The complete idiot’s guide to: protecting ‘American Atheists’

Mario Tama GETTY IMAGES NEW YORK, NY – JULY 23: (This Image was made with a panoramic film camera and … Continued

Mario Tama


NEW YORK, NY – JULY 23: (This Image was made with a panoramic film camera and scanned into a digital file) People look on during a blessing of the World Trade Center cross before it was moved into its permanent home at the 9/11 Memorial Museum on July 23, 2011 in New York City. The cross is an intersecting steel beam discovered in the World Trade Center rubble which served as symbol of spiritual recovery in the aftermath of 9/11.

It is with the utmost urgency that I write this blog.

A group of atheists have filed a lawsuit to prevent the inclusion of the historic Ground Zero Cross at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. We have learned from their lawsuit that they, “have suffered, are suffering, and will continue to suffer damages, both physical and emotional, from the existence of the challenged cross.” Atheists have reportedly endured cross-induced, “dyspepsia [upset stomach], symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish.”

In order to ensure that atheists in America never again experience any of the aforementioned ailments, I need your assistance in writing “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Protecting American Atheists.”

To help you get started, I’ve identified things that must be removed or altered immediately to rectify the government’s continued disregard for the hurt feelings of godless Americans.

-The new Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial includes much of “Dr. King’s Spiritual Presence” by permanently inscribing portions of his sermons on the memorial inscription wall

-The Ground Zero Cross at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

-The National Motto: “In God We Trust

-“Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance

The National Day of Prayer

-“Seven in Heaven Way” street sign honoring seven firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11

-Original copies of the Declaration of Independence in the National Archives, which reference “our Creator” and “Nature’s God”

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

-All “Religious” Artwork in the National Gallery of Art

-The Latin phrase “Laus Deo [Praise be to God]” on the cap of the Washington Monument

-Surviving copies of The National Anthem, which includes the phrase “In God is our trust”

-On the Lincoln Memorial are etched the word of the Gettysburg Address (“this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom”) and his Second Inaugural Address (“with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right,”) which are replete with references to God

-The Jefferson Memorial’s dome includes this inscription about God, “I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” There are other references to God in the memorial

-On the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery is inscribed, “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God”

-The federal courthouse containing the Court of Appeals and the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia contains a sculpture, which includes a cross and the Ten Commandments

-The south frieze of the U.S. Supreme Court Courtroom depicts Moses holding the Ten Commandments

-The metal gates on the north and south sides of the U.S. Supreme Court Courtroom contain the Ten Commandments, as well as the doors leading to the courtroom

-The east facade of the outside of the Supreme Court shows Moses holding the Ten Commandments

-The Library of Congress Jefferson Building contains a large statue of Moses holding the Ten Commandments and the Apostle Paul over looking the rotunda

Inscribed on the wall of the Cox Corridors of the U.S. Capitol is the phrase “America! God shed his grace on Thee”

-The chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives features Moses.

-The Prayer Room of the U.S. Capitol contains the phrase “Annuit coeptis” (translated “God has favored our undertakings”) and the words of Psalm 16:1

-The House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol contains the National Motto “In God we trust

-Inscribed in the Senate Chamber of the U.S. Capitol are the phrase “Annuit coeptis” (translated “God has favored our undertakings”) and the National Motto “In God we trust”

-The Emancipation Proclamation featured in the National Archives invoking “gracious favor of Almighty God”

-The United States Department of Veterans Affairs chaplains program

-“Christmas” and “Thanksgiving” are official federal government holidays

-The U.S. Constitution itself references “Year of our Lord

-Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 143 U.S. 457 (1892), where the Supreme Court declared that “this is a Christian nation”

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

-The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial with thousands of white crosses over each of the graves represented at that cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery is replete with religious symbolism complete with a list of authorized religious emblems

Please leave your additions to “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Protecting American Atheists” in the comments section below.

Together, we can protect atheists from references to American history.

  • ezrasalias-socialize

    That’s a great list Mr Sekulow. That will do for a start.

  • ChocRas

    Umm….. looking at it from the other end, didn’t they consider what Christians have to put up with? No, we’re not supposed to get down about what’s going on in the world (ie this case and other examples like a nuclear iran, US debt, etc.), but honestly it does get to some of us. So my point is that if you apply their logic universally then anyone who stresses out about what their doing can counter sue.

    Doesn’t seem very well thought out.

  • Paaw

    If we want to get rid of all references and reminders of god then we would need to distroy the entire earth,because god created the heavens and the earth all things above the land and below the water

  • nawdew

    Hey atheist, want some cheese with that whine? “Uh, I my whittle head hurts when I see the cross.” Seriously, the lawsuit, it’s contents, is nothing more then a HUGE whinning, and is nothing more than like the boy who takes the ball home cause nobody played by his rules. David Silverman is a joke, and his recent blog post represents the ignorrance of these “mature” atheists…ROFL. The responses by their followers are even more laughable. In fact, the writing on bathroom stalls has more substance then their responses. Oh wait, was that responses on the bathroom stalls?

