world

Judge denies bid for park Nativity displays in Santa Monica

22 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

22 Comments
Login to comment

“So many people don’t understand atheists,” he said. “If you read the signs we put up, one said, ‘Love is all around you.’ That’s really a better understanding of who most atheists are.”

That's not the impression I get. They more like smart-aleck know-it-all's that are intolerant of anyone that disagrees with them. There are plenty of religious people just like them.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

I'm glad to see the photos. The displays were hideous! Anything behind chain-link or chickenwire is going to look appalling. Better to remove the whole and let people see the trees, the beach, ("God's creations" if you will. Nature, at any rate.)

3 ( +6 / -3 )

This is good to see, as an atheist there is nothing more annoying than having people's religious views shoved down your throat by these public displays. Now if they where willing to cater for every single religious and non religious type with these displays then that would be ok to . As long as every single view was represented. But the fact is this would never happen so its either one in all in or one out all out simple as that no special treatment for some groups.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Sad to see the "Joy to the World and Goodwill Towards Men" message that is what is symbolized by the Nativity scene take a hit like this just because a few find the Christian religious aspect to be offensive to their personal belief system.

One would hope "Joy to the World and Goodwill Towards Men" would be the understood message and that an individual, no matter what his or her respective personal religious or spiritual belief system is, would be able to appreciate that fine and noble sentiment no matter what "religious packaging" it was originally dressed up in.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It's amazing to read accusations of intolerance directed towards atheists. A poll a few years back in the US showed that over 90% of Americans would be prepared to vote for a woman, a Jew or a person of colour but less than 50% would be prepared to vote for an atheist. Tolerance? As an Atheist, I have no problem with religion ( as long as they keep it to themselves ) or nativity scenes ( as long as they are confined to church property ).Unfortunately, due to the proselytizing nature of Christianity that is easier said than done

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Public displays of a religious nature should be held in spaces of the associated religious institutions or on private property.

If you hold it in public place it represents a conflict of interest.

That's pretty straight forward.

On the other hand, I don't think that singing Christmas carols would be against the law...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Christmas is more than a religious day. It has evolved into an important cultural tradition, and is part of the American story. To try and deny it is idiocy. I'm not sure what other religions put on one of their major events around the end of December,but they are welcome to do so as well.

Religion isn't being shoved down anyone's throat by this. If you don't like it, or aren't interested, then you don't have to look.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Religious displays in public parks, at government buildings or any other tax-payer supported area are a violation of the separation of church and state. It's that simple. When Christians don't get their special privileges to preach or display their beliefs, they cry persecution.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Atheist .... the cradle of the culture of death .... the downfall of the USA and the whole civilization.

It is a bad thing when non-believers of the existence of God intrude in the government and in the society. The absence of belief in one supreme being (God) believe in other supreme being.himself... his ego... earthly and lustful desire .... the culture of inflated happiness and satisfaction. The real satisfaction for them is to see those believers being hindered with or obstructed to not celebrate Christmas, not to sing Christmas carols, no Christmas tree, no Christmas light etc.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

"believe in other supreme being.himself... his ego... earthly and lustful desire ."

Heh, like the religious people I know don't have these traits.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Religious displays in public parks, at government buildings or any other tax-payer supported area are a violation of the separation of church and state.

I know there is supposed to be that separation, but amusing the mention of tax-payers. For those in the States reach into your wallet; any bill you have - to pay taxes with - states 'In God We Trust'.

Religious views aside, I also find it amusing that we will fight to the death to let the KKK have their rally in some public venue because 'it's their right as Americans to do so' - but if someone puts up a religious symbol we freak out. Where's the ACLU? They'll fight for the most moronic of things - as long as it fits their left-leaning agenda of course. Oh, don't get me wrong, I agree with the view that most of religion is hocus pocus nonsense. People forget that for thousands of years human-kind believed in Zeus and multiple gods, spirits, nature worship. It's all part and parcel. But the hypocrisy to fight for one and say 'meh' to the other is amusingly typical.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It is a bad thing when non-believers of the existence of God intrude in the government and in the society.

