  32. To all you non-believers out there—- I have read the end of the of the bible- WE WIN!!!!!!!- JESUS is our CHRIST !!!! and will return for all who believe !!!! He has allready won. If it offends you for a nativity scene to be on display — then dont look at it !!! Its our right to display our beliefs. Pick another place and display what you believe and we will pray for you !!! MERRY CHRISTMAS

  33. I Live in edge of Henderson Co, Tx and Proud to live the County, where someone can’t just say Hea, Take that Natavity down. I am not one to get in on band wagon, but I feel its time to Speak Up, and for non believers to stop worrying about what is on one corner of Count House Lawn.
    Lot Of people don’t like seeing Santa either, no one is calling Freedom to take Freedom From You.
    I can’t believe another State is telling Texas what to put on Court Yard. If Non Believers from Txas in around Henderson Co don’t like it, Don’t come by and look at it.
    You know what..The ones that stirred this up sure put Christianty in News and Good Time of Year..THANKS….You just made Christians wake up and others Think.. You took prayer out of school yrs ago..This little Town you won’t get rid of reason for season. I would have posted pic of the courthouse and scene, but not a away… I admit, If LIFE SIZE and in Your Face to non believer that comes up to look it.
    Merry Christ mas.

  34. Allow the non believers to put there sign up for the same number of days on another corner of the square. What says they have to be together. I am all about the freedom of religion but to try to over wright or cover up what Christian’s believe just because someone else does not believe the same thing. That is totally wrong. As for all the other things people are trying to bring into the subject that is just to confuse the situation. When discussing a subject people should stay on point and not get side tracked.

  35. Since you atheists don’t believe in God, just turn your head and walk on by. You must have a tough time with television also…guess you can’t turn the channel if you don’t like what you see. How about this idea. You can set up a display of every thing that you believe in, and place it in an empty lot. Guess that lot would still be empty, but you could pretend you have something. You can even have your own holiday celebration each year…how does every February 31st sound?

  36. I am an agnostic mostly atheist, and when I first heard this story I was upset – not with the nativity scene, but with atheists going way overboard about said nativity scene which in and of itself is not offensive, but kinda cute actually. UNTIL I heard that it was at the courthouse – the courthouse!!

    LET me first educate Mrs. Bruner and all others who support this violation of the bill of rights:

    #! quoted: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    This means that WICCANS can come to the courthouse and have a winter solstice display there, as it is perfectly within their first amendment rights. How would the Christians feel about that. Or the court, if it chooses, can rule that NO religious display whatsoever should be on public property, as the state does not endorse any one religion or belief system over another.

    The reason there is a wall between church and state is very simple. As the United States was formed the baptists were worried that the congregationalists (another christian group for those that do not know) would gain legal power so as to degrade baptist rights, while jews had similar influence in new york, and catholics had their own concerns. Therefore our founding fathers drafted the first amendment. There is nothing inherently christian about it!

    You are free to believe what you want and put up whatever religious horse shit you think is pretty and cute, but don’t do it on the courthouse. Does the court favor Christians’ rights over other peoples?

  37. In REPLY to your questioning my CHRISTIANITY:
    John 15:16 (NIV) “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…”
    Job 38: 4 (NAS) “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me..?”
    Mark 3:25 (NAS) “And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.”

    As much as I find taking the verses independently, I seriously believe you need a place to START your education. Since mine has consumed rover seventy, I obviously do not have enough space or time to share all I have learned.

  38. Congratulations to those who have the courage to stand up and say “Enough Already” My family are so wiery of those who want to trample and yes, destroy our Christian beliefs and Christian Heritage that we hold so dear, here in our Beautiful Untied States of America. I am part of an pioneer family there in East Texas, and grew up pledging allegiance to our flag…and beginning our day in school with prayer…Teachers had the Holy Bible on their desks…now wouldn’t that just choke the atheists and non-believers. We were also taught, yes sir and yes ma’m…please hold your ground “Commissioners and Judge’s” there in Henderson, Texas…and please know that those of us here in Dallas, and throughout Texas, are behind you and support and yes, “Pray” for your Victory…It is TIME to STAND UP and be HEARD….I agree with every word that “the honorable commisioner “Joe Hall” said this morning on FOX news….the atheists sigh of “No God, No Hell” is “Garbage” May God continue to bless this Nation, and the Great State of Texas; even though we don’t always deserve it……Thank you for the opportunity to be heard…

    Dee Shaver McQuirk
    Dallas, Texas
    December 14, 2011

  39. BRIAN not to be confused with BRAIN :
    The Civil War (April 12, 1861 – April 9, 1865 (last shot fired June 22, 1865))
    Was fought over industrialization vs agrarian society.
    The damn fool motion that it made us a better nation is NAIVE.
    The industrialized states especially New York had an inexhaustible supply of immigrants that could be conscripted for cannon fodder.

