Blogs > Daily Local Dan

A blog that takes a look at West Chester area government, politics, and community events.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Godless Holiday Tree

Was the Free Thought Society of Greater Philadelphia trying to provoke Christians when it decided, for the second year in a row, to put a "Tree of Knowledge" next to the Christmas and Hanukkah displays on the Chesco Courthouse lawn?

Well, consider this quote from a press release, titled "Godless Holiday Tree to be displayed for second year at Chester County Courthouse," that arrived in my inbox on Sunday, Dec. 7:

"Current FSGP President, Sally Cramer, speaks of FSGP's involvement."By having a place alongside other displays at this time of year, we seek to present opinions that are not often seen or discussed, and to prove that the United States of America is not a Judeo-Christian nation." FSGP advocates the free exchange of ideas and the unrestricted dissemination of information."

The free exchange of ideas and the unrestricted dissemination of information are, to me, unequivocally good things. However, when talking about the importance of the separation of church and state, the Free Thought Society used the phrase "Juedo-Christian nation." Clearly, this is an attempt to bait all of the right-wing Christians who believe the U.S. is a "Judeo-Christian nation."

And it worked - at least on the Daily Local's website. Between 3 a.m., when my article on the tree was posted, and 8 p.m., when I last checked it, 76 people had left comments. No other article on our website this week has attracted that many comments. (The most read article online this week, with 3,601 hits, is about the arraignment of the guy responsible for a tragic and disgusting arson in Coatesville. The Free Thought Society article had 1,917.)

The majority of the comments were posted by Christians who are irritated that an aethist group is trying to encroach on Christmas. Their indignation, of course, will only strengthen the Free Thought Society. The irritated Christians are behaving like the kids in the schoolyard who, when picked on, just dig themselves deeper.

If you want the Free Thought Society to lose legitimacy, stop complaining about it. One of the main reasons we covered the Tree of Knowledge this year is that, last year, people repeatedly vandalized it.

Labels: , ,