An Omaha, Nebraska school board member raised eyebrows with his rant against atheists in a classic argument of whether the December off-time of students should be called Winter Break or Christmas Break.
“I’m getting a little bit tired of a minute minority in this country that keeps pushing Christmas out, keeps pushing God out, keeps pushing Christ out, when the majority is still a Judeo-Christian country,” Paul Meyer, a Millard school board member, said. “I would like to make a motion that we rename this period ‘Christmas break,’ and those atheists who don’t like it can crawl back into their hellhole because I for one will not put my lord, my god aside for a few atheists.”
Nobody supported Meyer’s outburst — or proposal.
For several years school boards across the country have grappled with how to name calendar break periods given the growing diversity of their student populations. What made this event noteworthy was that the school district made the change to “Winter Break” years ago — and little has been said about it since. There is little to support a change and Meyers appeared to be acting out of personal beliefs.
Omaha-area atheists, naturally, took offense and exception at the outburst.
“His bigoted language, telling atheists to ‘crawl back into their hellhole,’ attempts to discredit the broad range of people who support keeping government out of religion,” said Tom Gray, president of the group Omaha Atheists, who has children in the Millard school district. “If he believes we are literally pitchfork-wielding demons, then we are concerned for his grasp on reality.”