Christian Flag Removed From Georgia Courthouse Following Atheist Activist Group’s Complaint

FlagPEMBROKE, Ga. — A Christian flag has been removed from a county courthouse in Georgia following a complaint from a prominent atheist activist organization.

As previously reported, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter on July 6 to the clerk of courts at the Bryan County Courthouse to demand that the flag be ejected from the courtroom. The flag—a white and blue flag with a red cross first created in 1897 to honor the Christian faith—had been displayed in the corner by the judge’s bench.

“It has been said that the white in the flag represents the biblical conceptions of purity, the blue in the flag represents the baptism in water, and the red color of the cross is symbolic of the sacrifice Jesus Christ made when He was crucified,” attorney Elizabeth Cavell wrote.

“The inherent religious significance of the Christian flag and Latin cross is undeniable and is not disguisable,” she said. “No secular purpose, no matter how sincere, will detract from the overall message that the flag stands for Christianity and the overall display promotes Christianity.”

Cavell asserted that the flag is therefore a violation of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause, which reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

“The display of these patently religious symbols on county property confers government endorsement of Christianity, a blatant violation of the Establishment Clause,” she wrote.

According reports, Clerk of Courts Rebecca Crowe forwarded the letter to attorney Leamon Holliday, who advised that the flag should be removed to avoid a legal challenge. While Crowe told Bryan County News that she wasn’t sure who ultimately removed the flag or where it has been relocated, local television station WJCL reports that it was Chief Justice Robert Russell III who decided to comply with the group’s request.

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FFRF says that it is pleased that the flag has been removed.

“We appreciate that they finally decided to stop playing the role of constitutional outlaws,” Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a statement. “Bryan County is not a Christian county, Georgia is not a Christian state and the United States is a secular—not a Christian—nation. Reason and the Constitution have prevailed.”

As previously reported, the Georgia state Constitution, first formally written in 1777—just one year after the founding of America—acknowledged Christianity and required its leaders to be Christians.

“[W]e the people of Georgia, relying upon the protection and guidance of almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution,” it reads. “The representatives shall be chosen out of the residents in each county, who shall have resided at least twelve months in this state … and they shall be of the Protestant religion, and of the age of twenty-one years…”

“[L]et us not forget the religious character of our origin,” American statesman Daniel Webster also declared during his famous “Plymouth Oration” in 1820, less than 50 years after the nation’s founding. “Our fathers were brought hither for their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political or literary.”


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  • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/ DavidHart-slowlyboiledfrog.com

    Constitutional issues aside, it was a display of bad manners. We are a religiously diverse society and the flag on a government building indicates that one religion is preferenced over others. It relegates people of other faiths to a status below that of Christians.

    • Amos Moses

      Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story –
      The real object of the (1st) amendment was, not to countenance, much less to advance Mahometanism, or Judaism, or infidelity (Atheism), by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects, and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment, which should give to an hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government. It thus cut off the means of religious persecution, (the vice and pest of former ages,) and of the subversion of the rights of conscience in matters of religion, which had been trampled upon almost from the days of the Apostles to the present age.

      Justice David Josiah Brewer (143 U.S. 457-458, 465-471, 36 L ed 226): “This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation. The commission to Christopher Columbus … (recited) that ‘it is hoped that by God’s assistance some of the continents and islands in the ocean will be discovered’ …

      “The first colonial grant made to Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584 … and the grant authorizing him to enact statutes for the government of the proposed colony provided ‘that they be not against the true Christian faith’ … The first charter of Virginia, granted by King James I in 1606 … commenced the grant in these words: ‘… in propagating of Christian Religion to such People as yet live in Darkness …’ Language of similar import may be found in the subsequent charters of that colony … in 1609 and 1611; and the same is true of the various charters granted to the other colonies. In language more or less emphatic is the establishment of the Christian religion declared to be one of the purposes of the grant.

      “The celebrated compact made by the Pilgrims in the Mayflower, 1620, recites: ‘Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith … a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia’ … The fundamental orders of Connecticut, under which a provisional government was instituted in 1638-1639, commence with this declaration: ‘… And well knowing where a people are gathered together the word of God requires that to maintain the peace and union … there should be an orderly and decent government established according to God … to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the gospel of our Lord Jesus which we now profess … of the said gospel is now practiced amongst us.’

