Atheist Activist Group Seeks to Stop Sheriff From Placing Cross Decals on Deputy Vehicles

Brewster-compressed
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ALPINE, Texas — A prominent professing atheist group is seeking to stop a Texas sheriff from placing cross decals on his deputy vehicles out of its assertion that doing so violates the U.S. Constitution.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) wrote to the Brewster County Sheriff’s Office on Monday after learning of Sheriff Ronny Dodson’s plan to place the crosses on the vehicles. It pointed to a status on the Office Facebook page, written by Debbie Skelton, the mother of a local deputy.

“We stand with Sheriff Ronny Dodson on his decision to place crosses on all of his deputies’ vehicles,” it reads in part. “He said that he wanted God’s protection over his deputies and that the thin blue line [on the crosses] stands for law enforcement.”

“As the mother of one of these officers, I appreciate this bold statement in a time when everyone is so worried about being ‘politically correct,'” Skelton stated.

But FFRF says that the placement of the decals is unlawful and violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“Displaying a Latin cross on Brewster County Sheriff’s Offices’ patrol vehicles violates the Establishment Clause,” staff attorney Sam Grover wrote in a letter to Dodson on Monday. “It is inappropriate and unconstitutional for a government entity to display a Latin cross on its property because it conveys a preference by the sheriff’s office—and by extension, Brewster County–for religion over non-religion and Christianity over all minority faiths.”

He asserted that some citizens who contact the police for help might become offended and feel inferior when they see the decals.

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“These citizens should not be made to feel offended, excluded and like political outsiders because the local government they support with their taxes oversteps its power by prominently placing a religious statement on government vehicles,” Grover wrote.

FRRF subsequently asked that Dodson abandon his plan to place the cross decals on deputies’ vehicles.

It is not yet known whether or not Dodson intends to respond to the correspondence, but a post on the office Facebook page outlines that “we have asked the Texas Attorney General’s Office for an opinion on this issue and expect an answer soon.”

“[I]t is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord,” Abraham Lincoln stated in a proclamation on March 30, 1863 declaring a national day of fasting.


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  • Mark Moore

    Great! He opens the door to Satanists, Wiccans, atheists, pagans, Hindus and every other religion and philosophy putting their symbols on the cruisers. Then he gets to cry persecution.

    • bowie1

      How many of these are in Alpine, Texas?

      • https://disqus.com/home/channel/atheismftw/ Ian Brett Cooper

        Who knows? You might be surprised. 🙂

      • Nidalap

        Ha! Kinda makes you wonder how many of those there are in the FFRF, huh? 🙂

        • bowie1

          Wonder, yes.

  • Nidalap

    Always so nice when an atheist group from another state reaches out to impose its ‘protection’ upon communities who never asked them for it. Must be in the spirit of Christmas giving! 🙂

    • truthseekr7

      Merry X-mas! snort!

      • Nidalap

        And a very sportsmanlike Boxing Day(Canada) to you! 🙂

    • Cady555

      The FFRF is a national organization with members in every state.

      • C_Alan_Nault

        Nidalap isn’t interested in facts.

  • https://disqus.com/home/channel/atheismftw/ Ian Brett Cooper

    As long as Islamic cops can put a crescent on their cruisers, and as long as Satanist cops can put an image of Baphomet on their cruisers, I’m fine with it. I’m just glad to see that police officers have enough of a sense of humor to poke fun at themselves for believing in magical sky fairies.

    • WorldGoneCrazy

      “for believing in magical sky fairies.”

      Oh, there you go again, making an atheistic truth claim. Are you going to back that one up, or do the Atheist Shuffle by retreating into agnosticism? Methinks you overstepped your line of evidence. 🙂

      • https://disqus.com/home/channel/atheismftw/ Ian Cooper

        When it comes to the Christian god, it’s easy to disprove that: a god who knows everything (past, present and future) but doesn’t know that Adam will eat of the tree of knowledge? A god who can do anything, who wants humans to get to Heaven, but who can’t simply forgive humans for Adam’s sin? A god who is perfect, but who keeps screwing up in trying to get everyone saved, and who still hasn’t fixed the problem to this day, since he needs us to believe? A god who is transcendent, but also omnipresent? Omnipresent, but undetectable by science? A god who is all-loving, but who spends his time during the Old Testament killing millions of people? A god who is the supreme being, but who is so insecure that he needs constant worship?

        These are fatal internal contradictions – such a god cannot possibly exist.

        • WorldGoneCrazy

          Oh, you are the king of strawmen tonight. Where do we begin? 🙂

          “but doesn’t know that Adam will eat of the tree of knowledge?”

          Who said that?!? I do not know a single Christian who believes that God did not know that Adam would eat of that tree.

          “A god who can do anything but who can’t simply forgive humans for Adam’s sin?”

          Nowhere found in Christian theism. Are you a Hindu?

          “A god who is perfect, but who keeps screwing up in trying to get everyone saved”

          What makes you think that man’s free will in screwing up has anything to do with God screwing up?!? Again, your strawman is nowhere to be found in Christian theism.

          “A god who is transcendent, but also omnipresent?”

          Not mutually exclusive. Next?

          “Omnipresent, but undetectable by science?”

          What? How can a timeless (without creation), spaceless, non-material God be detected by mere science, which requires at least one of these attributes to operate on? Furthermore, how could a God Who did not have any one of these attributes have brought 100 billion galaxies into existence out of nothing material – no time, no space, no matter?!? Such would be metaphysically impossible.

          “A god who is all-loving, but who spends his time during the Old Testament killing millions of people?”

          What does this have to do with God’s existence? Furthermore, why would a God Who created all people not have a claim on their lives? Didn’t your daddy ever spank your butt and bring you home – or send you to your room?

          “A god who is the supreme being, but who is so insecure that he needs constant worship?”

          Who said that God is insecure or that he needs constant worship? He just expects you to not worship your video games over him. 🙂

          “These are fatal internal contradictions – such a god cannot possibly exist.”

          No, those are silly strawmen. Now, be a good atheist and defend your claim that God does not exist. Give me all of that science and logic that supports your claim, instead of attacking strawmen.