    A careful, but simple word definition of “religion” will reveal that Atheism is a religion. A set of beliefs that are followed and is faith. Their faith is “no God.” If that is true, which common sense says yes, then we shoud file a lawsuit against for freedom against their religion. They, the atheist will say, is not a religion. Religion is not just something that takes place in church. Shoot, David Silverman is their Pastor (ROFL).

    I thank the ACLJ for their work and to stand for the Christians and our beliefs in the courtsof America. The atheist brings these lawsuits to the courts, so we need someone o stand for our belifs in a court of law.

    Hey, is there a drug for the “Angry Atheist Syndrome?” Maybe they should take a pill and call someone who cares in the morning.

  • Rongoklunk


    You don’t get it do you? Atheists are just people who were not indoctrinated into religion. And we are pretty sure there are no gods, no heaven and no immortality. So why the tantrum and slurs against folk who were never indoctrinated?

    Is it because you think the invisible skydaddy is looking down on you from above? And will let you into heaven to live forever and ever and ever? That’s what the devout Muslims believed when they took down the WTC on 9.11.
    I’m sure you’re fool enough to believe they got the wrong god and you got the right one. But in reality you are just as hoodwinked as they were. There is no difference between you. Like you – they were indoctrinated into believing in outrageous nonsense; and swallowed it hook, line and sinker. Indoctrination really works, even when it’s totally absurd.
    Children can be taught absolute rubbish. But they’ll assume it’s the truth if it comes from parents and the local community. That’s how religion works.

    As far as we know there are no gods and never were.

  • Rongoklunk

    No he didn’t. He doesn’t even exist. Read some Stephen Hawking.
    No god was required in figuring out how the cosmos was created.
    You are operating under a delusion. Unless of course you can prove your god exists. But you can’t. Because he doesn’t.

  • Sajanas

    What exactly do you have to put up with? Not thumping references to God in political events, or on monuments? Are you really broken up by not having everything dedicated to Jesus?

    Please, its not like there aren’t hundreds of thousands of churches sporting millions of crosses, and millions of crosses and Jesus fish on cars, front lawns, and all manner of other privately owned places, not to mention all the billboards, ads, broadcast networks, radio stations and other media devoted to constant exposing of Christianity. People can and do completely smother themselves in this stuff. What is it exactly that you feel you are being denied?

  • Thenexpresident09

    I have nothing against atheists, but why would it cause them pain to see a cross?? I was taught evolution all through high school and took it because I believe in being tolerant. Why cant they be tolerant too?

  • Thenexpresident09

    Why would seeing a symbol of faith cause someone sickness? I have to learn evolution at every educational institution I go to in the U.S. I do this because I am tolerant, why can’t atheists be just as tolerant as everyone else? Christianity is barred from Harvard, an institution that was begun to train pastors,the pledge of Allegiance has been taken out of schools, I mean why hate religion just because you do not believe? How intolerant!

  • NeverLeft

    What a bunch of whiners! The Talibatheists demand the only allowed faith in the United States be their own.

  • nawdew

    Indoctrinated? Now that’s a first. I was never “indoctrinated” and neither was any fellow believer that I know. Since you are such an expert of these things, care to share how you know for sure? I believe the word fool was associated with those who do not believe. What a sorry state to be in and live a life without any sort of deity. Again, lets here how you, of all people that have ever lived know for sure there isn’t a God.
    Funny, even a famous, former atheist named C.S. Lewis saw the fallacy of this thinking of “no God” and changed his ways. But I suppose you have never read his stuff. See, I find that people who jump on this “no God” bandwagon have NEVER really searched. Josh McDowell is another that comes to mind, ever heard of him, another former atheist. Atheists will never really seek to prove their reasonings except research their own presuppositions in the findings of other atheists. Most atheists are not well read cause the thought of actually coming to the reality that God exists would be shattering to that person. If God doesn’t exist, then who created you, evolution, chance? Seems that DNA and reproduction is something that science and the atheist can’t explain, so it must, oh no here it comes…a creator God that actually thought of you. But again, prove you know without a doubt, that you have solved the neon age question. And let us all revel in your findings.

  • sjcastiglia

    I’m not sure I understand the atheists. You don’t believe in God, okay. I respect that. You live in a nation that was founded on Godly principals and you enjoy the freedoms this country has, because our founding fathers were men of principle and believed in God. So I would like an atheist to explain to me what the big deal is. You have the freedom to disagree and even dislike something. There are too many people complaining and not enough people being thankful that we live in the good old US of A. We have our problems, but I would not like to live in a country like Iraq, Afganistan, Iran, etc that persecute those who believe in God. If you don’t like it here, you do have the freedom to live in a country that will not tolerate anything that has to do with God. I would love some feed back. I really do want to understand. Thanks for listening.

