Friday, December 25, 2009

California Official Orders Removal of Christmas Angel After Complaint from one Leftist

We read:
"There's no place for angels atop Christmas trees, according to one California man who successfully lobbied for the removal of religious symbols at county buildings after spotting a yuletide decoration last week.

Stars and other religious emblems were ordered removed from Christmas trees in all government buildings in Sonoma County on Monday following a complaint by Irv Sutley, a disabled 65-year-old Marine veteran who said the symbols were "extremely offensive" and part of the "cult" of Christianity. "I just don't believe government has the right to intrude on anyone and force them into sectarian behavior," Sutley told "I've opposed Buddhist statues, the star of David — anything of a religious nature."

Sutley said he filed the complaint with acting County Administrator Chris Thomas on Dec. 18 after noticing an angel atop a six-foot tree in the lobby of the county recorder's office. Sutley, a lifelong atheist and chairman of the county's Peace and Freedom Party, said he visited the office last week for his re-election bid next June...

Jim Toomey, a public information officer for Sonoma County, confirmed the removal. "To avoid any controversy and to satisfy this gentleman's concerns, the ornaments were removed," said Toomey, adding that he knew of no prior complaints concerning the holiday display.



Anonymous said...

The star on a xmas tree is not the "Star of David", which would then make it a jewish symbol rather than a christian one. The "star" put on fir trees derives from a pagan sun symbol re the winter solstice (the evergreen trees also being pagan symbols of surviving winter's death), even if some christians like to view it as the "star of Bethlehem".

Use the Name, Luke said...

What gives him the right to force his beliefs on the rest of us?

Anonymous said...

Boy, the USMC must be realy proud of this godless cretin. I would very much like to know if he raised his hand and took the oath when he joined the Marines.

Years ago, the Left embarked on a quiet, but unending campaign to abolish the majority rule system in this country. At the time, many Americans said that if they were successful, it would be the first step in destroying this country. Obviously, those Americans were right. It's time.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
Thomas Jefferson

Lefty said...

"What gives him the right to force his beliefs on the rest of us?"

The United States Constitution. Look it up.

Use the Name, Luke said...

Really? Have you ever read the Constitution? Here's what the appropriate portion says:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The Constitution PROHIBITS him from restricting the free exercise of religion.

Dean said...


The constitution states that no official state religion will be established, not that angels and stars on a tree are forbidden.

Look it up.

Anonymous said...

The United States Constitution. Look it up.

4:21 AM
I did. It says the government may not prohibit the free exercise thereof. It was not meant to completely exclude religion from the government, it was meant to ensure the government did not choose Catholicism over Protestantism or any other Christan faith.

Anonymous said...

The words of seperation of church and state are not found in the Constitution, comes from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to a Baptist church to assure them that would be no Federal church. The constitution says the FEDERAL government may not endorse any religion, the states however are free to do that like they did when they were colonies and the Puritans ran Mass. and the Church of England was the main church in VA. and the Catholic church was the main one in Maryland.

Anonymous said...

So.....the angel or star on the christmas tree is a religious symbol, but the CHRISTMAS tree isn't??? Oh..I forgot..they're called holiday trees, but since holiday is derived from holy day that still makes the tree a religious symbol. If the atheists want a true separation of church and state, Christmas shouldn't be a government holiday and all government employees should be working. That should shut some of them up.

Anonymous said...

But personally I'm Christian, so I'd like to be able to take a Christian holiday off since it means something to my family and me. And Jewish people should be able to take their holidays off while those of us who don't recognize that day staying at work. And Muslims, and Buddists....

But I guess that leaves Atheists SOL doesn't it? But since the don't have any beliefs there shouldn't be an issue, right?

Anonymous said...

Oh, by the way - I'd also like to see menorahs, as well as symbols from whatever other religion is represented in the community all displayed at appropriate times - isn't that what Inclusion and Celebrating Diversity are all about? And we may actually even learn a thing or two about other religions and cultures from it as well.

Bobby said...

Some people really need to get a life. How can a Christmas tree be offensive? It's artistic expression!