    This was a war of attrition the Confederacy could never win.
    To make matters worse the NORTH (Federalists)did everything possible to PUNISH the Confederate states rather than rebuild the Nation.

    So you might consider knowing more about that which you SPEAK before exposing your ignorance.

  40. Sometimes time spent reading our Founding Fathers’ own words can clear the confusion of an divided Republic. On July 4, 1821 John Quincy Adams wrote, ‘The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity. From the day of the Declaration…they (the American people) were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledge as the rules of their conduct.’. Or perhaps George Washington who on June 14, 1783 at the conclusion of the Revolutionary War sent this farewell letter to all 13 Governors of the newly freed states, ‘I now make it my earnest prayer that God would have you, and the State over which you preside in His holy protection..that He would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific mind, which were characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation.’ A letter sent from George Washington to his deputy of war, General Benjamin Lincoln is somewhat prophetic. ‘No country upon Earth ever had it its power to attain these blessings…Much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to, so plainly; I cannot believe it will ever come to pass. The Great Governor of the Universe has led us too long and too far…to forsake us in the midst of it…We may, now and then, get bewildered; but I hope and trust that there is good sense and virtue enough left to recover the right path.’

  41. “Having a giant sign on their public lands essentially saying “God doesn’t exist and it’s foolish to think otherwise” does imply official condemnation of Christianity – IN THE SAME WAY THE NATIVITY ON PUBLIC LANDS IMPLIES OFFICIAL CONDEMNATION OF ATHEISM.”

    Nonsense. The display represents faith, not condemnation. It represents the fact that “God so loved the world he gave his only son”.

    A Christian display announcing “Atheists are bitter intolerant little idiots” would “imply” comdemnation and insult. The only end I see that coming from is, um – atheists. Last time I checked Christians paid their taxes and for the support of the public offices like the courthouse too.
    As to the “our government is specifically designed”, I’ll tell you what our government was designed to do: “Congress shall make no law respecting an ESTABLISHMENT of religion, or PROHIBITING the FREE EXERCISE THEREOF”.

    In spite of the liberal judges in the 60’s, this is quite clear. The state may not *establish a mandated religion* – this means no state may require a particular religious affiliation to serve in government or be practiced privately.
    It means they *may not prohibit* the exercise of a different *faith* in any way – as is done in the true theocracies, as was done in the countries our Founders left *BECAUSE* many of their religions were persecuted. What it doesn’t mean is that government buildings may not display nativity’s because some cluck claims he’s “offended” or “not welcome” b/c, as an atheist, he feels the need to *mandate* the behaviour of a free people.

    As for the E Pluribus Unum interpretation, Google Gore and the phrase.


    Thank You, there are those in our society that Can see, and there are those that Cant, those that cant have been brought up well in a misplaced society. Not a society that our fathers and grandfathers all the way back to our Forefathers had at any time lived in while on this piece of earth that they lost their lives and spilled their blood for the Freedom that we all enjoy. To those that Cant see through their Own sighted blindness, be careful what you give up, you will miss it someday.

  43. Intellectuals, so smart. They make such a strong and logical case. It all sounds so very good and tickles the ears. Obviously they have never ran into the wall of their own mortality or felt the pain of their own limitations… or is is all just a show because they have and can not stand to look at the truth of it?

    I for one and very grateful that our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ can and did for me what I can not do for myself. It gives me tremendous peace to believe that He has done all this because he loves me and wants me to be with Him.

  44. @CWJensen:
    Did you actually, in an earlier post, endorse a civil war in America simply based around one group’s effort to preserve the separation of church and state?

    This is actually *why* the separation of church and state is so important.
    Look at other countries that have had religious civil wars.

    Those countries are usually made much weaker.

    Our country’s civil war united us because it was about freedom. Not freedom to represent yourself, but freedom to be a person. Freedom to own your own land, grow your own crops, slaughter your own animals, to vote.

    It strengthened us.

    A religious civil war would not strengthen us.

    Also, thinking that’s a good idea at all – what kind of a christian are you?
    Shame on you. What would Jesus do?
    If you’re going to be a christian, actually be a christian – not a crazy person. You’re legitimately making sane christians in this country look bad.

