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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 3, 2008 at 3:00 PM

‘Tis the season for controversy

May God be with you

I just finished reading a story about the winter holiday decorations that will be displayed at my state Capitol building in Olympia, and the addition of what they are calling an atheistic billboard [“Deck halls with controversy,” News, Dec. 2].

I think everyone should be able to believe what they choose and be represented if they wish. I support their right to have your views and beliefs represented as part of the Capitol’s holiday display. But why would they choose such a negative message?

Annie Laurie Gaylor is quoted as saying that the sign is a reminder of the “real reason for the season, the winter solstice.” But you choose to put up a sign that says, “Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.” What does that have to do with winter solstice? How does this represent your beliefs?

After this last election I am fed up with negative campaigning. It turns me off to the foolish person or group who chooses to take the low road, spreading hate and negativity rather than knowledge.

Next time you have the opportunity to let people know what you are about, try saying something about yourself and not bashing the beliefs of others.

I truly hope the spirit of the holiday season finds its way to your heart.

— Trudy Alefaio, Seattle

How embarrassing

For the first time in my life, I am embarrassed to be an atheist. It has been shameful over the years that atheists have attacked Christmas displays on government property. They claim it offends them and puts undue pressure on them.

I come from a large family of second-generation atheists. We have always celebrated Christmas. Christmas is a holiday about love and family; winter solstice is about tilting away from the sun. Although we do not share the beliefs of religious people, we have always been respectful of them. Members of my family have never felt it necessary to force our beliefs on others.

No matter what their reason, atheists have always attacked others for their belief in God. Are they ashamed to be atheists? Is that why they have this need to push someone around for their beliefs?

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has forced its beliefs upon Washington state and its citizens. They have erected a sign in the state Capitol building to represent “our beliefs.” Yet instead of expressing our feelings about the holidays, they have used their opportunity to attack others for their beliefs.

Never have I seen a Christmas tree, menorah or Nativity scene that has said, “You are wrong if you believe in evolution, science or nature’s design.”

There’s an old saying: “It takes respect to get respect.” Then, of course, there’s “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The Bible contains wisdom that transcends all beliefs. Can’t we all just get along?

— Barbara Barron, Bremerton

Well this won’t look good

I wanted to express my complete disappointment with the selection of the artist and her creation for the White House Christmas ornament [” ‘Impeach Bush’ ornament nixed,” Nation & World, Dec. 3].

How can something so un-Christmas get all the way to the White House? How was the artist selected by the artist guild or whatever group Congressman Jim McDermott chose? Did they not review her work? What happened to separation of church and state? Did Debra Lawrence not realize the election was over? Obviously, she has no concept of “Christmas spirit,” where we put away our daily concerns and celebrate the birth of Christ.

I’ve had enough politics to last at least four years, and we didn’t need this to wrap up one tumultuous year. It’s time to put aside our divisiveness, at least for the holiday season, and fill the air with some positive vibes.

It’s a shame we’ll be the only state left off the White House tree because some lamebrain artist viewed her own personal political vendetta as more important to represent than what the majority of good people in this state feel.

— John Fuik, Oak Harbor

Show some respect

Washington state is an embarrassment to ourselves, the country and to the highest office in our land.

Why was our Christmas ornament a political statement that doesn’t speak for all of us? I, along with many Washington residents, respect the office of president.

Every opportunity for representation doesn’t have to serve as a springboard for one’s political view.

This so-called “artist” shouldn’t have been highlighted in The Times — smiling and holding up the disgusting ornament..

— Gloria Jefferson, Seattle

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