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that by prohibiting any mention of God the Government is endorsing Atheism as the state religion. Excluding God endorses Atheism just as mandating God would be endorsing a religion. Let the majority decide what they want in each area.

Anonymous said...

Excluding "God" does not endorse the opposite, it just adopts a neutral position. It would have to say something specific and positive about atheism to endorse it. Government should be entirely neutral on the subject of religion, that is what is meant by "separation of church and state", even if those words are not in the US Constitution.

Bobby said...

"Excluding "God" does not endorse the opposite, it just adopts a neutral position."

---You're wrong, excluding God is what Americans For Freedom of Religion want. In fact, I saw a representative of that organization saying that parents shouldn't raise their kids with religion but let them grow up and pick their own religion themselves.

While not all atheists are evil people, some of them are activists, evangelicals for Godlessness who seek to remove religion from the public square with the same fervor Christian evangelicals have against porn, strip bars, abortion, same-sex marriage and other things deemed sinful.

While I don't want to live in a theocracy I neither want forced secularization of our culture. Religion deserves its rightful place in the public square, as long as no one is forced to participate I have no problem with it.

Anonymous said...

Then you have a fight between different religions and their sub-sets as to who has space or dominance - hence best to keep the public square free of religion if only on practical grounds.

Mr. Clean said...

Cities should rent public space via an auction. Highest bidder gets to put their crap there and the city gets some revenue. Everyone's happy except, I guess, for the cheap bastards who did not want to participate.

Use the Name, Luke said...

"Then you have a fight between different religions and their sub-sets as to who has space or dominance"

And atheists don't engage in similar battles? Take off your rose colored glasses.

Nazi Germany vs. Communist Russia: a battle between two forms of socialism.

"Every Communist must grasp the truth 'Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun'."
—Mao Zedong

Saddam Hussein didn't invade Kuwait for religious reasons, it was for their oil.

Or just look at the continent of Africa where there is almost constant fight over one thing: Pure Power.

There is only one truly neutral position: Agnosticism, as in "I don't know". Atheism is not neutral.

Anonymous said...

What we are discussing here is the cultural war that continues. The God-less Left (i.e. atheists) continues to try everything in their power to make America a God-less nation, in spite of what the overwhelming majority of the people believe and say. The reason for the increase in their brazen attacks is simply because this government is now in the hands of the radical Left, and the Left knows they'll never again get this much power. For them, it's all or nothing now!

Anonymous said...

Well all's fair in love and war, so in this cultural war let it be the survival of the fittest - the godites or the non-godites. (What the majority of the population wants is what they are told to want by the elites.)

Use the Name, Luke said...

"Well all's fair in love and war, so in this cultural war let it be the survival of the fittest - the godites or the non-godites. "

Whatever happened to "the truth will prevail"?

In the end, it will. Period.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:53: The atheists do have their own holiday. It's April 1, aka April Fools Day.

Anonymous said...

"The atheists do have their own holiday. It's April 1, aka April Fools Day."

You are so full of shit. Fucking moron.

Anonymous said...

April Fool's Day - now that is funny. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

Atheists don't seem to be very happy people... how many were killed by their atheistic governments (marxist communism) oh yeah 140 million, wow.

Use the Name, Luke said...

Anon 8:45,

While it may feel good to lob grenades like that, it's really just nasty. Furthermore, it just helps them dig in their heels and hardens them against the truth. Is it really in their best interests to reject the truth?

But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be disturbed, but set apart the Messiah as Lord in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear,  so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame.
(1 Peter 3:14–16 HCSB)

Anonymous said...

Atheists just aren't creative enough to come up with their own non-offensive decorations, so they have to take away everyone else's.

Anonymous said...

The fact that this gentleman was 'offended' is entirely irrelevant. People get offended all the time about all sorts of things.
The real question is why did the County decide to acquiese to the gentleman's demands? My guess, simply to avoid the aggro.
Now, others must decide if they want the County to regret its decision by making the aggro level for caving greater than the aggro level for sticking to their guns.

