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Pat Condell
A new video from PC with a message for atheists.

Have we been Hitchslapped by Pat Condell?

You decide.


Another video for later.

I like Pat for the most part, but there are some videos he's made that I can't fully support.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
I do not support this message.

He is missing the point on what they are doing with that nativity scene lawsuits/complaint.

It elevates the argument concerning the preferential treatment a few sects of christianity get in a nation that has church state separation in its constitution.

In the UK we dont have this, so Pat can be forgiven for his ignorance in part.

I was also following this story, they are not looking for a ban, but equal time if there is to be government time at all on these subjects, pointing out if this was done, the lawn would look like a patch work quilt of quackery.

The only thing that annoys me about the decorations, is the pure waste of the whole thing. It would be more magical if the lights were set-up over a night or two before the big day, then BOOOM they come on, dazzel your eyes and then thats it. But no, in the UK they are put up a month or two beforehand (some even left up permanently) and it just robs the holiday of the fun of it - it just becomes 'look lights, buy this stuff'.

For the first time, I can't fully agree with ol' Pat. I do think that atheists need to pick their battles, and the protest by the Freedom From Religion Foundation which occurred in the SE part of the DFW area (Athens, I think) probably did atheism more harm than good PR-wise. I agree with it philosophically, but it had no chance of success and made Texas atheists in general more hated than ever, if possible.

That being said, I don't think Pat realizes how a Nativity scene on a public space can be "threatening" to those who are not Christians in this country. Perhaps it shouldn't be protested publicly for PR reasons, but in court perhaps it should be. It is a violation of church/state separation, since it amounts to a governmentally approved establishment of religion and is unconstitutional.
Bob of QF
I think it would depend on how the nativity scene was funded and what property it was placed.

If it was on church property, funded by that church? I say it is precisely their right to display such things--year round if they wish. Freedom of expression and all that schlock.

But, if the nativity scene in question was funded by local taxes? Then it needs to not happen, and I disagree with Condel.

The location is a sticky-wicket, though-- so long as the entire cost wasn't tax-supported, then it's kindof a freedom of expression thing again. And would be heartily offset if the spot was also, at other times of the year, home to some other non-christian display of some sort-- again, entirely not tax-funded. There's non-christian days in the calendar enough to go around, I'd think. That way, everyone gets to have their say, and not at the same time, which just creates noise anyway.

That's that with regards to nativity scenes.

Christmas trees? They are purely pagan anyway-- for years-- 100's in some cases-- these were frowned upon by the christian leadership (such as it was at the time) and pretty much prohibited in public spaces anyway.

I say put'em up-- even at the taxpayer's expense. But I would stipulate that the ornaments are either purely secular, or else cover a wide spectrum of culture and religion, if they are overtly religious.

Besides, a christmas tree can be an object lesson of the history of the particular date, with respect to religion--- it becomes an excellent stepstone into discussion of the history of Winter Solstice, for example. Or the history of the tree itself, and how christians were "forbidden" by their idiot-leaders until they [the leaders] had to capitulate to the collective wills of the masses.

A point that is not unworthy of discussion, actually-- that the religion was willing to bend on a point after the majority continued in defiance of what "god" (the leadership) wanted.

Christmas trees? Leave'em up, says I-- I think they are an excellent reminder of the purely pagan influence on christianity*.

As often the case with Pat's videos? He has managed to make me think, rather than nod my head in total agreement.

And that is never, ever a bad thing.



... come to think of it? those kitchy- nativity scenes can be a stepping stone for such discussions as well ...

But more to the point: if pagan/other religions can have direct and profound influence on christianity? That pretty much proves there is either no god behind either? Or if there must be a god, there are multiple, equally-powerful/weak gods behind all [religions].

Of course, the total absence of god-made miracles kinda whacks that last one as unlikely. Don't it?

Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
There's non-christian days in the calendar enough to go around...

You don't know the Catholics then Bob! Haha, they wheel out all sorts of Saints to make some random day the Patron saint of filling up spare days with religious garbage rememberance day.

I would prefer if they planted a tree in the spot.
Bob of QF: I agree that a church should be able to put up a Nativity display on their own property. In my post, I did specify "on a public space". It should NOT be allowed there.
I think I'd list myself in the pro column for this video. Maybe not so vehemently as Pat, but nonetheless...
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
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