I would never want to offend someone with whom I have so much in common. However, the evidence is that a vote for a nonviable candidate takes away a vote from the viable candidate that comes closest to your views. There is nothing wrong voting for the candidate you like best, regardless of his or her viability, provided there are only minor differences between the viable candidates. But when there are great differences, as there surely will be in 2016, then you must decide whether the message you intend to send will be seen as a message and whether that message is more important than having the worst candidate govern for the next four to eight years. Until we adopt either instant runoff voting or a parliamentary system, any attempt to send a message in 2016 will be self-destructive.
Sorry it offends you, but in the words of Voltaire, "The perfect is the enemy of the good."
H. L. Mencken noted, “The most curious social convention of the great age in which we live is the one to the effect that religious opinions should be respected.” Without a strong and effective atheist movement, religious opinions will continue to be respected while atheists will continue to be disrespected and marginalized by those who have been indoctrinated by strong and effective movements that spew religious nonsense.
There can be no getting around it – allowing a Nativity scene to be erected on government property supported by the taxpayers is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, particularly when it stands alone. Erecting a Nativity scene on public property is not the same as placing a wreath or a lighted tree on public property. The Nativity scene, like the cross, is an inherently religious symbol, in fact. the most sacred symbol of Christianity. The allowance of such an inherently religious display on governmental property implies government endorsement and should be considered a violation of the principle of separation of church and state. A reading of the relevant court cases indicate that, at best, it is constitutionally questionable and, without any doubt, unconstitutional when the nativity scene stands alone. Of course, like all civil libertarians, I worry about what the current majority of our Supreme Court justices would rule on this subject today.
I used to wonder why followers of certain religions, usually the Christian religion, but more recently those of the tiny Lubavitcher faction of Judaism, continually insist on erecting their inherently religious symbols on governmental property. What is the motivation for doing so? Certainly, it is not inappropriate to erect such displays on church property or other private property. Why, then, the need to erect such displays on governmental property? Experience with this issue has lead me to conclude that it is the desire by religious institutions to demonstrate their power and control in order to force the state to honor religious faith in general and, in particular, their brand of religious faith. They know all too well that there aren't many politicians who are willing to support the Establishment Clause against the demands and obfuscations of the local religious community
To those who see little or no harm in such displays or believe that atheists should shut up and look the other way, remember the words of Frederick Douglass -- "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." Furthermore, atheists must try to appreciate that the allowance of such inherently religious displays on governmental property is another chip taken from the Establishment Clause. If the meaning of separation of church and state continues to be blurred by continued violations coupled with the fear of speaking out against such violations, it may someday become politically acceptable for governments to do things that it couldn't get away with now. For example, issuing school vouchers for private schools, including parochial schools; permitting the erection of large lighted Crosses, Stars of David and other inherently religious symbols on governmental buildings and land; enforcing existing criminal laws against blasphemy; plowing church parking lots; and so on and so on and so on. In the wise, but somewhat religious, words of Elie Wiesel, "...to remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all."
As much as I appreciate your selections of past idiots, the real idiocy this week is naming Rachel Maddow as idiot of the week.
Idiot of the week, yes, but the real reason why MSNBC should be named idiot of the week is because it requires permission to donate to a political candidate. I presume MSNBC believes it's OK to contribute to a candidate it favors, but not one it doesn't. Suspending Olbermann without pay for doing what the Constitution allows all of us to do is, frankly, outrageous.