Anonymous said...

last time i looked, the symbol of Christianity is a Cross,not a star or angel. If it was a half moon with a star in it, they would not have dared move it, they would have told the old atheist to go to hell , where he is destined to anyway.

Anonymous said...

Apart from the Cross, other execution symbols of Christianity could also include the noose, the rack, the wheel and the stake. As for mentioning who is going to Hell, maybe also the Christians who condemned the victims to such horrible forms of execution.

Use the Name, Luke said...

Oh look. Our resident anti-christ is back to spew his distorted version of history.

Have you figured out that real historians actually know how to find out the truth about history yet? And that they long ago discarded your "standards" as worthless?

Anonymous said...

So 6:00 AM, you deny the torture methods that the christian churches used against other "heretic" christians? You are no better than the holocaust deniers! It is you who are trying to revise history!

Use the Name, Luke said...

I don't deny that it happened.

My point is that such incidents are ALL you see. I suspect that you think it happened far more often than it actually did. Furthermore, you ignore the fact that such torture VIOLATES the Bible's teachings. Finally, you ignore the fact that such incidents are only a small portion of the the actions of organized Christianity in history. I also doubt that you even know what prompted the inquisition and how it started in the first place, only what happened at the end after it became twisted.

Anonymous said...

5:49 am. Please don't presume what I know of history. Clearly you are now trying to play down the horrors that religion has wrought throughout history. When so many adherents of a religion (whether christian or moslem, etc) say they are indeed follwing the dictates of their religion, but people like yourself say they are not - isn't that begging the whole question of what a particular religion stands for or how its holy books should be interpreted, since not even the believers can agree and the very reason why it ends up in internecine hostility, wars, killing AND torture!
Wishing you a PEACEFUL New Year!

Use the Name, Luke said...

What I know you know of history comes from what you write; namely you focus only on atrocities committed in the name of Christianity — even when when such atrocities are in direct contradiction to crystal clear teachings of scripture — and you pointedly ignore every good thing done by Christians, especially those things commanded by the Bible.

Even if you actually know what good Christians have done, you wouldn't know it from your writings because you refuse to admit anything positive about Christianity.

So let me ask you point blank:

Does the Bible condemn, command, or remain silent on the type of abuses committed during the Inquisition?

(Secondary question, what do you claim those abuses are?)

Anonymous said...

Re-read my post. It isn't what the bible or some other holy book may say but how the self-proclaimed adherents behave - to paraphrase the bible itself "judge the tree by the fruit it bears". So you want to offset the bad by the good that so-called christians do, and hope it comes up more positive than negative, and then ignore or excuse the negative. If that's what satisfies you - happy new year!

Use the Name, Luke said...

Thanks for demonstrating your fundamental dishonesty for all to see.

By your standard, if an atheist says something stupid, then atheism is responsible for what that person said, even if it contradicts ideas central to atheism. (For example, claiming the Flying Spaghetti Monster is real.) That means that atheism is responsible for Stalin's massacres, Hiltler's industrial genocide, Pol Pot's massacres, Mao Tse Tung's massacres, etc. They're all "self proclaimed adherents" to atheism.

By your standard, if someone steals your identity and commits major crimes using your name, then YOU are responsible for those crimes, even if you tried to stop the identity thief.

By your standard, if you teach anyone not to steal, then that person goes out and steals a car or robs a bank, then YOU are personally responsible for causing their actions.

I also find it very ironic that you refer to the passage in the Bible which opposes your crazy assertion:

Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So you’ll recognize them by their fruit.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!’

(Matthew 7:15–23 HCSB)

In short, Jesus was warning against counterfeit Christians; exactly the kind of people you are trying to claim are somehow genuine. He was teaching that you can recognize genuine Christians by the fact that they actually obey the Bible's teachings, and recognize fakes by the fact that they don't.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Luke is using the "no true Scotsman fallacy" in a desparate attempt to distance himself from what his co-religionists do or have done.
Btw Hitler always called himself a Catholic and atheism was not a stated aspect of nazism, indeed some nazi insignia referred to God directly. Atheism or non-religiosity was an aspect of marxism, but the political ideaolgies of Stalin, Mao, etc. were way more elaborate forms of totalitarian communism, where the atheist component was hardly a dominating feature or the thing it all hinged on. On the other hand, theism or belief in God is a major aspect or the whole point of Christianity.

