Room in public square for message of love
Waukesha Freeman Page A6 Opinion
Room in public square for message of love
Allen’s Christmas message riles atheists
Get the smelling salts and the fainting couch. The atheists in Madison are having a case of the vapors. They don’t know whether to be angry or extremely angry, but they know they do not like state Rep. Scott Allen of Waukesha. They haven’t been this upset since Gov. Scott Walker dedicated a “Christmas tree” instead of a “holiday” tree.
Allen, like a number of other Republican legislators, recorded a Christmas message to his constituents in the state Capitol. Allen, a Christian, actually reminded the audience that Christmas is about the birth of Christ. Allen also suggested for those who are not Christian, “I invite you to consider the hope offered by the Prince of Peace.”
No, Allen did not send the Capitol police out into the Madison community to round up the atheists and, at gunpoint, force them to consider hope. “Hope now, or die, atheist scum!” Instead Allen offered a different message, “For all who watch this, I hope that you are filled with joy and high spirits and that your life is full of festivity and rejoicing.”
Allen then offered a couple of bits of Scripture to his fellow Christians, Hebrews 10, verses 24 and 25. “…(L)et us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.” Given Allen’s position in the Legislature, certainly an appropriate Bible quotation.
Then in words that John Lennon would have recognized, Allen said that we get peace from love. “Our world needs more love and more peace.”
After more discussion how we should all love each other and encourage each other, Allen quotes the Bible again with a message that sums up the beliefs of most Christians, “…(w)e are not those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. Merry Christmas.”
Most Christians believe that by accepting Christ’s sacrifice on the cross you will be saved. The birth of Christ is the reason for Christians to celebrate Christmas, and that was the point of Allen’s comments.
It’s no different than if a Jewish legislator were to send out a message on Rosh Hashanah explaining the holiday to their neighbors or if a Muslim legislator sent out a message explaining the significance of the fasting during Ramadan. Would there really be an objection to a Buddhist legislator asking everyone to consider the peace of their religious leader?
Considering the response that Allen’s YouTube video received, a few of our atheist friends could use a little instruction on peace and love. Most of the comments are unprintable in a family newspaper. Multiple commenters called Allen, “a condescending (expletive).” Another called him a “disgusting fascist bigot.” Still another called him, a “pompous scumbag.” And these are the nice ones.
One illiterate commenter even threatened Allen’s life: “this is someone you kill. no need for him to live, bet his God hates him too so let’s send him their NOW! kill this (expletive).”
What has the atheists, including the Freedom From Religion Foundation, so vexed is that Allen actually posed with the Capitol Christmas tree in the background and used video equipment from the Capitol. This has raised the usual screams about “separation of church and state” as if one video by one legislator explaining the meaning of Christmas in terms Linus and Charlie Brown can understand would suddenly establish a state religion.
But also in the backdrop of the state Capitol, not away in a manger but right in the Rotunda, is a display by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, placed there just in time for Christmas. The Foundation is preaching, too, and literally to the choir of “Solidarity Singers” with their twisted Christmas carols. The message from Madison’s atheists is that Christianity is a lie and Christmas is a humbug.
After the atheists put up their display, it probably never occurred to them there is room in the public square for both their contempt and disdain for their fellow man, and for a message of love. They missed the point of Allen’s Christmas message to the community, only finding offense because their hearts were hardened to seek a source of anger. Ironically the ones who needed to hear the message the most were the ones who want it banned.
(James Wigderson is a blogger publishing at http://www.wigderson.com and a Waukesha resident. His column runs Thursdays in The Freeman.)
Do you think State Rep Scott Allen's Christmas message was appropriate?
- Yes, it was about Christmas. People should just chill out. (58%, 15 Votes)
- No, Scott Allen was abusing his position to create a theocracy in Wisconsin. (15%, 4 Votes)
- You creationist fascist, be tolerant or I'll hit you with my Festivus pole. (15%, 4 Votes)
- Look you commie pinko atheist bastard, if you don't like what he said, move to Russia. (12%, 3 Votes)
Total Voters: 26