Thursday, December 22, 2016

The difference between our banner, and their nativity scene

We've just learned that the Thomas More Society, a notorious anti-choice law firm supporting unconstitutional policies that privilege their preferred sectarian religious views, was successful in bullying the staff of the Massachusetts State House to go against their better judgment and allow the display of a nativity scene in the State House, for one day only. It does not seem a coincidence that their display is being blessed and unveiled on the same day that members of the Boston Atheists are putting their own holiday display up -- not on the secular grounds of the State House, but in the shared public space of Boston Common, beside the traditional seasonal displays of other faith traditions.

For background on this story, see this Boston Herald article.

Compare the Thomas More Society's grinch-ish actions, with their legal threats, to our own Boston Common banner, as described in this press release we put out earlier this week.

This is not the first time the leaders of Boston's secular community have shown a greater understanding of the spirit of the season than some of their theistic counterparts; but really, this is no crisis. Rep. Lyons of Andover, for whatever reason, decided 2016 was a good time to pander to voters who want to see their sectarian views privileged in the secular space of the State House. We don't believe this shows good judgement, but neither do we wish to see him pilloried for a bad call. (The Thomas More Society lawyers, on the other hand, can keep their anti-social and unconstitutional agenda out of our great Commonwealth, thank you.)

If the good Representative feels he must pursue a similar action next year, we'll not oppose him with anything so divisive as a lawsuit. Instead, we'll look to him to support our organization's efforts to place a celebratory statue of the Satanic Baphomet in the State House in the same week, if even for a single day. The values represented by Baphomet are ones we can ALL celebrate, whatever our philosophical views: the importance of pluralism; the importance of rationalism; and the ever-present need for there to be always in society persons with the courage to speak truth to power, including and perhaps especially in the form of blasphemy.

These are values truly in keeping with the spirit of the season... especially when compared to tactics like the threat of lawsuits. (We're looking at you, Thomas More Society. You darn Scrooges.)