So I have a serious question, and I hope I can get a decent amount of peoples' replies on this.
The town I currently live in is extremely religious in its' culture and people.
You'll see religious bumper stickers on almost every car and almost everyone here goes to church on Sundays.
There's more churches than there are grocery stores.

AND there's a nativity scene made out of metal and stone sitting in the middle of the town square. It's a permanent decoration that stays up all year round. Now I don't know if it's public property/government owned, since there's a nativity related scene on the opposite side of it, that I believe to be church property....but it looks like government property, since it's literally on the same plot of land as the City Hall is.

Now here's my question: should I demand they take it down if it is indeed on public property?
Should I try and take legal steps, since religious icons on public property ARE a violation of our first amendment?
It's not something that can be just carried away; the whole square will have to be dug up.
It looks like it's been there a long time.

Let's not forget that my town is full of extremely religious people, and I don't know how far they would take it if this turns into a big fight.
I don't want my family to be hurt or my house to be vandalized.

I'd feel like a coward if I hide and do nothing just because I'm the minority here, but their nativity scene on public property is an attack on my beliefs and an attack on our constitutional law.

Tags: amendment, atheism, first, of, violation

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"I agree that the government promoting one faith over another is clearly ideological discrimination. However, I do not think that it is appropriate to compare it to the legalized racial discrimination of the Jim Crow south."

You don't think that the threat of lynching gay people simply because someones' holy book says they are an abomination dangerous?

You don't think religious child indoctrination through public schools wrong in every facet?

Any kind of discrimination is a bad thing, and if it's left unchecked, it can turn into something as ugly as the racial discrimination we saw in this country.

We don't want a theocracy, we have to fight for it.

Any kind of discrimination is a bad thing, and if it's left unchecked, it can turn into something as ugly as the racial discrimination we saw in this country.

 

I'm not disagreeing with you that discrimination is a bad thing.  But there is not institutionalized ideological discrimination in the same manner that there was institutionalized racial discrimination during the Jim Crow era.  There are no laws that force atheists into social subordination. 

 

I'm not saying that discrimination against atheists does not exist.  But there is a huge difference between social discrimination and institutionalized segregation.  Also, there is a huge difference between racial discrimination and ideological discrimination.

I'm with you here.  It's not the same thing.  It would be if, say, people were asked for their religious affiliation upon getting on a bus, and they were all honest, and the atheists were sent to the back.  Or atheists had hoses turned on them for protesting discriminatory laws.  Black people couldn't drink from the white fountain without being questioned, but you couldn't do the same for atheists.  We look like everyone else.  You can't just pick us out of a crowd.

I will however say that more than social, there is institutional discrimination.  The Texas State Constitution among several other states, bans those who don't believe in 'almighty god' from holding public office.  Of course this violates equal protection and the establishment clause, but that doesn't always seem to matter I guess. -_-

I am of the opinion that we must be cautious on these things.  Seems like you are already feeling this but once you see that this creates more trouble than it will end, you may want to look at other options. MOVE! I would probably, if given this same set of circumstances, move, or at least learn to work around the annoyance. I know what you mean by feeling cowardly or chickenshit but be reasonable.  I am no weaker a man when I realize that the fight in front of me is not winnable.  I must find another avenue as a means to an end.  There are probably other ways of gaining peace, walk slowly at first, then strike!

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Posted by Quincy Maxwell on July 20, 2014 at 9:37pm 28 Comments

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