      “In the charter of privileges granted by William Penn to the province of Pennsylvania, in 1701, it is recited: ‘… no people can be truly happy, though under the greatest enjoyment of civil liberties, if abridged of … their religious profession and worship …’

      “Coming nearer to the present time, the Declaration of Independence recognizes the presence of the Divine in human affairs in these words: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. … appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions. … And for the support of this Declaration, with firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor’ … These declarations … reaffirm that this is a religious nation.”

      • Worf

        “The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” – President John Adams, Treaty of Tripoli

        • Nidalap

          “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.”
          ― John Adams

          • The Skeptical Chymist

            Our Constitution is designed for a moral people, yes. In my opinion, however, John Adams and many others are absolutely in error when they equate a moral people with a religious people. In my experience, there is no correlation between morality and religion.

          • Nidalap

            Truly? Is there a higher correlation between morality and irreligion then? 🙂

          • Jalapeno

            A lack of correlation goes both ways…

          • Nidalap

            Does it now? Is it not a refrain of no-religion groups “Don’t impose your morality on me!”?

            Of course, you could go the route of all forms of morality (or lack thereof) being equal. If you do, you must believe the dictators of the world have it right. Might really WOULD make right. Morality is defined by whomever gains the power to force their will upon the populace.

            Remember that when these government officials are promising to create you a utopia if you’ll just grant them a bit more power…

          • Jalapeno

            Yes, a lack of correlation goes both ways.

            If there is no correlation between religion and morality, it also means that there is no correlation between a lack of religion and morality.

          • Kieran Dyke

            How about if I say that there is no positive correlation between religion and morality?

          • The Skeptical Chymist

            In my experience, no. People are moral or immoral, according to their innate dispositions and how they are raised. There are plenty of immoral believers and plenty of immoral nonbelievers. Likewise, plenty of good, moral believers, and good, moral nonbelievers.

          • tatoo

            Probably.

          • DorianGrayfox

            The AUTHOR of our Constitution stated “”Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.”

          • DorianGrayfox

            “‘The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” President John Adams 1797

          • tatoo

            But which religion? Let,s have a Muslim flag or a Jewsih one. Or, rotate it for each accused. What fun!

        • Amos Moses

          And that treaty was repudiated by Congress ………..

          • MarkSebree

            After being passed unanimously by the Senate and going into effect.

            How many years was it between when it was passed and when it was repudiated?

      • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/ DavidHart-slowlyboiledfrog.com

        Those are opinions. In point of fact, the only mention of religion in the main body of the constitution prohibits a religious test for office. The only mention of religion in the amendments is the First Amendment.

        I think that Mr. Madison intended the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses to be mutually dependent upon each other.

        There is no mention of God in the Constitution.

        • TheBottomline4This

          “I think that Mr. Madison intended..”
          And this is your opinion. You don’t know what Madison was intending.

          • SFBruce

            We can certainly look to Madison’s own words regarding the church-state relationship.

            “We are teaching the world the great truth that Govts. do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. The merit
            will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Govt.”

            “There is not a shadow of right in the general government to intermeddle with religion. Its least interference with it,
            would be a most flagrant usurpation. I can appeal to my uniform conduct on this subject, that I have warmly
            supported religious freedom.”

            “The Constitution of the U.S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion.”

            “Is the appointment of Chaplains to the two Houses of Congress consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure
            principle of religious freedom? In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of
            the U.S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion.”

        • Amos Moses

          Story was appointed by Madison …………

        • Amos Moses

          All SCOTUS opinions are, as you say ………….. OPINIONS ………. INCLUDING all such opinions made in recent memory ………… like homomarriage and abortion …….

          • SFBruce

            But it’s the opinion which actually counts when it comes to constitutionality. Some institution has to have the last say on what the constitution means, and in our system, that institution is SCOTUS.

          • Amos Moses

            But when SCOTUS disregards the constitution ……. but yet says it is unconstitutional ….. it invalidates itself ……….. it makes a mockery of itself and the constitution and law ……. in favor of lawlessness ………

          • SFBruce

            You’re certainly entitled to that opinion, but unless and until you or somene who agrees with you becomes a sitting justice on the Supreme Court and a part of the court majority, you’re going to have to live with what they decide.

        • Amos Moses

          “There is no mention of God in the Constitution.”

          But there is IN EVERY STATE CONSTITUTION …………

          • DorianGrayfox

            But the US Constitution TRUMPS all state constitutions.

