You insecure, self-centered, anti-American schmucks.
You know, I’ve never understood the jollies some people get out of seeing their spiritual beliefs validated in the public square. Maybe it’s just having been raised Catholic in the German tradition, where the first rule of church was we don’t talk about church, where we worshipped and assumed if anybody wanted to know more about our God they could tell by how we behaved and if they asked, well, then was the time to talk. If the town had a nativity scene or not, that was never a big deal. Now, who got to decorate the one in the church, that was worth throwing a public hissy over.
Last year around this time, when the silliness of the hyper-Christianists was getting to me, I asked my little brother if he remembered our parents ever talking to him about people who didn’t share our faith. Because all I ever remembered from when I was little was vague statements about how some people were Christians and some people were Jewish (four of ’em, this being a small town in Wisconsin, but nonetheless) and well, they do things their own way and that’s the end of it.
My brother did me one better and recalled a lesson about how we were never to make fun of anyone else for what he or she believed, prompted I think by some television show or other. So I suppose the overriding directive was “don’t be an obnoxious jerk” and that applied to faith as well, by my point is, I was never raised to march around acting like everybody else’s God Stuff was some kind of threat to my own.
I do not get it. If you’re all that committed a Christian, wouldn’t you be one even if you were surrounded by others who weren’t? If you’re so sure, so certain (and I do envy people their certainty sometimes, in my agnostic soul) that you’re okay, what difference does it make to you that somebody else isn’t? I’m not talking about telling family members how awesome your relationship with God is, I’m talking about showing up at the city council meeting pestering strangers for a recognition of what you say you know to be universal and revealed truth. Why does that reassure you? What is it about driving past a nativity on the way to the mall that makes you feel like America loves and accepts you? I mean, if you need visual validation, couldn’t you just alter your shopping route to take you past your church?
(Which, by the way, this whole “America is a Christian nation” has been bullshit of the purest and clearest variety from the start, so not for nothing, but if we’re such a Christian nation why are people dying of the cold outside overnight on our streets? Just asking.)
And you know, just, once and for all, if you don’t like seeing things in the public square that you disapprove of, please, for the sakes of the most of us, go find a deserted island and found your own nation there. Surrounded by miles of water. Then burn your boat. Because people see things in the public square all the time that they hate. I’m personally not all that fond of seeing right-wing nutjobs there, nor flag-draped coffins, nor Joe Biden yammering on about how it’s just a matter of time till we win in Iraq. And you know what response you give me when I object to such? You say “America, love it or leave it.” So that’s what you get right back. You don’t like seeing a menorah, or a minaret, or a display of pagan Solstice rituals? You don’t like having to sit on Santa’s lap instead of the Baby Jesus’s at the mall? You don’t like it that every day, you run into stuff that’s not precisely how you would have arranged it in the universe?
America. Love it or leave it.