I was over at Pharyngula and PZ had a link to this, and it's just too good to pass up.
Apparently, Bill Donohue of the Catholic league can't find enough atheists to accuse of persecuting Catholics, so he's started in on the Catholics.
PZ came across this during an incident where an atheist display was stolen from a public area. (this sign was complained about as "persecution by certain wacky fundies...persecuting Christians by simply voicing the opinion that there is no God. These same people had no comment on the fact that the sign was stolen. If they did, Im sure it would be shrugged off as the understandable penalty for persecuting Christians).
Some people talked about stealing elements from nativity scenes, PZ urged the moral high-ground. Good for him, two wrongs don't make a right.
Then someone suggested ADDING to nativity scenes. And PZ posted about the Catalonian tradition of adding porcelain statues of public figures in the act of defecation to nativity scenes. Here are photos of some from this year. this site has a small explanation of the practice part of it reads thusly:
Catalonians hide caganers in Christmas Nativity scenes and invite friends to find them. The figures symbolize fertilization, hope and prosperity for the coming year.
Apparently, the reason it came to PZ's attention is because Bill Donohue is in a fit about it and attacked the practice. One thing I've learned from my visits to Barcelona is that many Catalonians are ardently and passionately attached to their regional identity and I would have presumed before this that attacking any of their traditions would raise a ruckus.
Bill Donohue is so irrelevant, he's not even up on religious traditions that are hundreds of years old.
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, a 350,000-member group based in New York, has written to the museum's board of trustees to say it finds the show offensive.
"When it's degrading, everybody knows it except the spin doctors who run the museums," the group's president, William Donohue, said Sunday.
In a tradition that dates back to the 18th century, Catalonians hide caganers in Christmas Nativity scenes and invite friends over to try to find them. The figures symbolize fertilization and the hope for prosperity in the coming year, according to Joan.
It's pretty funny. Those darn Catholics apparently have really good "spin doctors" who can plant a tradition that far in the past and spin it just to make Bill Donohue look like such a tool.
Speaking of which, Bill Donohue is outraged that someone is using the word "Christmas" rather than "Holidays". So. Let me get this straight, people are only supposed to say "Christmas"...not "holidays", 'cause that's persecuting Christians. But when they do something inclusive, they aren't supposed to use the word "Christmas". So what are they supposed to do if they want to do something for everyone? Oh yeah. They're not supposed to do something for everyone. October, November and December are now supposed to be the sole property of Christianity, I guess (I can't find a perma-link. It's the Dec. 3 2008 press release).
Gazette.net reports that the 26th annual "Christmas Revels," a French-Canadian style celebration, will be held this month at George Washington University. The December 3 article on the website points out that the show focuses on the longest night of the year, the winter solstice. "Despite 'Christmas' in the title, this is not a religious pageant, but rather an inclusive seasonal celebration that is meaningful to the community at large, regardless of background."
In recent years, "holiday" has been increasingly substituted for "Christmas" by the PC police. Christians have fought back and are daring to say "Merry Christmas!" again. However, in the case of "Christmas Revels," it is a sham. The use of the word Christmas in the title of a show about the winter solstice is false advertising.
Anyway, while the IDEA of adding to the nativity scenes is amusing to me, I don't think people should do that, just because it would probably give Donohue a great deal of sick pleasure and add to his persecution fetische. Let's not be a party to that sort of thing, please. His need has already grown too big for all of the Atheists and Agnostics, and practitioners of non-Christian religions and Protestantism to feed. You don't want to add to the damage.