          • Amos Moses

            No ………… it does not ………. even if it did ……… the 9th and 10th amendment belie any such pretended power ………..

          • MarkSebree

            You might want to look again.

            Article VI, Paragraph 2 clearly states that the US Constitution is the Supreme Law of the United States of America, meaning that it outweighs and has precedence to all state laws, state constitutions, and federal law.

            “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

            The 9th Amendment basically states that all the rights of the people are not enumerated in the Constitution.

            “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

            The 10th Amendment states that the the powers of the various states do not include those powers prohibited to the states nor do they include powers that are delegated to the United States by the Constitution. This means that the states cannot overrule the US Constitution.

            “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

            The meaning of the 9th and 10th Amendment is the framers saying “we know that we did not enumerate all rights of the people or of the states, but the states are bound by the US Constitution and the federal government.”

            The power of the US Constitution and the federal government is not “pretended power”. It is those that decry that the states can overrule and ignore the US Constitution and federal law who are envisioning “pretended power”.

          • Amos Moses

            We are a constitutional republic ………… NOT a judicial tyranny ……… and if We the People choose to dissolve it ……….. then we will ……….. SCOTUS has no control of it ………

          • MarkSebree

            You do realize that you will be worse off if this country is dissolved, right?

            I know that we are a Constitutional Republic. The Judiciary is given the power by the US Constitution and by Congress to rule on cases brought before it. It cannot make any laws, but it can render laws moot by stating that they are Unconstitutional. They can also affect the application of the laws. When they name laws “unconstitutional”, they usually point to either previous decisions (jurisprudence) to show how the case was built, or they point to specific places in the Constitution which contradict those laws, and thus overrule them.

            The Judiciary is meant to balance the legislative and executive branches. They cannot act at all until and unless somebody is legal standing comes forward and challenges an existing law or application of a law. For example, in the case of gay marriage, the decision relied mostly on the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection and Equal Application clauses. Gay couples was not being treated equally under the law, and were being denied the right to marry the single, consenting, unrelated adult of their choice as heterosexuals could without hassle. As such, they were being denied access to over 1100 federal laws dealing with the rights and responsibilities of married couples, and innumerable state laws that dealt with married couples. What’s more, opponents of gay marriage could not come up with any valid reason why gay couples should not be able to get married. That is why they lost.

          • peanut butter

            Our Creator IS God. It was understood by all back then. Too bad it’s not that same way today. Sad. Just sad.

        • peanut butter

          Not opinions… the history of the founding of this country.

      • SFBruce

        Justice Storey went on to say,
        “Thus, the whole power over the subject of religion is left exclusively to the state government, to be acted upon according to their own sense of justice, and the state constitutions; and the Catholic and the Protestant, the Calvinist and the Arminian, the Jew and the Infidel, may sit down at the common table of the national councils, without any inquisition into their faith, or mode of worship.”

        Today, most legal scholars would agree that states are bound, just as the federal government is bound, to remain completely neutral rather regarding religion, but Storey certainly doesn’t appear to be the theocrat you seem to want.

        More from David Josiah Brewer,
        “But in what sense can [the United States] be called a Christian nation? Not in the sense that Christianity is the established religion or the people are compelled in any manner to support it. On the contrary, the Constitution specifically provides that ‘congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ Neither is it Christian in the sense that all its citizens are either in fact or in name Christians. On the contrary, all religions have free scope within its borders. Numbers of our people profess other religions, and many reject all. […] Nor is it Christian in the sense that a profession of Christianity is a condition of holding office or otherwise engaging in public service, or essential to recognition either politically or socially. In fact, the government as a legal organization is independent of all religions.”

        As others have said, every person who enters a court house should feel that justice is indeed blind, and that every person is entitled to fairness regardless of his or her faith, or lack thereof.

      • Chet

        OUTSTANDING!

      • peanut butter

        Great comment! Thank you.

    • Susan

      … and I must add: especially inappropriate for a court of law. Justice is often symbolized by a blindfolded statue holding up a scale. Blindfolded means she hears only the issues being contested in the court. Having an explicitly Christian symbol VISIBLE along side the judge is a jarring repudiation of the presumption of impartiality and equal justice our Constitution guarantees. It says: “Justice may be blind, but in this court room, we favor Christians.”