  • gonnagle

    I could understand there being a sense of wonder if the steel girders were twisted into a star of david, a crescent or a buhda but to see sprituality in finding two steel girders at right angles in the rubble of buildings made of steel girders at right angle to each other is just plain wierd.
    If people want to venerate a bit of basic stuctural engineering fine with me.

  • Sajanas

    If you really want to understand, you should realize that the nation was founded on clearly secular principals, to prevent the US from having the sort of state mandated religion (and religious wars) that had been convulsing Europe for centuries. They didn’t want the state to give any religion a leg up, because they’d seen too often that *any* religion given a lot of power will seek to suppress all others. Of course, that has not stopped them from trying.

    And, honestly, I don’t think most of the stuff the author talking about is a big deal, if it were gone, I wouldn’t notice its absence at all. What surprises me is how much it matters to religious people to slap God on everything, even where its not needed. What exactly do you get out of having ‘Under God’ in the pledge of allegiance, or on money? Its not like that stuff is making people come to your church. And its not like you don’t have plenty of private places to put those sentiments. I understand why, historically these things are there, but why do you fight so hard to keep them there? Its not like you are loosing an rights, except perhaps for the ability to brand this a ‘Christian nation’ rather than what it really is, a nation, which has Christians in it.

  • Sajanas

    I think you might want to read about the Taliban and see how brutal they are, and then you might think twice about comparing them to people that would rather not have you put up a cross as a public memorial.

  • Sajanas

    There is a difference in being tolerant of people’s beliefs and being tolerant of people’s blatant attempts to claim every public and secular thing to laud their particular religion.

  • johnstern100

    The very large words, “IN GOD WE TRUST” deeply etched into one of the walls inside the Supreme Court courtroom.

  • preach_humanism

    Yes please. When can you start the work? Once a god has been proven, and it’s proven to be the Christian god, then we can work on a plan to reinstall this stuff. Until then, yes, it should go.

    And thank you for the kind words, especially “Idiot.”

  • Fistycakes

    Attention fecophiles, references to god in our buildings are references to our history, not our religion. We were established such that the government will establish no church of state, so that everyone may worship as they please. Trying to shoe-horn your contentious beliefs into our government is anti-American and disgraceful. That’s why we left England in the first place. What makes us sick is the thought that all this religious hubub is happening in the first place, and no one seems to see where we’re headed.

  • persiflage

    Humans at work again…….words, words, words. We’re good at it. even when it means nothing in particular.

  • ApostleProphetJohn

    I have come to the belief that there are two main reasons for a person to adopt an atheistic world view:
    1 They reject any concept of a deity that would allow the suffering which is so evident in the world.
    2 They have become convinced that everything came into being by chance, so there is no need for any creator.
    If I have missed any major ones please respond.
    To the first my response is that at least in Judaism and Christianity the “fault ball” is clearly in the court of man, not god. Bereshit (Genesis) 1:26 clearly delivers dominion over the Earth to man, thus removing god from the equation. Then, no matter how it is explained, mankind fell from relationship with god. This fact is clearly seen in all areas of current and historical life on this planet. Then to blame God for the failure of this relationship is purely childish, especially considering the provisions that God made for re-establishing that relationship. Instead of focusing on fault, look for responsibility, it is in taking responsibility that one can promote change. Until one has attempted to correct the break for oneself, one cannot justly harbor resentment.
    To the second reason, I find no possible cause of anguish greater then the world view that everything is entirely pointless. I mean, how can an entire Universe that happened by accident have any purpose in it. Then if living things just happen in that Universe, they also have no purpose, no reason to live, only a sure end in oblivion. And were I of this persuasion then my protests would overlook the seemingly happily ignorant fools that believe otherwise, and focus my protests on the cosmological theorists that point to an absolute ending day for the entire universe. I would prohibit the video games that allow your character to get back up once killed, because that engenders a hope that I wouldn’t have, and I would be very much against that. As it is human nature to want other people to join in ones belief system, I would want everybody as hopeless, d

  • cutter2

    Remove the opening scenes from the Dennis Hopper movie Chattahoochie, which starts with children singing Jesus Loves Me, and then shows a White cross on a hill.

  • persiflage

    ‘If I have missed any major ones please respond. ‘

    You’ve apparently made the assumption that it’s necessary to be a theist in order to live a ‘meaningful’ life. There are probably a couple of billion people in the world that don’t believe in the Supreme Being that is at the center of various of the world’s religions.

