Minister of Science and Chief Protector of the Faith

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

This Year's Major Gaffes in Yuletide Public Relations... So Far


Ack! Our supreme commander in the theater of war known as Christmas has ! five years he stated that, "These antichristian zealots talking Judeo-Christian philosophy today reject that honor. But in reality, they are cowards. They hide behind the bogus separation of church and state argument to batter any public displays they find offensive. Led by the ACLU and aided by secular judges the antichristian Americans are insulting and denigrating a key part of America." [ 1, 2, 3 ]

But last night I saw that Billo got yet another prestigous award from his number one fan, Keith Olbermann. It seems that Mr. O'Reilly told a reporter at "New York Newsday" this rather surprising bit of doublespeak: "I'm a secular guy, it's the separation of church and state. We don't make laws based on religion and I don't accept arguments based on that." [ 1, 2, 3 ]

Does that mean that the War on Christmas is over? Maybe Billo's "Christmas surge" is working! No longer will I be deeply offended by mall employees saying "Happy Holidays" is a listless, lackluster manner. Now they can proudly say "Merry Christmas!" in an equally listless, lackluster manner. Hooray! Santa must have risen from the grave! Christmas is saved!

On a similar note, here is a video about a Wisconsin man from the Freedom From Religion Coalition who got a permit for a holiday display this year in the state Capitol that reads: "At this season of the Winter Solstice may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds." (Via Oliver Willis.)

The placard is on display next to a Christian Nativity scene and a "holiday tree" that will be on display during the month of December.

I actually applaud the local government for letting the placard be part of the Christmas display, and agreed with the comments made in the video about loving the fact that this country has free speech that allows a display of this nature.

I think that the idiot that put up the sign has concocted one of the worst public relations campaigns in history, however. it's very difficult to sell a product by calling the customer deficient or stupid, and the whole "I'm right, you're wrong" argument is in fact what is most disturbing about the rhetoric of many churches.

And look at the sign - is that really your message? Really? Even the font is pitiful. (You are going to deliver your 'earth-shattering' message to the unwashed heathens in Times New Roman? you have got to be kidding!) It just seems to be sloppy and careless and poorly thought out.

my own views on religion are pretty bizarre, but I have no problem in general with either atheists or religious folks. However, some atheists fit into a category that is as annoying as any hardcore Evangelical Christian or Hollywood Scientologist.

You can usually tell the difference when they start taking about CSICOP [ 2 ] or the "Amazing" Randi [ 1, 2, 3, 4 ]. This subset of atheists is as delusional as any religious fanatic.

Despite their claims to the contrary, they do not follow the philosophy of Empiricism, and it's very easy to refute their claims. Start with Dennis Rawlins and the Mars Effect and work your way up to the present. The "Amazing" Randi is a fraud, and CSICOP's followers are just another form of addled extremism.

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At Wed Dec 03, 06:59:00 AM, Blogger pissed off patricia said...

As long as no one sends Santa Claus to Gitmo, I'll be okay.

At Wed Dec 03, 09:15:00 AM, Blogger Randal Graves said...

Um, what the hell exactly is wrong with Times New Roman? Keep this up, and we'll send you to the front lines in Germania!

At Wed Dec 03, 09:15:00 AM, Blogger CDP said...

Excellent! You're so right about the athesist argument that religion is a myth helpful to those who can't deal with reality...way to sell it! I'm glad that the state of Wisconsin allowed him to have his say, but given such an opportunity, he should have done a lot better than that.

At Wed Dec 03, 01:21:00 PM, Blogger Dean Wormer said...

Actually that looks suspiciously like a quote from John Lennon. In the context of that song I don't have a problem with the sentiment.

I guess it's the difference between "imagine" there's no god and "there is no god you moron!"

At Wed Dec 03, 07:12:00 PM, Blogger Übermilf said...

At least he didn't use Comic Sans.

I agree with everything you have to say.

I would like to add: anyone who lives in the Northern Hemisphere needs something cheery and light-filled this time of year. Put them all up on the lawn together, I say. My sister's suburb took the same tack. No atheists took the opportunity to put up a sign, but the Buddhists put "We wish our Christian friends Merry Christmas, our Jewish Friends Happy Hannukah and our Hindu friends Happy Dwali." Apparently they didn't have any Muslim friends.

Personally, I would like to wage war against "Season's Greetings" which I find to be grating and nonsensical and not even pleasantly lyrical.

At Wed Dec 03, 08:15:00 PM, Blogger darkblack said...