      • Chet

        How in the world did this nation survive all these years prior to ideas such as you’ve espoused coming into being…

      • peanut butter

        It is the belief in Christ that causes these judges to rule fairly. I feel sorry for all you devil worshippers that want to change what this Great Country was founded upon, with flimsy excuses such as yours and others in this comment section.

        • Susan

          The concepts of fairness and justice were in existence long before the life of Jesus, as any well-read, educated person would know. I am not a devil worshiper; it’s actually inexcusable for you to call me one. You don’t even know me.

          • peanut butter

            Then why are you so vehemently against this symbol known to represent Christ? And Christ was known from the beginning of this world. It was always known that one day He would come as a propitiation for sin.

    • Chet

      Well, you’re correct about “religion” as one is just as meaningless and deceptive as the other. Not so with Christianity. In Christianity, it’s all about one’s relationship with God Almighty made possible via his only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ of Calvary. With “religion” man reaches upwards via his own good works or efforts. You might note some on TV these days, i.e., events such as bombings, shootings, beheadings, crucifying, drowning, dousing with gas and burning, throwing off buildings along with giving money to the church, doing the best one can do, being a nice guy, etc., etc., “Religion” has seemingly no boundaries as one tries diligently to impress the object of one’s personal faith. In Christianity, Holy God reaches down to all us sinners as he offers us choice… It’s Christ or the Devil, with no alternative options…

  • The Skeptical Chymist

    The display of the Christian flag by a governmental entity, and in a courtroom , no less, is without question a violation of the establishment clause. The court should certainly have known better, and it would lose in a microsecond if this complaint had gone to trial. I don’t imagine that a non-Christian is likely to receive a fair hearing in this courtroom, but at least now the judge will need to be more careful to conceal his pro-Christian bias.

    • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/ DavidHart-slowlyboiledfrog.com

      That’s pretty much what I wrote at the Frog today. At the judge’s elbow is a spectacular violation of the Establishment Clause. He or they certainly know better. Or do they?

    • Nidalap

      In order to violate that particular clause, a law would have to be made. The clause starts with “Congress shall make no law…” It’s inseparable from the clause. Without Congress making a law, there can be no violation…

      • The Skeptical Chymist

        Tell me about that when you argue your case before the Supreme Court and win.

        • Nidalap

          ::Shrugs:: It’s right there to be read by all. No real argument about it at all! 🙂

      • King Arthropod Pendragonfly

        In order to violate that particular clause, a law would have to be made.

        Everything any court does is due to federal and state laws giving them the authority to do those acts, and these laws can’t grant authority that the federal or state governments don’t have.

        In fact, you have it backwards — any action by the government has to be able to point to what gives them the power to do that action. You need to identify what gives a court the power to promote religion (and no, only citizens have freedom of religion; the government is restrained by the no establishment clause).

        • Nidalap

          (Government officials are citizens too, many though there be who believe themselves nobility. The government is also restrained by the free exercise clause, or should be, in this post-Constitution America…)

          • Lexical Cannibal

            When acting privately, sure. When acting as a member of the government, however, they have to follow the rules restricting said government. As soon as a judge–of any faith or belief–dons their robe, they’re no longer acting as a private citizen but as a public servant. Once that robe’s back off, then sure; they’re back to acting privately, and can openly promote Christ or Xenu or Barbara Streisand or whoever they worship, but if we expect our government to be any kind of impartial, then that standard must extend to its agents.

            Lest a judge begins to think he should be ruling by his religion’s laws, rather than his country’s.

          • King Arthropod Pendragonfly

            Government officials are citizens too, many though there be who believe themselves nobility.

            Yep, and they can’t misuse their governmental offices to push their favorite religion — they can put up Christian (or Jewish or atheist or Muslim or whatever) flags in their homes like the rest of us, NOT in courtrooms.

      • Guzzman

        No, Congress does not need to make a law for the Establishment Clause to be violated. You need to get up to speed on constitutional law. Several decades of jurisprudence have expanded and extended the Establishment Clause to include all levels and branches of Federal and state government.

        The Supreme Court has made clear that “the touchstone of the Establishment Clause was ‘the principle that the First Amendment mandates government neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion.’ [McCreary County v. ACLU], 545 U.S. 844, 860 (2005). So any government act that violates religious neutrality, such as placing a Christian flag in a courtroom, would be deemed an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion.

  • bowie1

    It looks a bit like the Swiss Flag or perhaps the Red Cross.

