December 12, 2008

What hath Dan Barker wrought

Satan Claus (h/t capper)

Speaking to War On Christmas Obergruppenf├╝hrer Bill O'Reilly last night, Fox News "legal analyst" Megyn Kelly said the God Hates Fags crowd could be excluded from the Olympia, WA holiday display because GHF was from "out of state" (Topeka, KS, that is).

Only trouble is, Dan Barker and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which installed the "Happy Solstice" plaque that ignited breathless consternation in the first place, are out of Madison, WI.

"See, I think it's all part of the secular progressive agenda."

eta: Commenter Pete Gruett points out that the "Happy Solstice" plaque was in fact installed by a local WA affiliate of the FFRF.

Even so, I don't see anything in the State's original settlement agreement (.pdf; 24 pgs.) that preceded this entire debacle which would authorize WA Gov. Gregoire to exclude "Reverend" Phelps's cheery message simply because it originates from out of state.

Indeed, the agreement itself was memorialized by some lawyers from the Alliance Defense Fund, which is based in Arizona.

Phelps, too, is a pro-vice hack.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

C'mon, there is a big difference between religious symbols and the offensive hate plaque your crowd displayed.

illusory tenant said...

My crowd? I said it was a lame stunt.

Anonymous said...

Okay, maybe it was a leap, but just a little leap at best.

Merry Christmas!

illusory tenant said...

Happy Hannukah.

Pete Gruett said...

Dan Barker showed up for the unveiling but the plaque was technically placed by the Inland Northwest Freethought Society, the local affiliate of FFRF.

Other Side said...

"Hate" plaque? And offensive, too.

So, are you implying there are times when "hate" plaques are not offensive?

Geez.

Emily said...

...the offensive hate plaque your crowd displayed.

I'm confused. Is anon referring to the "Happy Solstice" message as "hate", or is this a reference to the Phelps message? Either way, wtf?!

illusory tenant said...

I'm assuming that Anonymous is referring to the language on the plaque that describes religion as myth and superstition. I hardly think that's hateful but it does appear to be intended as a provocation.

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming that Anonymous is referring to the language on the plaque that describes religion as myth and superstition.

It does more than that: it says that religion is nothing but myth and superstition, and that it only "hardens hearts" and "enslaves minds".

Even someone who accepts that religion is and does these things ought to recognize that it is and does many, many other things, too: some better, and some worse.

So, yes, it is lame. In fact it's a childish falsehood, one that contributes to the stereotype of the Village Atheist as both angry and thoughtless. There were a lot more effective and accurate messages they could have used.

Display Name said...

"More effective and accurate messages"? You mean, something demeaning to the notion of keeping the Christ in Christmas, like a plaque about Santa and shopping, or maybe a big pagan evergreen?

Anonymous said...

You mean, something demeaning to the notion of keeping the Christ in Christmas, like a plaque about Santa and shopping, or maybe a big pagan evergreen?

If those have some chance of communicating the relative virtues of atheism, then sure. But I doubt it. I had in mind something more like:

"Peace on Earth and goodwill to all people? Only hard work and dedication can make it happen. Stop focusing on supernatural spirits that probably don't exist, and let's all work together at making the world a better place."

Display Name said...

I wasn't suggesting that the atheists use Santa and commercialism to dilute the holiday. So many others already do that. The atheists are the clear minority. Why worry about them? They're only stating what everyone recognizes as their position.

Anonymous said...

See my first comment as to whether this plaque can remotely be understood as a statement of atheism per se.

I am about as atheist as they come, but I think the plaque presents obvious and pernicious falsehoods.