Mobile Website | Login | Register
Staff Directory | Advertise | Subscribe | About Us
Business Government Politics Region Crime/Public Safety Education People E-edition Ashburn Hamilton Hillsboro Lansdowne Leesburg Lovettsville Middleburg Purcellville River Creek Round Hill Sterling
Basketball Football Youth Wrestling Gymnastics Swimming Volleyball Baseball Track Golf Cheer Cross Country Schedule Scores
Brambleton Community of Faith Hangin in the Nosebleeds Journal Entry Loudoun Essence Made in Loudoun Odd Angles River Creek & Lansdowne South Riding Sterling, Cascades & CountrySide
This Week's Slideshow Browse All Galleries Your Best Dish Featured Video The Virginians
  • Announcements
  • Autos
  • Jobs
  • Legals
  • Homes
  • YardSales
  • Submit an Ad
  • Website Development SEO and SEM Newspaper Advertising Online Advertising
    Classified listings Homes section

    Display taken off courthouse grounds by vandals

    photoThe Santa skeleton display after it was vandalized on Dec. 10 where it appears the head is missing. Courtesy Photo/NBC 4 Washington

    A controversial Santa skeleton display has once again been vandalized, and this time the culprit can add larceny to their list of charges.

    On Dec. 10, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office reported that the controversial skeleton Santa display on the Loudoun County Courthouse lawn was vandalized, but this time the perpetrators took a piece of it with them.

    The display was first vandalized on Dec. 5. The removal received a plethora of media attention nation-wide. The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors also decided on Dec. 6 to allow the next board to make a decision for next year’s displays on the courthouse lawn.

    The owner of the display is Middleburg resident Jeff Heflin Jr., according to Julie Withrow, a Loudoun County administrator.

    On Heflin’s application for inclusion in the courthouse display, he described his entry as “art work of Santa on a cross to depict society’s materialistic obsessions and addictions and how it is killing the peace, love, joy and kindness that is supposed to be prevalent during the holiday season.” Heflin is not part of any organization and sponsored the display himself.

    According to Kraig Troxell, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, a portion of the display was taken, but he declined to say which part was stolen.

    Not only do the vandals face a destruction of property charge if a criminal complaint is filed, but they also face a larceny charge for stealing a piece of the display.

    The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for guarding the displays at the courthouse complex and grounds and the Leesburg Police Department also patrols the surrounding area in Historic Downtown, Troxell said.

    The Sheriff’s Office doesn’t have the manpower to specifically guard the displays as a part of its daily job, but deputies plan to take action to try and keep people from vandalizing the displays, Troxell said.

    “The agency will enhance our current security measures at the courthouse, to include directed patrols in the area,” Troxell said. “We have security measures for the courthouse and the grounds and because they’re county property or considered county jurisdiction, we will investigate any criminal activity on these grounds.”

    A Sheriff’s Office report said the display was put back up on the evening of Dec. 9 and vandalized on Dec. 10. The incident is still under investigation. 

    Comments

    I call for fellow constitutionalists to stand up and protect the rights of free speech for every citizen of every -ism. I say we post 24 hour sentries on the courthouse lawn to protect these constitutionally protected displays of free speech against every self-rightous, religious zealot out there that decides that your freedoms are not as important as their religion.


    It’s obvious that religious people are gullible people, who believe in childhood myths because they can’t come to grips with death.


    The person is a vandal. That display was legally there and protected by the constitution under free speech. The person who took the head is unAmerican.

    If you want Christmas to be left alone I suggest you stop demanding a religious display on government property and leave it at the church or on your private property where it belongs. If you want it on government property prepare to see counter beliefs go up along side it.


    So now the person who took the skeleton’s head is labeled a vandal?  wtf?  Too bad the vandal(s) didn’t just take the whole thing and toss it in the nearest trash receptacle.  The kid responsible for this needs to find something a bit more constructive to do in his spare time.  Let Christmas be for those who appreciate and believe in it…. not for others to make a mockery of the Holiday and abuse their so-called “freedom of expression” as an excuse to publicly show their stupidity.


    Truth abides, humanly.


    Forgive my sentence structure.  A smart person recognizes his fault and attempt to correct.  These quotes are in honor of Christopher Hitchens.  They simply rhyme in his sentiment and provide real truth.


    RIP Christopher Hitchens.  Here are a few fellow thinkers who have spoken in the honor of your insight:

    “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
    -Epicurus

    “Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.”
    -Benjamin Franklin

    “Religions are all alike - founded upon fables and mythologies.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

    “The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.”
    -John Adams

    “In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.”
    -James Madison

    “Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private schools, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and the state forever separated.”
    -Ulysses S. Grant

    “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.”
    -Susan B. Anthony

    “It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”
    -Mark Twain

    “No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means.”
    -George Bernard Shaw

    “The world holds two classes of men - intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.”
    -Abu Ala Al-Ma’arri

    “Whatever we cannot easily understand we call god; this saves much wear and tear on the brain tissues.”
    -Edward Abbey

    “If it turns out that there is a God, I don’t think that he’s evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever.”
    -Woody Allen

    “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”
    ― Christopher Hitchens


    Again, Ken Reid is quoted, not in The Washington Post, calling for the removal of Christian symbols in the courthouse grounds.  What a jerk!


    An Enlighted Being:

    And I can’t fathom your God because everything I’ve stated contridicts what I know of your God, from the bible.  If you believe the bible, the earth is ~6,500 years old and there was Adam and Eve, and then that guy with the ark, and so many other things I just could never believe happened just on faith.  And if one thing is wrong in the bible, and it claims to be written by God, then why not everything else?  Unlike science where something can be wrong and later corrected, if God wrote it, it should be right the first time. We’re humans, we will make mistakes, but God should be 100% on the ball. Too much of the bible has to be ignored or interpreted in wierd ways for me to believe any of it.

    I am thankful that we were able to have a somewhat thoughtful and respectable discussion amongst the hate around here. And although I think you’re wrong, I’m happy having you as a neighbor. Most atheists typically do not hate religion and are tolerate of others beliefs.  I hope people realize that in the middle of all this name calling by a select few.


    Dan - Sorry, I just can’t fathom the complexities of Humans or even the Natural Selection without a God, even given your explanations, cuz I believe all of that happens because our God made it so. Our main difference in understanding is where it started, you think at the cellular level & I don’t.  I’ll stop fun’n with ya. It’s been fun.

    Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to you and your Family


    @An Enlighted Being

    I’ve attempted rational discussion and honest logic with you.  It’s clear that you are unwilling to consider other possibilities than God. 

    I wish you and your family a Happy Festivus.


    I’m hurt that you care so little about my germs and offspring.  It’s difficult to have an intelligent conversation when you diss my family in such a way.


    @An Enlighted Being

    The fact the germs were emitted from you does not mean they shared your DNA or are your offspring.  I don’t understand this line of questioning or your point regarding it.  Please explain how this is related to our conversation and I will be happy to try and respond in a manner that will address your questions or concerns.

    As to why we evolved in Africa, Asia or Europe, it’s because that’s were it happened…  Making the reasonable conclusion that we did evolve, it had to happen somewhere, why not there?  Where it started is really not important to the discussion.  If it started in South America, my points would be just as valid.  Again, if you explain why this line of questioning is important to the converstation, I will attempt to answer it in a manner that better addresses your question or concern.


    I think I ate Pangaea once and am pretty sure I didn’t like it.  Though my 1st statement could be taken as a joke, it’s very valid - my germs, my DNA, etc. thrown out with the trash, taken to the incinerator never to enjoy life again.  Why did they start in Europe 1st and not the other way around?  Why’d we have to wait for Leif & Chris?


    An Enlightened Being:

    I’ll take your first comment as the joke I assume it was intended to be.  As for why Asia and Europe were settled first (and it’s been a long time since I looked into this), I would assume that’s were humans evolved first.  Then, from that location they traveled via the ice bridge during the ice age to north america and down through the americas.

    Have you ever heard of Pangaea?


    I touched or possibly sneezed on the object in the frig, so yes it could be my descendant.  As for how old the earth is, I haven’t the foggiest, heck it could be 10,000 billion years.  If you’re married, it could certainly feel like 10,000 billion years.  As for the antibiotics and germs, don’t you think God had a hand in that & gave us the ability to discover them?  Why has Asia & Europe been settled & developed long before North & South America.  Why did Natural Selection move faster there?  Answer me that oh learned one.


    @An Enlighted Being:

    No, a great grandchild would be directly disendent from you.  Instead, bacteria is from a historic ancestor from billions of years ago, from which you evolved.  Billions of years ago is a long time. 

    I may assume too much here, do you believe the earth is less than 10,000 years old, or do you believe the earth is ~4.5 billion years old?  If you believe it’s ~4.5 billion years old and life has been around for over 2 billion years, then you have to admit that’s a very long time (4,500 million years and >2,000 million years) for things to evolve.  If you believe the earth is less than 10,000 years old, there’s no way I can have a real discussion with you, because as much data as there is supporting evolution, there’s a lot more of it supporting the age of the earth (at least being >10,000 years old).

    I’d further like to point out, that if science were to listen to religion, and simply stop looking into natural selection and evolution, we would never have figured out what was going on with antibiotics and germs.  This information has saved thousands of lives already.  Would you prefer that we simply turn a blind eye to this information at this point?  I understand you wish to defend your faith, but you do it at a cost to our society.


    Blaspheme is not a crime in America because we are a secular government. The founders set it up that way for a reason, their fathers came here to escape that sort of persecution. You clearly have no grasp on the founders thoughts on religious freedom.

    The cowards who tore this down are petty criminals and poor Americans.


    Why was this guys application even reviewed?  Why didn’t he try to pull this crap at the Fauquier courthouse?  Maybe that BoS actually uses their heads for more than a place to put their hair pieces.  He doesn’t reside in Leesburg, let alone Loudoun County…that’s OUR courthouse, the residents of Leesburg and Loudoun County.  He doesn’t deserve to have his “display” on our courthouse lawn.  Pay your town and county taxes like the rest of us then come talk to me Mr. Heflin.


    So now I’m to understand that every time I clean out the refrigerator, I’m performing an abortion of a potential great grandchild.  How sad.


    Anyone who thinks these men, these presidents, would support tar and feathering a man for disagreeing with God or Christians clearly knows nothing about the men who founded this nation

    @fedupdude, how can you view this display simply as Mr. Helfin “disagreeing” with God or christians?  He can disagree all he wants until the cows come home, but to sit back in your leather chair and allow this man chastise an entire religion is blasphemous.  So to those who have stepped up and actually done something, we thank you.  I would have no problem whatsoever if he wanted to put up some kind of display portraying “Atheist” views, but it’s not that.  It’s CRUCIFIED SANTA!  He is clearly insulting an entire group of people, and deserves every bit of reprecussion, constitutional or not.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m an agnostic?  I take little bits of all religions and follow what I choose.  I was raised Roman Catholic until a priest at my church was indicted on child pornography charges, just 7/8mi away from the courthouse.  I beleive everyone should have the right to practice their religion freely, whatever that may be.  But you need to open your eyes if you can’t see how his display would be offensive.