    • Grace Kim Kwon

      World Vision, YMCA, YWCA, and Red Cross were started by the Christians, as usual. European nations have a cross on their national flags because of Christianity. Most national anthems are Christian hymns. Atheists only created a dytopia on earth where everyone would flee from or gets trapped inside by bad regimes.

      • Jolanda Tiellemans

        European nations have a cross on their national flags because of Christianity

        Uhm, not all of them. Not The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, You want me to go on?

        • axelbeingcivil

          I think Grace’s somewhat befuddled (and racist and generally bigoted) point was that certain European countries have crosses included on their flag due to the history of those nations and their predominantly Christian backgrounds, which is true. The British flag, for instance, is an overlay of the flags of three nations, each of which was designed to represent the cross of their patron saint (St. George for England, St. Andrew for Scotland, St. Patrick for Ireland).

          There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging history in that regard. Claiming that these countries somehow became what they are purely because of Christianity, however, is definitely wrong.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You secular Westerners do not know how much difference the Bible-literate Christian religion has made the difference in your world for the permanent good. You need outsiders to tell you what you are made of. Everyone does, especially the rotten kids from a good family. You’ve never given up racism and that’s why you are bullying the Christians instead of colored people this century. You guys are just lying pretenders. Your racist fathers were far more moral than all of you; they were not baby-killing Sodomites. Liberals are well-dressed savages. You need Christianity for salvation and honesty and morality and true love.

        • Grace Kim Kwon

          Yes, they were all formerly a Christendom, existing to spread Christianity and blessed by God. Humanism made societies inhumane. Don’t oppose God’s truth and disgrace your forefathers.

          • Jolanda Tiellemans

            But still, not all flags have a cross on it. Just wanted to make that clear, that’s all.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            But those nations were established to spread the Christian religion, not the immoral chaos of today. British Queen is called the Defender of Faith; all Europeans and Americans understood defending Christianity means defending of the truth, human dignity, human rights, literacy, freedom, equality, justice, lawfulness, and civility. It’s unbelievable that today’s secular Westerners are so hostile to Christianity. They don’t study their own history, because history is full of Christianity’s contributions.

  • Joe Sullivan

    Good. It’s incredibly important, especially with proven history, that America never be allowed to even give the slightest indication of becoming a theocracy.
    There has never, ever, been a time where religion in government ever turned out to be a good thing. Thank secular law for the first amendment.

  • Mark Moore

    Good thing they didn’t wait for the Satanists to put theirs up along side it.

  • james blue

    The only flags that should be displayed on government buildings/land are the flag of the United States of America, the state flag, if it has one the city flag and in cases where a foreign dignitary is making an official visit the flag of his nation as a diplomatic display.

    No political flags, no religious flags, no rainbow flags.

    • Frank Dorka

      No MIA-POW flags?

      • james blue

        Is it on the list?

        Do I need to preemptively yawn at a coming attempt to paint me bad?

        • Frank Dorka

          Touchy! I meant nothing other than I have seen the POW-MIA flag with Old Glory as well.

          • james blue

            Not touchy, just aware of where I am commenting.

            If I jumped in I apologize

  • archaeologist

    it is amazing to see how government officials have no balls. put the athiest in their place and stop them from forcing their ways upon others

    • CandyPerfumeGirl

      lol. you are kidding right? Your superstitious believes have no place in government buildings, including courts. You can worship whoever and whatever you want, but keep it to yourself and your own 4 walls. That is the rule. if you dont like it, then move to a theocratic nation. This isnt one.

      • archaeologist

        you must be as you think you own the public buildings. you forget that christians also own them and are part of the public thus they get representation also.

        atheists need to stop forcing their views on others.

        it isn’t the rule but atheists think it is

        • Jolanda Tiellemans

          atheists need to stop forcing their views on others.

          Uhm, pot, black, kettle comes to mind. Easy example of how the Christians forcing their views on others. The bathroom bill.

        • Frank Dorka

          You are no “archaeologist”. You can stick your religion ANYWHERE you want as long as it is not on PUBLIC PROPERTY. Is that too much to ask of people that have no proof for what they believe but feel they must force their beliefs on everyone?

        • Jolanda Tiellemans

          So, the LGBT people can put the rainbow flag there too then? Cause you’re saying that Christians also own them and are part of the public, means that LGBT people also own them and are part of the public. I’ll bet when it had been rainbow flag and it would have been removed that you and your ilk wouldn’t have a problem with it.