  45. There is an article by a man with Athens Review, who shares your opinion, that is a much better op/ed.
    Mary. I read this article and I actually – honest to god – think that you’ve kind of lost it.

    This isn’t about a war on Christianity or a war on Christmas at all. It’s about separation of church and state.
    Most of the (modern)countries with religious governments practice Sharia law. Most people in this country really dislike Sharia law. Do we want to follow in the footsteps of those countries? Really?

    Nativity scenes are pretty, and the nativity scene should stay up – but it should first be moved to private property. It has no place in a courthouse lawn.

  46. In response to ANONYMOUS. In most Muslim coutryies, Christianity is forbidden. Christians are butchered and burned in their Churches with Muslim’s essentially blasphemining the Christian faith.

    On the other hand, if the Muslim hear of a wisper against their Alla then all hell breaks out. Therefore in your own mind and Heart, decide who is the righteous ones and take a stand.

    I say it is time for all Christians to stand up and say let the playing field be leveled. If one desires to be a Muslim then let them be Muslim’s; and on the other hand; Let the Christians be Christians. This one sided playing field has gone on too long.

  47. For Earl , who said : “I would think that it would be a good idea for the Atheists or whatever group that doesn’t believe in Christianity to set them up a day, (days) of celebration and adhere to that.”

    That day has already been added to the yearly calendar. It is the first of April and commonly called ‘April Fool’s Day”.

    I wish them well, celebrating on that day. I don’t think most of us will object to them having their own day.

  48. At the meeting of our group tonight I learned of this problem. The Christians of this nation have let others put them and their beliefs down for two long. Christ taught us to turn the other cheek, but he never said that the third blow is not ours and it is time, nay long past time for us to remain silent while the Nation of our Founding Fathers is brought to ruination by non-Christians. No where in the Constitution will you find “Separation of Church and State”, that Phrase is a construct of the Supreme Court, and just like the Dred Scott decision of 1857 that in effect upheld Slavery, at some future point in time the “Separation of Church and State” will be either struck down by a latter court or by a law being passed by Congress such as the thirteenth amendment that became law Dec. 1. 1865. Until that time
    We as Christians must band together to “Stand in The Breech”.

    Our Group and others from Wichita Falls will be on hand, but since I will be unable to attend, I will here go on record saying that my wife and I will be there in spirit, and will be praying for all those that do get to attend.

    To paraphrase FDR, “With confidence in our Soldiers of The Cross , with the un-bounding determination of Christian of this Nation, we will gain the inevitable triumph — so help us God.”

  49. I can still remember as a very young child in school we had prayer. For some of us it was all the “religion” we ever were around, while others like myself were already Christians or at least attended Sunday services. When the bunch of folks who won out and stopped prayer in school I actually thought it would be overturned and eventually prayer returned to morning school. It is not conceivable to me that a very few can dominate the majority as is done with this whole deny God movement. I do not say love it or leave it is any answer but neither is this obsession with taking away the religious rights of the people with faith by those without it whether one group is in the majority or not. No one is asking the unbelievers to participate in any way but we do ask to be let alone so we can enjoy our beliefs. I do not under any circumstances agree we should remove any nativity scene to succumb to this is wrong, The argument that the scene angers and stops the atheists from enjoying their holiday is ridiculous for without the belief we have there is absolutely no point to this “holiday” as “they” want to call it. In my 70 years I have seen a lot of this denial type run completely over the rest of us…..flat wrong anyway you slice it, MERRY CHRISTMAS YALL! and it will be MERRY CHRISTMAS next year also.

  50. I would think that it would be a good idea for the Atheists or whatever group that doesn’t believe in Christianity to set them up a day, (days) of celebration and adhere to that. Meanwhile leave the Christian sect alone in their celebrations of Christ our Savior.

    This way The Atheists would have their own Celebration of No GOD and the Christians would have their celebrations of their GOD. The Christians would refrain from interfeering in their celebrations; and the Atheists would refrain from interfeering in the Christian Celebrations. By the same token, the Islamic faith could have their own celebrations; but at a different time or location.

    Also for the ones that believe in Islam, to celebrate how they see fit and leave the Christians Alone.

    For instance, if I am a Babtist, why should I go to a Catholic church and try to disrupt. I just used this as an example so you could apply it to any faith, or non faith group.

    If this reasoning is applied, then these trouble groups would soon disappear or either dwindle to nilch.