Robert said...

Apart from the Cross, other execution symbols of Christianity could also include the noose, the rack, the wheel and the stake.

That would be the strain that got infected and polluted with the Islamic mindset under Islamic conquest during the Dark Ages. Note in this article how Christianity and Christians were described as pacifist (it even proved to be a civilizing influence on the conquering pre-Islamic barbarians!), even in the face of Islamic predatory aggression, and how Islamic concepts such as holy war, fanaticism, torture and execution of heretics and dissidents, Islam's brutality, Islam's rabid Jew-hatred, and other Dark Age horrors crept into the minds of European Christians under Islamic domination. Only after the Europeans rose up and drove the Muslims out of Europe, and the invention of the printing press and mass printing of the Bible did Christians return to their scripture as written, rather than rely on what authority figures with a hidden agenda told them.

Use the Name, Luke said...

"Sounds like Luke is using the "no true Scotsman fallacy" in a desparate attempt to distance himself from what his co-religionists do or have done."

The "No True Scotsman fallacy" is a fallacy of irrelevance. It describes an attempt to apply irrelevant criteria to the definition of "true" Scotsman, such as a person's taste for Haggis, whether they actually wear a kilt, play bagpipes, or violence committed.

However, the fact that there are irrelevant criteria applied to the definition of a Scotsman should make it clear that there are also relevant criteria to define "Scotsman". In other words, what the heck is a Scotsman, anyway? Relevant criteria would include where he was born, his residence and his citizenship.

Going back to the analogy given by Jesus, we could ask, what is a grape vine anyway? Or what is a fig tree? If it's a bush with thorns that doesn't give grapes, then it doesn't fit the definition of a grape vine. Or if it's a prickly weed that doesn't produce figs, then it doesn't fit the definition of a fig tree.

That's what is at question here. What the heck is Christianity, anyway?

In fact, it seems that you are the one attempting to use a form of the "No True Scotsman fallacy" to redefine Christianity into a strawman that you can easily attack. First of all you're taking actions which occurred during a fraction of the existence of Christianity (off and on for just over 350 years out of a period of about 2,000 years; at most 17.5% of Christianity's history), which occurred in a fraction of the world (Spain), and committed by a fraction of the self-proclaimed Christians in that area and pretending that this fractional minority which are claimed to be Christians define Christianity for the entire world throughout history*. Second, you ignore far more relevant criteria which define Christianity especially the teachings recorded in the Bible, and Jesus' own actions. There is also the actions of the early church while those teachings were widely available, and the actions of most christians after the Bible's teachings once again became widely available. (Note that during most of the time period in question, the Bible was only available in Latin, which almost no one spoke, and part of the later violence was due to attempts to keep the Bible from becoming widely available through new translations.)

You will not find a major religion which is not defined by its holy writings and the teachings and actions of its founder. (For example, Islam has the Koran and Mohammad.) To attempt to redefine any religion based on something contrary to its central teachings is to attempt to strip the word defined by that religion free of even its most basic meaning. In other words, if your "standard" were accepted, words like "Christian" or "Atheist" would mean absolutely nothing at all. They would just be random letters or sounds.

Use the Name, Luke said...

Put another way, consider the phrase "Bible Beliving Christian". Notice that there's no inherent contradiction in that phrase. However, reverse just one part of that and you do come up with a contradiction: "Non Bible Beliving Christian". There are those out there who claim to be Christians who don't believe the Bible, but it would be entirely reasonable to question if such a person actually is a Christian. The reason is that Christian literally means "Little Christ"; in other words, it defines a person who is acting very much as Jesus did.

Think about it, could you have a "Little Christ" that acts contrary to what Jesus taught and how He lived? No. That's contradictory, and why your attempt to change the meaning of Christianity is irrational.