    Some of these non-theists are otherwise religious, and many are not. God is not part of the plan for this huge number of people – and yet, I dare say most finding meaning in their lives.
    If people are not indoctrinated with a belief in God from an early age, they most likely will not suddenly become believers later in life.

    Religious beliefs are completely relative to one’s upbringing……as are the loss of those beliefs. Religion is only necessary to those the find deep emotional security in unprovable myths that pique the human imagination in positive ways, and in that sense, religion is self-reinforcing – as is being part of a large group of people that hold the same religious values.

    Religious people tend toward generalizations about non-believers that are both stereotypical and largely untrue.

  • nawdew

    Stephen Hawking, like he is some kind of authroity on Biblical and Scriptual things of any kind. He, like Darwin has “issues” with God. To this sort of “intelligence” God makes no sense. The delusion is “NOT” believing in God. A successful lie that permeated society. The Bible is a supernatural spiritual book, not like ANY text book or some novel that casual reading can answer questions. The Bible does what man (the intelligent) can not do, explain the issues of life. 40 authors, 1500 years same the same message, but take 5 “intelligent” people, put them in a separate room, ask them questions on issues of man, and you won’t get the same answer. Rongoklunk has no clue on what he is saying. He lacks any real substance in his responses and has nothing to prove his so-called claims. Just another “angry” atheist.

  • nawdew

    The Bible says, tastes and see that the Lord is good. Have you lived for God persiflage? If not, than how can you say ANYTHING concerning Biblical things? Proof is in the pudding, give your life to God and than say what you said. I lived on both sides of the fense, atheism is a lost world view with no hope, no good, no answers. A delusion, I was deluted thinking life ended at death, deluted in thinking that life “goes on” without responsibility. You, like most “God haters” base their answers on other peoples opinions. For someone who has NEVER lived as a Christian, you seem to know oh so much. If you never smoked weed, then how can you say anything on it. If you never lived for God, you CANNOT and have no real substance to say anything except presuppositions from “other” people or opinions you conjured on your mind.

  • ApostleProphetJohn

    >>You’ve apparently made the assumption that it’s necessary to be a theist in order to live a ‘meaningful’ life.>>
    As the logic went in “finding meaning in two steel girders that just happened to be left standing in the rubble of a fallen building.” The simple act of attaching meaning, or purpose to a totally random event is branded as foolishness, However you seem to be attaching meaning to what you believe to be totally random events ie. life! It seems we agree in the logic, just not in its application.

  • persiflage

    ‘You, like most “God haters” base their answers on other peoples opinions.’

    You, like many of a religious persuasion, just make stuff up as you go along. I was raised as a Catholic and have made an academic study of religion for over 40 years, so I know something about religion and where it fits into the human scheme of things.

    ‘I lived on both sides of the fense, atheism is a lost world view with no hope, no good, no answers.’

    You sound like a desparate person that found emotional stability in the mythology of religion – in this case, Christianity.

    Secular atheism is the default position of science, and many others than don’t require participation in religoius beliefs and rituals in order to achieve a meaningful life. In fact, cannot live any other way. Many have had plenty of exposure to religion, and found it wanting. In other parts of the world, religion is fading from view as an important social institution.

  • persiflage

    The fact that so many of our politiicians in the USA (including current GOP candidates) feel compelled to infuse their campaigns with religious/Christian symbolism completely detracts from their appeal as national leaders of a secular government – and probably masks serious deficiencies in the requisite knowledge and ability required to govern. In other words, religion is a completely untrustworthy banner to fly when it comes to political office.

  • pnyikos

    That’s an impressive list, Jay. I’d like to also have a list of lawsuits, together with links, that atheists have made to get rid of these or similar things, I’m sure lots of other peope here would like that.

  • pnyikos

    Sajanas, they didn’t want to give a particular sect a leg up, but they also believed in the importance of some belief system that involved a Creator. What most people don’t know about the First
    Amendment is that it denied Congress the power to abolish established State churches. [The word “respecting” actually meant “in regard to”: Congress could neither establish a national church nor abollish any church a state wished to establish.] And so three states continued to have established churches long after the Bill of Rights was enacted.

  • pnyikos

    Rongoklunk, you are just as much a dogmatist as any religious fundie. Why not admit that no one knows for sure whether there is a creator of our universe?

    I’ve read two books by Hawking, and he is also a dogmatic atheist, who has somehow convinced himself that the Feynman equations necessarily entail the existence of universes that satisfy every one of the 10^500 (or thereabouts) possible solutions to those equations. He doesn’t realize that he is doing metaphysics instead of science. If he did, he would probably conclude that if one universe like ours necessarily exists, then infinitely many of them necessarily exist.

  • pnyikos

    Science has no default position on the existence or nonexistence of a creator of our universe. If you don’t understand that, you understand neither science nor philosophy nor theology.