    In essence; Don’t disrupt celebrations just cause you don’t believe. That is taking the freedom away from Thousands for the sake of a FEW.

  51. I see why you wish to be referred to as Anonymous .
    “Freedom from Religion is backing the Atheists in Henderson County.”
    Freedom from DROWNING stay OUT of the WATER IDIOT.
    Freedom from RELIGION stay away from Religious people and the displays of their RELIGION.

  52. Article was great! Thanks! The athiests can rant and rave about Christmas and being offended by our celebration of it. That’s what Christmas is all about…Christ being born and mankind’s redemption. I wonder if these “athiests” use our calendar or are they so offended by 2011 a.d. “In the year of our Lord” they feel we should change our whole calendar?! Oh, and these so called athiests are so bothered by “Christmas” do they not take advantage of the “Christmas” specials that are there because we DO celebrate CHRISTmas!? If they are SO OFFENDED by something they believe doesn’t exist then they are wasting their time. I’m not offended when I see places putting out leprochauns on st patricks day! I don’t believe in leprechauns so no biggie!! I know why they are so INFURIATED WITH CHRIST!!!! They know deep in there heart there is truth in our belief and it just makes them gnash their teeth and can’t stand it. Even if they read this, the Holy Spirit is convicting their spirit and they are furious because just as Stephen preached God’s truth and the people were so filledwith hatred and repulsed by it they stoned him and gnashed their teeth. All I can say to those of you who do not believe that doesn’t make Him not God. It just means you will know we are telling you the truth once you are standing before Him. Every…..EVERY knee shall bow and EVERY tongue will confess that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD. just too bad you’re gonna wait till it’s too late.
    Our prayers go up for you!!

  53. Dear author. What have you got against freedom ? You are forcing your OWN opinions down other people’s throats, but in reality they have a choice. Do you wish to live in a Christian way, go ahead but don’t force others.
    As for defending Christians as peaceful, you are often wrong. What about the crusades that they committed a while ago ? What about the endorsing of the KKK ? And what is up with the pagan symbolism during Christmas ? Last time I checked there is no Christmas tree in the Bible.
    The fact is America was built on freedom of religion, as every country should have. How would you feel if the majority would be Muslim and forcing their own religion on you, but perhaps, with people such as yourself, America will advance into a Christian theocracy, about which you shall find out is not much different than the Muslim nations of Iran and Saudi Arabia.

  54. I for ONE am sick and tried of the individuals that come to this GREAT COUNTRY, REFER to OUR FOUNDING FATHERS and SPEND their time TRYING to TELL US we NEED to ACCEPT THEM WHILE THEY EXPECT US to CHANGE to accommodate THEM.

    Our RESOLVE was tested by a CIVIL WAR :

    Maybe we need to TEST our RESOLVE again……………………………………

  55. Excellent article! I totally agree that if anyone is offended by a display of the nativity scene they should just ignore it. Why do they want to take away the freedom of others to enjoy a seasonal display that will be gone in just a few weeks or days? Perhaps it’s because seeing such a display strikes a chord in their minds that there just “might” be a God and Jesus just “might” be the Savior and they don’t like that feeling. Eh? Why not spend the time, money and energy on attacking the “real problems” of the community instead?

    Thanks for posting those goals of the Communist Party. I read them several years ago and recently have been wondering just how many of them they have achieved. It looks like a lot of progress has been made toward fullfilling them.

  56. Mary Lou Bruner I would call you the worst journalist of all time but I think it would be an offense to the profession to call you a member of it. This “article” is entirely opinion and is nothing but angry ranting and circular reasoning. I feel so saddened that people will read this and actually take what you have written as a logical argument. This is sickening and pathetic. Please never write anything ever again.

  57. You are so ignorant. This entire article is ridiculous. They are not taking your rights you are FORCING your beliefs on them by putting the scene in the courthouse which represents all of you. They only want to be shown the same respect that you are being shown. Can’t you see that? You are so blind.

  58. Your Op-ed (or blog post, or whatever else you call this authoritarian rant) doesn’t count as the informed rebuttal that you call suggest we need. “America, love it or leave it”, isn’t a rational or informed position -it’s reactionary and hidebound.

    Our system of government does, by necessity, rely on a derivative of “majority rule” for the legislative process. It’s an important component of scalable, functioning self-rule; but it lacks a critical component for a survivable nation – consensus. No one’s ever been able to rule anything nearly as large as a modern nation state by consensus (let alone one of the largest modern nations) – it’s simply not feasible.

