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Re: [NOVA-Atheists] Question to all regarding Inauguration Ball

From: Rick W.
Sent on: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 10:28 AM
Don’t know how I missed this one. Ken Reid’s allegation that no religious groups have any problem with the county’s christian displays on government property is demonstrably false. As if facts were of any consequence in this debate. Reid’s ridiculous claim is a transparent, self-serving statement to justify the Board’s determined efforts to use government property to promote christianity.
 
This letter questions the Board’s rationale for giving privileged access to the christian display and lays out a couple of options that would be more appropriate and much less controversial: one is to let every religion put up displays on the lawn, something that would be utter chaos and would, like the plastic Santa and the menorah, serve to beard the privileged christian display; the other is to put up something cheerful, beautiful, and non-religious. Seems to me that a large lighted tree would suit that description. Of course, Delgaudio’s minions would howl, but they would lose that debate.
 
We – Beltway Atheists – even offered to supply the tree. We think that a 25 foot tall tree with a thousand lights on it would sell itself. We also think it is a suitable compromise that would permanently put an end to the controversy.
 
=RW
From: Linda
Sent: Wednesday, December 12,[masked]:43 AM
Subject: RE: [NOVA-Atheists] Question to all regarding Inauguration Ball
 

It’s a terrific letter and for those unfamiliar with this religion, it’s typically “UU.”  Here’s the full letter

 

Dear Editor: Loudon County Supervisor Ken Reid has raised a national controversy over the annual Loudoun holiday display on the Courthouse grounds by calling those who oppose county funded religious displays “terrorists.” No religious people, Reid says, have issues with the county government funded and supported display, which includes a menorah and a Nativity scene.

But many religious people have exactly such issues. Our own religious community includes people with Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Pagan and both religious and secular Humanist perspectives. We support separation of church and state while also encouraging individuals to address life’s many difficult theological and ethical questions. Many of us love Christmas and Hanukkah. But we also seek to cultivate an appreciation for less familiar holiday celebrations of other cultures and faith traditions. We also acknowledge and celebrate the awesome accomplishments of science. Many of us think that the Loudoun

 

County Board of Supervisors has yet to understand the spirit of separation of church and state in the context of the holiday season.

The key issue here is one that conservatives and progressives can both support. Governments’ powers are limited. What then is the Loudoun Board of Supervisors’ proper role in celebrating holidays? Is it commercial? Educational? Inspirational? None of these would allow providing financial support and favored status for specific religious perspectives. This issue requires a fundamental rethinking of the County’s purpose in sponsoring and funding a holiday display.

Certainly, governments may put up a secular holiday display for commercial purposes—something cheerful and beautiful to encourage shopping and provide a favorable image of Leesburg to potential new businesses and homeowners. Such displays require images that do not suggest endorsement of any particular religion and do not hold the town up to national ridicule.

Local governments may also support the values that underlie the holidays and a free democratic society—hope and peace, freedom for minorities, respect for all religions and world views, an invitation for all people to come together in the search for a better life. The county could celebrate these values in a very festive, broadly encompassing holiday display. Lighted symbols for all the major religions and the scientific community, for example, could be posted around the word “Peace.” Local religions, secular groups and individuals could be encouraged to add their private displays outside the courthouse grounds. Everywhere people would smile and embrace their neighbor, grateful for our diversity and the richness it offers us all.

There may be other governmental purposes that might be addressed besides these. But none of them should include name-calling. The supervisor’s comments about terrorists offer entirely the wrong message about this season. Let us come together in the spirit of these holidays.

The Rev. Phyllis L. Hubbell and the Rev. John Manwell

Unitarian Universalist Church of Loudoun

 

 

From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Larry
Sent: Wednesday, December 12,[masked]:06 AM
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [NOVA-Atheists] Question to all regarding Inauguration Ball

 

I haven't been really following this conversation, with the exception of a few comments here and there.  I would like to add that the UU's here in Loudoun County have been very supportive of our cause, as has been documented by a letter to the editor in the Leesburg Today Newspaper by the two pastors of the local UU church, see:

 

 

As an atheist, I have absolutely no problem with the Unitarians, as a matter of fact, I do think they represent what religion is supposed to truly be like.  Camaraderie and humanist values.   In Richmond many atheist college professors belong to the UU and give talks on evolution and other scientific topics.  I think the UU's are allies and should be treated as such. 

