WWW Opinion Times

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Back on the Anti-Christmas Front . . .

More protests against Christmas trees. Yet in this instance, it's called a "Giving Tree" because it is covered with requests from needy families. Yet it still stirs up the ire of some Bellevue, WA residents:

BELLEVUE, WA "You can't miss the Christmas tree in Bellevue City Hall. 'It's decorated with gold balls and gold ribbon,' described a city worker.

They don't actually call it a Christmas tree. 'We call it the giving tree because it's meant as a season of giving and that's what it's for,' explained Patrice Cole, who just made a donation.

The tree is adorned with requests for gifts from needy families. It generates nearly $25,000 dollars worth of donations. So, you might be surprised that Sidney Stock would look at this tree and say, 'I resent it.'

Sidney and Jennifer Stock are atheists."
Having lived for a short time in Bellevue, WA, I know that it is not a community which is at all religious by nature. To be certain, people of faith live there. But it is largely a community of upper and middle management from companies like Microsoft and Boeing. Generally progressive liberals, they live a "yuppie" lifestyle with Gen-X overtones. On any given morning they can be seen standing in long lines in at Starbucks waiting for their Carmel Machiatto (I always had a chuckle as I walked by them toting my Grande regular coffee.

This complaint comes across, as most similar complaints do, as anti-Christian hubris disguised as trampled rights.
Stock says city hall should "Act as a place where everybody feels welcome. It is impossible for everybody's religious belief to be displayed and non-religious belief to be displayed, so therefore, no religious beliefs be displayed."
And in saying this, Stock tips his hand. Isn't "non-religious belief" a synonym for "no religious belief"? The logic of this statement reveals a desire to destroy religious expression in any public arena. It leads me to ask if he would prefer to find a legal means to restrain religious activity within some distance around his person.

Maybe that is what he wants:
Sidney Stock points out that to bring about change, you have to stir the pot.

"I try and be aware of injustice and inequality when it effects anybody or everybody," he says. "Certainly this is something that has been a problem for as long as I can remember."
Gen-X self-centeredness to the hilt.