In a recent column, Brandon Conradis shared his views regarding the theft of a sign placed near the Legislative Building in the state of Washington (The Reason for the Season, 12/08/2008). Conradis stated that because thesign was erected next to a nativity scene during the holiday that it was an attack on Christians and that he was disturbed by the location.

As an atheist, I’m incredibly bothered by this column. The sign was put up to protest the fact that the nativity scene was set up near the Legislative Building which is a government building. I would be able to understand the columnist’s point if the sign was protesting a nativity in someone’s lawn, but that was not the case. Furthermore, comparing the sign to a burning cross is an obnoxious exaggeration. A burning cross is a message of hate and ignorance toward a specific group of people. The sign displayed by Dan Barker was an example of an oppressed group speaking up against government-supported religion. The fact that a governmental building allowed the nativity to be displayed is nothing but oppressive. Dan Barker was speaking out against this, as he is entitled and should even be encouraged to do.

For many non-Christians, the holidays are not a time of happiness and eggnog sipping, but rather are a daily punch in the gut. With every “Happy Holidays!” and the denial of services (banks, post offices, etc.) on holidays, non-Christians are forced to stand by and watch as their voices are ignored and they are forgotten about. I would strongly encourage Conradis to reevaluate his opinion and explore the real meaning of Christianity and Christmas in this country. Unlike Conradis, I think that there is more sociologically involved in this season than simply having fun and “toys.”

Keith Reisinger
LSA Senior

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