Xmas Persecution Complex Letdown
December 8, 2005 11:25 PM   Subscribe

Christians install creche near Supreme Court hoping for controversy and nobody cares.
posted by MrSoyBoy (44 comments total)
Zounds, its the Christian Action Squad!
posted by fenriq at 11:28 PM on December 8, 2005

public function MetaFilter(blurX=100, blurY=100,strength=0)
posted by phaedon at 11:30 PM on December 8, 2005

Well, I'm sure that “The Reverend Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK) and the Reverend Pat Mahoney” care.
posted by LeLiLo at 11:30 PM on December 8, 2005

Therefore MrSoyBoy is nobody.
posted by agent at 11:33 PM on December 8, 2005

The "Faith and Action" people staged a confrontational Nativitiy Scene unveiling today, which was a laughable attempt to garner controversy and was ill-attended at best.

I happened to be walking by their office across from the US Supreme Court and witnessed the spectacle (3 speakers, a cameraman, a lectern and a few bemused passers-by, including myself. Below is their press release, and a paste of the text below.

These sad victims of a persecution complex have a number of their facts quite wrong. Much as they "expect" (dare I say "hope?") that they will be challenged by local government officials, it is highly doubtful the DC Govt. would ever do a thing, True, the front yards of houses in DC are public easements, but owners/renters have total control over them as far as decor, maintenance, landscaping, etc. are concerned. Their overwrought pledges that they are even willing to risk jail time to keep these figurines in place were quite entertaining. I find it much more likely they could (and should) be challenged by Historic Review Board for their rotating collection garish 12-foot vinyl signs (10 Commandments, scripture verses, etc.) which are displayed on a historical facade in a Historic district in a residential neighborhood. Their claim that these Wal-Mart-grade quality figures are "tasteful" will surely chafe at the aesthetic sensibilities of the neighbors in their $800K+ homes.

Their "nearly-life" sized light-up plastic figurines stand more like 3-4 feet tall (alien life-sized, perhaps?) considering they all fit in the postage-stamp front yard, and bear remarkable similarity to the nativity scenes at least 2 of my neighbors put up every year...*on Capitol Hill*, belying their assertion that this is the "only such display anywhere on Capitol Hill."

If you call a press event and no one comes, is it still news?
posted by MrSoyBoy at 11:34 PM on December 8, 2005

You know a man by the things he is concerned about, and when.

We have troops literally dying over in Iraq right now. Alternatively, you can put a republispin on it and say that terrorists are plotting against the U.S. right now. But these nativity guys, they're worrying about the sanctity of their arbitrary little holiday season.

They're not even worried about commercialization. They probably get their panties in a bunch over "Xmas" too.

No matter the side of the "culture wars" you're on, you have enough legitimate things to be worried about and/or scared to death over than to go and make up completely spurious ones.
posted by JHarris at 11:36 PM on December 8, 2005

Do Christians want Christmas to be less secular or more secular? I'm confused.
posted by grouse at 11:36 PM on December 8, 2005

Heh...I'm less than nobody.
posted by MrSoyBoy at 11:36 PM on December 8, 2005

Oops, here's the link to the press release
posted by MrSoyBoy at 11:45 PM on December 8, 2005

"they are prepared to meet such a challenge under their constitutionally protected right to free speech and religious exercise. In spite of any challenge, the two ministers said they will not remove the display."

those brave souls. I kind of think someone should throw some real adversity their way since they are obviously pining for martyrdom.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 11:52 PM on December 8, 2005

time to see if hate crime statutes cover christians.
posted by phaedon at 11:58 PM on December 8, 2005

"To HELL with the word holiday..."
posted by pruner at 12:11 AM on December 9, 2005

Gotta love those crazy Jeebus lovers. Sure's funny how Christians have to go out of their way to be oppressed. The last few high profile court cases involving separation of church and state were from retarded staged events like this.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 12:30 AM on December 9, 2005

posted by halcyon_daze at 12:53 AM on December 9, 2005

If nobody cares, and I sure as hell don't, then why post a thread about it? Positively mysterious.
posted by kjh at 1:19 AM on December 9, 2005

Ha ha, Mrsoyboy, you showed 'em!! See, nobody cares!! Ha ha. Those people over there are so dumb. They think people care!
posted by shoos at 1:33 AM on December 9, 2005

I hope some DC atheists will be kind enough to go down there and oppress them a little. Have the kids write up some legal filings and stuff and decorate them with glitter and serve them on the Christians. Nothing serious, just enough to make them feel good, you know, make 'em feel wanted, like a little early Christmas present. It could become a holiday tradition, the annual Atheist Oppression of the Christians Pageant.
posted by RylandDotNet at 1:58 AM on December 9, 2005

The official response from the Supreme Court:

"Whateva, playa. Do ya thing."
posted by deusdiabolus at 4:42 AM on December 9, 2005

MrSoyBoy: Heh...I'm less than nobody.
I bed to differ, MrSoyBoy. You're exacly 4197 more than nobody.
posted by lodurr at 5:16 AM on December 9, 2005

I do find it fascinating how a ridiculous meme like "The War on Christmas" spreads throughout the culture thanks to a couple of Fox News blowhards and fundamentalists. How do people get so worked up about something so stupid?