          • Giraffe-Junk

            Let’s take a look at this Christian God’s Book to see if there is evidence of His existence. Is man made of Dirt? No. Is woman made from the rib of a man? No. Is the moon a little light? No, it is a reflector. Is there enough water to flood the Earth to the top of the mountains on Earth? No. Can a Wooden Ark the size of Noah’s, when measured using the Ancient Egyptian cubit, float? No. Are skyscrapers currently taller than the tower of Babel could have been? Yes. Can donkeys and serpents talk? No.
            Maybe these are parables that I just don’t seem to understand. Let’s take a look at this Omnipotent Being’s Moral values, surely those must be superior that human morals. Is it moral to kill everyone, save eight, in the largest genocide ever known? No. Is it moral to kill the first born, even though they have nothing to do with your disagreement? No. Is it moral to kill your neighbor for working on the Sabbath? No. Is it moral to allow a rapist to marry his victim, if the rapist agrees to pay the victim’s father an amount of silver? No.
            If you are talking about another God, I would have to take a look at what you are calling the evidence of It’s existence. But, I haven’t seen ANY evidence of ANY God. I see things that I don’t know the answer to and not knowing the answer isn’t God.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            Your argument appears to be that because you do not understand the Bible or because you find difficulties there, then the Christian God does not exist. There is no deductive argument there. This is quite illogical – even for an MIT grad. 🙂

            “Is it moral”

            Whoa! You seem to be talking objective morality here. Such does not exist on atheism – and atheists agree with me:

            “In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, or any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference… DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.” (Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (1995))

            “Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.” A-theist William Provine

            “The position of the modern evolutionist is that humans have an awareness of morality because such an awareness of biological worth. Morality is a biological adaptation no less than are hands and feet and teeth. Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate when someone says, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself,’ they think they are referring above and beyond themselves. Nevertheless, such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction, . . . and any deeper meaning is illusory.” (Michael Ruse, “Evolutionary Theory and Christian Ethics,” in The Darwinian Paradigm (London: Routledge, 1989), pp. 262-269).

            “Is there a God? No.
            What is the nature of reality? What physics says it is.
            What is the purpose of the universe? There is none.
            What is the meaning of life? Ditto.
            Why am I here? Just dumb luck.
            Is there a soul? Are you kidding?
            Is there free will? Not a chance!
            What is the difference between right/wrong, good/bad? There is
            no moral difference between them… So much for the meaning of history, and everything else we care about… you will have to be comfortable with a certain amount of nihilism . . . . And just in case there’s always Prozac.” — Alex P. Rosenberg

            “The idea of . . . moral obligation is clear enough, provided that reference to some lawmaker higher . . . than those of the state is understood. In other words, our moral obligations can . . . be understood as those that are imposed by God. . . . But what if this higher-than-human lawgiver is no longer taken into account? Does the concept of a moral obligation . . . still make sense? … The concept of moral obligation is unintelligible apart from the idea of God. The words remain, but their meaning is gone. … The modern age, more or less repudiating the idea of a divine lawgiver, has nevertheless tried to retain the ideas of moral right and wrong, without noticing that in casting God aside they have also abolished the meaningfulness of right and wrong as well. Thus, even educated persons sometimes declare that such things as war, or abortion, or the violation of certain human rights are morally wrong, and they imagine that they have said something true and meaningful. Educated people do not need to be told, however, that questions such as these have never been answered outside of religion.” — atheist Richard Taylor

            So, you just proved that God exists:

            Premise 1: If there is no God, then objective moral values do not exist.
            Premise 2: Objective evil exists. (Your claim above.)
            Conclusion 1: Therefore, objective moral values DO exist.
            Conclusion 2: Therefore, God exists.

            “But, I haven’t seen ANY evidence of ANY God.”

            This is classic “absence of evidence is evidence of absence” fallacy. Just give us your evidence for the No God Hypothesis, so that we may all be entertained tonight.

          • Giraffe-Junk

            Of course I would know what moral is, your God said I would, guess someone doesn’t really know his bible, just knows how to cut and paste long-winded diatribes that no one is going to read.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            Well, again, you have affirmed the existence of objective morality, which is Conclusion 1 above. With Premise 1 established, you just proved that God exists. Thanks for helping me out tonight! 🙂

          • Giraffe-Junk

            ****YAWN**** Nah, your tripe is worthless, you always just insist on something even if proven untrue….I didn’t read what you wrote, because it is boring ***YAWN*** and uneventful. You would never admit when you are wrong, so what’s the point.
            Or to put it another way, sure, ya got me there. Like I give a….

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            “I didn’t read what you wrote” and “You would never admit when you are wrong”

            Those two statements are mutually contradictory. 🙂

            Besides, don’t be upset with me that you proved God’s existence tonight. You almost HAD to do so: by pointing out objective evil, that means you admit that there is an objective Good, or God. Deep down, you believe in God – you just don’t want Him to have authority over your life. You are not alone:

            “I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious
            believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that. My guess is that this cosmic authority problem is not a rare condition and that it is responsible for much of the scientism and reductionism of our time.” — Professor Thomas Nagel, NYU

          • Giraffe-Junk

            Those two statements aren’t mutually contradictory. I didn’t read what you wrote, because you’ve copied and pasted it a zillion times before. You don’t admit when you are wrong. See two mutually exclusive ideas.

          • caligirl

            Then you have NO answers.

          • Giraffe-Junk

            What didn’t I answer?

          • caligirl

            I asked you to explain the thousands of miracles of faith.I personally do not care if you live a Godless life. The arrogance that you actually think you are so powerful that you are in this alone? I just wish atheists would leave people alone and go live your lives without interference with people that do have faith. Somehow you cannot be satisfied with that. You want to tear down other people’s values, landmarks, things that BRING OTHERS HAPPINESS. It is an ugly thing you do. That is what evil does.

          • https://disqus.com/home/channel/atheismftw/ Ian Cooper

            “I asked you to explain the thousands of miracles of faith”

            Yeah, and I’ve asked you – twice – to name one. Explain what they are and I’ll explain how they’re not miracles.

          • Giraffe-Junk

            For arguments sake, I’ll answer you. “explain the thousands of miracles of faith.” I have never seen a single miracle, like Ian Cooper, I would need you to name just one miracle. Calling me arrogant doesn’t make me arrogant. I see the faithful act arrogant, I’m certain the unfaithful act that way also, so what? Faith doesn’t get some special status that gets to go along without critique, especially when the faithful claim talking donkey existed and their moral values include killing their neighbor for working on the Sabbath. But, as to why I want to interfere with people of faith, I don’t. I want to interfere with people of faith who want to interject their faith in schools, government and the laws, why would I be beholden to your immoral values in my life? Further, having served in a war for YOUR FREEDOM, I want ALL people to enjoy their faith or lack of faith to their hearts content, but I don’t want America changed to some theocracy. If you are the favored group now and won’t fight for freedom of religion (you can’t have freedom of religion without freedom from religion), will you fight for it when you are the disenfranchised group?

