‘Tis the season … to attack Christian faith

It is the holidays – a time for friends and family to gather to celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving – and … Continued

It is the holidays – a time for friends and family to gather to celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving – and it is once again time for atheist groups to roll out their latest attack on Christianity.

This year’s chosen anti-Christian theme seems to be directed specifically at cross displays in the military or any vestige of Christian faith associated with honoring those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Just before Thanksgiving, the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers (MAAF) launched an assault on a 13-foot cross that was erected by U.S. Marines at Camp Pendleton in California to commemorate the memory of their fallen comrades – fellow heroes who died in Iraq.

MAAF’s assault this Christmas doesn’t stop with this one cross; they take aim at a whole laundry list of other symbols of sacrifice meant to honor fallen heroes. As MAAF explained, “The Camp Pendleton cross is just one of many. The Mt. Soledad Cross, the Mojave Desert Cross, the Montana Jesus statue, and the Utah state trooper crosses are all examples.”

Just a few weeks ago, it was Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) — another atheist group opposed to any public Christian display — that attempted to remove a World War II memorial statue of Jesus from Big Mountain in Montana, calling this nearly 60-year-old war memorial erected by members of the 10th Mountain division “a ruse and a sham.”

Now, the U.S. Army has ordered the removal of a cross from a military chapel at a base in Afghanistan – a symbol of sacrifice that soldiers at the base considered an “inspiring symbol.” American Atheists — the group suing to stop the inclusion of the Ground Zero Cross in a 9/11 museum, saying Christians are using it to “exploit” 9/11 – and MAAF claim that this move was required for the military to remain “neutral.” Yet, as I told Fox News, what these atheist groups truly want is to remove all the evidence of our Christian heritage from the military. Interestingly, the same individual I debated on Fox News last week regarding the cross at the Afghanistan base, who is the Vice President of American Atheists, happens to also be the founder of the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers. Notice a trend?

Remember it was the Military Religious Freedom Foundation that demanded and received an apology from the U.S. Air Force Academy for allowing cadets to send an email encouraging their fellows cadets to support a Christmas children’s charity, Operation Christmas Child, because that charity is run by a Christian organization.

Of course, none of these groups have voiced any concern about the U.S. Air Force Academy’s new $80,000 taxpayer-funded worship center for pagans, Wiccans, druids, witches, and other “Earth-based” religions. Out of the 4,300 cadets at the Academy, three, that’s right

three
people, identify, “themselves as pagans, followers of an ancient religion that generally does not worship a single god and considers all things in nature interconnected.”

No, their focuses remains on eradicating what they consider “Christian” symbols from the military this holiday season.

The founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation “estimates that about 88 percent of the U.S. military is either protestant or Catholic” and NPR reports “that 40 percent of active duty personnel are evangelical Christians.” Christians should be proud of these statistics and those activists launching attacks on any vestige of Christian symbolism in the military would be well-advised to appreciate the tremendous voluntary sacrifice the Christians who makeup the overwhelming majority of our armed forces are willing to make to protect our country.

Rather than praise the Christians who make our all volunteer military the second largest in the world, these atheists and anti-evangelical crusaders want to tear down memorial crosses, dispose of 60 year old statues, and prevent St. Augustine’s landmark Just War Theory from being used to educate adult servicemen and women.

At the ACLJ, we are taking a stand against this targeted campaign by these atheist groups to remove the cross and other symbols of sacrifice from our armed forces. We are sending a petition to the Department of Defense explaining that crosses and other memorials do not create a constitutional crisis and urging it not to cave into what the Supreme Court has called a “relentless and all-pervasive attempt to exclude religion from every aspect of public life.”

Jordan Sekulow is Executive Director of the American Center for Law & Justice and writes for On Faith’s blogging network at the Washington Post. Matthew Clark is an attorney for the ACLJ.

  • cprdcnats

    For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

    It’s understandable why the devil’s minions would seek to obscure that Light and cover over wherever it may reflect in the good, honest virtues and symbols erected by believers.

  • tbradnc

    Nutty article, what can I say. The fact that the topic had very little to do with the subject matter says it all.

  • tbradnc

    Nutty piece, what can I say. That the topic had very little to do with the subject matter says it all.

  • dodyc

    “it is once again time for atheist groups to roll out their latest attack on Christianity”

    And once again, it is time for all the poor, persecuted Christians to trot out the ‘atheist attacks on Christmas’ complaint as they do every year without fail. I know of no one who wants to attack the Christmas traditions, and none of the cases cited have anything specific to do with the holiday; they’re all justified attempts to keep forced religion out of public life. The authors should get over themselves.

  • darlenenfl

    All I have to say is, “Joshua 24:15, “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, …….. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

  • theFSM

    And I’d gladly fight for your right to do that. I only ask that the government not be in the religion business.