    @Dave:  I respect our founding fathers greatly, but they were not perfect.  It does not matter if they believed in a god or not.  I’m sure they believed in things you would find repulsive yourself, such as slavery.  The fact of the matter is we have a constitution, and it provides rights (even if those rights are against the beliefs of the founder fathers - see slavery if you need another example).  We as Americans take these rights very seriously.  I personnally take these rights more seriously than any possible belief of our founding fathers.  Their beliefs are of no matter to this discussion.


    You can actual see evolution happen in real time with bacteria.  If you take an agar plate and populate it with bacteria, you will grow a population of bacteria.  There will be genetic variation within this popultion.  Then you can take some of them and put them on a new agar plate with slightly higher levels of salinity. 
    The bacteria that have the genetic variation that make them sensitive to higher salinity will not populate the agar plate.  Then you take some of the ones that did grow, and put them onto another agar plate with even higher levels of salinity, only the bacteria with traits that make them resistent to high salinity will grow, but even among these bacteria there will be genetic variations for sensitivity to salinity.  You can keep increasing the salinity of the agar until you have a population of baceria very resistent to salinity, well at least as resistent as the genetic variation will allow (at some point genetic variation will be taxed, not to say that if you kept this up for years and years you couldn’t get it to go higher again).

    This by the way, is exactly what is happening to germs and antibiotics, and why we’re starting to see germs that are resistent to antibiotics.  This is why you are suppose to finish all your pills, cause if you don’t, you may leave some of the bacteria that’s slightly resistent to the antibiotic.  That population will grow, and due to genetic variation, slightly more resistent bacteria will be in that population, and they cycle continues…


    Dave; Clearly you know nothing of Tomas Jefferson’s writing on religion or how Washington wrote a letter expressing regret to a synagogue for attacks made on them by Christians.

    Anyone who thinks these men, these presidents, would support tar and feathering a man for disagreeing with God or Christians clearly knows nothing about the men who founded this nation.


    @An Enlightened Being:  I’m not sure what your comments means exactly, but I assume your intent was not to be taken too seriously.  However, if you’re refering to the fact that you have a common ancestor with a fish or a frog, and you don’t understand why you don’t retain an instict to protect fish or frogs, it’s simply explained that somewhere down the line of natural selection after species diverged, it became more helpful toward survival (and therefor reproduction) for our ancestor species to drop this trait (if it even existed at that point in time).  This would make sense since those that take advantage of eating fish and frogs would have a better chance of survival.  We would only have the need to protect fish and frogs if it benefited the species. 

    Life started at least 2 billion years ago, so even at conservative estimates (life is likely to be closer to 2.5 billion years old, and even older by some estimates) there’s a lot of time for the little changes directed by natural selection to allow species to evolve into completely different species.  Just imagine two populations of the same species seperated by a river.  Over time they would evolve differently based on their environment and the mutations that developed on their side of the river.  After millions and millions of years, these populations may look and act entirely different, to the point where they can no longer reproduce with each other.  Now you have two species from one.


    @fedupdude, do you really know them?  Did you sit behind TJ in the 2nd grade?  Ben Franklin take your sister’s virginity?  Really?  How well do you know them?  I’m not referring to a high school text book, I’m referring to an ACTUAL history book where the government hasn’t removed all of the juicy bits just because they disagreed.  How aware are you of the fact that all of our founding fathers liked to get down on the wacky weed?  You probably wouldn’t know because “certain” people don’t want you to know.


    Dave if you really think that then you have no idea who the founders really were.


    It’s funny how the news reports that Dec. 5 as being the first day the “display” was put up and subsquently “vandalized”.  I was leaving Payne’s (Downtown Saloon for all you newcomers) late on Dec. 3 and witnessed the “display” in question being “taken care of”.  This is absolutely ludicrous.  Why don’t they hang the Prophet Mohammed in skeleton form out in front of the courthouse and see where that gets them.  Talk about a religious WAR…why are residents of other counties allowed to even submit applications? 
    @feedupdude, with regards to your comment about the “unconstitutionality” of removing this obsurd display, and “what would our forefathers think?” Really dude?  Think long and hard about that…they’d string that Heflin jack@ss up in front of the courthouse for everyone to see until his feet stopped kicking.  Why don’t we take a page straight out of history and take care of the issue once and for all.


    So this explains why get such fatherly & nurturing emotions every time I see a fish or a frog - they are actually my cousins.  And to think I actually ate a cousin last Friday.  I better not believe in God, cuz I’ll go to hell for cannibalism.


    @Shawn in Leesburg:  I’m not sure about the intent of your comment to me.  But my understanding is that natural selection and evolution were first thought of by Darwin back in the 1830’s, published in the 1850’s, and accepted as fact by the scientific community by the 1870’s (you’ve got to love wikipedia).  This all did occur within the last 200 years, and I do agree that in 200 more years our understanding of the natural world and the implications of natural selection will be significantly better.  I assume the mounting evidence and new information will eventually answer many of the questions, and denying evolution and natural selection will no longer be considered rational on any level (although for those with an understanding now, it already seems rational). 

    I had never heard evolution attributed to a greek philosopher smoking something. I assume this is a joke?  If not, I’m curious to learn more about this philosoper.


    Guy Fawkes is right.  Europe has moved past this nonsense and focuses on being a better society.  Look at the recent “best places to live” study.  America was 10th.

    Frankly, the current declining trend in “religious” Americans can’t come soon enough.  Our country continues to fall behind on math and science education, while people around here spend tens of thousands of dollars to send thier children to Liberty “University”. 

    Hear that?  It is Europe and Asia laughing at us as thier educated populations supplant us as a world leader.  Hope your four years learning about Jesus on a dinosaur in “biology” was worth it.


    @Rick Astley: You’re not the guy who’s got a Dalek on his front lawn, are you? :-)

    @Dan: I don’t know if God used evolution to further His ends. The best evidence available to us indicates that’s the case—but 200 years ago we had no earthly idea what evolution was; I think some random Greek philosopher threw it out as an idea while he was smoking some of that Delphi oracular smoke. We are indeed standing on the shoulders of giants with regard to our scientific knowledge; in 200 years what we know will make us—right now—seem like children.

    @Guy Fawkes: For some reason I fear we will suffer the fate of Jamaica in the late 1970s or worse yet, the American experiment will suffer the same fate as the Second Spanish Republic.


    I have heard told that this “democracy” is an experiment.  That makes it seem fragile in those terms.  I am thankful for the existing framework for political debate.  However, I hope we don’t devolve into a civil war.  When I read English history of the later centuries, I wonder if parallel battle lines are being formed.  I hope not.  Just in case I am looking at Northern European real estate.  They seem to be the most level headed in terms of economic, social and religious piety.


    There is a genuine fear among the right, the evangelical.  Their one world view is increasingly coming into conflict with our pluralist society.  They are wrong if they believe we live in a theocracy.  Fortunately, the founding fathers were a collection of Christians, Deist, Agnostics and Atheists.  Well read men—and dare I say women behind the curtain of history—who had a sense of the evils of religion and knew that a recognition of free opinion was a greater principle.  To have codified our government otherwise, would have been an impossibility at that time.  Thank your notion of God that we are who we are because of an enlightened few.


    There is no middle ground in the battle of science and religion.

    We’ll see which philosophy wins in the end: a western-europe view of the world or a religious latin-americanesque perspective.

    My hope is that religiosity is bound to subside with higher education levels and income.


    Argh, this drives my crazy…

    @ An Enlightened Being, if you agree with what I wrote earlier (and you said you did), you agree with natural selection.  What I wrote was a discription of natural selection.  I understand that you might not believe it can get you from A (ape)to Z (human), but you apparently do believe in natural selection to some extent.  It’s no more complicated than I laid out.  It’s implications are complex, but it is not.


    Natural selection is a joke. God created man. Can’t you read?

    Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

    So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;male and female he created them.

    Sirs, perhaps there are those among you who believe you are descended from a ape. I suppose there may even be those among you who believe that I am descended from a ape. But I challenge the man to step forward who believes that General
    Robert E. Lee is descended from an ape.
    -Major General George E. Pickett


    “Natural selection the most profound idea in the history on humans.

    It’s simple, beautiful, and elegant whole explaining perfectly how species evolved.

    Yet, many religious people deny this concept, simply due to the influence of a middle-eastern book written by bronze-age Jewish rabbis, living in one of the most dirty regions of the world.” However, these same religious people have a clear conscience, not to mention a spotlessly clean mind, after multiple centuries of brainwashing.


    Natural selection the most profound idea in the history on humans.

    It’s simple, beautiful, and elegant whole explaining perfectly how species evolved.

    Yet, many religious people deny this concept, simply due to the influence of a middle-eastern book written by bronze-age Jewish rabbis, living in one of the most dirty regions of the world.


    Mr Heflin’s display makes a valid point regardless of religious beliefs or not. And a here’s little history lesson; Christmas was created by the catholic church to help sway pagans over to the catholic/christian religions, by creating a figure (idol) to believe in. While I’m christian myself I don’t find this display offensive in anyway. Yes this country found founded with “christian principals”. It was also founded with the idea of religous tolerence. What our forefathers meant by separation of church and state is that no religion shall control our goverment. Unlike the catholic church did and in some ways still does in europe and other places throughout the world. Lastly the word GOD doesn’t refer to just the christian religion but rather a higher being, or a common interest/ belief that brought people together. To often is GOD thought of to be “christian”. It’s just a generic term.


    @An Enlighted Being

    I appreciate you letting me know upfront. It’s not that you wanted you to believe (I have no problem with you believing in God), but you would know that atheists have sound reasoning behind our lack of belief, and God is not the most likely answer for your questions. 

    It drives me crazy how people just don’t even understand the very basics of evolution, but slam it left and right.  The basics are so simple, and impossible to deny.  Most people have a completely inaccurate idea of what evolution is and use that inaccurate idea to denounce it.  Just two months ago I was on a plane and the guy next to me asked what I did.  I told him I was a biologist.  He told me he used to teach evolution.  I thought, “awesome, I might learn something from this guy”.  Turns out he tried to convert me the entire 6 hour flight citing what he thought were flaws in the “theory” (not to mention the watchmakers arguement, and Rev. Matt Slick’s TAG arguement).  He didn’t seem to understand the basics that they teach in biology 101 regarding evolution, yet he claims to have taught it…  I wonder how much misinformation that guy has spread around the world?


    Maybe Jesus on the dinosaur took the blasphemous Santa!


    At least with all the washing, it’s a squeaky clean brain.


    @ Enlightened

    That’s what years of brainwashing does to a brain.

    So sad.


    @Dan - Thanks for the offer, but you’d just be wasting your time.  There is no way you could convince me that the complex living human is just a product of millions of years of gene mutation.  Sorry.


    @An Enlighted Being

    I understand your hesitation at this point.  It’s complex and can not be explained in a few minutes in this comments section.  I’ll try to write a little more when I have a chance, but it’ll basically take a ton of time and back and forth discussion (which is why you have not received a sufficent answer at this point) and I’ll probably have to brush up on a few things myself to make sure my explaination is correct and sufficent.  It took me five years of science classes to learn what little I do know, and I’m in no way an expert.  Eventually I’ll have to refer you to books that describe these things better than I can, but I can get you started in the explination so you at least know that there is one. 