            Yes, I do want to raise the values away from the Christian God, that God killed everyone (save eight) because everything happened exactly the way He knew it would. That God killed the first born, who had nothing to do with this God’s argument. You might say something or other about the New Testament vs. the Old Testament, but it is the SAME GOD in both. Further, Jesus claims in Matthew 10:34, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”
            Evil is when religious people kill doctors and fly airplanes into building, killing innocent people. Your God said I would know of Evil (Genesis 3:22) and your God is Evil and Malevolent and followers of this God excuse His Evil and Malevolent ways as righteousness, what could be more atrocious, scary and frightening?
            If you lack morals, you don’t lack God, you lack empathy.

          • caligirl

            You are one warped dude.

          • Giraffe-Junk

            Yes, yes I am, but do you have a rebuttal?

          • http://www.moonbattery.com Bodhisattva

            Funny thing about atheists. They devote so much time and energy getting angry about, arguing about and trying to suppress that which they claim does not even exist. And to date not one of them has been able to explain why.

          • https://disqus.com/home/channel/atheismftw/ Ian Cooper

            Maybe you haven’t actually asked any atheists why. Because there is a very good reason. I’ll explain…

            If people who believed in gods didn’t send death threats to gays and atheists, murder abortion doctors, murder those of other faiths, and try to impose their religious values on everyone else, we wouldn’t have a reason to try to suppress religion.

            It’s not your ridiculous fantasy god that’s the problem. The problem is you. You DO exist, and your holy book (which you believe in fervently) demands that you do some horrible things. Some of you follow through on those demands.

          • Proud Conservative Mom

            Incidentally, we believe in Judaism that the Almighty G-d of Israel is both transcendent, but also omnipresent. In fact it is one of the basic foundations of Judaism. We also believe that He does not have a body, physical attributes do not apply to Him at all. He created everything that exists including space and time.

            There is simply NOTHING that was not created by Him and everything that exists, is constantly under his guidance and supervision. Positively nothing would exist without his guiding hand.

            We also believe that G-d rewards the righteous and gives retribution to the sinner.

            I recently posted about this. It might make it easier to do so again.

            One of the core beliefs in Judaism, in addition to monotheism, that the Almighty G-d of Israel is the sole Lord and Master, is the belief, knowledge, and understanding that G-d has no body and physical characteristics. Physical concepts do not apply to Him at all, in any manner or nature whatsoever!

            The great codifier of Torah law and Jewish philosophy, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (“Maimonides” also known as “The Rambam”), compiled what he refers to as the “Shloshah Asar Ikkarim”, (which translated from the Holy Tongue, means: “The Thirteen Fundamental Principles” of the Jewish faith, as derived from the Torah. Maimonides refers to these thirteen principles of faith as “the fundamental truths of our religion and its very foundations.”

            The Thirteen Principles of Jewish faith are as follows:

            1. Belief in the existence of the Creator, who is perfect in every manner of existence and is the Primary Cause of all that exists.

            2. The belief in G-d’s absolute and unparalleled unity.

            3. The belief in G-d’s non-corporeality, nor that He will be affected by any physical occurrences, such as movement, or rest, or dwelling.

            4. The belief in G-d’s eternity.

            5. The imperative to worship G-d exclusively and no foreign false gods.

            6. The belief that G-d communicates with man through prophecy.

            7. The belief in the primacy of the prophecy of Moses our teacher.

            8. The belief in the divine origin of the Torah.

            9. The belief in the immutability of the Torah.

            10. The belief in G-d’s omniscience and providence.

            11. The belief in divine reward and retribution.

            12. The belief in the arrival of the Messiah and the messianic era.

            13. The belief in the resurrection of the dead.

            It is the custom of many congregations to recite the Thirteen Articles, in a slightly more poetic form, beginning with the words Ani Maamin–“I believe”–every day after the morning prayers in the synagogue. Any Jew who G-d forbid, denies even one of these Principles of Faith loses his share in the World to Come unless he repents. There are no exceptions.

          • NGN

            and……..

          • https://disqus.com/home/channel/atheismftw/ Ian Cooper

            If god is not physical and outside of space and time, how can he interact with the physical universe – how could he even initiate the universe? Such activity would be impossible by definition. For something to interact with physical universe, it has to have physical and temporal attributes. Just saying “It’s magic” is not good enough.

          • Proud Conservative Mom

            How outrageous for a mortal to be so arrogant that he can think for even one moment to understand the ways of the Almighty G-d?! With all due respect, there were people far greater than you who understood this.

            Many years ago, a Roman Noblewoman said to a great Jewish sage: “I don’t believe the Almighty G-d of Israel exists because I cannot see him.” The sage told her to gaze at the Sun directly at noon and come back to me.” She said I cannot possibly do that. I would be blinded by the sun!” The wise sage said “If you cannot view the Sun which is the Almighty G-d’s creation and servant, how can you possibly dream of viewing the Almighty G-d?!”

            Moreover, everything that transpires in this World, or anywhere in the Galaxy, happens ONLY by the hand of G-d.

            Bear in mind, this does not for one moment take away one’s free will. A person will either be rewarded or repudiated depending on their own actions.

            Moreover, the Almighty G-d’s presence fills the entire world. He, alone is the Sovereign, Lord, and Master of the world.

          • https://disqus.com/home/channel/atheismftw/ Ian Cooper

            You don’t seem to understand. Atheists don’t believe your god exists. You may as well talk about my inability to understand the ways of Zeus, or Baal, or Thor.

            You believe your god exists. I don’t. You think your god’s presence fills the entire world. I don’t. Your god is irrelevant to me (except insofar as Christians keep trying to impose their faith onto everyone), and you have no way to prove your god exists, because he doesn’t make himself known in any way that can be measured. He acts precisely the same as if he only exists in your mind. So he almost certainly does.

            Now if your god were real, he would surely make himself known in ways we can all understand. But your god doesn’t do that. Instead, he hides himself away, making himself seem as if he’s a sort of mass delusion. But not even that, since each believer’s description of god is different – so much so that if you get 3 Christians from the same sect in the same room to describe their god, they will end up arguing. This is how I know your god is not real, because a real god would not cause such confusion over his nature.

