Thanks to vocal atheists like Bill Maher, atheism is gaining a foothold in American Life. Who would think a peaceful haven like Santa Monica would become a battle ground for religious tolerance or intolerance, depending on where one stands. Since 1953, Santa Monica churches have been setting up a fourteen scene Nativity display in Palisades Park, just behind the ocean. The controversy started three years ago, when Damon Vix, a self-described atheist applied for and was granted a booth in Palisades Park alongside the Nativity scene. That first year, 2009, Vix hung a sign that simply quoted Thomas Jefferson: “Religions are all alike, founded on fables and mythologies.” The following year he repeated that display. Then in 2011, according to the AP, “Vix recruited 10 others to inundate the city with applications for tongue-in-cheek displays such as an homage to the “Rastafarian religion,” which would include an artistic representation of the great Flying Spaghetti Monster.” The secular group won 18 of 21 available spaces. Two of the three remaining spots went to the traditional Christmas displays and one to a Hanukkah display. The group used only half their spaces to depict images of Poseidon, Jesus, Santa and the devil. The message of the group was, “37 million Americans know myths when they see them. What myths do you see?” The case now heads to court where a federal judge will be weighing in on the issue but it appears a tradition, started almost sixty years ago, is all but dead for now. Attorney for The Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee, William Becker stated, “Our goal is to preserve the tradition in Santa Monica and to keep Christmas alive.” Once again, we see liberalism run amok. If Christmas and Santa Claus brings joy to people’s lives, why not allow them that? What the far left doesn’t understand just as much as the far right, is forcing ones beliefs on people regardless of which side you’re on, is always wrong. That’s not liberalism or freedom. It’s despotic, totalitarianism in its purest form. There are many historical examples of religious intolerance, the former Soviet Union comes to mind and that is no more preferable than the extreme Islamist views in Iran. Why can’t both sides agree to disagree and share the space? Isn’t there enough hatred and intolerance without fighting over a harmless tradition?