No offense meant, none taken 8

In a recent post on attempts by Jews to ‘remove Christmas from the public square’, Paul Mirengoff of Power Line – one of our favourite blogsquoted the historian John Steele Gordon as saying: ‘It has always seemed to me that it was not Jews but atheists (a religion of its own in that it is a belief system that is untestable) who have led the charge against public celebrations of Christmas as an “establishment of religion”.’

It is with the parenthetical assertion about atheism that we join issue. Atheism is not ‘a belief system’  – it is the absence of belief in the supernatural. The statement ‘God does not exist’ is not provable, but that does not make it a religious statement, a statement of faith. God’s non-existence does not impinge on any aspect of an atheist’s life or thought. It is not just that God is not watching or does not care. He is not there, at all, ever. The Christian deity lying in a manger, the miracle of the oil in the Hannukah candles, the flying Santa Claus are all  in the same category of idea: incredible, imaginary, supernatural. If an atheist wants such religious symbols to be banned, he or she is showing an irrational superstitious belief in their power, and deserves ridicule.

If some atheists object to any display of fairy folk, or God folk, or magic objects – provided worship of them is not required – it is not because their non-belief is offended, but because they decide to put on a show of being offended in order to make political points, to flex their political muscle. Such atheists are almost certain to be on the Left. I would guess that the Jews who object to nativity displays in public places at Christmas are also politically motivated, and that they too are on the Left. I cannot see how the deification of a Jewish boy should cause religious offense to those who do not believe it. Other people’s irrationality is their own business. Religious offense-taking is the hall-mark of leftist victim politics – and is invariably fraudulent.

C. Gee  December 29, 2009

Posted under Atheism, Christianity, Commentary, Judaism, Progressivism by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, December 29, 2009

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