            I don’t care about your imaginary friend. He is master of your world. Not mine. There are too many things to enjoy in this universe to have them cheapened by a god who, if you read the Old Testament, is a depraved monster. Even if he existed, why on Earth would I even want to worship such a god? I would have to be a disgusting coward to cave to his threats of Hellfire for those who don’t believe. If he’s real and I burn, so be it, but if a god would do that, then he is contemptible, and his believers are faithful to an evil god.

          • Tippi St. Clair

            Wow! That was great! All of a sudden, I’m feeling all inspired!

          • Shep

            (snicker)

          • caligirl

            You will be wasting your time. These people do not WANT to believe in anything but science. I would love them to explain the millions of miracles that happen every day. What an empty existence without faith.

          • Giraffe-Junk

            I always think that your existence must be empty. You are wasting your time worshipping a God that can’t possibly exist. Going through life missing out on the best parts of life, for fear your God will be offended and worried that this offense might cause you to be tortured for eternity, for a promise that doesn’t exist.

          • https://disqus.com/home/channel/atheismftw/ Ian Cooper

            “I would love them to explain the millions of miracles that happen every day.”

            Name one.

          • Jed

            The context of the answer exceeds the context of the question. Ask a better question.

          • caligirl

            I feel sorry for you. I would also like you to explain the millions of miracles when people place faith in God. No it is not “magic”….not everything HAS a scientific answer.

          • Giraffe-Junk

            “Not everything HAS a scientific answer.” How do you know? Are you taking that on faith?

          • https://disqus.com/home/channel/atheismftw/ Ian Cooper

            “I would also like you to explain the millions of miracles when people place faith in God.”

            Once again, NAME ONE.

          • caligirl

            Why waste my time? I will let YOU do the research. Why would I present the truth and fact when you would not believe it anyway? Your soul is lost.

          • https://disqus.com/home/channel/atheismftw/ Ian Cooper

            LOL! You daren’t even name one!
            You’re all hat and no cattle.

          • https://disqus.com/home/channel/atheismftw/ Ian Cooper

            “I do not know a single Christian who believes that God did not know that Adam would eat of that tree.”

            Then maybe they should read their Bibles:

            Genesis 3:9-13
            “Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”…”

            And if you think God can simply forgive us for sins, then why doesn’t he?

            I cannot believe I have to walk you through God’s screw-ups. After Adam ate the fruit, humanity was sinful, right? Then God didn’t just use his powers to fix human sinfulness. Instead, he waited while humans populated the Earth (why?), then God drowned everyone but Noah, because Noah and his family were righteous. But apparently, God was wrong, because things started going wrong again, but again, God didn’t fix it. He keeps murdering unrighteous folk instead of just fixing the sinfulness. He’s the screw-up.

            Transcendent means outside of space and time. Omnipresent means in space and time. No one – not even a god – can be both.

            A god who intervenes in human affairs would be detectable by science, because his works would be detectable. Again, you’re trying to have it both ways. Unless you claim to be a deist, but I’m arguing against the Christian god, not deism.

            Quantum theory tells us how a universe can come into existence from nothing. You don’t need a god for that.

            Christian theology defines God as all loving. If he’s all loving, he can’t kill people. If he does, it’s a paradox – it can’t be.

            God is insecure:

            Exodus 20:3
            “You shall have no other gods before Me.”

            Exodus 34:14
            “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:”

            I don’t have a god. I have proven that the Christian god does not exist. You just won’t accept proof.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            “I have proven that the Christian god does not exist.” and “Then maybe they should read their Bibles”

            Why is it that the New Atheists constantly talk about things they think exist (like proofs for the non-existence of the Christian God) without providing evidence for same? You would think they were supernaturalists or something! 🙂

            If you think you have provided a proof, then be a big boy atheist, Ian, and provide your proof in LOGICAL form. Your argument appears to be:

            Premise 1. If an atheist is incapable of resolving Biblical difficulties, then the Christian God does not exist.

            Premise 2. An atheist (Ian) is incapable of resolving Biblical difficulties.

            Conclusion: Therefore, the Christian God does not exist.

            Now, the argument is valid if the two premises are true. Premise 2 is certainly true – your strawmen are adequate to show that. 🙂 But, Premise 1 is laughable on the face of it – not only is it unsupportable but it makes the argument logically unsound.

            Your “proof” might as well be:

            Premise 1. If an atheist is incapable of climbing Mt. Everest, then the Christian God does not exist.

            Premise 2. An atheist (Ian) is incapable of climbing Mt. Everest.

            Conclusion: Therefore, the Christian God does not exist.

            So, back to the drawing board, Ian!

            Furthermore, I notice that you have adopted the capital A of the New Atheists or American Atheists. Thus, I must ask you to provide your evidence for the No God Hypothesis. Scholarly atheism is not a “lack of belief” in God, that is a measure of one’s emotional state, but the truth claim that there is no God. (Now, waiting for the Atheist Shuffle – a retreat into agnosticism. :-))

          • https://disqus.com/home/channel/atheismftw/ Ian Cooper

            Why do religious folks always pretend that proof that a god can’t exist isn’t proof? What I posted earlier are not “Biblical difficulties” – they are Biblical paradoxes.

            What is this “no god hypothesis” you’re talking about? Firstly, I’ve never heard of it, secondly, American Atheists is an organization, not a religion – we don’t have dogmas, thirdly, a hypothesis is not a theory – theories need evidence – a hypothesis needs none (which is why creationism is a hypothesis). And “scholarly atheism” looks like another phrase you just made up, and I don’t even know what you think it means, so I don’t see the need to defend it. Atheism, whether you like it or not, is the lack of belief in gods.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            Still waiting on your formal proof that “the Christian God does not exist.” I have yet to see any premises or conclusions on your part – in fact, I tried my best to help you by providing you some, while showing that they nevertheless fall short.

            “Atheism, whether you like it or not, is the lack of belief in gods.”

            Aaah – there is the Atheist Shuffle – the retreat into agnosticism that I predicted – thank you for proving me a prophet – I get extra points because it happened on a Sunday, hehe!!! 🙂

            “Lack of belief” is a measure of one’s psychological state, NOT a truth claim. That sounds more like blind faith atheism – or more correctly, agnosticism. No scholarly atheist uses “lack of belief” in peer-reviewed journals. Here is a peer-reviewed secular scholarly source:

            Stanford University Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

            ” ‘Atheism’ means the negation of theism, the denial of the existence of God.”

