Protecting ‘American Atheists’ 2.0

Dear patriotic protectors of American Atheists, Less than two weeks ago, I asked you to assist me in finalizing “The … Continued

Dear patriotic protectors of American Atheists,

Less than two weeks ago, I asked you to assist me in finalizing “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Protecting American Atheists.” As you know, American Atheists continue to suffer from Ground Zero cross-induced, “dyspepsia [upset stomach], symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish.”

You immediately grasped the urgency of my request and submitted your well thought out additions to the Guide in a most timely manner. Below, you will find “The Updated Complete Idiot’s Guide to Protecting American Atheists 2.0,” updated with suggestions from commenters.

We no doubt have failed to identify every possible thing that must be removed or altered to correct the government’s malicious disregard for the hurt feelings of godless Americans. But, if we successfully remedy all the government-sponsored wrongs listed in this updated guide, we will be well on our way to protecting atheists from references to America’s religious history and Judeo-Christian heritage.

In fact, American Atheists have acknowledged the accuracy of the guide. One commenter on the American Atheists’ blog writes, “I have to agree with almost every item in the list in the article.”

For your ease of use, everything in the updated Guide is categorized and acknowledges the hardworking patriots who contributed. Everything that appeared in Guide 1.0 is italicized:

Historical Documents, Songs, and Speeches:

Songs with religious references such as The Star-Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, God Bless America and official songs for each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces (r8arnhart, HUACNOW)

Public references to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have Dream” speech that include the quote, “Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.” (sofsu)

Copies of the Mayflower Compact, which mentions God numerous times, are found in public museums and libraries across America (ag1986)

Any official documents containing “A.D.” dates, which refer to the Latin term “Anno Domini” (In the year of our Lord) (nesquire)

President John Adams wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.”

Jefferson’s Bible displayed at the Smithsonian


National Motto - “In God We Trust”


Pledge of Allegiance – “under God”


Declaration of Independence – “our Creator” and “Nature’s God”


Emancipation Proclamation – “gracious favor of Almighty God”


National Anthem – “In God is our trust” (HUACNOW)

Public Buildings, Displays, and Money:

All coins and currency containing the phrase “In God We Trust.” (goldblattp, WKJR, darthofer, ag1986, grep_boy, chance175)

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial – sermons and religious references

Nativity scenes that appear on public property across America every Christmas season. (Sherry Forrester Leslie)

The Library of Congress Bible Collection with “1,500 editions of the Bible in more than 150 languages”

The National Cathedral - Chartered by Congress in 1893 and home to many significant presidential affairs of state from Thanksgiving services to funerals

The National Park Service has designated St. John’s Church, where Patrick Henry delivered his “Give me Liberty, or Give me Death” speech, as a National Historic Landmark.


Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial – thousands of white crosses


Tomb of the Unknowns – “American soldier known but to God”


Prayer room of the U.S. Capitol

Evergreen Chapel at Camp David - President Obama’s church


Ground Zero Cross at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum


Lincoln Memorial - Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural Address are replete with references to God

The floor of the National Archives contains a medallion with the Ten Commandments


Doors leading to U.S. Supreme Court Courtroom - Ten Commandments

Zion National Park

A steel covered World War II Bible displayed at the National Museum of American History which was originally advertised to “protect from bullets” when carried in one’s pocket on the battle field.


Arlington National Cemetery is replete with religious symbolism (michsmith7)


Religious artwork in the National Gallery of Art


Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia – cross and Ten Commandments


Cox Corridors of the U.S. Capitol – “America! God shed his grace on Thee”


East facade of the outside of the Supreme Court - Moses holding Ten Commandments

House of Representatives chamber – Moses


Jefferson Memorial’s dome – “sworn upon the altar of God”


Cap of the Washington Monument – “Laus Deo [Praise be to God]”


Library of Congress Jefferson Building – Statute of Apostle Paul and Moses holding Ten Commandments


Senate Chamber – “In God we trust”

Seven in Heaven Way” street sign


South frieze of the U.S. Supreme Court Courtroom - Moses holding Ten Commandments (johnstern100)

Constitutions, Laws, and Cases:

Many state constitutions that reference God, such as the Massachusetts Constitution that declares that, “the encouragement of arts and sciences, and all good literature, tends to the honor of God, the advantage of the Christian religion, and the great benefit of this and the other United States of America.” (jinxmchue, HUACNOW)


Van Orden v. Perry
, 545 U.S. 677 (2005) – permitting Ten Commandments on government property


Pleasant Grove City v. Summum
, 555 U.S. ___ (2009) – permitting government to display Ten Commandments and reject other monuments

U.S. Constitution references “Year of our Lord


Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States
, 143 U.S. 457 (1892) – “this is a Christian nation”


Zorach v. Clauson
, 343 U.S. 306 (1952) – “We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being”

Cities and Geographical Names:

City names honoring Christian individuals, such as San Antonio, TX, San Diego, CA, San Francisco, CA, San Jose, CA, Santa Barbara, CA, Santa Monica, CA, St. Augustine, FL, St. Louis, MO, St. Paul, MN, and St. Petersburg, FL. (Chris Prevas, Denise Brown)

City names with Biblical or Christian significance, such as Bethlehem, PA (birthplace of Christ), Corpus Christi, TX (Latin for “the body of Christ”), Los Angeles, CA (meaning “the angels”), Philadelphia, PA (mentioned in Revelations as a city with a godly church), Providence, RI (providence assumes a God that cares about mankind), Sacramento, CA (meaning “the holy sacrament”), Salem, OR (from the Hebrew term for “peace with God”), Santa Fe, NM (meaning “holy faith”), and Bethesda, MD (named after the Presbyterian church in the area). (peterschamberlain, Chris Prevas)

Public Oaths and Ceremonies:

The use of the Bible for the presidential inauguration and prayers offered during the inauguration. (renia216)

Supreme Court opens with “God save the United States and this Honorable Court

Judicial oaths sworn by court witnesses often invoke God or the Bible. For example, witnesses in Pennsylvania courts are required to place their hand on a “Holy Bible” and swear “by Almighty God, the searcher of all hearts, that I will, and that as I shall answer to God at the last great day.” (renia216)

Washington’s Inaugural Prayer, which references God as the “Divine Author of our faith.” (Way4JC)

Holidays:


Christmas and Thanksgiving are official federal government holidays (don61)

White House Easter Egg Roll (Forgod2)

Public Programs and Observances:


National Day of Prayer (Forgod2)


The Chaplains Corps of each branch of the U.S. Military

House and Senate Chaplains who open each day in prayer

We will continue updating “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Protecting American Atheists” and I urge you to leave your additions – specifically those arising at the state and community level – in the comments section below.

Together we can prevent fact-induced dyspepsia.

Thank you for helping us in our efforts to document American history.

About

Jordan Sekulow and Matthew Clark Jordan Sekulow is executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). Matthew Clark is an attorney at the ACLJ. Follow them on Twitter: @JordanSekulow and @_MatthewClark.
  • HBobedajr

    Considering the fact that our nation’s founding fathers sought to preserve the U.S., and it’s citizens with the declarations and provisions contained in “The Declaration of Independence”and “The Constitution” of the U.S. through the SANCTITY and SOVEREIGNTY of GOD ALMIGHTY…then any citizen of the U.S., by mere virtue of the benefit of these DOCUMENTS, ACKNOWLEDGES AND RESPECTS that same SANCTITY and SOVEREIGNTY of GOD ALMIGHTY.
    And these same citizens of the U.S. WILLFULLY SUBMIT themselves to GOD ALMIGHTY, by being PARTAKERS of ANY and ALL BENEFITS,PROVISIONS,and PROTECTION afforded to them by a nation FOUNDED “UNDER GOD”.
    Furthermore,if any person does not feel COMFORTABLE living in a nation,founded under GOD, then that person has the FREEDOM (and obligation) to LEAVE and to go and live in a GODLESS country.

  • MJDowling

    Love it, love it, love it. The tirade of the atheists played out to their logical conclusion leaves the whole “movement” looking rather silly. Thanks for the well compiled list of items that the thought police will need to purge.