    However, our founders recognized the critical flaw in “majority rules”: stability and governmental continuity requires all citizens to buy into the idea that the government is THEIRS. If you systemically cultivate a disenfranchised minority, you risk civil unrest and eventual dissolution of your nation – into civil war or an authoritarian state.

    The judiciary and the Bill of Rights provided the solution for the problem of consensus. The Bill of Rights is specifically designed to protect minority groups (like Atheists) from being trammeled by the majority.

    The City of Athens is trying to behave like the “3000 tyrants 1 mile away” that Cotton Mathers’ nephew so feared – and you’re encouraging the tyranny of the majority with this red-baiting, McCarthyist, “America, love it or leave it” argument.

    The protest by the Freedom From Religion foundation may seem petulant to you; but our government is specifically designed to provide this sort of redress – and for good reason. As offensive as you seem to find the sign the FFR has asked to place near the Athens’ nativity scene, most atheists I know find nativity scenes equally offensive and equally detrimental to their own enjoyment of the holidays. This makes the (undoubtedly) small handful of atheists in Athens a classic example of a disenfranchised minority. Their municipality is enforcing a de facto statement of belief upon them. These atheists are not trying to deny local Christians a nativity scene (or myriad, for that mater) – they’re trying to enforce their own rights to insure that the use of THEIR public lands reflects their own views as fairly as it does their neighbors.

    Want to preserve the Nativity scene? There are a couple of options that are perfectly legal, DON’T disenfranchise the few, and don’t detract from either the Christians, the Atheists, or anyone who’s being treated as an “Other”.

    I can see how the primary option that FFR suggested would be unpalatable to the citizens of Athens. Having a giant sign on their public lands essentially saying “God doesn’t exist and it’s foolish to think otherwise” does imply official condemnation of Christianity – IN THE SAME WAY THE NATIVITY ON PUBLIC LANDS IMPLIES OFFICIAL CONDEMNATION OF ATHEISM. The courts take the position that allowing all opinions equal access to the land balances out this implication, but it’s perfectly reasonable for the Christians and Atheists both to feel otherwise.

    So, the possible answers that are fair to all?
    1. Disallow all expressions of religious sentiment, pro or con.
    2. Move the nativity scene off public land:
    There are lots of reasons this option may seem unpalatable, off the cuff; but there are ways to accomplish this result that don’t require any significant changes to the nativity scene or your access to it. I was in Wisconsin a few months back and saw a nativity scene that is up year round in a town square in the middle of a little rural community. It was surrounded by a white picket fence that had a small sign off to one side. The sign said something to the effect of “The lands enclosed by this fence are private property, owned by X citizen group – the opinions expressed therein are not the opinions of the local government or an official endorsement by the local government”. When I asked around, I was told something similar had happened in that town. The nativity was a MANY decade old tradition and hadn’t been taken down in over a hundred years. A local atheist took issue (not with the presence of the nativity – SOLELY WITH THE PRESENCE OF IT ON HIS PUBLIC PROPERTY). The solution was to sell the land for a dollar to the local citizen group, who maintains the nativity with funds collected by voluntary donations. This avoided the need for the town to consider any requests to mount the sort of protest sign that many Christians might have found offensive while leaving the local atheist community feeling like their beliefs weren’t being denigrated by their own city government.

    How is this any less than a win-win solution? Why must this be a zero sum game?

    PS – in regard to your indignation over the official motto of the United States. That motto was adopted in 1956 after almost a hundred years of argument – during which time it was slowly added to more and more currency (largely as a way to avoid the issue, since it was so universally contentious)
    Also, your claim that ‘Liberals interpret … [E Puribus Unum] .. to mean “Out of one — Many”‘ is nothing short of a strawman argument. I’ve never seen ANYONE espouse that interpretation and I’d be shocked if you could show a single primary source that suggests any significant segment of the US electorate (regardless of political leaning) takes that view.
    That said, I know I PERSONALLY disagree with your interpretation of what “Out of Many, One” means. You’re suggestion that it means we’re all assimilated into some sort of borg like unity of opinion strikes me as genuinely offensive. The most rational interpretation of “Out of Many, One” that I’ve found is “Unity in diversity” or, more specifically “Strength through diversity”.
    I’d counter your “A House divided” analogy with an analogy to alloys. Most modern alloys are, in all practical ways, super to their constituent components metals. The component metals work together to make a stronger whole – not despite of their differences, but precisely because of them. Yet, the component metals are still there, can still be refined out of the whole, and still retain their individual properties.

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