            Thank you for making my day! Now, please replace your picture with “Agnostic” or “Blind Faith Atheist” or “Emotional Atheist” or something more intellectually honest. (BTW, I got a state chapter president of American Atheists to actually do this over lunch – took me 5 minutes – to his credit, he admitted that he was an agnostic and could not provide evidence for atheism. That is intellectual honesty. I gave him one of my cookies for it – no lie – we had a roaring good time, similar personalities.)

          • Giraffe-Junk

            Here you go, proof that the Christian God doesn’t exist: Let’s take a look at His Book. Is man made of Dirt? No. Is woman made from the rib of a man? No. Is the moon a little light? No, it is a reflector. Is there enough water to flood the Earth to the top of the mountains on Earth? No. Can a Wooden Ark the size of Noah’s, when measured using the Ancient Egyptian cubit, float? No. Are skyscrapers currently taller than the tower of Babel could have been? Yes. Can donkeys and serpents talk? No.
            Maybe these are parables that I just don’t seem to understand. Let’s take a look at this Omnipotent Being’s Moral values, surely those must be superior that human morals. Is it moral to kill everyone, save eight, in the largest genocide ever known? No. Is it moral to kill the first born, even though they have nothing to do with your disagreement? No. Is it moral to kill your neighbor for working on the Sabbath? No. Is it moral to allow a rapist to marry his victim, if the rapist agrees to pay the victim’s father an amount of silver? No.
            If you are talking about another God, I would have to take a look at what you are calling the evidence of It’s existence. But, I haven’t seen ANY evidence of ANY God. I see things that I don’t know the answer to and not knowing the answer isn’t God.

          • Giraffe-Junk

            You could be shown a million times proof that God doesn’t exist, you would ignore it. I could be shown proof of God’s existence just once, He is Omnipotent and can just show Himself to me, and I would believe. If He is unwilling to do so and does exist, He is malevolent. If He can’t do so, He is not Omnipotent and not worthy of worship.
            You are an Atheist about every God that existed before and after your God, why?

          • Tippi St. Clair

            “I cannot believe I have to walk you through God’s screw-ups.”

            Ha ha ha ha ha! Best line I’ve read all day.

      • Proud Conservative Mom

        YAWN! That line about believing in “magical sky fairies” from Atheists is beyond old and tired.

        Thanks for your wonderful postings and for keeping on fighting the good fight.

        • NGN

          what’s old and tired are all of the faux xtians threatening the rest of us with eternal damnation…too funny

  • The Skeptical Chymist

    This is not about whether some citizens of the county will be offended or not. There is no right not to be offended. That is a mistaken view of the problem here. The problem is that the government, in its official capacity, should not be endorsing a particular religion, PERIOD!! (to quote afchief)

    • WorldGoneCrazy

      I agree 100% with you that there is no right to not be offended. But, is seems like FFRF is using this as at least part of their argument:

      ‘He asserted that some citizens who contact the police for help might become offended and feel inferior when they see the decals. “These citizens should not be made to feel offended, excluded and like political outsiders because the local government they support with their taxes oversteps its power by prominently placing a religious statement on government vehicles,” Grover wrote.’

      It seems to me that you might be saying that, regardless of law on this matter (for the sake of argument), the reasoning of FFRF makes them look a little bit like crybullies – even if they are substantively correct on law – do I have you right here?

      • The Skeptical Chymist

        If the assertions of Mr. Grover are correctly reported, then the statement that citizens might be offended is silly and irrelevant. The government routinely offends some people – it did so when it permitted people of different races to marry, and it does so now when it permits people of the same sex to marry. The fact that some people might be offended by the presence of cross decals on the vehicles is simply irrelevant. That should never have been part of the FFRF’s argument. The proper argument, in my view, is that establishment clause of the first amendment, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, prohibits government from favoring one religion over another, or over a lack of religion (or vice versa). Government is required to stay strictly neutral on matters of religion. We may disagree on this, but I agree wholeheartedly that there is no right to not be offended.

        • WorldGoneCrazy

          There is nothing I disagree with you on what you wrote. I like your view here, and I think “offended” arguments like the one FFRF made backfire on them when they make them – from a perception sense.

          Now, if an individual police officer wanted to wear a cross, if officers are allowed to wear them and they do not interfere with his duty (in a physical / uniform sense), then I take it you would be OK with that – provided he did not put it on his car?

          • The Skeptical Chymist

            If an individual police officer wants to wear a cross (as some policewomen may already do, in the form of a pendant), or a yarmulke (if Jewish), or a turban (if Sikh), etc., then I see no problem with that – so long as it doesn’t interfere with the performance of his duties, and doesn’t dominate the uniform to the extent that he looks more like a pastor than a policeman. He also shouldn’t use it as an excuse to proselytize and try to win converts while on duty. I also am a bit wary of individuals in positions of higher authority displaying their religious views too prominently – especially if they talk about them frequently in the presence of their subordinates. There is a line between religious freedom and abusing a position of authority to try to force conformity of views onto your subordinates, and any supervisor who crosses that line has violated the rights of his subordinates.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            I basically agree with this, with the possible exception of this statement:

            “I also am a bit wary of individuals in positions of higher authority displaying their religious views too prominently.” You would have been quite unhappy with most of the founders of our country.

          • Giraffe-Junk

            Like Thomas Jefferson?

          • Proud Conservative Mom

            AGREED AND AMEN AND AMEN!!!!
            That is positively and absolutely true on every level.

            On a separate note, I LOVE your Disqus name. It is so darn true in so many ways!

            I wish you and your family a happy New Year and hope you all had a joyous and meaningful holiday.

            Most sincerely,

            Rebecca 😉

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            Happy New Year to you, Rebecca – thanks for the encouragement!

          • Stephen Smith

            I read the Declaratioñ of Independence with a certain intent of belief value – I didn’t see Satan’s, or Allah’s or any other gods name mentioned. But, what is interesting is it has reference to the Creator and who could the Creator of Natural Laws be? So to to argue the separation of church and state is a poorly aimed case when the original intent is for this nation to be under God’s command.
            I like to challenge all to try to make their case without using some kind of belief to say something should not be and I’ll make the case they can’t pick who to vote for because it would be based on a belief.. One additional point, the whole idea of our Constitution is based on Biblical idea of government and the laws of it. If the people back then didn’t like the way these founding document made it’s case then the people could have declared it unacceptable. As it stands now it is the law of the land! So, therefore the laws those lawmens enforce are based on Biblical foundation and any of it would be against those who are unjust and fools. I would have no problems with those crosses!