 

The fact that we have churches on our side only goes to show we are winning this battle.  I know people like Reid, John Mileo, who does read these threads, DelGaudio and the rest of the board (besides supervisor Williams) think that the UUs and The United Church of Christ, another ally of ours, are considered to be apostates.  However, this only shows that they have a very narrow definition of religious beliefs and only shows their intolerance and contempt for anything other than their respective religions. 

 

Cheers,
Larry

On Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 8:50 AM, Dave Sammons <[address removed]> wrote:

Lol. Kudoz.  Just surprising since "church" literally means place of worship.  What do you worship there?

On Dec 12,[masked]:44 AM, "Janelle" <[address removed]> wrote:

Wow, I make a statement that I am an atheist and that is discounted?  I have no belief in any sort of supernatural being.  Period.  Full stop.  I did not comment on my motivations for attending church, because others had spoken to it quite well. 

 

BTW, what exactly do I have to do to be "truly an atheist?"  Is there some sort of test I have to pass?

 


From: Dave Sammons <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Wednesday, December 12,[masked]:36 AM
Subject: Re: [NOVA-Atheists] Question to all regarding Inauguration Ball

 

She is likely more agnostic and not truly an atheist.  Just a guess.

On Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 12:27 AM, Josh McCullough <[address removed]> wrote:

Why would an atheist want to belong to a church? What am I missing?

 

On Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 9:26 PM, Janelle <[address removed]> wrote:

Actually, I am an open and outspoken atheist and have been on the board of my UU fellowship and a member of the UU Infidels, a UU affiliated group comprised of the fellowship's atheists.  Although the infidels chose to break off and join with WASH instead, many of them are still active at our fellowship.

 

Janelle

 


From: Linda <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Tuesday, December 11,[masked]:05 PM
Subject: RE: [NOVA-Atheists] Question to all regarding Inauguration Ball

 

Interesting take on UUs Andrea, as I have suspected the same – it’s OK to be an atheist, as long as you’re quiet about it.  All religions are celebrated by the UUs in one way or another, but non-belief isn’t talked about, even though many UUs are non-believers.

 

From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Andrea
Sent: Tuesday, December 11,[masked]:28 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [NOVA-Atheists] Question to all regarding Inauguration Ball

 


Unitarian Universalist churches is definitely a good idea.  One particularly active one is Arlington UU - I used to belong there. They had a big inaugural thing the 1st time Obama was elected. And most of the people i knew from that church - if not atheist - were pretty close to it, humanist leaning or at least agnostic.  I still basically consider myself UU because their focus is on freedom, reason, and tolerance and they are pretty much accepting of any beliefs except, I have found, hard-core theists of any stripe ;-) . . .

On Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 10:57 AM, Linda <[address removed]> wrote:

Great idea – you could check Unitarian church websites right now – I bet quite a few would be celebrating the event – Obama went to Unitarian Sunday school as a child in Hawaii.

 

From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Woody Lipinski
Sent: Tuesday, December 11,[masked]:46 AM
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [NOVA-Atheists] Question to all regarding Inauguration Ball

 

I think, it is a good idea but not only non-theists because we are surrendering by and loving of nominal theists. 

 

Maybe we should contact Unitarian Churches that may organize such events.

 

Woody

 

On Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 10:17 AM, Lela <[address removed]> wrote:

Dear non-theist community,

 

Is there an Inauguration Ball around here which non-theists attend? I've been looking into different balls in DC area but none is relevant to me, and it would be nice to go somewhere where I can relate to the people :)) and also where I wouldn't pay hand and leg (like at Democratic Party's ball or Maryland Ball, they both charge $225 per ticket).

 

I live in southern MD.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Lela





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Larry Mendoza, MS RBP

Director

Beltway Atheists, Inc. 501c3

 

...from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved. - Charles Darwin

 





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