    For right now, if you understand that there is variation in traits, and the natural selection of traits can make them more popular in the population, you’re off to a good start.  This understanding will be the foundation for emotions and other social behavior.  I just hope you can deal with my really bad spelling (how could I forget how to spell traits?)...

    If for some reason I let you down and do not have time to get back on here, a good book to read that might answer some of your questions is, “The Selfish Gene”.  It’s not perfect (I think science has advanced since it was written), but it will get you to a basic understanding of what I believe.  I’m not sure I agree with everything in that book (I’m sure there are things in it we know are not true anymore), but it’s not a bad place to start.


    Would the Christians object to a silver-painted Christmas Robot on the lawn?

    He’ll throw in a gratuitous Tebowing!vvvvvrew vvvrew!


    Are the defenders of the faith *REALLY* using the rent-a-mobs who freaked out over the Bomb Head Mohammad cartoons as role models?

    Do they really think that if they don’t properly freak out over some sophomoric stunt, that God might disappear in a manner akin to Tinkerbell?

    God is great no matter what the Board of Supervisors does. If the first 10 people to sign up next year are devotees of the Noodly Appendage, then you know what? God is still great.

    Now, if any of these jokers proposes actually shutting down churches, or somehow abridging the freedom to worship as we see fit, then it’s time to go to the trenches.

    But this?

    It’s peanuts.


    People should be pretty angry if they realized about 85% of the US population (nominally) believes in middle-eastern, bronze-age myth as being “true”.

    They actually believe that humans are so special, the creator of the universe practiced human sacrifice on his son (even a more perverted story than god getting Abraham ready to sacrifice his son).

    They actually believe that can use telepathy to communicate with deities.

    They actually worship a disgusting, genocidal, middle-eastern god.

    How can anyone not feel extremely disappointed (if not angry) that 85% of the US population is nominally brainwashed?


    @Dan - I agree with everything you say.  The difference is where did it all start, how did we acquire our conscience?  I don’t believe we evolved from apes, let alone an amoeba or a small creature that crawled onto land from the sea after a Big Bang (though I do like the show).


    @An Enlighted Being:

    Do you not agree that there’s genetic variation in the human population? 

    Do you not agree that some genetic variations give some people certain advantages in life that might lead to increased ability or opportunities to have children?  Those same genetic variations will be passed down to the children, and those children’s children.  Thus, over millions of years, those genetics will become more common in the population.  This is happening on the scale of multiple genetic trates at any one time. 

    New genetic trates may arise over time due to mutation.  Most of these will not have a positive impact on the individual and will not impact the population.  A very very small percentage of these mutations will provide a benefit to the individual (like make them smarter, or stronger, or more socially capable, or more resistent to germs, or whatever).  Then the cycle starts again for this one genetic trate, and if it has a positive impact on the individuals reproductive success, then it is likely to be come more popular in the population over time.

    This cycles goes on and on for millions of years, never stoping.  However, if the environment changes, the trates that benefit individuals may change, thus evolution is never a strait line to a single perfect goal.  This is why you have periods of faster evolution during periods of enviromental changes in this fossil records.

    If that makes sense to you, than now you believe in evolution.  That’s a starting point to answering your questions, but there’s a lot more that I’m not about to start typing up, but you need to understand the basics before you can work up to understanding emotions and such.  Maybe I’ll explain the next step this evening.


    I have plenty of skeleton heads from my Halloween display, but someone has that covered.


    Wouldn’t it be great if we could find the skeleton Santa head and use that!


    Dude Jesus riding a dinosaur would be great, I was also thinking of the almighty banjo. Maybe I will sign up for a display next year and do a cut out of Jesus on the dinosaur wearing a Santa hat.


    Can we get a display of Jesus riding a dinosaur next year?


    Tony - You got it backwards - the non-believers were the winners (me) and the believers were the losers (again Kenneth).  I’m not whining about being called names (doesn’t bother me). And “Mutants” was the only name I’ve used, but did so in reference to your (again, general Atheist) definition of how we evolved (through scientific mutation).  I confess I did call Kenneth the missing Santa Skeleton talking head.  If you take offense, I apologize and won’t mention it again.


    Well Enlightened one, the only one I see here that can be compared to Kenneth’s small-minded insults is the one who called non-believers Losers and Mutants…that would be you.  Don’t whine about being called names when you do it yourself.


    Kenneth stated: “Only an gullible brainwashed moron would think the creator of the universe gave these emotions as a gift, because humans were created in tgod’s image.”

    It’s not that I don’t understand or comprehend what you (limited intelligence that God fearing people have), I just don’t buy it.  Sorry.

    As far as “Mutants” - You (the general Atheist) stated that we evolved from a lesser creature (our genes mutated through time).  This was your (again general Atheist) scientific proof of where we came from.


    @Enlightened Being:
    It is not that atheist have not answered you, it is that you either do not want to read and understand or you are not capable.  I saw several responses to you including my own and none called you a moron or any other name, yet you chose to read into the responses as insults and turn around and call us “mutants”.  Try opening your mind a bit and listening without feeling threatened by those that don’t see things your way, maybe that will help you the hear what is being said. 
    It is obviously difficult for you to imagine people not needing religious fear and rewards in order to be decent people but humans really are capable of love, respect and morals without needing a promise of rewards in heaven or a threat of burning in hell.  If that is what you need to be a decent person, I respect that but don’t call me a mutant or any other name just because I do not need those things to be a good person.  I would imagine a God that created us would respect those that live a good life for completely unselfish reasons, why do you feel threatened by us?  Like someone already said, there are plenty of people in prisons who consider themselves part of one of many moral religions. 
    Our “foundation” is the simple fact that we are human beings capable of giving and receiving love most of us being born with a conscience, a sense of reasoning and the need to give and receive love.  If you can’t accomplish that without a promise of reward or threat of burning misery then I respect that, you should stick with your religious beliefs and respect others.


    Don’t you mean the 10 Suggestions?


    Even if you beleive in a God An Enlightened Being points out he gives us free will so he does not set morality for man. Our morality is far more evolved than the 10 commandments.


    I should say more enlightened because we still fail on so many levels. The religious rights refusal to allow gays to marry being a prime example.


    Actually, God gave man free will & they made the most of it, even let them be Atheist.


    Morality does not come from God it comes common decency and culture. Our religious dominated past was filled with what we modern people call immoral behavior. Slavery, legal rape, oppression of women, suppression on minority rights. If God not man set these standards then we would have been enlightened from the start.


    Dear Atheist:  You still haven’t stated where your compassion, emotions, nurturing instinct or your beliefs in right or wrong come from.  See you do have beliefs, just no foundation of what they are based on other then “we learned them over time and gene mutation.”  Actually, what you are saying is that all Atheist are Mutants and anyone that believes in God are Morons - tough choice “Moron or Mutant?”.


    Jesus was not nailed on a cross like we think of it, the Romans tied people to a pole or an X shaped “cross” not a T shaped one like religious iconography that came hundreds of years after his death indicates.


    I’m not sure what you are trying to get at. I’m assuming you believe the Red Cross is somehow a christian organization because it uses a cross(it is not)? Crosses were around way before Jesus was nailed to one. Christianity does not have a trademark on those.

    Or are you implying that only christians can help people who are down on their luck?


    Hey Hypocrite… Remember to swallow on that day when you have lost everything and any number of churches are there with clothes and food. Oh that’s right, you are heading over to the dead cross and secular army for help.

      Now I get your name…


    I liked it better when Barbara Munsey was ranting about the threat of the PEC and how we all needed to learn to love the freedom from elites that the development of rows and rows of houses would bring.  Her boosterism for development got her nominated to the Planning Commission by Steve Snow (aren’t you glad you haven’t heard that name in a while?).  As I sit in traffic on Route 50 each weekday morning, I think about how much we owe those two….

    I hope her multiple comments in this thread don’t mean she’s planning the future for religion in Loudoun County.


    You people can quote the, so called word of God, all you desire.  The enlightened little secret is that the Bible is simply the word of humanity contemplating its existence—just as the Koran or any other scriptures form the centrum of individual religious contemplation regarding our collective existence.  These books—these words—are all mirrors.  As such, they are written by the angry, the conflicted—the insightful.  Religion in general teaches ideals for humanity as it struggles with life.  Organized religion is divisive and undermines universal truths common among us all.  If you could open your hearts and minds, you would see that.  Unfortunately, so many miss the entire message.  They believe they will be forgiven for their hatred and intolerance.  Forgiveness is a recognition of our humanity yet it also seems to only perpetuate our sins.  Just question all you read and treat people with decency and respect.

    Perhaps, a little less hypocrisy and a little more tolerance would go a long way right now.

    I increasingly believe that this Country could devolve into unrest based on class, politics and religious ideals.  Hard times tend to create such unrest.  The ignorant turn to superstition and the so called enlightened argue over principle.  The rhythm of human history marches ashamedly on its way.  Thank goodness, so far, we have a Constitution that recognizes and attempts to address, in a secular manner, the imperfections of us all.


    Was our country founded on christianity? Lets see what the founding fathers had to say:
    http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html


    “Religions are all alike - founded upon fables and mythologies.” - Thomas Jefferson

    “Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.” - Benjamin Franklin


    The “one nation under god” was not part of what our country was founded on. Our founding fathers were not all christians and did not want a christian nation or else there would be mention of it in our constitution. “One nation under god” was added to the pledge in 1954 during the red scare. Funny enough, the pledge was written by a socialist.


    Maybe we all need to take a trip to Who-ville and visit the who’s the big and the small the short and the tall…..lets follow the Grinch and sound our trumpets from the tallest peaks of Mt. Crumpet…..seriously people look at how commerical Christmas has become I mean they start selling now before Halloween….if everyone was doing their part then there would be no conflict and people would learn to accept others for who they are and what they do…...I think our Forefathers left something out of the Bill of Rights and that would be that we have the right to be offended its funny how we can argue a subject on one side but we can’t argue it the other way because it is “offensive” or is not politcally correct…...so maybe we all need to come to the realization of live and let live….believe dont believe….but who am I kidding this is Loudoun county and everybody here is OWED and is entitled to have it their way and to hell with everyone else…...

    with that being said people need to remember that this country is “one nation under God” and it was founded on those princples so if you offended get over it


    Atheists do not need the threat of eternal damnation to treat people well. Most of us believe in treating others as how we’d want to be treated. We go by societies standards of right and wrong. If you were to poll all the US prisons, you would find majority of the criminals there are christian and not atheist. Just because you believe in a some higher power doesn’t make you more moral or ethical than us.


    @Kenneth,

    As a fellow heathen, you are being a dick. You have some great points, but being an ass about it isn’t doing you(or us) any justice. You are only fueling the belief that atheists are angry because we have no god or whatever BS they believe. If you slow down and type a well though out response instead of calling them morons all the time, you might fare better and look less like a troll.