  • loveangel773

    The” Complete Idiot’s Guide” refering to the atheist that want to throw Our God, prayer and every good thing that our country was founded on ,Are absolutely Complete IDIOT’S! When we reject God our creator and every good thing he stands for! Whats Left! THIS IS WHAT IS LEFT~ Satan, Darkness,Hate for God and Believers,Distruction,abusers,murderers,All about Self, liars, No care or mercy for those in need! Oh ,atheist ,you think your sick and in pain now! Wait till Gods Judgement falls on you ,unless you repent and turn to Christ! AND THAT IS OUR PRAYER FOR YOU! He paid the price to set you free from sin and eternal hell fire. If you reject what he has done than Your father is the devil and the works he does you will do! John8:44 You are of your father the devil,and the lusts of your father you will do.He was a murderer from the begining, and did not abide in the truth,because their is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie,he speaks of his own: for he is a liar,and the father of it all.v 47 He that is of God hears Gods words: you therefore hear them not,because you are not of God.God wants the good for us,but satan wants to take as many to hell as he can and he knows his time is short! God is saying WAKE UP! ALL OF YOU WHO THINK THAT BEING AN ATHEIST IS THE ANSWER! AND ALSO TO ALL OF YOU WHO WANT TO TAKE THEIR SIDE AND DO AWAY WITH GOD AND ALL THAT IS RIGHT AND GOOD! TAKE HEED! IN THE END GODS WRATH WILL BE POURED OUT ON ALL UNBELIEVERS ,TIME IS SHORT! AND GOD ALWAYS SENDS HIS PROPHETS TO GIVE WARNING FIRST!

  • loveangel773

    Furthermore,if any person does not feel Comfortable living in a nation, founded under God,then that person has the Freedom(and Obligation) to Leave and to go and live in a GODLESS COUNTRY! It is as SIMPLE AS THIS STATEMENT! Why are you atheist trying to change what we stand for? You really have no rights to do this! and our GOVERMENT HAS NO RIGHT TOO LET THIS HAPPEN! Allthough the things that are happining now in the goverment and the world is top evidence that Gods Word in REV,IS BEING PLAYED OUT AND IF YOU READ THIS,YOU WILL SEE WHAT PART YOU PLAY ,ALSO YOU WILL READ ABOUT GODS WRATH ON THE UNBELIEVERS! AND WHO WINS IN THE END! Your choice who side you will be on!

  • amelia45

    All those references to God do not mean this is a Christian nation.

    I agree that atheists are out to end mention of faith and that was not what was intended by the founders of this country. As much as the Bill of Rights wants to assure no particular religion is established, it also wants to assure that there is no bar to the “free exercise thereof.” There is not just room for faith but a need for faith so that we may understand what it is to be moral and just.

    So, I will go along with this “proof” of how important religion is to this nation. But the founders concept of religion and faith, of “nature’s God”, doesn’t look much like what Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and Rick Perry espouse as their faith. There is a world of difference between the Deists and the men of the Enlightenment, Christian though they may be, and what christian fundamentalists say today.

  • WmarkW

    Ok, Jordan, you’re getting your jollies making fun of this, but even Susan Jacoby and the commenters on her board thought this was a very stupid case.

    It’s not like encouraging public schools to ignore the difference between science and a religious dogma like Creationism.

  • maryp123

    This wasn’t funny or clever the first time…

  • gonnagle

    As its an Idiots guide its obviously aimed at believers

  • Sajanas

    It was interesting, with the 1.0 list, how many posts were deleted, and how many of those that were not were still filled with death threats, comparisons to Nazis, and the smug informing atheist of their coming eternal torture. I see that starting again, and I have ask, are you people proud of yourselves? Cause it seems like a lot more frothing rage than the sort of love thy enemy stuff that you advertise.

  • cwilliams2

    The oath of enlistment for military enlistees and the oath of office for military officers, which ends with “So help me God”.

