Festivus Pole Joins Nativity Scene In Florida

 

Looks like this year it’ll be a Festivus for the rest of us!

You remember Festivus, right?

If not, you need to go ahead and cash in your vacation days because you’ve got a lot of Seinfeld to catch up on.

Anyway, it seems that a disgruntled atheist living in Deerfield Beech, frustrated by years of failing to get the local government t0 remove a nativity scene from public property, decided if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

It seems that while the city wasn’t willing to remove the nativity scene, they were willing to add something to it – a Festivus pole.

I find this situation rather fascinating, but I’m curious about you think.

As a Christian, do you find this amusing, offensive, somewhere in between, or do you not care at all?

As an atheist, is the Festivus pole a small victory, unhelpful, amusing, somewhere in between, or do you even care about the presence of the nativity scene?

Read the story below, then weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.

‘Festivus’ pole goes up next to Nativity in Deerfield

By Ariel Barkhurst, Sun Sentinel

Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus have graced the corner of Hillsboro Boulevard and Federal Highway every December for more than 20 years.

This year, they’re joined by an 8-foot-tall aluminum Festivus Pole, symbol of a Dec. 23 atheist “holiday” that became a pop culture hit after being featured in a “Seinfeld” episode.

“It’s just 23 beer cans stacked 8 feet high and conveniently located 6 feet from Baby Jesus,” said activist blogger Chaz Stevens, who installed it Thursday with the city’s permission.

Stevens said he has been trying unsuccessfully for five years to get the city to take down the Nativity scene. So this year he asked for space to express his own unreligious beliefs.

“Think of how many people have died over the years to give us our freedoms,” Stevens said. “So I’ve got to push back a little.”

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  • http://www.fivedills.com Greg Dill

    I say let the atheists have their “Festivus pole” near every nativity scene. It will only make them look like idiots. As for being offensive? No, not at all. Just stupid. It really doesn’t accomplish anything.

    • http://www.braintarts.wordpress.com/ MichaelL65

      I think the point is about the idea of church and state being separate. I am agnostic, and personally have no problem with nativity scenes and whatnot. If we don’t like it, don’t look at it. Same with the atheist billboards at Christmas time – if you don’t like them, ignore them. Really simple when it comes down to it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/WVCNPastor Bruce Barnard

    What’s more impressive is how people who fight over nativity sets don’t even realize the complete historical inaccuracy of placing 3 KINGS right there with the shepherds…that’s the real crime here…

  • jaysonwhelpley

    I celebrate both wholeheartedly.

  • drew

    What is a symbol without authentic historical narrative?

    • ZackHunt

      Um, isn’t Seinfeld the historical narrative needed for Festivus? :)

      • drew

        obviously

  • Joe

    I don’t understand why some brilliant marketer on TV hasn’t joined that episode to the rest of the Christmas lexicon, i.e Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph, etc. It’s certainly more spiritual than Frosty the Snowman.

  • http://www.myactsofsedition.com/ Chaz Stevens, Genius

    So here’s the thing…

    I could care less if you display the menorah, Baby Jesus Motel 6, bowl of pasta and meatballs, or the such.

    Just don’t do it on public property.

    There’s a church, a giant Catholic Church about 3 blocks away. What’s the difference of three blocks?

    Seems to me, if you want it at that corner, and refuse to move it,
    then you’re making a statement. And if you can make a statement, so can
    I. And if you can put a ridiculous symbol of your beliefs on public
    property, so can I.

    This isn’t about taking away the holiday spirit. It’s about pushing
    back, standing up for ALL OF OUR Constitutional rights… By pushing back
    on the right wing evangelical element that’s become too overt in their
    desire to choke us with their beliefs.

    As for me? I believe in science… And math… And education. And
    affordable housing. And women’s rights. And the rights of all
    minorities.

    And fancy this, access to health care.

    For the record, not only am I an atheist, I am a card carrying member
    of the ACLU, Amnesty International, and the Socialist Party USA.

    Happy Festivus to all.

    PS The menorah has been removed from the display. Alrighty! Ding ding!

    Praise be to Jesus Horatio Christ and now, pass me an altar boy.

  • Lawrence LaPointe

    That Festivus pole lacks the very high strength-to-weight ratio needed for the holiday…

  • http://www.humblewonderful.com/ Tony C.

    I think those opposing nativity scenes in public spaces ought to be careful about constructing public spaces as the sorts of paperwork controlled, official propoganda spaces that they are in Australia. We have none of the bill poster rights you can have in other countries. As our public transport has gotten privatized you can die trying to get the ok to put a flier up about a lost cat at a bus stop… so it’s not even a government/private issue – its a public vs bureaucracy issue.
    I’d like to see rogue nativity scenes invading shopping centres and spray painted over the top of billboards and I’m not a Christian (except in a way few would recognise). The totem pole of bear cans is kinda sad for its commercial craptasticness by contrast. Come on pagans we can do better than that.