It is often a bad idea to read the comments on political blogs. They tend to degenerate into vicious name-calling by anonymous persons all too quickly.
A recent post on the pentacle grave marker case at the political blog Winds of Change bemoaned the fact that Americans litigate over religion:
I abhor the kind of attitude that leads to people hassling Christians over creches at Christmas, and that spurred the ACLU to threaten to sue a Christian cross off the seal of the County of Los Angeles California.
At the same time, blogger David Blue continued,
This long struggle for religious fairness for those who have died defending America has now reached a satisfactory end, mostly because George W. Bush shot his mouth off too much, and consequently it was better for the US Department of Veterans Affairs to settle, with a non-disclosure agreement, than to defend a weak case in court.
And he praised Jason Pitz-Waters’ “brilliant, link-rich posts at The Wild Hunt Blog” for their coverage.
The comments that follow are interesting. Many commenters argue for fairness: given that there are hundreds of Wiccans in the military, they deserve the same treatment as followers of Eckankar and other new religions, not to mention avowed atheists, who have their own military grave marker symbol.
Some comments make much of the newness of Wicca, while others note that all religions start as new religions. I was impressed that a couple of comments came from names that I know from religious-studies circles.
Personally, I found the comment thread interesting because it reminds me that much of the blogosphere is an echo chamber. People read bloggers with whom they agree, or they read their ideological opponents just so that they can make nasty comments, usually anonymously. I read some of these comments, and I wonder, “How can anyone still think that way?”
But of course they do. It is good to be reminded.