The War On Christmas is forever.



At Wed Dec 03, 08:42:00 PM, Blogger Utah Savage said...

Nice work Dr Zaius. I hate all holidays, be they of the fat jolly man in a red suit or the bunny hiding eggs kind. Call me dark and heartless, but never call me merry. I hate shopping too. But you? I love you. And Germaine, of course.

At Wed Dec 03, 09:02:00 PM, Blogger Angry Ballerina said...

sooooo glad I'm Jewish. And I love you more.

At Thu Dec 04, 12:57:00 AM, Blogger Swinebread said...

Bill's a fop and that's all there is to it...

At Thu Dec 04, 05:58:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Pissed Off Patricia: I am guessing that you already have your stocking hung by the chimney with care. :o)

Randal Graves: Times New Roman is hardly the voice of new generation, and the placard was attempting to be festive! It looks like it was done at the last minute by a sleepy seventh grader.

CDP: It was just the wrong message at the wrong time in the wrong place. The whole "I'm right, you're wrong" tone is not going to win over anyone. The voice of reason should never be delivered in the same smug tone as a televangelist.

Dean Wormer: "there is no god you moron!" is exactly what I found annoying. There is a right way and a wrong way to talk to people, no matter what side you're on. That is all there is to it.

Übermilf: I actually really like Christmas, and the last thing I want to hear about is a bunch of people arguing about it. I could care less if a mall worker says "Season's Greetings!" or "Merry Christmas!" I am old enough to remember when the two phrases meant the same thing. Who the hell cares? I think all of this bickering kind of ruins everything.

Darkblack: You will be hearten by the news that Billo is back to his old self!

Utah Savage: Jeepers! Thanks, Utah Savage! I love you too. ♥

Angry Ballerina: The War on Christmas is for everyone! I love you too, Angry Ballerina. ♥

Swinebread: Yes, with a capital "F". :o)

At Thu Dec 04, 08:49:00 AM, Blogger Übermilf said...

No way. "Happy Holidays" is fine, but "Season's Greetings" is clunky and awful.

I now declare a Fatwa on you for claiming "Season's Greetings" is acceptable. I'm afraid I'll have to kill you.

At Thu Dec 04, 03:08:00 PM, Blogger Enkidu's Palace said...


I do not think atheists are delusional, being one (atheist, not delusional, well... I hope I'm not, but if someone is delusional, he/she cannot know, isn't it? ). The burden of proof rest on those who claim a thing exists, especially anything invisible supposedly running things around here.

This being said, I don't run around pissing religious people off, as long as they do not try to force their cosmology on me...

But there's nothing wrong with a little winter fun, and with christmas-xmas-whatevermas decorations, especially here in the great white north...

At Thu Dec 04, 08:54:00 PM, Blogger BAC said...

Yikes, Dr. Z ... I almost forgot to launch my War on Christmas! Thanks for the reminder!


At Thu Dec 04, 09:19:00 PM, Blogger Karla said...

Better Times New Roman than an illiterate painted scrawl...

At Fri Dec 05, 07:14:00 AM, Blogger JustJoeP said...

Flip-Flopping O'Falafel!

At Fri Dec 05, 07:57:00 PM, Blogger ThoughtCriminal said...

I'm not joining the war until I have an exit strategy.

At Sat Dec 06, 09:38:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Übermilf: Don't kill me! At least not until I've had some more cake...

Enkidu's Palace: But you present a straw man argument, I never said that atheists are delusional. I only said some of them are as annoying as religious fanatics. I apologize if I gave the wrong impression. :o)

BAC: Ack! Man the guns, and pass the ammunition! Mmm... Candy canes!

Karla: Oh, come on Karla. It looks like a sleep starved seventh grader did it. In a hurry. With Windows 98. Using freeware.

JustJoeP: Well said! :o)

ThoughtCriminal: Sound policy! Unfortunately, no escapes from Christmas! Just ask Scrooge.

At Sun Dec 07, 10:48:00 AM, Blogger Enkidu's Palace said...

Hello Dr Zaius

I know you were referring to a subset of atheists, the proselyte ones, who can be tiresome (hell, I had an argument with one because I dared to be an agnostic). Now, I do agree that we should "live and let live", still I find that the work done by CSICOP is somewhat useful (when done properly of course), since there are charlatans out trying to swindle naive people.

So my reply was more about your implied criticism of CSICOP than anything. I should have been clearer.

Keep up the good work!


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