Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Reason of the Season (or complete lack thereof)

It is that time of year. I went in to pay my property taxes, which of course increased over last year. And for that increase I get a Governor who wants to slash all funding for the Arts (which I value) and health care services (which I value) and huge cuts to public schools (which I value) all while giving tax breaks to large corporations who reward We The People by relocating jobs to Mexico or China and giving their executives huge bonuses. Feel free to work from the assumption that I am not a fan of the current Governor. Let's recall him, shall we?


While downtown, I visited my local bank (which pays its taxes unlike Associated or M&I) and then stopped in to the state Capitol to witness the annual non-religious display of "holiday" decorations - because Christians are so marginalized in today's society. (Yes, that was sarcasm.)


Therein I found a 36' tall Christmas tree, clearly labeled as such. And lest one think that was an affront to separation of Church and State, the tree was dedicated to Veterans. After all, how unpatriotic would it be to criticize a state-sponsored religious icon in the state Capitol if it is dedicated to veterans? Yes, I am well aware that "Christmas Trees" are actually an ancient Pagan tradition co-opted by Christianity. But try and tell that to them.) One floor up was this, one of several "alternative view" presentations:


Nothing says separation of Church and State like a nativity scene! There was also a menorah, but since it was in the midst of a Red Cross blood drive (OK, that was cool) I could not see if there was a sign with it.

As a direct response to the religious pandering of our state government, the Freedom From Religion foundation has also placed a sign for the past decade or so.


The first few years it was routinely vandalized by "good Christians". It is not enough that churches are exempt from taxes while clearly involving themselves in the political sphere, they need to be certain that it is only Christianity that is advocated and all other beliefs (or facts) be marginalized. While it is true that there are many Christians who do not behave this way, they do little to quell the static from their brethren, and thus get lumped in with the noisy jerks. Too bad, really. There is room for us all, and no one's religious beliefs need be publicly displayed in the center of our state Capitol and thereby marginalizing all others. It can, and should, remain in your church, your yard, and your mind.

Happy new year!

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