          • George T

            Nikkers Lives Matter has a banner on the Maryland courthouse.

          • MarkSebree

            I doubt that. And even if they do, that is political, not religious.

    • DorianGrayfox

      Keep your flaccid “jesus” dangling limp between his cross sticks OUT of our courtrooms, schools and bedrooms.

  • CandyPerfumeGirl

    Aww, isnt that a shame , Christian Supremacy does not win today. Better turn up the sad music….. TO DROWN OUT THE SOUNDS OF MY LAUGHTER!!!

    • Nidalap

      Human beings WILL tend to follow after one form of supremacy or another. You seem to fear this Christian Supremacy thing (Part of the vast, Right-Wing Conspiracy, no doubt!). You applaud its perceived defeat, but are you looking very closely at just what form of supremacy is seeking to defeat it and rule you?

      • Chikkipop

        The supremacy of reason, common sense, and doing unto others as we should wish done to ourselves?

        Sounds fine to me; what did you have in mind?

        • Kelly Samuelson

          You DO know that the whole ‘do unto others as you wish to have done unto you’ is a biblical passage, right?

          • Chikkipop

            Apparently you DON’T know that such ideas PREDATED the Bible. As with all religions, these ideas reflect the sentiments of the human beings who invented the religion.

            Religions, then, aren’t the source of our ideas, but rather the way we have chosen (mostly long ago) to convey them.

            By creating gods, we remove ourselves as sources and thus we appear objective; as long as folks fall for the notion of an invisible, magical father figure they will keep religions in business. When they begin to question such ancient tales, think for themselves and learn about the real world, ancient superstitions lose their grip.

            It’s probably hard, having been raised to believe your particular religion is the ultimate source for what you’ve been taught, but when you come to understand that all religions simply appropriate existing ideas and make them their own, you better understand the long arc of human history.

            “A monk should treat all beings as he himself would be treated.” (Jaina Sutras, Sutrakritanga, bk. 1, 10:1-3 – 4th to 3rd century BC)

            “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain and your neighbor’s loss as your loss.” (T’ai-Shang Kan-Ying P’ien – 12th century BC)

            “Universal love is to regard another’s state as one’s own. A person of universal love will take care of his friend as he does of himself, and take care of his friend’s parents as his own. So when he finds his friend hungry he will feed him, and when he finds him cold he will clothe him.” (Book of Mozi, ch. 4 – writings collected between 8th and 3rd century BC)

            “One who regards all creatures as his own self, and behaves towards them as towards his own self attains happiness. One should never do to another what one regards as hurtful to one’s own self. This, in brief, is the rule of righteousness. In happiness and misery, in the agreeable and the disagreeable, one should judge effects as if they came to one’s own self.” (Mahabharata bk. 13: Anusasana Parva, §113 – 400 BC or earlier)

            “As the virtuous man is to himself, he is to his friend also, for his friend is another self” (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 9:9 – 350 BC)

            “Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence.” (Mencius, Works bk. 7, A:4 – between 319 and 312 BC)

            IDEAS are human things, and they’ve been around a long time; that various particular groups of humans chose to attribute those ideas to an imagined being, and that large numbers of gullible followers passively accepted this notion, is abundantly obvious to anyone outside the group, and to many *within* the group who eventually wise up.

          • Kelly Samuelson

            I understand the Bible and Christianity are obviously not the only ones who have the idea ‘be nice to others’. What amused me was your quote is pretty much word for word from the Bible. Your other quotes say what you did in a roundabout way, but the way you said it was closest to the Bibles scripture, that’s all.

          • Chikkipop

            That was intentional, because it’s the current, popular way of saying it, and is most recognized!

            The point was to say it’s a great idea, and common sense, and it doesn’t need acceptance of ancient stories about who “commanded” it in order to agree with it even if you’re an atheist.

            My original comment was in reply to someone’s bizarre comment about some “form of supremacy” that’s supposedly “seeking to defeat it and rule you”.

            Is that weird or what?! 😉

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Christianity is America’s sole conscience and purpose and goodness. America should not act like a man trying remove his own conscience because of bullying from the villains. Americans ignore their own history and heritage; that’s why foreign elements are taking up the land. For America to deny Christianity is to become bad. So sad. Americans need Jesus for salvation and to be good.

