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Tune in to "The Scoot Show" for lively, candid discussions about news, politics and culture with WWL's "Radical Moderate!"

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Scoot: Respect for diversity and religious tradition

Freedom in America means freedom for all, not just for Christians.

A controversy surrounds a 19 ft. cross and a 10 ft. picture of the resurrected Christ in Chicago’s Daley Plaza this Easter weekend.  Atheist group Freedom From Religion has countered the Christian symbols with 8 ft. tall signs that focus on secularism.  One of the signs features a picture of Thomas Jefferson with the words, “In Reason We Trust.” The other sign features President John Adams with the words, “Keep State and Religion Separate.”

FOXNews.com gave the controversy the headline, “Unholy War on Easter.” FOX News has also promoted the idea that there is a “War on Christmas.” 

VIDEO: FOX News: Atheist group resurrects War on Easter

Christians should have a right to acknowledge their faith during Easter Week, or anytime for that matter. And atheists have a right to promote secularism. Freedom should not discriminate. As a Christian and an American, I am conflicted over the controversy. I respect the expression of Christian faith during religious traditions, but as an American, I respect the freedom others have to express views that differ from mine.

Let us not forget something we talk about often on “The Scoot Show” on WWL – the news media benefits from controversy. Even without the media coverage of atheists countering Christian views during Easter Week, there would be reaction, but the news media magnifies the controversy by finding guests who represent the situation in black and white terms. If we allow ourselves to get upset with a religious controversy – we need to realize that the news media is often motivated to deepen the controversy for the purpose of defining two distinct sides.

It is also important to step back and not allow the news media to brainwash us into thinking that the expression of atheist views robs us of our Christian faith – or any faith.  If the media coverage of atheist views in the face of Easter does impact your faith – I suggest that your faith may not have been that strong to begin with.

It is also fair to point out that atheists who wish to exercise their rights to freedom of expression should be respectful of Christians and other religions, and at the same time Christians should be respectful of the views they disagree with. But flaunting atheist views during Easter Week could be considered showing a lack of respect for others.

I celebrate America’s diversity and I appreciate our individual freedoms, but our respect for religious diversity is robbing us of wonderful religious traditions.

Last year, the Heritage Elementary School in Madison, Alabama has removed the word “Easter” from all Easter-related activities. Easter eggs became simply “eggs.” The Easter Bunny was just “the bunny.”

The school’s principal, Lydia Davenport, instructed her staff to no longer use the word “Easter” because it might be insensitive to others. Davenport said, “Kids love the bunny and we just make sure we don’t say ‘the Easter Bunny’ so that we don’t infringe on the rights of others because people relate the Easter Bunny to religion. A bunny is a bunny and a rabbit is a rabbit!”  Wow – what words of wisdom from a principal!

The attacks on celebrating Christmas and Halloween have been present for years, but the attack on Easter is a reminder that attempts to make America more sensitive are actually creating a soulless America.

Easter and Christmas have both religious and pagan roots, but until some people pointed that out, most of us distinguished between the religious and pagan aspects of both holidays.  Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Christ, has the tree, which is a pagan symbol. Easter, the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, has the bunny and the eggs.  It is possible to blend religious and pagan meanings, while also distinguishing between the two.

Acceptance of diversity in America should not mean that we dismiss the traditions that are part of the fabric of American society. Celebrating Christmas or Easter does not take away any individual’s right to recognize and celebrate their religious beliefs.  No one is denied their religious rights as a result of some religious-based celebrations and the mere celebration of Christian beliefs in schools or anywhere in public does not force religious beliefs on anyone.  Recognizing and celebrating a traditional religious date in America has gotten confused with an attempt to instill specific religious beliefs in others. 

I am a Christian and I love Easter and this time of year! Easter celebrates the joyous resurrection of Christ at a time when flowers, trees and life around us is resurrected from the winter.

In the case of Christians vs. atheists – both sides should show respect as they exercise their rights.

Happy Easter!

