Nov 282017

So how long has the two-Joseph nativity scene been a thing? It’s all over my Twitter, so I’m presuming it’s a relatively recent development.

(A thoroughly obnoxious relatively recent development.)

When I saw it, first I thought “hey, this post will write itself.” Then I thought “no, that would call more attention to it, which is exactly what they want.” Finally, I pivoted back to “I want to add what I have to say to its Google footprint.”

This is an excellent example of antagonism, not progress. It’s an inaccurate depiction, saying nothing productive. It’s only meaningful as a finger in the eye of those whose religious sensibilities it offends.

(Of which I am not one.) I’m definitely offended, but not on a religious basis. I’m offended simply because this is the exact opposite of promoting understanding.

I have friends all over the political spectrum. Most of the time I can understand their views, even when I don’t agree with them. And I know plenty of fine Christian people who don’t share my views on homosexuality. I’ve written to them, sometimes specifically. I think of them when I see this mocking display, and how it feeds and reinforces all of their worst beliefs about gay people. I imagine the potential for persuading them, however meager it may be. And then, I imagine it withering.

I think the people who put this up, and the people who celebrate it, are no better than the shrieking, Bible-thumping, fire-and-brimstone Christians who seemingly delight in informing gay people of their ultimate fates. And I believe they are just as unhelpful.

Freedom of expression? Oh, absolutely. I wouldn’t dream of calling for its removal. But if you think it’s a nifty thing to do, don’t you say one damned thing to me about intolerance.

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