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← Rhode Island cross controversy - legitimate or petty?

cynicaloptimistrealist's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by cynicaloptimistrealist

What the hell does this all have to do with cemetery headstones?

Hello Laurie

If you've been to Arlington Cemetery, you will notice little crosses on many of the headstones, isn't the cemetery on government land?

And who says we want to destroy historical and cultural treasures in Europe and Middle East?

I was speaking in an international sense, against the folly of using this as an example of progressive atheism or secularism. An example which leads to more problems than it solves if applied to any nation or indeed internationally. For example, who gets to decide what passes as cultural relic or religious endorsement? There are far more important battlegrounds for atheists than a little cross which no one noticed for the last 90 years. Just suppose a compromise was reached and they decided to remove the cross but keep the base of the monument in its place, would you be happy with that? Then suppose that everyone is happy until someone reads the inscription on the monument and it says "May God have mercy on their souls", will the battle begin again to have the offending words "God" and "Souls" scratched out?

By removing that cross we will make a statement to Jewish citizens, Hindu citizens, Buddhist citizens, Muslim citizens and Atheist citizens that the American government does not favor any particular religion over the other and protects everyone's right to worship as they please on their own private property.

By removing the crosses you are also denying the historical fact that at one point the inhabitants of that area saw the cross as an appropriate symbol of rememberance while pushing away potential "converts" within the fringes of those religious groups by focusing on something so miniscule.

Actually it was the comparison between this legal dispute and the Year Zero genocide in which 2 million Cambodian's died which I thought was "going a little too far".

Hello again Michael,

I didn't capitalise it as "Year Zero" in my original post because I was using the term figutatively rather than drawing a literal comparison. However, regarding the Buddhas and the Cultural Revolution I was drawing literal comparisons.

The thin edge of the wedge secular revolution stuff is all in your imagination.

I think most atheists would love to see their respective countries becoming more secular or totally secular. I also think it's important not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. I think it's crucial that we make our voices heard and our votes cast in favour of a secular society, but not by methods like this which play into the hands of our religious opponents and cast us in an illogical light.

I get the impression that in the U.S. because God seems to be wedged into everything from the Pledge of Allegiance to the dollar bill, atheists feel they are under constant attack and seem to be a little more inclined to be defensive.

Sat, 28 Apr 2012 14:39:48 UTC | #937981