    @ An Enlightened Being:  With all due respect to your beliefs, as a civilized human being that was raised by nurturing parents I live a moral life because it is the right thing to do, it is that simple.  I do not do it because I feel threatened or fearful of a vengeful God punishing me and not because I expect some heavenly reward in the end.  Pretty simple and unlselfish, really.


    And probably only 2-4% of the global population have advanced degrees.

    And even less work in fields even remotely scientific.

    The 2-4% of the population that you cite is the intellectual elite.


    The 2011 World population is 7 billion and according to Wiki 2-4% are Atheists and all the others believe in some sort of God.  This means there are 150-300 million Atheist and according to Kenneth are winners (like Charlie Sheen) and all the others (6.7 billion) are losers.


    actually not, fedupdude.

    The suggested “compromise” promoted by some of the activists supporting the in-your-face displays, and opposed to any religious displays, is a “simple tree”.

    That excludes some, but it’s supposedly what some of the activist atheists will accept for now, apparently because it would accomplish the primary goal (for some) of excluding specific religious speech.

    I think all should be allowed, but I think a bit tighter policy would benefit:  make sure they are limited to county groups/residents; require a rendering of the proposed display, so no surprise death’s heads magically unmentioned in the paperwork; limit on the number of spaces to be granted to any one group, and so on.


    Religious person: I’m special and god loves me.

    Non-religious person: Actually, you aren’t very special and there is no evidence of this deity. As a matter of fact, you’re a loser for believing that garbage in the first place.


    The talking skeleton head speaks and this moron still cannot understand from whence you came & why!  Where does this need to be social and thrive as a colony come from? Where did you get your instinct (how did it evolve, what created your gene map - natural selection)? If you do not believe in anything but yourselves, why would you care about others?  What makes you different than any other animal or bug?


    If a true Atheist believes these things, then where do they get their moral compass, compassion, nurturing ability or give them any reason not to take what they want not just need??

    ——————————————————

    These morals evolved over millenia through being a social animal. Example: compassion allowed our species to better thrive as a group and to pass down genes, hence compassion became an emotion.

    Only an gullible brainwashed moron would think the creator of the universe gave these emotions as a gift, because humans were created in tgod’s image.


    If a true Atheist believes these things, then where do they get their moral compass, compassion, nurturing ability or give them any reason not to take what they want not just need??


    Atheists have ideals.  I would say they are more individualized than you would find in a given religious group.  I did use the word in my last post but I waned to get the definition.
    1. a conception of something in its perfection.
    2. a standard of perfection or excellence.
    3.a person or thing conceived as embodying such a conception or conforming to such a standard, and taken as a model for imitation: Thomas Jefferson was his ideal.
    4.an ultimate object or aim of endeavor, especially one of high or noble character: He refuses to compromise any of his ideals.
    5.something that exists only in the imagination: To achieve the ideal is almost hopeless.

    I myself have ideals which meet at least three or four of the definitions.  All based on real life things and people not deities.


    Since you bring up Atheist ideals, I’d be curious to know what they are.  I can’t imagine they’d have any or need them.


    Frank C and I finally agree on something.  The
    “You can take your prayers and shove them up your mom’s gaping ass.” comment was way out of line.  Not at all in line with Atheist ideals.


    From Kenneth @ 2:32pm:

    “Ps- You can take your prayers and shove them up your mom’s gaping ass.”

    ==========================================

    This quote is PRECISELY why so many Christians find the Santa display objectionable. Notwithstanding the argument of free speech, this display is nothing more than a mean-spirited attempt to mock Christians, despite the atheist call to treat all people with respect and use rationale thought.  You have proven that you are incapable of doing so, but God gives millions the grace and strength to do so.

    Checkmate.

    BTW, I am still praying for your soul.  Merry Christmas to all!


    Scientists have already proven life can be created where there is no life in a lab under the conditions earth formed in. They have also proven evolution in single celled organisms. What they have not proven is that man cam from monkey through evolution. Lets not mix up arguments here.


    @Frank Costanza -

    You said “I find it impossible to acknowledge points of view from people who believe that we evolved from some primordial organic soup.”

    Do you really find magical, invisible people more plausible?

    We have always made up gods to explain what we don’t understand.  Thor was the god of thunder, Dionysus was the roman harvest god, Shiva the Hindu destroyer, Theton’s the Scientology gods that make you sad, Jesus gives life ever lasting.  We could go on and on.  The reality is your superstitions are rapidly being replaced with scientifically backed reason.
    Finding it impossible to acknowledge rational thinking is really quite pathetic.


    Kenneth needs to get back to work at his cashier job at 7 -11!


    Could it be that Kenneth is his own proof that scientist made life from scratch?  It would explain a lot.


    Eventually, scientists will likely be able to make life from scratch.

    Ps- You can take your prayers and shove them up your mom’s gaping ass.

    Happy Holidays.


    Kenneth @ 02:08 PM:

    I find it impossible to acknowledge points of view from people who believe that we evolved from some primordial organic soup.

    Look out for that lighting!  It may hit a rock and create a new life form. 

    Merry Christmas!  As always, praying for your soul.


    I just realized that Kenneth is the talking head of the Santa Skeleton.


    I also find it impossible to respect people who:

    - Believe in telepathy with dieties (prayer)     
    - Practice symbolic cannibalism on Sundays
    - Give priests divine power (and money)
    - Worship a genocidal god who practiced human sacrifice on his son.


    What’s a little “skeleton head” among friends? :)


    I don’t see why the views of people who believe things without having any evidence whatsoever (afterlife/heaven, deities, the supernatural) should be respected.


    @Kenneth - “And no, there is no reason in the universe to treat the mindless followers of any religion with an atom of respect.”

    Your hatred and intolerance toward your fellow man speaks volumes here with every new comment you post.

    What a truly sad life you must live.


    Joe Whitney wrote:

    > Today, some 1,000,000 Christians live in fear under the threat of persecution. 

    If people didn’t follow these idiotic Abrahamic religions, they wouldn’t have to fear persecution.

    > There’s a moral obligation to treat people with dignity and respect.

    This includes jihadists, Taliban-stoning women, evangelicals, catholic child molesting priests, etc? And no, there is no reason in the universe to treat the mindless followers of any religion with an atom of respect.


    All Rise.

    The Honorable Father Christmas is presiding.  He is as much a religious symbol as a cultural one.  You know him as your father’s father knows him.  For centuries he has been the embodiment of secular celebrations such as the Christmas tree, gift-giving and decorations. For Christians he is a call to Mass - Christ’s Mass - better known as Christmas, the birth day of Jesus, the Lord and Savior.  Father Christmas is known as a deliverer of gifts for children.  But he is a deliverer of good news and cheer for all.  His message is one of peace and goodwill for the Jew, the Muslim, the Atheist and the non-believer alike.  For this he is beloved by billions of people around the world.  He is not a prophet to be persecuted. 

    Father Christmas was born long after the fall of the Roman Empire and long before the establishment and steady rise of Loudoun County; a community rich with opportunity, vast resources, and considerable wealth - an ideal place to live for many.  The Romans were unabashed persecutors of any religion that interfered with their pagan beliefs and rituals.  Since many Christians lived in land controlled by the Romans, they were often targets of Roman reprisals.  Rome was not an ideal place to live if you were a Christian.  Loudoun County is home to many Religions.  It’s citizens are guaranteed, under the Constitution, accommodation (not merely tolerance) of all religions and forbid hostility toward any.  Today, some 1,000,000 Christians live in fear under the threat of persecution.  A recent study, cited by the Vatican, reported that 75 out of every 100 people killed due to religious hatred are Christian.  If there is religious persecution in Loudoun, it is not on display at the Leesburg County Courthouse grounds nor in this Paper’s editorials. 

    Father Christmas does not concern himself with the nuanced arguments of the Separation of Church and State, the First Amendment, or municipal codes.  No his goals are uncomplicated.  He wants us to agree that there’s a moral obligation to treat people with dignity and respect, and to help those in need. 

    You may now be seated.


    Posted at NBC News 4 (Washington, DC)—-On behalf of those residents in Loudon County, VA having no income or savings, and who are therefore impoverished as well as disenfranchised (having no right to vote): We, the lovers of Santa Claus, insist that you respect our integrity as those with responsibility to live, learn and love within this community. We are offended, and shamed by the lack of generosity and understanding being demonstrated in our home.  While it may be the “faith” of many to deny children harmless fantasies and experience for growing up (just as many demand a right to strap on explosives as “suicide” murderers), we have proven over the course of years, that belief is Santa Claus does not divide communities, except where malice and selfishness prevail.  Michael Andrew Williams (Washington, DC)


    At least we still teach kids to say, “one nation under God” in school everyday.

    -Rose Pedals
    ..............................................

    Thanks to a 1950’s McCarthy-era congress (that inserted those words) in the Pledge.

    Yay!


    Rose Pedals - For now, that will go away soon enough and then God on money. It will take time but it will happen.

    Tony - The three nutty atheists here do no represent all of atheist either. Most of us don’t care about what you beleive and do not think people are stupid for being religious. However most do support the full secularization of government.


    Loudoun County Mayberry RFD should be arresting the freaks that are putting skeletons in a Christmas display!  Who does that?  I wish I was proud enough to say I took the head!  Did not know it was there or I would have!
    Are we gonna be burning a cross for the KKK members soon?


    Barbara Munsey 0 You are mixing up two issues here. Free speech would not end if there was no display on government grounds, you are still free to display it on private property including your home or religious center.

    Free speech/separation of church and state is only violated when one group is allowed to display on government grounds and another is not allowed. This is why we now have flying spaghetti monsters, skeleton Santa, ect.

    So this is the result and the Christians will have to learn to live with it because as much as they refuse to give up people on the other side are not going to give up.


    I just want to say that just as not all Christians are the crazy trouble-making self centered, judgemental people that athiest like to attack and paint a broad brush over, Those of us that are non-believers (I hestitate to call myself an athiest because as you see here, many of them are pretty nutty), but not all non-believers spend so much time pretending to be victimized and insulted and somehow robbed of my rights simply because I must tolerate those that do believe.

    I believe in live and let live and that serves me well. What is even more perplexing to me than those who believe some of the scientifically impossible things from the bible are those that spend so much time, energy and hatred trying to hurt and insult those that believe.  You don’t believe, so what??? A Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddist or any other display from a legitimate group that is not directly attacking you or or another legitimate group in any REAL or obvious manner should not be considered a violation unless you are a whiney, miserable POS who allows themself to be offended for attention purposes only.  Get a life!


    At least we still teach kids to say, “one nation under God” in school everyday.


    Identity Revealed wrote:

    Jesus is my REDEEMER & BFF! Peace & Joy to all. <3

    ————————————————

    Jesus is your boyfriend forever?

    Okay.