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            I like your thinking, Stephen – thanks for connecting those dots – well done and Happy New Year!

          • afchief

            Well said!

          • Oshtur

            The DoI’s Creator is the Deist one of its author, Thomas Jefferson, and most definitely not Jehovah or Jesus – the Deist Creator made the universe and has not interfered in its operation since. The holy books of the Creator are the ones on math, sciences, philosophy and the rest.

            What I don’t understand is what government official would even do something like this that so obviously goes against the Constitution’s first amendment?

          • Stephen Smith

            The contrast I’m making with the Ben Franklin link is you said the Creator in the DoI is a Deist where as Ben Franklin never intended it to be a Deist. Secondly, the Creator is of the Holy Bible and it is of God. Jesus Christ is God in person.

            There are two parts in the DoI, one was to declare the peoples grivences against the British empire and 2 it was the realization that one needed a timeless means of laws that is above ourselves to guide us. At their time, they had nothing better than the Bible as the best means.

            Which now brings me to this point… The Declaration of Independence was a starting point of recognizing that our Creator,God, has given us the ability to govern by His ways. The Fisrt Amendment was geared towards limiting the State, as has been in UK and Europe in state control religion, in dictating what Christian/religious belief to follow. But we are free to exercise them opening.

            One thing that many ought to be thankful for is a theocracy form of government where non- believe wouldn’t have their freedom.

            So, where does it state that public official cannot exercise their faith in helping people?

          • Oshtur

            Not sure why you are referencing Ben Franklin, he is responsible for very little of the Declaration of Independence and not the term ‘nature’s god’ nor ‘Creator’, those were all Thomas Jefferson, a Deist.

            Sorry, the Declaration of Independence never mentions Jehovah or Jesus. That’s just the facts. We have the first draft of the DoI and can see the changes that Jefferson made in his own hand. He originally intended to say ‘by virtue of that creation’ rather than ‘Creator’ but went with the poetic flourish.

            Of course a public official can exercise their faith, what they can’t do is do anything that looks to establishment of religion and the unilateral appearance of crosses on government vehicles that are for the protect of all does that. As others have pointed out this means all religions can, and maybe should, have access to such ‘religious exercise’.

          • Tippi St. Clair

            Sounds as though you’re pretty cozy with the idea of theocracy. Why don’t you just move to the Middle East? I’ll bet they’ll find a spot for you there.

          • Stephen Smith

            I’ll tell you what, lets let all the Muslims come here and we Christians take our Constitution to the Middle East and you try to figure out how to stop their ruling over you with their theocrappy! They love to chop infidels heads off! Or would you rather live with the gift that is given to you by this non-secular Constitution?

          • The Skeptical Chymist

            My point with that statement is that many (probably most) people tend to view those with different religious beliefs with suspicion. There is ample evidence of that in comments on these pages, where atheists are viewed as intrinsically lacking in any moral sense, for example. Likewise, those of a minority religious viewpoint tend to be quiet about their views, because they fear that those who hold the dominant religious view will treat them unfairly if their views become known. There is certainly ample evidence of that happening, throughout all cultures and all time frames. People in positions of authority need to make it absolutely clear that they will treat everyone under their authority fairly, regardless of their religious views. In my opinion, the best way for a person in a supervisory role to achieve that goal is to keep his religious views to himself. Outside of online comments, that is exactly what I do in my life, and it assures that I have good relationships with people of many different religions.

        • afchief

          Show where is says Congress = local government. Show me where these sheriffs and deputies cannot “freely exercise” their type of religion.

          Since the 1947 Everson v Board of Education opinion, we have been sold a lie. Religious liberty is absolute in America. If the government can inhibit the mention of God, then government has inserted itself ABOVE God. That has been the Christ-haters plan all along. They have used that lie to run Christianity out of the Public Square.

          And it is a LIE!!!

          • NGN

            no hate for that which never existed…LOL!

    • afchief

      Show where it says that in the 1st amendment?

      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

      Waiting………………………….

  • Josey

    I would think that most who need a police officers assistance aren’t even looking at the patrol car and thinking, hmmm…they have a cross but calls are usually for emergency assistance and the issue at hand, not a worry about a cross on a patrol car. It’s not the government as a whole endorsing a religion, it is some christian cops who are declaring their faith, they are not proselytizing or pushing it on anyone, they still can remain objective as they are taught to do when assisting an emergency call, the Christian believer doesn’t hide his or her belief in Christ but lives it 24/7, get over it.

    • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

      Municipal police can’t promote religion, I suggest you get over it.

      • JohnDoe11

        Nobody is promoting anything, idiot! They are just expressing their freedom of religion as well as their faith, and there is nothing wrong with that (only to offend the FFRF and the trolls on here). So, YOU get over it yourself, Everything and your cohorts. We are waiting for rebuttal!

        • https://disqus.com/home/channel/atheismftw/ Ian Cooper

          Freedom of religion is fine – each officer can wear a cross pendant. But the patrol car is purchased by government. The US government is not in the religion business.

        • EverythingYouKnowIsWrong!

          Nobody is promoting anything, idiot!

          Yes, they are.

          They are just expressing their freedom of religion

          First, that would be done by each individual officer, not by the sheriff putting it on official vehicles driven by people other than him.

          Second, agents of the state acting in their official capacity are constrained by the “no establishment” clause, as the government HAS no freedom of religion.

          We are waiting for rebuttal!

          The FFRF will sue if these crosses are put on state vehicles.

    • truthseekr7

      So would you notice if a really nice helpful Muslim officer shows up and has a star and crescent on the vehicle?

      • Cady555

        Christians would be screaming hysterically and yelling about shariah law if a Muslim put Islamic symbols on government owned property.

        • truthseekr7

          AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH! Isis is gonna get me!!!

  • 201821208 :)

    “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor. 2:14
    “But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” John 8:45-47
    “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God” Psalm 14:1
    ​”​The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they” Psalm 53:1
    “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” John 8:47
    “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” John 20:29

    • Original Chum

      Those also don’t belong on government vehicles.

