Thursday, December 11, 2008

So you want a nativity on display at your government building?

Olympia, Washington, is learning about the unintended consequences of allowing religious displays on government property. It allowed a realtor to erect a nativity scene at the state capitol. That was soon joined by a sign from the Freedom from Religion Foundation stating the there is no God.

Okay, no big deal, the Olympians are probably thinking, some may find it offensive, but the sign isn't impudent in phrasing the beliefs of a significant minority.

But now the Westboro (Kansas) Baptist Church is petitioning to add a sign that reads:
Santa Claus Will Take You to Hell

You'd better watch out, get ready to cry,
You'd better go hide, I'm telling you why
'cuz Santa Claus will take you to hell.

He is your favorite idol, you worship at his feet,
but when you stand before your God
He won't help you take the heat.

So get this fact straight: you're feeling God's hate,
Santa's to blame for the economy's fate,
Santa Claus will take you to hell.

Don't leave your kids with this red fright
Just like the priests he'll rape 'em at night
Oh Santa Clause will take you to hell.

You tell the children he is real,
You know that's just a lie,
To justify your own vile sins
That's the only reason why.

So get this fact straight, you're feelin' God's hate
Santa's to blame for the dead soldier's fate
Santa Claus will take you to hell.

Hmmm ... So maybe allowing religious displays isn't such a good idea after all. Or, in the words of a spokesperson for Washington's Department of General Administration: "Holy cow."

It's hard to see how Olympia would be able to justify a rejection of the sign. It can't argue that it doesn't accept displays from groups based out of state -- the Freedom From Religion Foundation is headquartered in Wisconsin. It could argue that the group needs to have members in Washington (the Freedom From Religion Foundation does), but I'm sure Westboro could scrounge up some local supporters. And it would be hard to argue that the Westboro sign is too offensive to display, since I'm certain the current displays have both offended their fair share of folks.

I am just giggling with delight.

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