Thursday, May 01, 2008

May Day

Today is Labor Day in much of Latin America, May Day or International Worker's Day in many European countries, China, Cuba, and the Russian Federation (and in the U.S. and UK, though it's not a federal holiday in either), Beltane for pagans and Wiccans (approximately the midpoint between the vernal equinox and summer solstice, though in reality it's off by a few days), and the National Day of Prayer for evangelical Christians. While they pretend the day of prayer is for all religions that believe in the Abrahamic god, Shirley Dobson, wife of James Dobson of Focus on the Faily, runs the national task force and requires coordinators to sign this statement of faith:
I believe that the Holy Bible is the inerrant Word of The Living God. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only One by which I can obtain salvation and have an ongoing relationship with God. I believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, his virgin birth, his sinless life, his miracles, the atoning work of his shed blood, his resurrection and ascension, his intercession and his coming return to power and glory. I believe that those who follow Jesus are family and there should be unity among all who claim his name. I agree that these statements are true in my life.
So much for the "Judeo" in "Judeo-Christian." Jews, Muslims, and liberal Christians don't qualify--this is an explicitly sectarian organization, endorsed by government in blatant contradiction of the First Amendment.

Pharyngula reports that the Minnesota Atheists have declared today a National Day of Reason and will be demonstrating at the state capitol in St. Paul.

By the way, today is also Loyalty Day in the United States, declared by every U.S. president every year on this day since 1958 as an anticommunist counter to May Day.

So there's a wide variety of possible celebrations--you can thank the labor workers of the past for the 8-hour workday, rage against capitalist exploitation, express your loyalty to our wise and just leaders, celebrate the act of pretending to talk to an invisible being, or be thankful that you've been fortunate enough to have the ability to reason.

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