    Why should I have to be subjected to your beliefs? This is a free country, is it not?

  • gloriagarza

    I have seen Jewish stars in cemeteries. I think the families of deceased soldiers can state what type of memorial they want on the soldier’s grave. So Carstonio is incorrect in saying that the intent is to send a message that the lives of Christian soldiers count more. It’s merely a matter of respecting the soldier’s and his or her family’s religious wishes in how they want to memorialize the body. Anything else is simply politicizing the issue. Unfortunately for the non-believers the problem is that there are many more Christians than atheists or members of other religious faiths. That’s just a fact of life that they have to live with.

  • Chip_M

    This issue is not about cemetery crosses where those crosses represent the wishes of individual families. This is about a huge cross erected at Camp Pendelton on federal land supported by taxpayers, supposedly to honor fallen soldiers, many of whom were not Christian. It’s not only dishonoring those non-Christian soldiers who sacrificed their lives, it elevates Christianity to a privileged position over all other beliefs. It’s insulting and unconstitutional.

  • jmnjo1

    So you anti-Christians commenting here tell me, how do you feel about the “Air Force Academy’s new $80,000 taxpayer-funded worship center for pagans, Wiccans, druids, witches, and other “Earth-based” religions.”…where “Out of the 4,300 cadets at the Academy, three, that’s right three people, identify, “themselves as pagans, followers of an ancient religion that generally does not worship a single god and considers all things in nature interconnected.”? I don’t hear you objecting that that. Why not?

  • jmnjo1

    Sorry…meant to say ‘objecting TO that’.

  • jmnjo1

    Rather than the ACLU trying to force crosses OFF federal lands like Military and other federal/state institutions why not push for the public to VOTE according to their feelings and see what the majority of U.S. citizens WANT? I’d have no problem with that and I’m a VERY devout Christian. That (to me) would be the TRUE indicator of what’s good for America. Let the people decide!

  • jrobrien

    May our Father, the God of this nation and the whole world cause us to realize that our universe did not “just happen”. As evidenced by just the amazing statistics: our galaxy is spinning at 490,000 MPH. And, that it takes 200 million years to complete one rotatiion & our galaxy is just one of over one billion other galaxies. Or, the number of stars in creation are equal to all the grains of sands on all the beaches of this world. For this reason I bow my knees before you Father, in whom heaven and earth derives its name that out of your glorious riches we might know the power of your Spirit in our inner being so that the historical Messiah, Christ, Jesus, who declared he was one with you and would rise from the dead and who remains cannot be found might dwell in our hearts through faith, not only so, Father, God being rooted and grounded in love may we know the height and the depth, and the width and the length of your love for us that surpasses our understanding so we might be filled with all the fullness of you , Father. Now unto you who can do beyond all that we ask and think according to your power that works within us, to you be the glory now and forever, Amen!

  • ThomasBaum

    cprdcnats

    “And when I am lifted up, I will draw ALL men (people) to myself”.

    Ever heard of this verse?

    There are plenty more like it in the bible, God has all of the bases covered so that all will make it home.

    See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom, the night of the sixth day is coming but the dawning of the seventh day shall surely arrive in due time, God’s Time.

    By the way, do you know that “condemned” means judged?

  • AJAX2

    AFA and OneMillionMoms has prepared its annual “Naughty or Nice” retailer list. They have taken the top 100 national retailers and reviewed their websites, media advertising and in-store signage in an effort to help you know which companies are Christmas-friendly.

    Find out where you can feel good about spending your hard earned money because these businesses share the same beliefs as you do at CHRISTmas! Happy Shopping!

    Retailer’s ‘War on Christmas’ already starting –

    Companies AGAINST “Christmas”

    Banana Republic
    Barnes & Noble
    Foot Locker
    Gap Stores
    L.L. Bean
    Limited Brands
    Office Depot
    Old Navy
    Radio Shack
    Staples
    Supervalu
    Victoria’s Secret

  • Chip_M

    I have no objection to providing a multi-use facility that can be used for worship services by any faith group or by atheists for whatever they’d like to use it for. The question is why can’t they use the existing facility used by Christians? Is demand too high for that facility or are Christians not letting them use it? If a facility is being provided to Christians at taxpayer expense than facilities must also be provided for those of other faiths. If they are not being provided for then it is yet another example of Christians being given preferential treatment.

  • Chip_M

    Thanks. I’ll be sure to support them for their inclusiveness by giving them my business this holiday season. Happy Holidays.

  • lepidopteryx

    Chip – meet you at Victoria’s Secret.