    Christmas is Christmas DAMMIT!  WTF is going on here????  Christmas is for KIDS!!!!!!!!!!!  Santa, reindeer, toys, elfs, presents, decorated trees, lights and stars and garland and glitter!  WHO THE HELL PUTS A FRIGGIN SKELETON UP AND ALLOWS ALL THIS RELEGION CRAP GOING ON HERE???????  Christmas folks, it’s for the kids.  Not for you sick twisted relegion controlling freaks!  Thank you whoever took the head….you forgot the body!


    get a clue, you’re forgetting that the creche obtained a court order to come back, and then the people who did it apparently reached out to others and invited them to join, which is how multiple groups came back via court order.  The grounds committee asked that nothing be allowed, on behalf of the trees, and many people petitioned to be allowed to continue to display.  The current policy is what was adopted, and it allows everyone.  I support that.  I find it unfortuante that those who want no religious display, in a misinterpretation of the first amendment, are apparently gaming the system to force a no-display policy.

    riddle me this, wrong.  I was responding to elderberry’s rant that there’s a creche there and nobody’s bothering it.

    There was a creche there for a long time before a few folks got their knickers in a twist, and decided to make sure it went away.

    Free speech is for everyone, yes.  Even the religious.


    Why do you feel it is your duty/right/responsibility to make them abandon their faith, blind or not?
    —————————————-

    1. Because the fables they believe are simply not true (or never happened).

    2. Religious people make the world a worse place. The areas where people are the least religious are the most stable and peaceful.

    3. The morality inherited from desert tribes from one of the most disgusting places on Earth, has no place in modern society.

    4. Its false comfort.

    5. Religion effects me directly through a congress that passes laws influenced by their religious heritage.


    Jesus is my REDEEMER & BFF! Peace & Joy to all. <3


    Why do you feel it is your duty/right/responsibility to make them abandon their faith, blind or not?


    I wonder how can one bring to reason someone who is stuck in pure faith ? When we discuss religion and faith with religious people, they eventually end up making arguments that are not logically right or that do not pass rational or scientific scrutiny (even if sometimes they seem rational).

    And then, they seem to block their mind, not allowing it to use the only tool we all have: reason.

    All my atheist arguments rely on reason and therefore can only be understood by reasonable persons. How can I use reason to convince someone who refuses to use reason? It seems to me that this cannot be the right way with such believers.

    I am afraid I have to use some other tool than logic and reason to make them abandon blind faith.


    Come on guys lets keep it civil.


    Religious people are a bane to the human race.


    @Jesus was a sodomite - Would you post that again, but write it slower, I had trouble understanding what you said.  Thanks


    B. Munsey’s comment seems to be saying it was all good when a nice little Christian display was put on the Courthouse lawn…just a peaceful little creche that didn’t hurt anyone.  Then the crazies got into it.

    My question: How was having a display from any single religion on government property ever appropriate?  Seems it would have to be either:  NO religious displays or ALL religious displays. 

    We now see how wacky the route to “ALL” is proving to be.  Why not simply note that having any display will (particularly in an area where people are willing to publicly fuss about their rights) always lead to this.  The initial display was a mistake. 

    For some reason that seems really hard for some people to understand.


    If Evangelicals and other hard-core Christians were raptured into heaven (or committed suicide en mass), the average IQ and average education levels in the US would rise considerably.

    ...and the US would be competitive again.


    @ UN-enlightened Being: ROFL at U & your mess. :)


    So it was by the luck of a mutated cell/gene that I’m a living, thinking human rather than a fish.  I can certainly fathom that.


    @Frank Costanza-

    I don’t know if lightning striking amino acids is what sparked life or not.  It is infinitely more rational to examine a mechanism based on chemistry and physics for the beginnings of life versus magic preformed by some person or creature in the sky.  That is the thinking of a superstitious child.


    Identity Revealed - Why don’t you go lie down in a green pasture?


    Psalm 37

     1 Do not fret because of those who are evil
       or be envious of those who do wrong;
    2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
       like green plants they will soon die away.

     3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
       dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
    4 Take delight in the LORD,
       and he will give you the desires of your heart.

     5 Commit your way to the LORD;
       trust in him and he will do this:
    6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
       your vindication like the noonday sun.

     7 Be still before the LORD
       and wait patiently for him;
    do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
       when they carry out their wicked schemes.

     8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
       do not fret—it leads only to evil.
    9 For those who are evil will be destroyed,
       but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

     10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
       though you look for them, they will not be found.
    11 But the meek will inherit the land
       and enjoy peace and prosperity.


    Oh and BTW solstice and yule are what Christians stole and turned into Christmas.


    Rose Pedals - I love reading paranoid crazy crap like that please keep posting I need a good laugh.


    when i was a kid, all there was in december was Christmas and Hanukkah. now it seems like every half wit has found a reason to proclaim their holiday in december. 

    Kwanza? WTF.. Are you kidding me?
    Solstice? Don’t worry, the sun will return.

    the problem we have in america is that we are losing our culture and the unifying things that bind us together which are being eroded by the hand of evil.


    Ah Barbara I see you forgot to mention it was able to return when all others got to have a display next to the Christian one, which is why you now have Santa skeleton.


    elderberry, you mean the creche that was quietly there for years, before it was banned, then received court permission to return because it too is free speech protected under the first amendment, and not any bogus government establishment of religion?

    That creche, that apparently did so much damage to untold quantities of suffering victims simply by existing, that it had to be removed, which started this whole long process that has the same goal in mind of preventing that portion of the first amendment which guarantees that no law shall be made banning the free exercise of religion?

    That one?

    Yes, some folks who are affirmed and validated by activism might benefit from some perspective.

    I’ve read some of the discussion on one of the atheist websites, where some members respectfully disagree that the kind of displays using the skeleton or mocking the beliefs of others are mean-spirited and perhaps ultimately counter productive.

    I agree with them.

    However, the head honcho, the fellow who writes so eloquently about the horrors of being subjected to the religious emanations of others (like second hand smoke, or a fart in an elevator—really, he says this.  I don’t know if it’s for the shock value or if he actually feels so assaulted by the very existence of differing views that he means it), seems to think that the “in-your-face” school of activism is the most effective, so that’s some of what we’re getting.

    The creche sitting there quietly has only ever been “in your face” to the professionally-offended activists, maybe?

    Who then up the ante.

    Everyone should just fold, and give them what they want, I guess.  That’s how you stop kids acting out, right?  I mean, what’s a little universal freedom of expression when we could have some generic “peace” through acquiescence, right?


    Where is the universal Holiday Tree I suggested with every organization with their owbn beliefs invited to hang their own specific ornament highlighting their message, skeleton Santa and all.  Come on, BofS, get with it and certainly make it happen next year.  I’ve got an ornament depicting the birth of the Big Rock in the Field I want to display.


    What is it people do not understand about this being about separation on church and state and not your religion. All people want is for the government to have secular displays.

    Religious displays should be at religious places and private homes and the government should stay out of it.

    You either have to give everyone a say or no one; Loudoun chose to let everyone get a say and so Christians you will just have to learn to live with it or move your display to private property.


    Unreal that my earlier comment got censored.

    Christians sure are an insecure bunch.


    Reality alert! Anyone remember the creche on the lawn? The creche? Quietly, without any notice or comment, the creche, yes, that one, THE CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS DISPLAY, the religious display that would be a natural target of any anti-Christians who wanted to wage war on that religion, that very creche has continued to sit on the courthouse lawn without ever being touched, dismantled, or defaced by anyone including the supposedly determined and allegedly brutal rampaging atheists.

    Got it yet? No one is bothering, assaulting or insulting the actual religious symbol!

    Wake up, will ya. It was a deliberately fictitious literary character that was depicted by the 15 year old and subsequently defaced by a vigilante.

    There was no war on Baby Jesus, God the Father or even the Holy Ghost. There was at worst a slightly immature attempt at a socioeconomic statement about the fat guy in the red suit. The Christians weren’t first in line when the spaces were given out. Whoops. Get over it.

    Seriously, now I have to ask, are some of you people telling me that you are deeply upset about what the 15 year old created because you really believe in SANTA CLAUS??????

    Or do you just think the Bill of Rights protects you but no one else?

    This has gone beyond insanity. It’s a parody of a bad joke that some of you are frothing at the mouth about religious persecution. The creche is still in pristine condition. This was about a stupid Santa Claus. The point is that the Santa Claus was legally permitted to be there, so whoever is doing the vandalism should be identified and that person or persons should be prosecuted. Period.

    Besides those of you who are trying to hide behind some supposed trauma to your kids, did you see Nightmare Before Christmas, because that must have had you out picketing with torches and pitchforks. Not to mention “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” how could your kids possibly survive the impact of that one.

    This place has clearly lost its mind. Next year please no more displays of any kind at the courthouse. Free speech must be way too complicated an idea for Loudoun to handle.


    Calling all hungry Christians: if you don’t do daily devotions already, sign up for them from RBC ministries & “Our Daily Bread”. How appropriate is finding the message below?!! Another example of how God “shows us the way” & how we see his love in our thoughts & actions. God Bless you my contingent of believers. We stand up for what’s right, but we are also kind & patient. :)


    Colossians 3:12-17
    New International Version (NIV)

     12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

     15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


    Maybe the people with ‘larceny’ in their heart can also carry off Tom “So what if I lied on my election finance forms” Dunn.  Maybe then the Town of Leesburg can sleep easier at night.


    if this circus on Loudoun’s County Seat is the way it is supposed to be; that is, there’s nothing kinda idiotic or embarrassing about it…why is that when I drove through Berryville the other day (County Seat for Clarke County) I didn’t see any political or religious or religious/political displays, signs or anything like the stuff we have here.

    Would you say we’re more sophisticated?  Maybe we’re a little weirder out here in the West….I mean, at one time or another we’ve had Lyndon LaRouche, Linda Chavez, Oliver North,  Mike Farris, Dick Black, and who knows who else out here…heck, Imelda Marcos once considered settling here.

    Maybe, like Orange County in California, we just attract odd people to Loudoun and we’ll always have this sort of insanity in the Western end of the county.


    Local churches put up creches, living nativity scenes within blocks of the courthouse - thanks for noticing.

    Real Truth - good observations - I’d add that we are not the judges of others’ or our own righteousness!


    All, It IS NOT a war on Christmas!  It is a war on intolerance. Some of us “enlightened” Christians celebrate in the good company of all. We also do so, above ALL else, in a Country that allows us to share the IDEAL of Christmas under the umbrella of our Constitution.  My fellow evans, relax! Practice your faith instead of politicizing it.  Frankly, I could read into the skeletal display that consumerism has caused the death of Santa.  Evans, go help a neighbor in need instead of pontificating righteous falsehoods.  The notion of God is found in good deeds not hatred.  Otherwise, shame on you!


    As Rick Perry says, you don’t have to say “Pew” every week to know something stinks around here..what the heck kind of county do we have if we can have gays like Grover Norquist blackmailing the GOP and yet we can’t put up a picture of the baby Jesus on the Court House lawn? 

    Come to think of it, wouldn’t it make more sense to put all these holiday displays in front of a bank (to celebrate the commercial, economy-boosting aspects) or have each religion put their display in front of their own house of worship?  Nah,  that wouldn’t tick anyone off and wouldn’t be much of a way to assert the primacy of one particular bunch of religious zealots.


