Well, even in a touchy-feely world such as this one, this article ranks up there with one of the most ridiculous things I've read recently. An aside: I am not an atheist; however, neither am I a Christian...and my apologies if I am offending anyone. Not to make this post about my personal beliefs or anything - actually, I'm hoping that this one strikes a few funny bones - I do believe in a "higher power", but the philosophies propagated by pretty much any of the organized religions out there? Ridiculous, in my own, admittedly humble, opinion.
Well, on to the good stuff: I absolutely love the line, in the article, that reads: "The connection between the Census and the birth of Jesus may need a word of explanation" (my emphasis). Umm...a word? You think? For Christ's (pun intended) sake: I went to CATHOLIC SCHOOL, and I have absolutely zero recollection of being taught that Joseph went to Bethlehem to participate in the Roman census. Personally speaking, I think that the most offensive thing about the whole campaign is the poster: Either Mary is leading the donkey (exploitative); Joseph is carrying the Savior for her (blasphemous!); or Joseph is retaining water (thoroughly inappropriate), because he's looking a little zaftig in that illustration. Either that, or his robe is really billowy.
In addition to that, I also liked the part of the article that reads: "It represents an effort to reassure a group that is sometimes suspicious of such government initiatives as the Census" (again, the emphasis is mine). The "group" is NALEO, the National Association of Latino Elected Officials. And, folks, these people must be really paranoid, and I know whereof I speak. When I was pregnant (for the second time, but with my first child; I had a miscarriage shortly after my marriage) I came home from work one day to find my husband installing a satellite dish. Well...I went OFF. First of all, I didn't know that he was going to do this; we'd talked about it, but I wasn't aware that he was actually going to act on those discussions. By the time I arrived home (although I worked a Mon.-Fri. job, inherent within the position I held at the time were a lot of short Saturdays), the deal was pretty much done. For a time, I threatened to wrap myself - or at least my head - in aluminum foil, against whatever forces were arrayed against me.
Actually, the crux of the "complaint" against this campaign is really about a church/state issue...and I get that point. But I think it's downright hilarious that someone out there had the idea to utilize the birth of Christ as a way to get a targeted group of people to participate in the census.