To the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia, don't give up! Fight the good fight!
I just read an article by Staks Rosch in the Philadelphia Examiner about the FSGP and their Tree of Knowledge. It's an evergreen tree decorated with book covers (how shocking, how impudent!) from books representing knowledge, education, science, philosophy, morality, diversity and curiosity. (I am so offended! What? No Twilight?! No Dan Brown?!) Here is a complete list of the books represented.
Staks makes some points that I really like: "[The Tree of Knowledge] is not an attack on religion, but rather an expression of an alternative set of values (i.e. knowledge and reason)."
How horrific! Now I understand why the good christians of the area are so up in arms, vandalizing the tree and organizing call campaigns to get it removed. And why the county is bending to the will of one religion on government property. It's just so hateful to have a tree decorated with thoughtful, intelligent books. What? Oh? It's not threatening at all? EXACTLY! WTF!
Staks also says, "Many Christians have claimed that the inclusion of humanist values next to the Jesus Crèche is an attempt to “steal” Christmas. It seems that many Christians are of the opinion that Christians own the winter season. They do not."
Later he says, "Atheists aren’t trying to “steal” Christmas any more than Christians stole Saturnalia… oh wait, never mind." Again, I agree completely.
This kind of thing makes me so angry. Religious organizations bully their way into having their cake and eating it too. Politicians and the masses alike bend to that will for what reason? Why do they get to own most holidays? My sister in law is offended when I say happy holidays instead of merry christmas. It's the classic bully at the pulpit who then cries and runs for the government to protect him when someone brings up that he's breaking the law or that he's being a bully.
christians and muslims don't want to play fair. They want to win. Which is why I am an activist atheist. I don't want to be forced to pray to a man in the sky that doesn't exist. I am moral and ethical on my own without being forced into the barbaric false ethics of an iron aged society of goat herders from the Middle East.
I suppose here in Morgantown, if such inequities are occurring, we'll put up an atheist/humanist display soon too. At this time, I am not aware of any. But I haven't checked every government building lawn for crèches either.
Keep an eye out in your town. If you see religious displays on government property, take action, form a group. You can then turn it into a community of like-minded people like we've got here in our sleepy little town. It's the most wonderful feeling to hang out with a bunch of freethinkers. But don't just take things lying down. Don't let the religious people bully us into giving up our freedoms and our constitutional rights just because we are too apathetic to make a stand for those rights.
EDIT: The Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia has helpful hints for setting up your own Tree of Knowledge.