[ExI] pat condell's excellent rant on atheism

F. C. Moulton moulton at moulton.com
Mon Jan 2 08:17:00 UTC 2012

Since the speaker on the video, Pat Condell, did not provide details on
exactly what Nativity Scene is being referenced so it is difficult to
directly discuss the case to which Condell appears to be referring
assuming for the moment that Condell is not just making up part or all
of the story.  Condell does use the  term "public Christmas Nativity
Scene" but Condell fails to distinguish between two different uses of
the term 'public'.  One usage of the term is in the sense of being
generally open to all for example public discourse.  The other usage of
public is in referring to something government owned, funded or
controlled.  The public roads, the courthouse, the government schools
and so forth.  I tend to follow at least in a modest way some the issues
related to church state separation issues and one thing I have seen over
and over is when someone is talking about "public" without making that
distinction then be very cautious. It is a cheap rhetoric device to get
people thinking that maybe the Nativity Scene was at a shopping mall or
even at a church.  In every case I have ever read about when someone was
pulling this rhetoric stunt the location was not a shopping mall or a
church but a government location such as a school, courthouse or park.
Any time I hear or read anyone spouting off about Nativity scenes
without making this crucial distinction a big warning flag goes up to on
the lookout for a big load of BS.

Now notice how much of what was said was about the persons "being
offended" yet here again since there are no details it is difficult to
address and frankly since there are no details I would not even grant
that the description of Condell is accurate until I can get some clear
information.  The one bit of information Condell gives is that he says
the news report was about "American atheists" so if he wants to discuss
it then Condell should consider that this is a legal issue and that
there are laws, regulations and a history of jurisprudence on this and
related issues.  Of all of the nativity scene issues I have read about
every one of has been based on the legal aspects of the situation.  Now
there is probably somewhere a case that was not based on legal issues
but I have never heard of one and we do not know in this case because
Condell is long on rhetoric and short on details.  To make that kind of
video and not even mention the legal issues involved is appalling.

Frankly I am surprised that anyone on this list is taking Condell and
what he says in that video seriously because it is abundantly clear that
Condell either has no clue what he is talking about or is being
deceptive and not fully forthright and honest.

Can I make a recommendation to those who comment further on this topic
that they make sure they have carefully investigated the history and
legal issues and guidelines on religious displays as related to church
state separation.  And if someone wants to change the current legal
situation in the USA then please specify both the what and the how.  As
a hint you may want to consider what Constitutional amendments would be


On 01/01/2012 06:00 PM, spike wrote:
> If believers have patron saints, then we should have some counterpart.
> Patron sinner?  Not necessarily a sinner.  Open to suggestion.  Whatever it
> is, I nominate Pat Condell:
> http://mrctv.org/videos/pat-condell-intolerance-diversity
> spike
> _______________________________________________
> extropy-chat mailing list
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