It's like that flag-burning thing that comes up every few years. I can't believe anyone actually thinks that's a threat, but for some reason a lot of people care.
posted by fungible at 6:28 AM on December 9, 2005

I'm not unaware of the irony of caring about this non-event. I just found great amusement in how officious (and publicity-seeking) they were being--standing up in the face of some non-existent oppression--essentially reaching out in a desperate plea to compel somebody (anybody? anybody out there at all? Pleeeeease?) to oppress them just a little so they can have their Judge Roy Moore moment (maybe hoping to cart this newly-special creche around the country on a flatbed truck to throngs of outraged Jeezoids at revivals for $$?).

Their act of civil disobedience falls somewhere between painting their shutters navy blue and sweeping their front walk, yet they try to portray themselves as defiant in the vein of Rosa Parks.
posted by MrSoyBoy at 7:10 AM on December 9, 2005

It's clearly not on government property; the issue is "separation of church and state," not "Christians to the lions."
posted by davy at 7:21 AM on December 9, 2005

The thing that always amuses me about the nativity scene is it's all Jews. It's as if rap was taken over by a bunch of white people and years later they celebrate the holidays by dressing up their front yards with a bunch of white kids as Run DMC.
posted by Peter H at 7:31 AM on December 9, 2005

Well, flag burning is good for one thing: It sorts out the soiled angels from the cynics from the real scoundrels.
posted by lodurr at 7:38 AM on December 9, 2005

How do people get so worked up about something so stupid?

Because apparently 45 million US citizens are so spectacularly ignorant that they think the oceans are freshwater. Getting worked up over a non-issue like "the war on Christmas" would seem to be par for the course, IMHO.

Besides which, it distracts their attention from real wars and lets them forget that they're the ones doing the oppressing in this country, culturally speaking.
posted by aramaic at 7:58 AM on December 9, 2005

I find this whole thing completely hilarious / sad. Here, we have MeFi, about the most liberal crowd I could ever hope to find on the internets, or at least at the margins. In any event, we can't even get one person to actually complain about these Christians shoving their Jesus in our face. I grew up with this perceived, but non-existent, persecution -- and it never changes.

Ready for the irony? Christians are the one's that have, for thousands of years, been telling non-Christians that they must see eye-to-eye with their narrow and obtuse worldview -- or else burn in hell for all eternity. Now that humanism camp has "won" with the democratic state via America and Western Europe, et al, the fact that a few people have filed suits because they don't want their daughter being exposed to prayers in public school, and some retailers are trying to be faith inclusive and because some guy has a problem with nativity scenes in bozeman, MT, the christians are now the persecuted ones!
posted by gagglezoomer at 9:09 AM on December 9, 2005

apparently 45 million US citizens are so spectacularly ignorant that they think the oceans are freshwater.

I've never heard that before! I'll be sure to write my congressman immediately about this pressing issue. Our oceans must be desalinated at once!
posted by fungible at 9:46 AM on December 9, 2005

How do people get so worked up about something so stupid?

~25% of this country fervently believes that if you're not born again you're going to burn in hell for all eternity.

Once you fall for this meme kiss rationality goodbye.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:53 AM on December 9, 2005

The Save Christmas rap
posted by fungible at 10:37 AM on December 9, 2005

Well I think people should care. Not about the argument itself, which is dumb, but I think we should ask ourselves why this subject is coming up so often lately.

Like aramaic said, it's a pretty common tactic of the past few years for politicians to dredge up some red herring to use to whip the public into a frenzy for their own purposes. We've seen vague inferences to a looming threat lead us into Iraq, and the subject of gay marriage, framed as a threat to the sanctity of matrimony, was enough to roil the political waters during the 2004 election. They use encroaching threats to keep citizens distracted.

...So now we have a nationwide argument about religion in which the people are crying about Christian persecution and setting up scapegoats on very shaky and dubious grounds. (As usual, Georgia's example feels like a ham-handed hoax of a non-story, yet few question it.)

I wish people would stop falling all over themselves to take a side in this preframed and prefabricated debate and spend a few seconds asking why it has come up at all. The real question isn't about whether or not you mind: it's about what this particular incident is a smokescreen for.