  • nawdew

    Why do the heathen rage? Gotta love the Psalms. But I like also when Jesus said, don’t cast your pearals before the swine. We believers know that fools declare “no god.” Nothing we can do but pray. Will may never know what happens to all the God haters except their eternal end according to Scripture. They want there ‘hopeless and meaningless” life, sad but true ( I believe that was a song…LOL). Arguing back and forth can lead to sin in our hearts, and this is not, as Col 1:10 spoke of as walking worthy of the Lord. Atheists can make us angry, but they have chose to make that bed. I may be a loonie, an idiot, even a fool according to the world, but I would rather be a fool in the eyes of man than a fool in the eyes of God. Let us rejoice that our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, that we will spend eternity in the presence of he Lord. They know the truth of the Gospel and they are accountable for their actions. All we can do is pray for them. Let them rant, these rantings have been on-going since the days of Paul the Apostle. They have no excuse and will be accountable for their choices. And if we, believers ever have a death experience, we can rejoice knowing that we are homeward bound, what will they say, the atheist? What can they say if they, God forbid, get into a bad accident an are on the verge of death? Even Sam Kennison was found in a type of prayer before he died. God does not need our defending Him or even proving Him, He has an can do that daily. We need to show God’s love by our conversation (atheists, look that word up in the Greek, does not mean what you think…LOL), we are required to liveby obedience and give honor to the Lord Al Mighty. I just want to thank the Lord for my deliverence from drugs and alcohol (God’s version of a big bang…BANG it’s gone…LOL). We have the Holy Spirit, what do they have. I wish all of these God haters could KNOW my Lord as I do and have an INTELLIGENT PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Him. But that is someth

  • JUSTACOMMENT

    @Jordan Sekulow:

    Thanks to you and your dear patriotic protectors of American Atheists that have contributed to the important guide you have highlighted. We atheist should take this guide seriously.

    For starters let me tell you and your correspondents that one of the reasons we get “dyspepsia [upset stomach], symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish.” is to know that there are child molesters priests in our neighborhood where children are playing. All parents in your correspondent group will identify with our preoccupation.

    Same happens when the school system tries to introduce unconstitutional teaching of religion, which intellectually is equivalent to introduce students into illegal drugs in the sense that religious dogmas relax the rational thinking and leads to ignore the scientific method for certain topics, leaving the students exposed to accept things that have no logic like political populism, vote against own interests, horoscopes, conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, cults, etc. That’s another reason why we get strong migraines, nausea and other illnesses because of this.

    The list of names and references to religious symbols are just confirmation of historical errors against the constitution for favoring one religion over others. In itself those names and references are ridiculously unimportant, like when workers find and erect a “metal cross” in the rubble of the Twin Towers as a sign from above. Nevertheless it creates valid reasons for other religions and denominations to fight for the same opportunity to erect symbols with time and materials that are paid by the government. All this is a waste of time and efforts. Other names referencing a religion or all religions are just historical facts, like in the case of Los Angeles wich was funded by Spaniard Christians conquistadors and was part of the territory that Mexico ceded when they lost the war against our country. The name should have been changed at that moment, but the fact

  • loveangel773

    You are absolutely right mr. nawdew! That very scripture came to mind today. Do not cast your perals before the swine! I am not angry with anyone, however, we do have certain rights also. Atheist believe their is no God,Christains believe and know their is a real God that has changed their lives forever! We know how it will all end, and if God could get the attention of just one atheist and his whole life was turned around for the better,he could and would be a mighty wittness to others. Why do we as Christains say anything about the things that concern the goverment or what we believe,Because we have the right and the responcebility to stand for what is right and good! The atheist want to through out everything that resembles God, we want our God and all the good he stands for to reign supreem over our nation! However, i have voiced my beliefs , and you are so right, they do know the truth even though they do not want to except it! Hopefully and prayerfully we will continue to pray and love them by speaking the truth. God is love! and he is not willing that any should perish,and neither do we want that! Only God can change us! all glory to him!