    ENOUGH!!- Well, you just proved you’re not intelligent. Didn’t realize Loudoun cops had such a rage problem.


    muzzaplant- the courthouse does have cameras that capture the front lawn


    @Queen Victoria….WRONG!
    I have served two combat tours in Afghanistan…I came home after seeing many of my brothers die…I now serve as a police officer in Virginia.  I am Christian.  How dare you say go back to whatever non Christian state I am from.  You are the type of person that scares me.  I am all for religion.  Display what you will, say what you will.  You say “We the people own that courthouse.”  I for one would like to see the nativity on the courthouse lawn, but I also don’t want to see a depiction of Santa on a cross.  Put your Nativity on your lawn, or on your church lawn etc.  Funny you attack me…I am on your side on the overall arguement.  Had I not been a law enforcement officer, I would have gone to the courthouse and taken the display down myself.  Don’t miss the bigger point. 
    I was born and raised in Virginia and I am Christian…I just have a brain.
    It is not about “venon,” as some have posted.  It is about common sense, that unfortunately is not very common!!! The crazy posts on both side of this arguement scare me. What is our country coming to? There are bigger things to worry about.
    Merry Christmas every one!....If you were offended by that “Merry Christmas” comment, please disregard and pray to whatever God you are so inclined too.


    Well, finally, the biggest crime of the century right here in Loudoun.  It’s just a theft, maybe by a Christian and maybe teenagers looking for attention, who knows.  The question is why do people love inanimate objects and symbols?  Isn’t this like arguing over Alice in Wonderland or something?  What next, book burnings?  Shouldn’t you Christians be working on your hate lists for Christmas or something?  Why doesn’t the county put cameras up at the courthouse?  Then, maybe, we won’t be on the news for being complete idiots every Christmas.  Or, maybe we’re enjoying it.  Merry Christmas everybody!!  Thank you FeedUpDude!


    So much venom coming from the so-called Christians.  How long until these people take up arms and start a “crusade” (their term for “jihad”) against the people who don’t go to church enough or tithe enough?  People wonder why I own firearms, and my answer is right on these comment pages.  We all need to protect ourselves from these extremists in our midst, especially as the nation becomes more multi-cultural and less religious.  Clearly they feel threatened by something.


    @ENOUGH —Wrong!!!  We The People own that courthouse ground and We Say Yes to the displays.  Go back to whatever non-Christian state you came from. This is Virginia. Home of the Christian Fathers who created this nation.


    Christians, atheists, how about we just relax for a minute. Everyone take a big breath…, exhale…  Feeling better?  Great!  Now maybe we can quit with the insulting generalizations and name calling on both sides.

    I’m an atheist, I’ve got nothing against you as long as you obey the law and treat me with respect.  I’ll do the same towards you.  Awesome, now we’re friends!  Lets get coffee!


    Enough is enough.  No displays belong in the courthouse grounds…PERIOD!  Put them freely on your property.  We have made an a@@ of ourselves to many in the country.  I am a Christian and I am not offended by the display for religious or freedom of speech reasons.  I am angry because our children have to see it.  STOP ACTING LIKE A BUNCH OF KIDS…STOP PUSHING YOUR IDEALS.  Worship who you worship.  If you are an athiest, shut it and don’t celebrate Christmas and put your display on your property.  Last I checked, Santa is only asymbol and has nothing to do with Jesus, or your God.  I DON’T WANT TO TAKE MY KIDS TO THE “HOLIDAY” PARADE TO SEE A DEPICTION OF A SKELETONIZED SANTA ON A CROSS!!!  My precious kids, like all your precious kids, want to enjoy the holiday times.  THEY DON’T KNOW MALICE, HATE OR IN MANY OF YOUR CASES IGNORANCE!! GET OVER YOURSELVES!!
    And to the folks that put this up…GET A LEGITIMATE HOBBY.  Despite being Christian, I agree that nothing should be on the courthouse lawn.  But you are the one’s to have to ask yourself at night…What is my real motivation?  Why am I doing this? 
    Do you realize that if kids (our sweet innocent kids) see this that they may be actually upset.  Kids hold on to these images for a long time.  I can’t stand on the corner of King and Loudoun shouting obcenities or I would be charged with public curse and abuse and or disorderly conduct.  I would not be protected under freedom of speech.  SHAME ON YOU! 
    I am all for freedom of religion and freedom of speech.  THIS IS OUT OF CONTROL and all of you have lost sight of who may truly be harmed..OUR CHILDREN.


    @Rational thinking Adult -

    How rational is it to believe that a bolt of lightning struck some inorganic material and turned it into amino acid?  I would rather believe in God as the creator of life.

    Merry Christmas!! Praying for your soul. //<—Free speech.//


    The best CHRISTmas gift Dick Black and my other great Republican leaders could give us is a complete ban on the killing of the unborn.  Please pass the personhood bill as soon as possible and end the slaughter of our precious little ones.


    It is hard to believe people take their little imaginary friends like god and Jesus or Shiva and Vishnu or Scientology Thetons so seriously.  To face possible criminal charges because you felt someone insulted some silly magical, invisible person or creature you hold on to like a child holds a blankie is just stupid.  Grow up.  rational people give up the belief in magical people when they give up on Santa and the Tooth Fairy.


    Silent HAHHAAHAHAHAHA


    Bozo Tweaker, I am the me who lives in Loudoun, as facebook posts on my page would show.

    I have a pretty common name, and am not the prominent school official from the state of Maine either.

    The woman who is this young man’s mother has a fairly uncommon name, and also had multiple posts on her page about the displays she was involved in, as was her son, at the Leesburg courthouse.

    I can understand the atheist group’s desire to proselytise at this time of year, not only because of the intense spiritual and commercial focus on a variety of holy days and holidays, but because it can be a rough time for people too;  what better time to reach out?

    That said, if they are all about free speech and the first amendment, it doesn’t just apply to THEM.

    If they are seeking affirmation of their OWN beliefs, denigrating the beliefs of others does little to advance their position.

    They have the same right as anyone else to express their opinion, and to perhaps deliberately be so provocative that the only “solution” is NO free speech on public property, is no real solution, except maybe to those whose only goal all along was to limit the freedom of speech for those with whom they disagree—i.e. people who express religious faith.

    Those of faith have the same first amendment rights as the atheists do, and I don’t think EITHER has the right to not coexist with the other in the secular realm.


    Fed Up Dude - This isn’t all there is to it.  Christians are tired of being silent.  We know that if the shoe was on the other foot and someone tried to deface the Koran or the Menorah there would be hell to pay.  Whoever said this was a hate crime earlier is absolutely correct.  This is the time of year that Christians celebrate Christmas with the nativity.  It means a lot to us, and this is the only time of year that traditionally we put us the scene in the courthouse yard.  Are you threatened by that?  Has it ever jumped out and hurt you?  I think the County has been more than fair to you to let you put out your crazy displays all the other remaining months.  Generally people just go by and shake their heads and say “look what the crazy freaks have come up with now.”  However, we allow you to have your fun.  Why can’t you let us have ours?


    I have friends here in Leesburg who are many nationalities. Muslim, Hindu, Jewish & Catholic. They are all gentle & sweet folks. The are always respectful to me ( as well as loving). Truly, I don’t think that this is a problem for them. You don’t see them on here complaining one bit. They are not at the BOS crying about a Navity.


    Do you people not realize that Dick Black and his people are back in charge in Loudoun County?  Get ready for a steady stream of Christianist nonsense.  Mike Farris will soon be appointed the Holy Ruler of Loudoun County and will lead us to salvation!


    Oh please, removing religious displays from government grounds is not destroying Christmas. No one is stopping you from having the same display in front of your church or home and no one is stopping you from going to church.

    Stop trying to force your religion on everyone else. More than 30% of this nation is nonChristian.


    we need to put God and the bible back into K-12 schools. the absence of God in school is the devil’s work at dividing our nation and creating this class of atheists hell bent on destroying Christmas.


    An Enlightened Being - He means Van Gogh’s grandson who was murdered a few years back by an Islamic extremist after making a film criticizing Islam.

    But really how different is it when a Christian rips down a display than when a Muslim does it. Just because no one died does not make it right. Learn to live with the criticism or go away.


    I’m not an atheist nor do I play one as a comment troll… but I can tell you that the idea of banning religious displays on government property isn’t just something appeals to the atheist.  There are more than a few members of many religions who remember the “render unto Caesar” part of the Bible and pay little attention to the rantings of our later day evangelicals.


    @PlayingWithFire - Van Gogh died a long time ago after he cut off his ear.


    @FedUp - I see you’ve finally fixed your name, you were making me hungry every time I read your comment.  We should have a display put up that posts all these comments, then everyone will be covered.


    Christians see Atheists as misguided and away from God. With time and effort, they can be brought back to God.  When it comes to Muslims, you are a threat, and their response is death. You see what happened in Europe to people who said or did something to their false prophet Mohammed? They killed that guy Van Gogh, put a bounty on Salman Rushdie’s head. Yeah I think you want to keep Christianity in America. Because trying to toss it, the vacuumed will be filled by the devil.


    Why are the good guys letting this discussion go off topic.  This is not about trying to win over anyone with brilliant arguments.  This is in the trenches time.  The atheists want all religious expression off the courthouse grounds.  Don’t let that happen.  Don’t let people like Ken Reid, the newly elected supervisor to the Board of Supervisors get away with doing that.  Keep the religious diplays there.  Don’t let the atheists win on something so important as this.


    To all you Atheists, you are playing with fire. Religion is NEVER going away. And the more you try to remove Christianity from society, the quicker something else will replace it. And trust me, you rather have Christians to deal with than Muslims. Because Muslims have ZERO Tolerance for your point of view. I read they just executed a woman in Saudi Arabia for witchcraft. No telling what Muslims might do to Atheist if you remove the Christianity and allow that vacuum to be filled with Islam.


    Shepherds Pie - It is freedom of speech; they beleive no religious displays should be on a government site and the Christians are not helping their case by committing vandalism here.

    Christians will either have to learn to live with the display or give up on their own at the government building that is all there is too it.

    As to freedom of speech, it is protected; nothing will stop you from posting a nativity in front of your home or religious center. When it comes to government property all get a voice or none so you need to pick which it is.


    Kenneth,

    I prefer to believe in a supreme being as the source of life, rather than the scientific theory that a bolt of lighting hit a bunch of rocks and turned them into amino acid. 

    BTW, that bolt of lightning theory has not been proven, so why are you so confident that those who believe in a supreme being are wrong?

    Merry Christmas!  Praying for your soul!


    Kudos to Barbara Munsey (who according to Linkedin lives in Knoxville, Tennessee) for basing her research on Facebook.


    TC, If you read the second comment by Barbara Munsey she states, “According to Facebook, both Mr. Heflin and his mother are residents of Fauquier.

    According to the NOVA Atheists website, Mr. Heflin and his mother planned to participate in the atheist activist displays with the purpose in mind of getting religious displays banned from public property.  So much for some atheists supporting freedom of speech.”