It's often worse when the religious force their beliefs on a government that is supposed to be secular.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

the religious force their beliefs on a government that is supposed to be secular

Meh. I think a nativity display hardly constitutes force. But it does prove that there is plenty of intolerace in the world and, it seems, most people practice it while claiming otherwise. People walk around ready to be offended by anything that intrudes on their idea / values / whatever. When did everybody find this huge chip on their shoulders?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People walk around ready to be offended by anything that intrudes on their idea / values / whatever. When did everybody find this huge chip on their shoulders?

Maybe its because practically every conflict taking place on the planet is connected to religious strife. And when one religion is able to use public space for religious displays, that means another has the right to do the same.

Pretty soon you have no time when there is any public space that is not occupied by some religious group trying to put out their message.

Public resources like parks and other open spaces, especially in cluttered urban areas are important, and their integrity as open, public spaces should be preserved.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“So many people don’t understand atheists,” he said. “If you read the signs we put up, one said, ‘Love is all around you.’ That’s really a better understanding of who most atheists are.”

Love is letting me enjoy my Christmas party at work, one of the few day's I'm allowed to drink openly in the workplace. What atheists do is file an EEO complaint with human resources. Because having sensitivity training with cheap catered food is much better than drinking egg nog and whiskey while watching my boss play beer pong.

Religious displays in public parks, at government buildings or any other tax-payer supported area are a violation of the separation of church and state.

Separation of church and state is a principle, not a fully fleshed out law. What is on the books goes "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Use of public property for a display isn't really establishing a religion, especially when most of the tax payers in the country are of the same religion as the one attempting to set up the display.

Likewise there should be nothing stopping the atheist from setting up a display. If the atheist weren't a jerk he would do it when the other displays weren't up but he was out to make a statement, not to actually profess his disbelief.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I’ve always thought of atheism as just another way for some people to express their religious beliefs. This is especially true when like minded individuals get together and promote their shared belief system to society. It was one thing for Mr. Vix to have his own personal beliefs concerning god and religion but when he recruited others to his cause and made an attempt to sway public opinion he was, in essence, establishing a religious movement.

Personally, I don’t like having people proselytizing to me, regardless of their religious orientation. That goes for christians, atheist, frisbeetarians or whatever. I feel that the City of Santa Monica’s decision is completely appropriate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Kuya It irritates me when people describe atheism as a religion. It simply states that there is no proof whatsoever that there is a god or gods. Is lack of belief in mermaids a religion? Vix is not expressing a religious point of view here, he is expressing his rejection of one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You misunderstand my point.

Stating that one rejects the notion that there is a god or gods is stating a belief. As in “I don’t see any proof that there is a god, so I don’t believe in it.” Seeing how that stated belief pertains directly to something of a religious nature (i.e. the existence of god) it is a religious belief. Rejecting the existence of god is a religious belief.

So I stand by my belief. Atheism is just another way of stating a religious belief.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Kuya

If God exists, then said existence isn't something "of a religious nature", it's just a fact. Your own existence isn't "of a human nature," it's just a fact. Tokyo's isn't an urban existence, it's just there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The mere existence of god may not be something of a religious nature, but the argument between people on opposite sides of the issue most definitely is.

Atheism is just one side of the argument.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is ridiculous. I am am atheist, but I am embarrassed by these atheist nuts who can not respect an old harmless tradition and leave well enough alone. What happened to live and let live?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kuya:

" Rejecting the existence of god is a religious belief. "

Saying that there is no proof for a claim is not the same as "rejecting" anything. The burden of proof for Yahwee, or Allah, or The Flying Spaghetti Monster, is on the believers, and not on the non-believers.

Just as it is up the believers in Elvis to prove that he is alive, and not for me to prove that Elvis is not alive.

That said, I think they should leave those silly displays alone. They are part of a harmless tradition. How in the world can they make an issue of that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites