At the end of every calendar year, one can expect a little holiday cheer mixed with a bit of anti-rights mumbling. America is home to many kinds of people with many different beliefs.
Our ability to live side-by-side with people different from us is what makes this country a great place. Christians are able to coexist with Atheists, Hindus, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientologists and so on.
It’s the small hypocritical sectors with a mic or a stage that ruin this time of year. For some reason, we like to mix winter holidays with a splash of hysteria. Christmas is under attack! Christianity and our beliefs are under attack! Our freedom is under attack!
Sorry to spoil the frenzy, crazy people, but no, that is not true. In fact, our society should feel it improves each time we overcome such ridiculous notions.
One such freedom hater with a mic is the propaganda spewing Bill O’Reilly, the famous — or notorious — dork from Fox’s “O’Reilly Factor.” Instead of simply celebrating our freedoms, he tends to fall off the deep end with his commentaries. O’Reilly recently called out Washington’s Gov. Christine Gregoire for failing to remove an atheist plaque.
Bill-O called the governor a coward for allowing a sign reading, “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,” to hang on the state legislative building.
Basically, Bill-O is hating on the First Amendment, a constitutional right to freedom of speech.
The plaque was hung next to a nativity scene and a Christmas tree. Most people would view that as fair and balanced. Bill-O blasted the governor, gave out her phone number and encouraged people to call and tell her how they feel. A few days after Bill-O’s call for “street justice,” the sign was stolen and resurfaced at a local radio station — after being found in a ditch — according to CNN.
The last time we checked, the United States did not have a national religion. In fact, history tells us this nation was built on the belief of a separation of church and state. How is it then that these issues continue to spark heated debate?
There was no real threat to Christmas or religion in the atheist sign. Instead, it is religion that is doing the attacking. Religious nuts are assaulting individual freedoms of speech and equality; they’re fighting for a malfunctioning society that will run rampant with hypocrisy and injustice.
There has to be a place for all beliefs to be tolerated. Nothing worthwhile can be gained by denying people the right of free speech. There is nothing wrong with people who don’t believe in God and there is definitely nothing wrong with expressing that belief.
Everyone does not have to live or believe the same way; that is the beauty of living in this country. If you want to live your life as a Christian or an atheist, you have a right to do so. It’s the American way.
O’Reilly should encourage his conservative listeners to practice justice by living up to the standards their religion sets forth. It’s possible to do so without stopping others from doing the same.
Before you can expect others to follow and/or except your beliefs, you must first be able to live by them. Religious zealots wishing to be taken seriously should follow the section in the Bible that admonishes, “Thou shall not steal” — and put the sign back.