Or let's try removing "Christian" from that phrase, leaving "Bible Believer". Can you have a genuine Bible Believer who acts contrary to the Bible's teachings? Again, no, because those actions reveal the true beliefs. Again, your strawman redefinition fails.

* For the record, deaths attributable to misguided Christians or those flying a false flag of Christianity numbers well south of 500,000 people over a period of about 700 years total when our focus is expanded to the rest of Christian history, including the Crusades. By contrast, Mao Tse Tung murdered 26.3 million in just 16 years, with total deaths hitting 63.7 million after 29 years. Furthermore, it's estimated that between them, Lenin and Stalin murdered 66.7 million people over 42 years.

Use the Name, Luke said...

"Hitler always called himself a Catholic…"

Hitler lied… A Lot… Especially in public.

However, there were times when he was more likely to be telling the truth:

"The individual may establish with pain today that with the appearance of Christianity the first spiritual terror entered into the far freer ancient world, but he will not be able to contest the fact that since then the world has been afflicted and dominated by this coercion, and that coercion is broken only by coercion, and terror only by terror. Only then can a new state of affairs be constructively created."
—Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf

"National Socialism and religion cannot exist together.... The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity.... Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things."
—Adolph Hitler, Night of July 11-12, 1941, Hitler's Secret Conversations

"Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery.... .... When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves from the drug of Christianity. Let's be the only people who are immunised against the disease."
—Adolph Hitler, December 13th 1941, Hitler's Secret Conversations

"It would always be disagreeable for me to go down to posterity as a man who made concessions in this field. I realize that man, in his imperfection, can commit innumerable errors-- but to devote myself deliberately to errors, that is something I cannot do. I shall never come personally to terms with the Christian lie. Our epoch in the next 200 years will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity.... My regret will have been that I couldn't... behold."
—Adolph Hitler, February 27, 1942, Hitler's Secret Conversations

As for "Stalin, Mao, etc.", your claim was that the actions of some people who claimed to be Christians (re)defines Christianity. Stalin, Mao, etc., were perfectly clear that they were atheists and that their states were to also be officially atheist. By your standard, this means that these atheists (and the atheists who carried out their atrocities) define atheism*. You cannot claim one standard for Christianity and a different standard for atheism without being — gasp! — guilty of a double standard.

* For the record, I do not claim that atheism commands or teaches or otherwise impells such atrocities. On the other hand, atheism provides no objective, universal principle by which such atrocities can be condemned as immoral. Under atheism, there is only power (to act and oppose actions), and an eventual end to the entire universe in heat death, stripping all actions of any moral meaning.

Use the Name, Luke said...


Thank you for the link to that article. It was quite interesting. I'll have to look into it further.

Anonymous said...

Me thinks the Lady Luke doth protest too much!
PS. who really cares what Hitler or Stalin claimed to believe (or was reported to have said) - they did what they did - just as evil self-proclaimed Christians did or do what they do or did. Just answer for what YOU do.
It's pointless to call other self-proclaimed Christians to be other than what they call themselves, and likewise pointless to claim that atheists are just what you claim them to be regardless of what the individuals concerned may think.
(Oh and just for your possible but doubtful interest, I would not call myself an atheist, more a fan of debunking the BS that self-righteous ppl like you are always spouting!)

Use the Name, Luke said...

"Me thinks the Lady Luke doth protest too much!"

So it's okay for you to throw out as many baseless, irrational, offensive, and just plain wrong charges as you want, but it's somehow not okay for me to answer them all? Tell me, do you ever argue honestly?

"PS. who really cares what Hitler or Stalin claimed to believe (or was reported to have said) - they did what they did - just as evil self-proclaimed Christians did or do what they do or did. Just answer for what YOU do."

That was the standard you applied to Christianity. Feel free to hold on to your double-standard, but don't be surprised when everyone else recognizes your double-standard for what it is.

Leviathan said...

"Just answer for what YOU do."

And what has he done that you're calling him out on? Besides give you reasoned responses to which you haven't given an answer.

Leviathan said...

This is your response? To run away? Stand up and answer for what you've said.