  • nawdew

    While I was preparing to make dinner, I noticed the eggs in the fridge. I started to laugh because I wonder how the atheist makes dinner. Do they hope that the eggs “evolve” into a chicken dinner…LOL Sorry, my dinner humor. Maybe I should not have said that. Oh well, even Christians have bad moments. I agree with what you are saying. We have “allowed” way to much to happen by not being active and more supportive. Funny how Scriture is so right on, 2 Tim 3 speaks of our day, and it is sad to see. It is just a sa case to see people put their hope on that their is “no God.” It would seem that there are only 2 choices a person has, God or no God. Why would anyone want to rest their hopes (which really is not a true hope) that God does not exist? They can say, well there is no proof of God, well there is no proof that He doesn’t exist as well. This is a major stand still that words here cannot find answer. They say, “let us educate you.” REALLY, like I will listen to someone a do not trust or know for that matter, now that funny. But the same goes for us, why should they listen to us. The thing is, to rest one’s hope on the idea that at death, that is the end. If that were true, then oh well, life is done, but what if it doesn’t, that possiblitiy does exist as well. See no one knows except what the Bble teaches. That I truly believe. But I cannot fathom why someone would go throuh life trying to convince themself that God does not exist when they haven’t truly sought Him out. Funny how the creation tries to become better then God. That is like my CD player giving me the what-for. I surrender to the fact I cannot convert someone here, cannot be done. But I hope that someone, as time goes by sees that the possibility exists of an after life and that they then seek the Lord God of all Creation. If not, well, that is their decision…Chose you today life or death…gotta love Moses.

  • nawdew

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Oh that, that was from the Declaration of Independance. Our, America’s declaration. Notice the word “Creator”. Gee, I wonder who wrote that line…Oh andWe hold the TRUTHS.” Shoot even our founding fathers knew the truth, what is it about God haters anyway???
    This lawsuit was a real bad idea. Even some atheists agree with Jay and Jordan concerning this lawsuit. You organization, ooops, religion, should pick their fights carefully. I read the lawsuit that was filed, was rather funny, almost Sunday paper comic funny. What got me was the words “We ask and Pray” near the end of it. HUH, Pray. Who are you guys praying to? The god of Chance, there is a good chance it may not here you…LOL. Sorry, I had to say that.

  • YEAL9

    Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are atheists. They need no protection.

  • TopTurtle

    STRAW MAN.

    There may be good arguments against the recent 9/11 suit, but this article certainly doesn’t make one.

    Would Sekulow object if the government wanted to erect a crescent somewhere in honor of Islam? I think so.

  • david6

    Why do the believers rage? Why do they lie about the Declaration of Independence — an attack on the Divine Right of Kings — and the Constitution which was silent about God?

  • david6

    Sekulow works for an organization that wants to deny the right to build a religious house of worship just because the supposedly Christian organization does not like the competing religion. They hate the idea that the First Amendment protects all citizens, not just right-wingers who claim to be Christian.

  • david6

    nawdew –

    You seem to forget that the Declaration of Independence is a brilliant piece of political propaganda. In no way does it support Christianity. Though some more moderate Christians would accept what it says about the Creator, it clearly attacked the religious idea of the Divine Right of Kings and then had the temerity to attack what the King had done. Furthermore, the rights enumerated as being “endowed by their Creator” were clearly in opposition to what was being taught by Christianity then and, to some degree, now.

  • nawdew

    ROFL. Try reading it. Really, guess you did not look up the definitions. It says what it says like it or not. It is our Declaration like it or not. Figures someone would actually debate the Declaration of our Independance. Unbelieveable.

  • nawdew

    david6 needs to read the Declaration before is moronic denies what it says in PLAIN english.

  • JordanSekulow

    Actually, if you read the article we support representation of many faiths different faiths at 9/11 memorial service. The GZ Mosque lawsuit is over legal procedures, not the First Amendment.

  • JUSTACOMMENT

    While the declaration of independence has great important historical significance, we must follow 100% the constitution, no matter what other written piece of paper say or intentions when the independence was declared.

    What we cannot ignore is that societies change. When the founding fathers met to agree on the constitution, many of them had slaves, women did not vote, blacks were not allowed to marry whites, etc., facts that today are not accepted. If at that time it was accepted to talk in public documents about a “creator”, whatever it means, the constitution and amendments is clear when it mandates that the “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….”, and “…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

  • JUSTACOMMENT

    This must be ended. We are mixing religion and patriotism with the real danger of creating extremist fanatics by dividing the country in good and bad people.

    It’s kind of infantile and simplistic: Follow my god = good, doesn’t follow my god or no-god = bad. Bad = toasted for ever.

    Besides, asking help from “God” is utterly generic and idiotic. Generic because there are thousand of gods and goddesses, so the e-mail could go to a wrong inbox. And idiotic because there is not an shred of evidence that any god or goddess intervene in worldly affairs.

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