    Dear Kenneth,

    How can you say there are no leprechauns or afterlife? Have you never eaten Lucky Charms, never seen a rainbow, never seen “Ghost” with Demi, Patrick & Whoopi, seen “Oh,God” with John Denver & George Burns or “Bruce Almighty” with Jim Carrey.  You really have to get out more instead of living in the dark.


    People have every right to mock religion, would people prefer a Pakistani/Saudi version of blasphemy laws in this country? From what I’m aware, people are not breaking any laws by mocking small-minded superstition/religious beliefs. Therefore.

    Christianity is ridiculous because they think they are special because:
    1. They’ve found eternal salvation (without any evidence)
    2. They have some special knowledge that non-christians do not.
    3. Chrisitanity is the only “true” religion (as religions are mutually exclusive). 

    The most likely scenario when you die: nothing. You cease to exist, no heaven, no meeting long-lost relatives etc. Why is that so difficult to accept? Instead, religions conjure an afterlife to comfort the masses.

    To most thinking people, false hope is worth nothing.

    Anyways, there is as much evidence of the existence of the chrisitan god exists as there is for leprechauns.

    And there isn’t any evidence of an afterlife, so Christians believe things as a child believes in fairy tales.

    So sad.


    Hugh | Report this comment

    This is why atheists will NEVER out number religous people.

    Their message is nothing but hate.

    God’s message is nothing but love.

    ——————————————

    Except when your disgusting god is committing genocide.


    Can’t we all get along? One time I didn’t eat for like 10 years cuz I spent all my money on the Elves’ salaries, and I actually looked like that skeleton…how do you know this “atheist” wasn’t just an old friend of mine giving me a hard time?


    “...and the Lord God said unto his drug dealers, ‘go forth and destroy that which you do not understand.’ And forth they went and destroyed and there ensued much rejoicing…” Book of Peter, Paul and Mary


    I googled this Dikhead, doesnt show any Heflins in Middleburg! Did find one on Mountain Road in Haymarket and one in White Post. If he is not a resident of Loudoun, this piece of schit should be taken down NOW! Does the county require ID’s on these displays? If anyone has his number please POST it on here.


    Wasn’t Tim Allen convicted of drug dealing & now people hardly bring it up? He got rich & famous after that. Oh I hope “my Granny” has such luck too!


    My God is MIGHTY. Help comes from the most unexpected places & I LOVE IT! I feel his joy & look out because he is all powerful. He will use the most unexpected people, but it’s all good in the end.


    Santa is not an elf. He merely enslaves the elves. Get your Christian mythology straight…


    @Feed(Fed)UpDude - It is clearly “Hate Speech” directed at Santa and his race of Elves.


    God was so loving he demanded a drug dealing nurse rip down a display? Yeah that makes sense.


    Identity - you are obviously a client of hers… :)


    Hugh - Clearly you have never looked into free speech cases in America. That display is clearly protected free speech.


    Go!!! Go Granny Go!, Go!!! Go Granny Go! Granny be good! Granny’s redeemed & working for JESUS! Hooray for Granny’s team!


    @feedupdude

    Troll all you want, you sad, sorry person.


    “Hate speech is, outside the law, any communication that disparages a person or a group on the basis of some characteristic such as race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or other characteristic”

    Merry Christmas

    *I’m done with you


    This is why atheists will NEVER out number religous people.

    Their message is nothing but hate.

    God’s message is nothing but love.


    Hate speech haha. Clearly you have no idea what that term means.


    Actually, atheists do live in Loudoun County and to think otherwise is VERY naive, Identity. You also don’t have to be religious or an atheist to understand that a drug dealing grandma who vandalizes shouldn’t be a hero to the christian community…


    All this anger, and at Christmas time, no less.  Why can’t we all just get along?  BECAUSE the atheists don’t want us to, that’s why.  This whole thing has been an orchestrated effort by the atheists, to provoke, anger, and in general make everyone upset, so that religious express will be removed from the courthouse grounds.  And guess what.  That’s ALL religious expression, of every type and kind.  Not just Christian.  After all, atheists stand against all and any religious expression.  WHICH MAKES IT SO AMAZING THAT KEN REID HAS DECLARED HIMSELF PART OF THE ATHEIST TEAM< DEDICATED TO REMOVING ALL RELIGIOUS EXPRESSION FROM THE COURTHOUSE.  See, for example, Ken “I guess I really do lie a lot” Reid’s letter on Patch.com.  So, I guess Ken Reid, about to lose his drivers license, has to replace it with a card showing his junior club membership in the atheist movement.


    Hahahahaha! I did not take it down, but I wished I could have! Doubt any of these atheists actually live here. They are part of a group that does this type of commentary together with “Rick Wingrove” all the time. After this is over, all of you commenting can find them over on beliefnet at CNN. They work like WWE tag team that chats all the time. They know what to say to cause a ruckus & make you angry. They are gleefully enjoying our negative reactions. Rick lives in Loudoun County, but they do not. Christians, don’t be “played”, because these folks are not your neighbors & they really don’t give a rats patootie. ;-)


    A Skeleton dressed a Santa crucified on a cross is not free speech.  It is HATE speech - masquerading as ‘Art’.

    To take holiday symbols away from a group who hold these ideas, symbols and values near and dear to themselves, and purposely use them in such a hateful and mocking way is pure hatred and disrespect.

    Hide behind your artistic license all you want and shout Freedom of Speech till your blue int he face.  It is simply nothing more than pure hatred against a holiday and religous people on display in downtown Leesburg.

    Sad.


    I personally think the headless skeleton further promotes the idea the person was trying to make. So, hahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahaha.


    @Jerk - The solution is simple, keep the religious displays in front of your private homes or religious institutions because on public property everyone gets a say no matter what.


    Is it any surprise that during this most celebrated holiday season of one of the world’s great religions, we see that many of that religion’s adherents are eager to start a religious war?  Is this just what Christians do so they can keep their persecuted myth alive?  Let’s just hope it’s the 1-2% idiot scum that accumulates on any religious movement.


    So Sterling you no longer beleive in the constitution of the United States?


    There’s being a Christian, there’s being an Athiest, then there’s being an As-hole.  The guy who put up a skeleton dressed as Santa is an as-hole.  There’s no 2000 year old tradition of a skeleton dressed as Santa.  Christians, Jews and Muslims are not deliberately trying to offend people be celebrating their faith.  If there were a legit form of celebration that atheists wanted to display, we should allow them to celebrate.  A skeleton dressed as Santa is not a celebration of Atheism, just a jerk being an As-hole


    I’m an american who no longer believes in turning the other cheek. Sorry Atheists, I’m fighting for what I believe in now. No more live and let live from this “Christian”. It’s time to stand up for what you believe in folks.  Let’s do this.


    Criticism is not a crime, vandalism is. What if I took down the nativity scene or stole baby Jesus?


    God will be great no matter how many idiots put up skeleton Santas or other stupid displays on the courthouse lawn, and He is greater than those who think that by vandalism, everyone will magically become Christian, or maybe the Rapture will be hastened along.

    In fact, even if the Flying Spaghetti Monster folks got spots 1-10 in line next November, God would remain great.

    I will go to church on Sunday, free of government or even any significant social harassment.


    @FeedUpDude - Can’t quite tell whether you are hungry or frustrated?  OK, maybe she was not completely recovered. I don’t codone what she did, but can understand it.  At least she did it with care. As far as God taking criticism, I’m pretty sure He can handle it.  The question is, can you?


    If she had recovered then why did she not turn the other cheek? Beyond that she broke the law again by vandalizing the display which was approved of by the government and was someones protected free expression.

    Is your God so weak that he cannot withstand some criticism?


    @HAHA - If you leed, I’ll fallow.  It’s also possible that it was this woman’s lowest point in her life and thru Christ has completely recovered.


    Wow, some of these comments are downright scary…  I assume that the typical Christian is a little more rational than some of the comments I’m reading here. 
    Christians, you might think I’m going to hell, I’m ok with that, but I’m a pretty good guy I think you’d like to have living in your community.  I don’t push my lack of belief on any of you and rarely ever talk about it, even if asked.  I stop my truck to ask people if they need help when I see them on the side of the road (I’ll even change their tire), I hold the door open for people, I coordinate the Toys-for-Tots effort at my workplace, I celebrate Christmas with my family, I give to charity, I recycle, I volunteer on a Town committee, I keep my house and lawn looking nice, I support local businesses, I was a boy scout, I pay my taxes (and often error on the side of paying too much), I’m gainfully employed, I typically vote republican, I love my dog and treat him well, I love my wife and treat her well (almost as good as my dog), I’m about to become a dad and I’m excited as could be, I like to fish, I’m a huge Redskin fan, I played football and wrestled in high school but was never a great athlete, I love reading about history, I often bite off more than I can chew regarding home improvement projects, I’m proud of this town, I buy American when I can, I visit my parents and grandparents as often as time permits, and I have five or six really good friends I know I can depend on (all of which happen to be Christians).  If you were to meet me, and did not ask my religious views (because I certainly wouldn’t bring it up), you would never know that I lacked belief.
    In short, I’m probably a lot like you, with the exception that I don’t go to church on Sundays.  I try not to get worked up by this courthouse lawn stuff.  But all the hate surrounding this is amazing and is making it hard to ignore.  Some of these comments are just plain awful.  Please, let’s just be civil.  Just because you feel others are not being civil, does not provide you with sufficient reason to act uncivil yourself.  Atheists, I understand you want to exercise your equal rights, but please remember that these are our neighbors and they have a right to believe in what they choose.  Attacking religion only results in a deeper line in the sand, and I don’t want that with my neighbors.  Look, we have the right to have displays, that’s equal and fair and if we didn’t have that I might stand alongside you, but we do have that right.  It may not be the end result you want, but you don’t always get what you want, if you’re lucky, sometimes you just get what is legal.  Stop being jerks about it and keep it positive.


    The funny part is the woman who first tore it down, and maybe the second time, is a disgraced nurse with a felony conviction for selling prescription drugs. Clearly a high quality person who is a shining example Christians should fallow.


    How can you not love the variety of speech
    The display of all Loudouners beliefs
    On the lawn of the courthouse next to a beech
    With the wind whispering thru the leafs
    But there goes the thief into the breach
    Running with Santa’s head thinking “Save Christmas”, Oh what a relief.


    You’ve Taken My Thinking, My Means of Survival
    You’ve Thrust in My Hand Your Gun and Your Bible
    You’ve Taught Me to Kill For The Lord Up Above
    You’ve Given Me Hate When I Know There Is Love


    I know it is a Christian majority but that does not give Christians the right to trample freedom of speech or expression. If you don’t like it you are welcome to move to a nation that does not protect those rights.

    Taking down this display is unAmerican. You dishonor our forefather and trample the constitution.


    @Solution - The Courthouse is the property of The People. And The People have spoke through through their representatives that we want Christmas displays on our public property. All those who are opposed and want the displays stopped so that Christianity can be pushed into the closet shall not prevail. This is now a holy war against God. Evil is maneuvering to plant ideas that no displays are better in an effort to shut down the celebration that Christ’s arrival on this earth will be forgotten.  Never!!!!


