Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The intolerance of diversity

I was in Australia last week and my mother tells me that over the Christmas period in Canberra there were various calls for Christmas trees not to be put up, for Nativity scenes not to be displayed, and so on, the usual -- these days -- litany of people trying to stifle an important part of western cultural heritage, one that has been part of the scenery of celebration for the religious and secularists alike for generations.  No more, it seems.  She says that the reasons given were that these symbols -- the trees and the manger -- were offensive to "other religions", which my mum -- not a regular anti-jihadist, it must be emphasised -- takes to mean that it's offensive to Muslims.  She's right of course.  But there are also some atheists who rail against trees and nativities, in mistaken belief that they threaten the separation of church and state or for some other nonsensical reason.
I'm all in favour of the Christmas symbols, though I'm an atheist from way back. So is Pat Condell, who eviscerates the "totalitarians" who want to crush Christmas. In the video below he says [@1'30"]:
Religion needs to be kept in check when it tries to step on people, or when it tries to elbow its way into their lives uninvited [read "ROP"]. The nativity doesn't do this; it doesn't even come close. 

(Initial h/t on this to BCF)