      • JohnDoe11

        Seems like Chum is a case in point of what you posted, 201821208:).

        • Original Chum

          Says the guys not adding anything to the conversation.

          • JohnDoe11

            If you trolls think you know all the answers, (Guess what?!) then you really haven’t asked all the questions.

          • Original Chum

            I never claimed to have all of the answers, I also haven’t asked any questions. Please note that you haven’t discussed anything referenced in the article.

      • afchief

        They sure do and can!!!

        • Original Chum

          Ah good, afchief is here to show us all how laws don’t apply when you’re Christian.

          • afchief

            Gladly!!!!

            The Separation of Church and State

            In 1947, in the case Everson v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court declared, “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.” The “separation of church and state” phrase which they invoked, and which has today become so familiar, was taken from an exchange of letters between President Thomas Jefferson and the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut, shortly after Jefferson became President.

            The election of Jefferson – America’s first Anti-Federalist President – elated many Baptists since that denomination, by-and-large, was also strongly Anti-Federalist. This political disposition of the Baptists was understandable, for from the early settlement of Rhode Island in the 1630s to the time of the federal Constitution in the 1780s, the Baptists had often found themselves suffering from the centralization of power.

            Consequently, now having a President who not only had championed the rights of Baptists in Virginia but who also had advocated clear limits on the centralization of government powers, the Danbury Baptists wrote Jefferson a letter of praise on October 7, 1801, telling him:

            Among the many millions in America and Europe who rejoice in your election to office, we embrace the first opportunity . . . to express our great satisfaction in your appointment to the Chief Magistracy in the United States. . . . [W]e have reason to believe that America’s God has raised you up to fill the Chair of State out of that goodwill which He bears to the millions which you preside over. May God strengthen you for the arduous task which providence and the voice of the people have called you. . . . And may the Lord preserve you safe from every evil and bring you at last to his Heavenly Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Glorious Mediator. [1]

            However, in that same letter of congratulations, the Baptists also expressed to Jefferson their grave concern over the entire concept of the First Amendment, including of its guarantee for “the free exercise of religion”:

            Our sentiments are uniformly on the side of religious liberty: that religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals, that no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious opinions, [and] that the legitimate power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor. But sir, our constitution of government is not specific. . . . [T]herefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights. [2]

            In short, the inclusion of protection for the “free exercise of religion” in the constitution suggested to the Danbury Baptists that the right of religious expression was government-given (thus alienable) rather than God-given (hence inalienable), and that therefore the government might someday attempt to regulate religious expression. This was a possibility to which they strenuously objected-unless, as they had explained, someone’s religious practice caused him to “work ill to his neighbor.”

            Jefferson understood their concern; it was also his own. In fact, he made numerous declarations about the constitutional inability of the federal government to regulate, restrict, or interfere with religious expression. For example:

            [N]o power over the freedom of religion . . . [is] delegated to the United States by the Constitution. Kentucky Resolution, 1798 [3]

            In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general [federal] government. Second Inaugural Address, 1805 [4]

            [O]ur excellent Constitution . . . has not placed our religious rights under the power of any public functionary. Letter to the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1808 [5]

            I consider the government of the United States as interdicted [prohibited] by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions . . . or exercises. Letter to Samuel Millar, 1808 [6]

            Jefferson believed that the government was to be powerless to interfere with religious expressions for a very simple reason: he had long witnessed the unhealthy tendency of government to encroach upon the free exercise of religion. As he explained to Noah Webster:

            It had become an universal and almost uncontroverted position in the several States that the purposes of society do not require a surrender of all our rights to our ordinary governors . . . and which experience has nevertheless proved they [the government] will be constantly encroaching on if submitted to them; that there are also certain fences which experience has proved peculiarly efficacious [effective] against wrong and rarely obstructive of right, which yet the governing powers have ever shown a disposition to weaken and remove. Of the first kind, for instance, is freedom of religion. [7]

            Thomas Jefferson had no intention of allowing the government to limit, restrict, regulate, or interfere with public religious practices. He believed, along with the other Founders, that the First Amendment had been enacted only to prevent the federal establishment of a national denomination – a fact he made clear in a letter to fellow-signer of the Declaration of Independence Benjamin Rush:

            [T]he clause of the Constitution which, while it secured the freedom of the press, covered also the freedom of religion, had given to the clergy a very favorite hope of obtaining an establishment of a particular form of Christianity through the United States; and as every sect believes its own form the true one, every one perhaps hoped for his own, but especially the Episcopalians and Congregationalists. The returning good sense of our country threatens abortion to their hopes and they believe that any portion of power confided to me will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly. [8]

            Jefferson had committed himself as President to pursuing the purpose of the First Amendment: preventing the “establishment of a particular form of Christianity” by the Episcopalians, Congregationalists, or any other denomination.

            Since this was Jefferson’s view concerning religious expression, in his short and polite reply to the Danbury Baptists on January 1, 1802, he assured them that they need not fear; that the free exercise of religion would never be interfered with by the federal government. As he explained:

            Gentlemen, – The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me on behalf of the Danbury Baptist Association give me the highest satisfaction. . . . Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of government reach actions only and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties. I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and Creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association assurances of my high respect and esteem. [9]

            Jefferson’s reference to “natural rights” invoked an important legal phrase which was part of the rhetoric of that day and which reaffirmed his belief that religious liberties were inalienable rights. While the phrase “natural rights” communicated much to people then, to most citizens today those words mean little.

            By definition, “natural rights” included “that which the Books of the Law and the Gospel do contain.” [10] That is, “natural rights” incorporated what God Himself had guaranteed to man in the Scriptures. Thus, when Jefferson assured the Baptists that by following their “natural rights” they would violate no social duty, he was affirming to them that the free exercise of religion was their inalienable God-given right and therefore was protected from federal regulation or interference.

            So clearly did Jefferson understand the Source of America’s inalienable rights that he even doubted whether America could survive if we ever lost that knowledge. He queried:

            And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have lost the only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? [11]

            Jefferson believed that God, not government, was the Author and Source of our rights and that the government, therefore, was to be prevented from interference with those rights. Very simply, the “fence” of the Webster letter and the “wall” of the Danbury letter were not to limit religious activities in public; rather they were to limit the power of the government to prohibit or interfere with those expressions.

