Matthew Sanders: Christmas symbols should stay in the public square (+poll)

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  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 23, 2012 10:11 a.m.

    From the Pew article:

    "The United States was among the 16 countries whose scores on both the Government Restrictions Index and the Social Hostilities Index increased by one point or more in the year ending in mid-2010.

    A key factor behind the increase in the U.S. score on the Social Hostilities Index was a spike in religion-related terrorist attacks in the United States in the year ending in mid-2010."

    If there is war on religion in the U.S. it is largely generated by religion itself. The Republican Party long ago decided they could use religion to rally their base. The use of religion as a wedge issue in political campaigns is damaging religion. Rather than looking like an institution of love, hope and peace it appears divisive, judgemental and partisan. Additionally, scandals involving religious leaders has caused significant damage.

    This "us against them" mentality is creeping into local worship services. For me, it destroys the atmosphere. The Gospel is one of hope and love, not fear and paranoia.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Dec. 23, 2012 12:30 a.m.

    The only war on religion is from the right wing. The have defiled my religion and seek to deny any room for other's religion.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 22, 2012 9:44 a.m.

    The public square should be regarded as the private property of the American people. The owners, the American people, have the right to say what may be done or placed on their private property. They have said they do not want any sort of business operation, including churches, to use their private property for their business purposes.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 21, 2012 11:15 p.m.

    w2the truth
    So the you agree that the people that vandalized the non Christian displays in santa monica thereby causing everyones speech to be muted where wrong to do so.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 5:03 p.m.

    IT doesn't matter why any would want to erect thier symbols in the public sqaure,

    By freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and the fact that all rights not delineated in the constitution belong to people and the states, they have that right.

    Religious people and roups have just as much right to express themselves in the public square as anyone, even non-belivers.

    If you do not protect speech you do not like then there will be no freedom.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 4:11 p.m.

    As long as the nativity is cast with people who look time and ethnicity appropriate for Israel roughly 2000 years ago.

  • Kenngo1969 Tooele, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 11:00 a.m.

    Mr. Sanders:

    I'm in agreement with much of what you have written here. Even if a world (and if the United States) without Christianity would not necessarily be morally impoverished, I believe it certainly would be culturally impoverished.

    -Ken K. Gourdin

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 10:14 a.m.

    If only the 80% of Americans known as Christians would act like and follow the teachings of their namesake, the non-believers might not be so offended by the advertising of their story.

    If only Christians would show their love for people rather than their efforts to punish and harm the little people in favor of the rich and powerful.

    If only Christians would value people as being more important than business profits.

    If Christians were Christians, they wouldn’t need public displays, outdoor advertising, crosses on the highway, and they might even be imitated by others.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 10:00 a.m.

    Re: "Instead of secularists shaming Christians for their aspirations, they should support them in living their ideals."

    In the Santa Monica case, Christians refused to live their ideals. Instead, when some non-Christian displays went up, Christians defaced and damaged them. Plus, they whined about the mere fact of allowing any non-Christian displays at all. Christians too often behave like the child at the playground who, when he doesn't get his way, picks up his toys and goes home.

    The secularists' so-called war on religion is in reality a too-frequent manifestation of the sectarian persecution complex.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 9:39 a.m.

    Would you like to see Satanist displays in the public square too? Or does freedom of religion only mean freedom of Christian religion?

    Dec. 21, 2012 8:55 a.m.

    So if I'm a non-Christian going to court against a Christian (for any reason - as defendant or plaintiff), I should have no problem being in a building emblazened with Christian symbols? It would be irrational for me to believe that the Court might somehow be predisposed to support my adversary? You really see no problem with this?

  • George Bronx, NY
    Dec. 21, 2012 8:47 a.m.

    I find it hard to give this story any credience when the author takes. Short cuts through the acts about the Santa Montica case. The reason the city shut. down ALL public displays is because the NON Christian displays kept being vandalised and they feared an escalation in such behavior. If Christians wa t their right to express themselves in the public square perhaps they should start by respecting others right to do so.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 8:36 a.m.

    I'm not going to buy into this annual fabricated argument that Christians are the victims of vicious atheists. Not when they make up 80% of the population, have proportional or higher representation at all levels of government, and when the best example that folks like Mr. Sanders can come up with are little tiny regional policy disputes in unusually liberal places like Santa Monica.

    If Mr. Sanders wants to truly lament the loss of traditional Christmas spirit and celebration in America, look no further than the disgusting commercialization of the holiday brought to you buy a free market capitalist economy. But doing so would involve Mr. Sanders and the folks at Fox News criticizing free market economies and the wealthy conservatives who own the retail companies responsible for it. And any Christian who shops on Black Friday (or even Thanksgiving now!). Since Christians make up 80% of the population, many of them are contributing to the demise of their own cherished religious holiday. Not nearly as clean a narrative as "liberal boogeymen steal Christmas" is it, Mr. Sanders?

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 7:05 a.m.

    Why is it that some Christian's need to erect symbols in the public arena. The Mormon Church doesn't need to erect a Moroni in the courthouse because they have a temple, in the private arena, displayed for all to see. What is wrong with just using the private arena, why do they have to be recognized by government?

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 21, 2012 12:15 a.m.

    According to Bill O'Reilly, these symbols represent nothing more special than a philosophy - why then should not all philosophies be welcome?

    I find it ironic that the only way an argument can be made for affording special rights to Christian symbols is by either claiming the symbols are not special at all - or by admitting that you think you deserve special recognition above everyone else and the failure to receive the special treatment equates to discrimination.

    Poor picked on majority - having to share the public square with dissenting voices. How dare those who disagree with you attempt to exercise their First Amendment rights!