Nativity showdown

Published December 12th, 2010 by Bobby Henderson


There’s some drama over a Christian Nativity scene displayed on the lawn of a county courthouse in Indiana.  The Freedom From Religion Foundation demanded the removal of the display on first amendment violation concerns and now locals are fighting.  It’s the same fight every Christmas and I get tired of writing about it.  

Now for the shock:

These Christmas fights bug me, honestly.   I am a supporter of the FFRF and of some of these secular and atheist organizations, but sometimes I am shaking my head and wondering what they are thinking.  You might get this scene removed but you do so much damage to our cause in the process.  You don’t think these perceptions matter?  Then what is this all about?  These Christmas fights make us look like such assholes, that’s all I’m saying. They are not reciting prayers in a state building or anything on that level.  A Nativity scene is barely religious, it’s like a cross necklace.   End of rant.

What do you guys think?

61 Responses to “Nativity showdown”

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  1. Marlene Usry says:

    There’s noticeably a bundle to learn about this. I assume you made sure nice factors in options also.

  2. Judy Wallenstein says:

    Hi there, I discovered your blog by means of Google at the same time as searching for a similar topic, your site came up, it seems great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  3. vexorian says:


    The problem is that Bobby has been the victim of bad reporting. The FFRF is issuing these attacks precisely because after the nativity scenes were added, attempts of atheists and secular groups to be included failed.

    Also, I think public image is less important than freedom of religion. Endorsement of a religion in front of a court house is not all right.

  4. Joseph Coyle says:

    ONE of the myriad problems is polarization. As is no secret very frequently the right is some variation of Christian and the left frequently consists of those who have been disenfranchised because of their views.

    Perception is one’ reality (at least inwardly). They fear disenfranchisement as well. It’s critical to understand that as we often see Christian or religious individuals as these angry people who are trying to destroy our rights to their own selfish ends, Christians often feel and fear the same thing from the left! So it’s entirely pertinent that the author of this post says we look like assholes. We’re fighting fire with fire. And the more we do that the more we isolate ourselves from each other. Fears only deepen this way.

    If you ever read fantasy there’s often mention or discussion of this little isolated villages. And the inhabitants there have little to no contact with the outside world. And almost inevitably the community has juggled old rumors and hearsay into a place where they start to fear this boogie man (Spaghetti Monster?) of sorts and having no real interaction with the real thing the rumors of that horribleness go crazy. Often when the real thing shows up, if there’s no liaison, no one who engages that person on a real level then the community’s reaction is frequently very bad.

    The analogy falls short in many ways but I think you get my point.

    I’m a degree bearing ministry major who was at one time a fundie, now a fairly left gay agnostic. We see their actions as hate driven by… whatever. arrogance? fear? ??? But they see thier actions as doing right. In in a way, though we all know how it actually comes across, it’s an attempt at compassion for many of them.

    NOTE: I’m not justifying bigotry. I’m not condoning their views. Just trying to close the communication gap in some tiny way.

    From personal experience I’ve found that relationships, learning to listen to them instead of react, learning to shut my mouth when what they are saying is ridiculous to my ears, actually works to make them feel somewhat comfortable with a card carrying liberal gay if not (as in some cases) redirect the course of their thinking entirely.

    So even as I don’t condone a nativity scene on a government site I do condone a response that listens as opposed to reacts (which seems to be a slight malady of organizations like the FFRF).

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