            Earlier courts long understood Jefferson’s intent. In fact, when Jefferson’s letter was invoked by the Supreme Court (only twice prior to the 1947 Everson case – the Reynolds v. United States case in 1878), unlike today’s Courts which publish only his eight-word separation phrase, that earlier Court published Jefferson’s entire letter and then concluded:

            Coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure, it [Jefferson’s letter] may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the Amendment thus secured. Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere [religious] opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order. (emphasis added) [12]

            That Court then succinctly summarized Jefferson’s intent for “separation of church and state”:

            [T]he rightful purposes of civil government are for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order. In th[is] . . . is found the true distinction between what properly belongs to the church and what to the State. [13]

            With this even the Baptists had agreed; for while wanting to see the government prohibited from interfering with or limiting religious activities, they also had declared it a legitimate function of government “to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor.”

            That Court, therefore, and others (for example, Commonwealth v. Nesbit and Lindenmuller v. The People), identified actions into which – if perpetrated in the name of religion – the government did have legitimate reason to intrude. Those activities included human sacrifice, polygamy, bigamy, concubinage, incest, infanticide, parricide, advocation and promotion of immorality, etc.

            Such acts, even if perpetrated in the name of religion, would be stopped by the government since, as the Court had explained, they were “subversive of good order” and were “overt acts against peace.” However, the government was never to interfere with traditional religious practices outlined in “the Books of the Law and the Gospel” – whether public prayer, the use of the Scriptures, public acknowledgements of God, etc.

            Therefore, if Jefferson’s letter is to be used today, let its context be clearly given – as in previous years. Furthermore, earlier Courts had always viewed Jefferson’s Danbury letter for just what it was: a personal, private letter to a specific group. There is probably no other instance in America’s history where words spoken by a single individual in a private letter – words clearly divorced from their context – have become the sole authorization for a national policy. Finally, Jefferson’s Danbury letter should never be invoked as a stand-alone document. A proper analysis of Jefferson’s views must include his numerous other statements on the First Amendment.

            For example, in addition to his other statements previously noted, Jefferson also declared that the “power to prescribe any religious exercise. . . . must rest with the States” (emphasis added). Nevertheless, the federal courts ignore this succinct declaration and choose rather to misuse his separation phrase to strike down scores of State laws which encourage or facilitate public religious expressions. Such rulings against State laws are a direct violation of the words and intent of the very one from whom the courts claim to derive their policy.

            One further note should be made about the now infamous “separation” dogma. The Congressional Records from June 7 to September 25, 1789, record the months of discussions and debates of the ninety Founding Fathers who framed the First Amendment. Significantly, not only was Thomas Jefferson not one of those ninety who framed the First Amendment, but also, during those debates not one of those ninety Framers ever mentioned the phrase “separation of church and state.” It seems logical that if this had been the intent for the First Amendment – as is so frequently asserted-then at least one of those ninety who framed the Amendment would have mentioned that phrase; none did.

            In summary, the “separation” phrase so frequently invoked today was rarely mentioned by any of the Founders; and even Jefferson’s explanation of his phrase is diametrically opposed to the manner in which courts apply it today. “Separation of church and state” currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.

            Endnotes

            1. Letter of October 7, 1801, from Danbury (CT) Baptist Association to Thomas Jefferson, from the Thomas Jefferson Papers Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. (Return)

            2. Id. (Return)

            3. The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, John P. Foley, editor (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1900), p. 977; see also Documents of American History, Henry S. Cummager, editor (NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1948), p. 179. (Return)

            4. Annals of the Congress of the United States (Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1852, Eighth Congress, Second Session, p. 78, March 4, 1805; see also James D. Richardson, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897 (Published by Authority of Congress, 1899), Vol. I, p. 379, March 4, 1805. (Return)

            5. Thomas Jefferson, Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Ellery Bergh, editor (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. I, p. 379, March 4, 1805. (Return)

            6. Thomas Jefferson, Memoir, Correspondence, and Miscellanies, From the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, editor (Boston: Gray and Bowen, 1830), Vol. IV, pp. 103-104, to the Rev. Samuel Millar on January 23, 1808. (Return)

            7. Jefferson, Writings, Vol. VIII, p. 112-113, to Noah Webster on December 4, 1790. (Return)

            8. Jefferson, Writings, Vol. III, p. 441, to Benjamin Rush on September 23, 1800. (Return)

            9. Jefferson, Writings, Vol. XVI, pp. 281-282, to the Danbury Baptist Association on January 1, 1802. (Return)

            10. Richard Hooker, The Works of Richard Hooker (Oxford: University Press, 1845), Vol. I, p. 207. (Return)

            11. Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (Philadelphia: Matthew Carey, 1794), Query XVIII, p. 237. (Return)

            12. Reynolds v. U. S., 98 U. S. 145, 164 (1878). (Return)

            13. Reynolds at 163. (Return)

          • Original Chum

            I’m just going to have to quote you on this, “the supreme court only offers opinions.”

          • afchief

            “The SCOTUS only renders opinions”

            Truth baby truth!!!!!

          • Original Chum

            Well, I’m going to continue to live in reality where laws do apply.

  • Mythblaster

    Would somebody PUHLEEZE get the ball rolling on Texas’ secession? Then these religious wackadoos can put anything they like on Trooper Barney’s car.

  • Mythblaster

    Would someone puh-leeze get the ball rolling on Texas’ efforts to secede? Texans seem to lean toward embracing theocracy, as long as the law is based on their interpretation of Christianity.

  • micahel porter

    if they are atheists why do they even care.
    more like they realise there is a God and they quaking.
    haha. Go sheriffs dept!

    • https://disqus.com/home/channel/atheismftw/ Ian Cooper

      What if if all the cops in your town were Wiccans or Satanists and wanted to put pentacles on their cruisers? Why would you care? You don’t believe in Wicca or Satanism.

      • Giraffe-Junk

        micahel porter would care because he would realize that the Wiccans and Satanists were correct and would be quaking.

        • https://disqus.com/home/channel/atheismftw/ Ian Cooper

          Hail Satan!

      • Stephen Smith

        Why would Axheisx be a police officer enforcing a fairytale Constitution?

  • acontraryview

    Some Christians just seem intent on pushing their religion on others.

  • Fred Jones

    why no pictures of the decals? hello? any real journalists out there?

  • C_Alan_Nault

    Let them put the cross decal on… as long as they also include Star of David, a Muslim crescent moon, a pentagram, and whatever other religious symbol anyone requests.