Statues of mythological and/or fictional characters and themes can be found in state and federal parks all over the country, like this statue of Neptune at a city park in Virginia Beach. As far as I know atheists don’t try to get these removed. The American Atheist Organization is suing to remove a cross from the WTC memorial. The “cross” is actually a section of welded I-beam that was found sticking up from the rubble after 9/11. Witnesses found the coincidental resemblance to Christ’s cross significant. While I don’t agree that such coincidences are supernaturally caused, I think they are interesting. Significant coincidences are at the heart of all “chance” phenomena which lead to the emergence of life, language, and art. (That’s my natural philosophy in a nutshell.) I could no more reject public tributes to Christianity than I could to any great work of fiction. Somehow it just doesn’t piss me off. I understand it as art. It doesn’t bother me that others take it differently. (I even have a portrait of a black Madonna hanging in my home. It’s a really cool painting that my great-grandmother brought over from Poland.) That’s why I think there is something up with AAO’s president David Silverman who isn’t able to detach himself emotionally from the power of religious symbolism. He released this statement about the WTC cross Continue reading
Last night my husband and I were in the city for an art opening, and we decided to head down to Wall Street to check out the occupation. Zuccotti Park was much smaller than we had imagined it to be. Tucked-in amid blocks of buildings, the peaceful little gathering huddled in the shadows. Meanwhile across the street, the extravagant, garish, brightly-lit construction of the ballsy “freedom” tower dominated OWS. Tourists lingered in awe at the gripping symbol of the fear that dictates our foreign policy and federal spending. Several unabashed “Silverstein Properties” signs hung along the fencing. In the cool autumn air, we were feeling unusually happy and carefree, like a couple of rebellious teens, and my husband tried to write “pull it” on one of the signs, but the Sharpie ink magically evaporated on the weirdly smooth surface. Creepy.
In comparison, the sleepy little OWS group seemed pretty ineffective. We came away from the evening convinced of the futility of any movement against such a powerful and complete mechanism as the Military-Banking-Insurance Industry-run government that, like an abusive spouse, gets the best excuses from the very people it victimizes. It was late-ish, around 10PM, and most of the protesters were already abed. In the Continue reading