    FeedUpDude - This is America. Where all the religious of Europe were sent a few hundred years ago. So don’t be surprised if you just woke up and realized you are living in a Christian dominated country. If you want to live in a country where religion has been nearly removed from society, relocate to Sweden. Otherwise, deal with the fact that Christians outnumber you. We are in seats of power and influence at every level of society. From Janitors and Clerks to Judges and Politicians. You don’t stand a chance of removing Christianity from society.


    What are we in Afghanistan where people smash others views that go against the main religion. Some of you here are poor Christians and even worse Americans.


    Never gonna give you up, Rick Astley, keep ‘em coming!  Hope you do a local concert sometime soon!


    @ Rick Astley - Great comments!  At the end, I laughed so hard I almost choked on my morning coffee!


    So glad to live in a county where only “Christian” viewpoints are allowed.  No freedom of expression here unless approved by the “Christians”.  Stealing is not allowed unless it is done by the “Christians”.  We must all think what the “Christians” tell us to think. We are not allowed to think outside of the box, that would be dangerous to our “Christian” way of life.  History repeating itself??


    The problem isn’t solved by not allowing any displays on the lawn.  This is exactly what the atheist want to happen.  Thankfully with the new Republican Board of Supervisors being sworn in I don’t think they will be intimidated by the “loud-mouthed few”.  This is probably yet another reason the Weintraub boys went on such an extended vacation when they won the election.  So sad…


    Don’t allow any displays on the courthouse lawn and this issue will go away. Problem solved.


    Heflin- this poor kid is just that.. A poor kid. I went public on the news with my dislike of this piss poor display. I hope more vandals take care of stupid displays on the courthouse lawn.


    Question:  The atheist have displays on the courtyard grounds year round.  Why are they so adamant to have a display on the grounds the one time during the year that Christians wish to display the Nativity?  I pray that the new Board of Supervisors will keep this in mind and not cower to these bullies any longer.


    I think the “War on Christmas” is being waged by those making others look at the crap they’re putting on the Courthouse lawn.  Go home and pray or curse in the custom of your choosing and leave the rest of us out of it!


    Jeanne - The slim chance it is some group of “punk teenagers” is irrelevant.  Plenty of “Christians” are cheering this on.  In my opinion, they are no better than the thieves themselves.  Wouldn’t you think Jesus would agree?  Or does he condone stealing and vandalism now because some Pastor will twist some benign Bible passage into justifying the actions to “save Christmas”?


    There once was a guy from Fauquier
    An artist…is that his career?
    He made a display of Santa decay
    It sucks cuz he’ll be back next year.


    so much that’s wrong with America could be fixed if we could all just stop paying attention to this recycled bs that the media feeds us.  if we could pay this much attention to the need for innovation, research and development, the good old US of A could hit the stride we so desperately need.

    i’m just making an appeal to all of you to pay a deaf ear to the fringe element and focus on moving us forward - our kids and our country will be better for it.


    kiss my helfin


    To “Peter”:  Why do you assume the vandals are “Christians”? It could very well be someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas at all.  It could be teenagers engaging in a prank. It could even be a garden-variety pagan.


    Slow news day to drive the weak minded to the brink I see.  Guess no one ever stopped to think it was a couple of young kids from the parade who were fascinated by the skeleton in a Santa costume?  Hmmm…..keep chasing those leads LTM, I’m sure there’s a million dollar reward being offered to catch the culprits.  Yeah, I’m being sarcastic.


    Hahaha, I hear people are mentioning my name.  I thought this was funny, but come on…my followers would sacrifice a lamb or set something on fire, this is just funny.


    **Not everyone celebrates Christmas**


    Because Jesus stole stuff all the time….

    Right guys?  Way to be a good Christian.  Give yourself a pat on the back and tell yourself it is OK. 

    Yet another example of today’s Christians, people I am sure Jesus is ashamed of.  If there is a second coming, I think he would focus on “Christians” like you see posting here who sodomize his name to further their own prejudiced agenda.  He is probably disgusted with you people.


    @Stop the War on Christmas!

    War on Christmas? Is the government preventing you from celebrating Christmas? Are you being arrested because you celebrate Christmas? Are Christians being dragged into the streets and being killed for celebrating it? No. There is no war on Christmas. Stop pretending you are oppressed. You are not.

    The issue is that not everyone is Christian. Not every celebrating Christmas. There is a separation of church and state and allowing Holiday displays(church) on the court house property(State)is the issue here. Put a nativity scene in your front yard and stop trying to shove your faith down everyone’s throats. Everyone knows about Christmas. There’s no reason to have those displays up at the court house.


    @I love Christmas

    I am a Firefighter/EMT for the county. We do not close for the holidays. I actually signed up to work on Christmas so someone I work with can go home to his or her family for the holiday. I’ll be protecting you and yours this holiday, as I do every Christmas since I am a godless heathen.


    if the courthouse does get the piece back i hope someone just smashes that thing. its not funny, its not witty, and it sure as h3ll isnt “art”.
    im glad i dont live or go out that way. wouldnt want to explain that crap to my 3 year old.


    Perhaps the lovely display is merely on its way to Warrenton, after all it is a display from a resident of Fauquier, their residents should enjoy their own citizen’s “artistic” endeavors.


    The war on Christmas continues from these atheists and Satanists.  Everything should be banned but the nativity.


    @ the pseudonym LIBERAL SCUMBAGS”, I put you and your ilk on pare with the Taliban.  The greater principles are that of free speech and religious freedoms—not your personal view that your kind should oppress others.  Tough talk for an idiot and a coward.  Your personal religious convictions, in the larger scheme, are absolutely irrelevant. I say we dump a truck load of skeletons in Santa suites on the lawn—the christian right’s inability to tolerate has ruined the spirit of Christmas.


    Oh where oh where are the Weintraub boys, oh where oh where could they be?  I think I’m starting to put something together.


    Here’s the source for my last comment…

    http://excluded-healthcare-providers.findthedata.org/l/12486/Mary-Czarnecki


    The grandma who first tore down the display, mary Czarnecki, lost her license to provide healthcare after a 2000 felony controlled substance conviction. Hope she tells her grand kids about this one in addition to her vandalism…


    Christian people like many other faiths take it personal when you get personal.

      It’s OK to hold another view like a sign saying “Happy Solstice Day from the Pagans”. While many would not like it, that’s free speech. But the anti-religion vitriol has ramped up well beyond making a statement about your own views. Now it’s clearly aimed hate speech attacking the views of many, many residents.

      Someone said it well earlier, that none of the atheist signs have done a single thing to prove their views. I guess it’s hard hiding behind science when it doesn’t have all the answers. That would be faith, and that’s bad.

      I hear a lot of talk here about small minded religion and the idiocy of faith.

      But let’s look at it this way. If we were lost and some had ideas - all you are doing is saying “that way will never work. Oh and your stupid for believing it would”. How about proving your own deeply help conviction (religion) so as to quell the crowds and lead the way.

      But we know, it’s hard to say I don’t believe that this Universe with all of it’s beauty and awe had any intelligence behind it in it’s creation. That children aren’t miracles having in your view once come from a single drop of tiny micro organism - that one day just decided on it’s own to split, have sex and evolve.

      Just like the iPhone never needed Steve Jobs, I understand why all of the atheist attention has been about everything and everyone but themselves.

      Oh, and Merry Christmas.


    So we have atheists and Christians acting like idiots in order to get the displays banned.

    Thanks, guys! Glad to know the Christians are displaying love and the atheists are displaying reason.

    I like someone else’s idea of a tree with lots of little ornaments/displays around the base.


    funny how the most important thing to everyone appears to be whether or not a sign should be up. You know, there are more important things going on this this world..


    To you heretics - Christians are now firmly in control of Loudoun County.  We destroyed your liberal leaders in the election and you will abide by our directives.  Get used to it.


    @Hypocrites.
    Marry Christmas.  Enjoy Chritmas.  It’s a fun holiday and not a time to hate.
    Since you’re so against it I hope you go to work on the days your company has off.  I wouldn’t want you to be a hypocrite now.


    Some of the so called Christians on here should be ashamed of themselves. This is not some religious government system in America where you have the right to attack any perceived criticism of your religion.

    In order for the government to allow religious symbolism on their property they need to allow all opinions to be heard and guess what you are just going to have to let it slide or you will have to chose to only put up your display at your religious center and forget about the government space. Those are your options under free speech in America. Do not act like the Taliban.


    How Christ-like to STEAL something. WWJD indeed. I’m sure you Christians would be up in arms if something happened to your displays. Christmas isn’t the only holiday in December. Jesus wasn’t even born in December and Christmas is originally a pagan holiday.


    Next time they should vandalize the Idiot atheist out there who are trying to ruin everyone’s Christmas!


    Thou shall not steal. Hmm.

    How ‘bout no private displays of any sort on County grounds? Fair to all, since no side can play nice w/ the other (the content of one offends the other, the mere presence of one offends the other, and one group takes it upon themselves to vandalize / remove / steal the others).

    Private property for displays. Simple. If the County Govt. wants to display something, anything, let ‘em - and they’ll then have to deal with any backlash. But at least it’s not any one individual or group using common ground for irritating and insulting the rest.


    This place is a freaking embarassment. Just put up a 30-foot-tall inflatable snowman and some Hummel Jesus nativities and be done with it. Make the courthouse look like some trailer-trash hillbilly’s lawn. It’s a courthouse, not a goddam self-affirmation center/art house exhibit. Use the lawn for what it was designed for: public executions.


    According to Facebook, both Mr. Heflin and his mother are residents of Fauquier.

    According to the NOVA Atheists website, Mr. Heflin and his mother planned to participate in the atheist activist displays with the purpose in mind of getting religious displays banned from public property.  So much for some atheists supporting freedom of speech.

    Did it say anything on his application about the skeleton?

    I’m sorry it was vandalized.

    I’m also sorry that this is a tissue of lies to get SOME people’s freedom of speech and expression limited, with the pre-planned “compromise” being a tree that the atheists can support…for now.

    Perhpas when the new BoS takes this up, they could require that displays be by actual county residents, and require some rendering of the display rather than a simple description that may not adequately convey the totality?

    And maybe people could refrain from damaging the atheist displays?  They have the right to their own expression, even if some of it is juvenile, condescending, or even outright mean-spirited.  In any of those cases, the results ultimately gained may not be anything near what the “artists” intended.


    So much for freedom of speech in this thread! :)

    Featured Classifieds
    DS RESIDENTIAL PROGRAM MANAGER
    Loudoun Countys Department of Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Developmental Services is seeking a full-time Developmental…

    More classifieds | Submit an Ad

    Get Our Headlines Via Email
    Tuesdays:  
    Thursdays:

    StayConnected

    Follow Us
    on Twitter

    News | Sports

    Like Us
    on Facebook

    News & Sports

    Join Our
    Email List

    Sign up for
    weekly updates
    The Loudoun Times-Mirror

    is an interactive, digital replica
    of the printed newspaper.
    Open the e-edition now.

    Loudoun Business Journal - Summer 2014

    Loudoun Business Journal - Spring 2014