  • Catken1

    Ah, good, companies that don’t give in to fundamentalist Christians throwing temper tantrums because they have the GALL, the sheer GALL, not to give the Christian winter holiday EXCLUSIVE center stage ALL of the time!
    If you can’t cope with stores that act as if ALL of their customers matter, not just those who share YOUR faith, then that’s your problem. Me, I won’t shop at stores that don’t.

  • Catken1

    So, jmnjo1, if a majority-Pagan country voted to spend your tax money erecting a giant pentagram on public land to memorialize its soldiers, including its Christian soldiers, and refused to allow a cross or any other religious symbol to be erected as well, would that be OK with you?
    It’s OK for the majority to tell the minority what religious symbols they will pay for, and to tell soldiers of minority religions what religious symbols will memorialize them? Or is it only OK if you and your kind are in the majority?

  • Catken1

    And Darlene, if a majority of this country should someday be of another faith, would it be OK to spend your tax money on their religious displays and demonstrations, while excluding your faith from said displays?

  • Catken1

    Symbols erected by believers with believers’ money on believers’ property are just fine. You are not entitled to the use of other people’s tax money or to public land that belongs to everyone for your own religious expression, particularly if you exclude others who paid taxes just as you did.

  • larryclyons

    Thanks for letting me know where to shop this year. I’ll make sure I patronize those store against “Christmas” (observed). Especially if it ticks off the religious fanatics.

  • larryclyons

    First oFf what is the historical evidence. There is nothing from the contemporary Roman or Jewish chronicallers. In fact the writings of Joesephus Flavius that is most cied as a contemporary account of the mythical Christ has been shown to be a later insertion by monastic transcribers. Nor was this nation founded as a Christian nation. So please spare us your fanaticisms.

  • larryclyons

    What I object to is evangelical Christians at the Air Force Academy forcing their perversion of Christianity down the throats of the cadets and officers who are not Christian.

  • Catken1

    The standard wail of the persecuted evangelical – “MY religion doesn’t get exclusive center stage ALL the TIME in EVERY public space! I can’t use other people’s tax money to promote MY faith, without letting other faiths promote their beliefs on the same terms! Non-Christian American citizens are treated as though THEY matter just as much as I do! As if – gasp – THEY were my EQUALS! WAAAAAH! I’m SO ABUSED!”

  • larryclyons

    Funny how many so-called Christians, like the writers of this content-free piece seem to forget your own bible – Matthew 6 specifically:
    5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

    6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

    7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

    8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

    ———
    It seems that the next time Christian fundamentalists follow Matthew’s injunctions will be the first.

  • Catken1

    Are religious centers for other faiths barred? Are the Pagans getting something that no one else may have? Or are they acting on terms available to members of all religions who choose to ask for them?
    The distinction is important.

  • larryclyons

    Any bets that Sekulow is about to kick off a major fund raising campaign? It seems like many in other things follow the money. How else does he get his 6 figure salary?

  • Catken1

    Um, what in the size of the universe or the speed of the rotation of our galaxy implies that it was magicked into existence by a superbeing? How is your belief in creation supported by more evidence than the theories of physicists, who have actually done the research and studied the mathematics and science? Are you honestly saying, “It’s BIG, really, really BIG, so it must be the product of magic?”

  • stevecook1

    Hey members of MAAF and MRFF, how can you be so politically incorrect? Where’s your tolerance?!?

  • Catken1

    Tolerance doesn’t mean, “Here, Christians, have everything you want from the public purse and exclude everyone else! And while you’re at it, why don’t you tell us who to marry and how to live and whether or not other religions are ‘real’ enough to have military chaplains and what we may or may not do with our own private bodies and homes and lives! We’ll be good little subservient second-class citizens and let you run things for your benefit only!”

    Tolerance is keeping public spaces free of religion, or allowing every religion and philosophy that wants to to have access. It isn’t giving Christians sole exclusive access to public spaces to build religious memorials, as if only Christian soldiers counted.

    But Christian fundamentalists, like five-year-olds, so often confuse “intolerance” and “persecution” and “oppression” with “you’re not letting me do everything I want to all the time, no matter who it hurts.”

  • ccnl1

    And some final words from Thomas Jefferson, not a contemporary NT scholar, but indeed a very learned man:

    “And the day will come,
    when the mystical generation of Jesus,
    by the Supreme Being as His Father,
    in the womb of a virgin,
    will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva
    in the brain of Jupiter.

    – Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
    Letter to John Adams, from Monticello, April 11, 1823.

  • Ryanvideoman

    Actually if you really think about it, the cross in inclusive because it represents every soldier of every creed (atheism, christianity, hinduism, etc.) Jesus did the same thing by dying on the cross for single person on this earth. In that sense, there definitely is a reason to keep those crosses up even if you’re not a believer because Jesus died for them too. They just don’t want to believe it. Also, let’s get real here. Not every place that you can’t expect to turn every corner and not be offended by something you see.