Here's the sign:
I'm all for inclusion of other faith's symbols on the steps of our town halls across the country. I'm glad that there is a menorah lit up right next to the tree and nativity. If people wanted to put up a Muslim symbol for a holiday I'm okay with that (believe it or not). As long as it is done respectfully.
Why am I so willing to be inclusive of other religions in this sort of display? Quite frankly I am confident in Jesus and in the life that I live. When the Holy Spirit is active in a person's life, every other life that they touch upon will be impacted regardless of religion, heritage, or any other factor. Jesus transcends those boundaries by reaching out and welcoming everyone into his fold when they seek his Salvation.
Inclusion of other beliefs in a holiday is cool. What is not cool is insulting people. And that is all that this sign is about. It does not promote a belief, it promotes a lack of belief which is in fact the opposite and does so disrespectfully.
If Christians wanted to post a sign at the town hall at Easter (and I'm by no means saying we should) saying, "Jesus died on a cross for you. You are going to Hell if you don't ask Jesus to forgive your sins." There would be quite an uproar. Furthermore, since atheism isn't a religion are other non-religious groups allowed to post signs? Can Neo-Nazi's post a sign saying derogatory statements about Hannukah? Could PETA post a sign about not eating turkey on Thanksgiving?
No. The slippery slope argument quickly approaches absurdity and actually pulls one away from their initial topic (that is why politicians love it so much). And that isn't where I'm going with this at all.
I want to do the opposite. I want to draw us back to WHY these religious symbols were placed there in the first place. It was done by the community to show respect to long standing traditions and beliefs. Again, it was done by the community to show RESPECT to long standing traditions and beliefs.
The way I see it atheists don't really have a place putting anything in a town's holiday display. But if they really want something there, I guess I'll give it to them. Maybe since they don't believe in a higher power, but believe in power of humanity (secular humanism) they could put up a mannequin standing in a triumphant pose or something. Maybe they could just have a space set a aside and leave it empty to symbolize their lack of belief. Agnostics could put up a poster of someone shrugging.
Regardless, the sheer disrespect for Christian beliefs is deplorable. But, I hope that Christians in the area respond kindly rather than responding in kind. After all we know it's not a myth, that Jesus taught us to love our neighbor as ourselves, and that Jesus even taught us to love our enemies.
So I encourage local Christians to please speak up against this sign, but do it the right way. Do it intelligently and without malice.
In your anger, do not sin. Eph 4:26