Go ahead and take a look at that abomination over to the left.
What is it? Why it's the Winter Solstice display put up on the State Capitol grounds by some group of malcontents calling themselves the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers. I do believe the group was originally called the Arkansas Society of Crybabies Who Got Their Asses Kicked too Much in High School, but that was overly long.
Now, all you have to do to be a freethinker is be an atheist. Atheists, as a matter of course, run around thinking freely while we Christians are dogma-addicted imbeciles who lack the capacity to string two original thoughts together.
At any rate, the requirements to become a freethinker in this state are incredibly low. All you have to do is declare God to be a lie and be looking to join a group of freethinkers so you can all think freely together. Oh, it also helps if you adore the idea of engaging in antics that get a good number of Arkansans pissed off at you.
At any rate, our free thinking friends tried to put up a Winter Solstice display last year on the Capitol grounds as a way to (let's just admit it) irritate people. They were allegedly trying to make a point, seemingly, about the fact the state has displayed a Nativity Scene at the Capitol for years while Christian beliefs aren't represented. Their request was turned down. It got turned down again this year, so our freethinking chums filed a lawsuit and won.
It's no surprise the group won, of course -- Secretary of State Charlie Daniels' policy on temporary displays on the Capital grounds is so vague that just about anything can be made to comply with it. The fact that something that looks like a gaudy port-a-potty now shares the limelight with a Nativity Scene is evidence of that.
It's fascinating, by the way, that freethinkers all over the place have chosen to celebrate Winter Solstice. While it might appear to be a dead, pagan holiday to some, the more cynical among us view it as a convenient kind-of-holiday to adopt by those who simply want to spite Christians. It's worth mentioning that one enterprising fellow out to make a point about the freethinkers' got permission from Daniels' office to put up a Festivus pole. Read about that by clicking here -- that display was not to be taken seriously, of course, as it wasn't intended to belittle anyone or mock religion.
So, what's on the freethinking monument to Winter Solstice? Click here and have a look to be treated to a history of Winter Solstice and quotes from a bunch of people who are defined by their comments against organized religion (Einstein would be thrilled with that -- to hell with his theory of relativity and all that, he questioned the existence of God, man!) It's particularly interesting that Bill Gates is identified as a freethinker on the display (apparently, he once said something to someone that atheists like). His company's shoddy products have caused more than a few people to take the Lord's name in vain over the years -- maybe that is actually why he's a featured freethinker on the free thinking monument to Winter Solstice and free thought.
At any rate, the monument is trashy, horrid, laughably cheap and looks like it was an art project slapped together by a disgruntled junior high kid. Regardless, it's on display at the Capitol because a federal judge rightly applied the law and ordered the state to allow it. Take that, non-freethinkers!
During the middle of their "nyah, nyah, nyah" celebration, the predictable happened -- an Arkansas legislator filed a resolution objecting to the court ruling allowing the freethinkers to put up a display that openly mocks Christianity. Now the freethinkers have both the privilege of annoying people and being able to do what they do best -- collectively whining about a mean ole society that wants to deny them the ability to think freely and be all individualistic-like.
Here's the thing -- I absolutely hate it when Christians run around bashing people over the heads with their beliefs. It's obnoxious and, at times, does more harm than good -- people who aren't religious don't want to hear about how they're going to hell and will feel much better if they fall into the "converted" camp.
Similarly, it's obnoxious when atheists run around howling about how nonreligious they are. By sticking a hideous display up on the Capitol grounds, they're doing just that and annoying people, to boot. Apparently, it's not enough for the Society members to get together and free think into the wee hours of the morning -- they've got to go out of their way to pester people with their enlightened ways, too.
Want some respect, freethinkers? Take your trashy display down and go home. Y'all may be right in a legal sense, but you've managed to turn a lot of people who may have been neutral to whatever you're up to solidly against your free thinking group. The only thing you've proven is that you folks are a collective nuisance.