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Topics : Religion_Belief
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Locations : AlabamaChicago
People : John AdamsLydia DavenportThomas Jefferson

04/18/2014 5:57PM
Scoot: Respect for diversity and religious tradition
Please Enter Your Comments Below
04/18/2014 6:24PM
liberal atheist
You say you are a Christian but all you talk about is gay marriage, single selfish values, living for the. Moment and worship of various Hollywood weirdos. You are just like Bill Mahr
04/18/2014 6:43PM
I've heard Scoot talk about a lot more than that! Are you sure you really listen?
04/18/2014 7:26PM
Drop of Water doens't care about Separation of Church and State
Why would an atheist, who thinks they are nothing but a drop of water in the ocean and insignificant, CARE, or have an opinion about anything, including separation of Church and State? If you believe you are insignificant, why should Separation of Church and State matter in the first place?
04/18/2014 9:55PM
Media hysteria
So the athiest put up their symbol next to the Christians symbol. And the media is there to make news of it. Both have a right to express their beliefs. The media perpetuates it and makes it bigger than it really is in so many cases. In the case of Lydia davenport, sounds like one person imposed their belief (or non belief) on many others. I'd like to know the rest of that story, like did the parents just stand quietly by and accept her taking Easter out of Easter. I doubt it! We all just need a little common sense and realize when we are being manipulated. Happy Easter! MP
04/19/2014 12:57AM
Tolerance needed on both sides.
I have always celebrated Easter and Christmas with no aspects of Christianity. I will continue to do so. And I have every right to say how I celebrate holidays. Christians do not own these holidays. Those traditions go back before Jesus. I respect people, not their beliefs. Tell me the day that Christians respect atheists. I don't think that day exist. They'll just have to get used to atheists not being forced to shutup any longer.
04/19/2014 1:06AM
all atheist want is to be selfish and celebrate. They have no concern for then poor,sick and elderly. They are for abortion and same sex marriage
04/19/2014 1:16AM
Oh please..
And I think atheists are sick of the stigma and lies promoted about us by people like you above. The only thing any atheists have in common is they are not convinced that God exist. You have no moral high ground. Heck, even the god you worship can't forgive without a human sacrifice. I must be superior because I can forgive without blood shedding.
04/19/2014 2:00AM
it sounds like I hit a nerve with you which brings up the point that the devil is clouding your thinking. Repent and become involved with a Christian church. god bless you and turn away from si
04/19/2014 9:50AM
Sorry about your brainwashing
No devils or gods for me. I have a personal relationship with reality. As far you, you were taught something at a young age before you were old enough to reason. Your parents before you had the same done to them. Just like every other religion in the world you were taught what was popular in your geographical location. And just like ever other person you believe only you were lucky to be taught the right one! I'm sorry that you were brainwashed and now you ahve to live in fear of a devil and an angry, jealous god.
04/19/2014 6:19PM
prideful non-believer
Wow to you and those with your cavalier attitude. the gates of hell await you and many like you. Repent before it is too late
04/19/2014 8:09PM
And you'll get coal in your stocking!
04/21/2014 9:45PM
Breaking News from the AP ...
AP, TUSCALOOSA, AL—It what can only be described as “shocking” by Alabama head coach Nick Saban 14 members of the 2014 Crimson Tide Football Team are expected to hold a press conference on Thursday to announce that they are straight. The players who have kept their identities secret up to this point expect to present a united front as wholesale criticism is sure to follow. “To have this many players all at one time announce they are straight is a lot for the Alabama football family to have to deal with, but we expect to get through this in time,” said a concerned Nick Saban. “Homosexuals are treated better by the sports media so these young men will likely be in for a rough ride for a time.”
04/21/2014 9:47PM
Coming this summer... OBAMA YOUTH FEMA CAMP! A great place for your kids to spend the summer! Educational and inspiring! Led by Van Jones and a certifiable staff, Obama Youth FEMA Camp is spread out on 20 acres of beautiful, environmentalist-approved federal land, untouched by civilization (except for construction). Your children will learn valuable life lessons from the works of Saul Alinsky and Vladimir Lenin. Your children will also learn valuable life skills such as: - Organizing - Chanting - Protesting - Joint Rolling - Bong Making - Welfare Registration - Food Stamp Collecting So join us for a summer of FUN! Registration begins April 30. EBT cards accepted.
04/21/2014 10:20PM
Scoot celebrates deviant behavior.
XM Radio subscriptions are way up since the Scoot Homosexual Comedy Show went on air .... LOL
04/21/2014 10:43PM
They need to pass a law establishing an annual Obama Zombie hunting season.
We need to thin out the herd a bit.
04/28/2014 8:59AM
So much for respecting each others' views and beliefs...
At least this is one American tradition that wont go by the wayside.
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