Heh. Or does that sound too paranoid?
posted by tyro urge at 11:08 AM on December 9, 2005

I used to live in this neighborhood. It's quite pleasant, and there are a bunch of churches already, so yeah, nobody is going to notice this. Poor Christians. Eloi, lama sabacthani.
posted by bardic at 11:12 AM on December 9, 2005

N00b installs FPP hoping for controversy and nobody cares.
posted by quonsar at 11:24 AM on December 9, 2005

... and yet, at least five people have felt it merited taking the time to point out how little they care ...
posted by lodurr at 11:36 AM on December 9, 2005

~25% of this country fervently believes that if you're not born again you're going to burn in hell for all eternity.

26.3% identify as evangelicals, but of those only 12.6% identify as traditionalist. We'll give them, say, 6% of the centrist evangelicals and call it 18.6% traditionalist, or leaning that way. Hey, that's still almost 47 million people who would like to see cable-on-demand! (52% of evangelicals also believe in stronger environmental regulations, among other things.)
posted by halcyon_daze at 11:40 AM on December 9, 2005

the inalienable religious rights of the American people are going up in smoke — faster than Groucho Marx's cigar

posted by mrgrimm at 11:40 AM on December 9, 2005

God, I wish the Christians would take back their holiday, lock stock and barrel. I hate commercial Christmas and the orgy of gift-giving and selfishness and crap. Take it back already, please!
posted by five fresh fish at 11:48 AM on December 9, 2005

Baby Jesus wants you to have an Xbox 360.
posted by bardic at 12:11 PM on December 9, 2005

They’re that stupid?
Thats the thing tyro urge you have to so carefully misunderstand the issue, that it is astonishingly stupid that it stuns you enough such that you don’t question why it’s there until much later when it’s probably too late.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:04 PM on December 9, 2005

I just walked by the nativity scene again a short while ago and the inattention the site has attracted is nothing short of staggering. I personally witnessed 2 different people walk by this crucible, this would-be battleground for Crechean display rights--"Ground Zero," if you will, and neither one even bothered to look up from their Crackberry!! Maybe they can twist this into proof positive that that the spirit of Xmas has already been lost?

I can think of nothing so deliciously "meta" as discussing how someone's trumped-up staged media event is itself a noteworthy event...for being so non-noteworthy. My intent of course, is to use their chest-beating histrionics to call attention to how ridiculous their trumped-up "War on Christmas" really is.

p.s. I overstated how tall they are. Mary is a bit higher than my knee.
posted by MrSoyBoy at 1:32 PM on December 9, 2005

phaedon: "public function MetaFilter(blurX=100, blurY=100,strength=0)"

We control the horizontal, and the vertical...
(I know, not what you were thinking, but why the hell not.)
posted by mystyk at 1:47 PM on December 9, 2005

God, I wish the Christians would take back their holiday, lock stock and barrel. I hate commercial Christmas and the orgy of gift-giving and selfishness and crap. Take it back already, please!
posted by five fresh fish at 11:48 AM PST on December 9 [!]
Wait, what? "Their" holiday? The Dead-Man-on-a-Stick cult didn't create Christmas, they co-opted an existing pagan holiday (the Winter Solstice) and rebranded it as the celebration of the birth of their god figure, who by all accurate historical accounts was born sometime in late Spring or early Summer.
posted by nlindstrom at 1:57 PM on December 9, 2005

Sol Invictus, bitch.
posted by bardic at 2:17 PM on December 9, 2005

Do I look like I care about a bunch of long-dead pagans and their craptacular mid-winter orgy? No, no I do not. Any halfway intelligent pagan these days is celebrating with margaritas a-plenty on some sandy, tropical beach at one of those hedonistic polyamorous sex resorts in the Carribean. They hardly want overcrowded malls stuffed full of trite shit, more darkness than daylight, and those excrecable carols.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:50 PM on December 9, 2005

Faith and Action have updated their press release:

"Faith and Action debuted their new nativity scene yesterday to an outpouring of television and print media. The creche, which is located in FAA's front garden, will be viewed by thousands of people each day as they drive and walk past the front of the building, as it is located directly across the street from U.S. Supreme Court and a few short blocks from the U.S. House and Senate office buildings.

In fact, none other than Supreme Court Justice David Souter was observed looking at the presentation as he walked toward the Supreme Court hours after it was put in place!"

Boy, I must have missed the "outpouring of television and print media. The photo pretty much tells it all. Literally. Just about everyone present is in that photo, which presumeably includes some of their own staffers. Imagine the excitement and conversation that must have ensued...something like:

Omigosh Omigosh Omigosh! Is that...David Souter? Oh my goodness he's...he's WALKING THIS WAY!!! Golly I didn't think Supreme Court Justices actually walked!!! (I thought they had their own personal hovercraft). OH MY GOD! He's...He's LOOKING AT US!!! Shhhh!!!! Everybody stop staring and pointing at him. Yes YES YES He's seen the Creche. Surely his heart has been touched and he will pass on the great tidings of this blessed event to all of his colleagues. Praise the Lord!!
posted by MrSoyBoy at 9:38 PM on December 9, 2005

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