    • Kieran Dyke

      It’s interesting, then, that the primary role of Christianity in American society is to give people a licence to act like evil cunts.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        You are wrong. USA did anything good only because they had the Christian religion. The Western civilization is nothing if it had no Christianity. The Westerners would have been demon-worshipping, child-killing, women-oppressing, illiterate savages just like the rest if they had no Bible or Christianity. Stop attacking Christianity your own sane conscience this century. Atheism only created dystopia. You need Christianity for the truth and salvation and civility.

        • Kieran Dyke

          Simply false. Western countries succeed in spite of Christianity, not because of it. The world’s best living standards are enjoyed by the most secular and least religious. Corruption and human rights violations thrive in the world’s most pious countries.

          If the reason that you’re not doing evil is because you fear punishment or hope for rewards, then you are scum. Atheists do good things because it’s the right thing to do.

          • Jason

            I think you might have a misunderstanding of Christian teachings. While there is a reward/punishment in some/most denotations, its not the central message in a lot of them. Instead the central tenant is not that we strive do good because of the punishment or reward, but because of the desire that has been put in us by a divine being. Its the reasons why humans start charities and can even ponder right vs wrong, vs pretty much any other animal. So its not ones relgious beliefs that would make one desire to do good or bad, but the desire that sets us apart from the rest of creation.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Jesus Christ makes all the difference. When one looks up to Jesus, there is no more demand or yearning but only gratitude and joy.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You are wrong. The Western civilization is nothing and got nothing worthy apart from Christianity like a man is nothing apart from his good conscience. Stop repaying the good with evil to the Church by attacking your superior Christian forefathers; your attitude is being handed down to thankless foreigners and to wayward kids. No one is grateful to anyone in secular nations because secularism excludes God; there are just a bunch of greedy merchants and their parasites and persecuted Christians there. No respect for God = No respect, period. The Western countries developed and were blessed by God as long as they adhered and respected Christianity. They do mega evil when they oppose the Bible teachings. Today’s well-fed godless USA is simply repeating last century’s Germany this century for the hunger for more depravity instead of crazy nationalism. Hopefully, American Christians will do a better job than the German churches of 80 years ago in facing the evil.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Human rights were born from the Holy Bible. Mankind didn’t even know man and woman are equal apart from the Holy Bible. Enlightenment only made Europe some nudist. It’s the long-term presence of Christianity and Protestant Reformation that set apart the West from the rest; it made the Europeans seek God’s truth and all objective truth. Scientific thinking developed only in the Christendom. The sci-fi theories to be refuted belong to atheism. The West is better-off only because of Christian heritage. It is regressing now because of godlessness. Christians do good because Christianity is true and good. Atheists have no morality; they blaspheme, kill the unborns and believers, and impose Satanism and sexual immorality. You need to repent and convert to Christianity for salvation.

        • DorianGrayfox

          “The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” President John Adams 1797

  • Theophile

    The
    Cowardly Fools Fearing Religious Facts only target grade schools & small
    townships, because they are TOO Cowardly to take on ACTUAL establishments of
    religion by CONGRESS… Maybe their fearful intermeddlers didn’t catch the words
    “congress” in the first amendments prohibition of the establishment of religion
    at the federal level?

    ..Or
    perhaps these lawyers were indoctrinated by congressionally established
    Darwinism & “free from thought” dirt worship in their public “science(wink
    wink)” education, before they decided to go with “opinions of man” as a career?

    &
    what of those “other” religious symbols & things on public land?

    Like the giant graven goddess ISIS renamed liberty in NY’s harbor … Or The national obelisk(a phallic religious symbol from antiquity) overlooking the temple to fallen Abraham, the freer of the slaves in DC..

    I wonder if the Fools Fearing Religious Facts considered the staff of Aesculapius(the god of medicine & healing), just like a cross on a church, is a religious symbol … adorning all the temples where ONLY the government religion approved Priestly Hierarchy Document(PHD) holders are allowed to practice his rites.. & now “mandated by congress” to pay annual veneration/alms to, via Obama-Nation-Care?

    • Chris

      religious and facts are 2 words that should never be used in the same sentence.

      • Theophile

        It sound’s like your religious free from thought zeal clouds the facts, Chris.

        • MarkSebree

          What makes you think that Chris is like you, and that he is free from thought due to being overly religious and refusing to think critically about various subjects?

          • Theophile

            What makes you think I am religious?

  • Stephen W.

    The Christian Nationalist flag belongs in a church, not a court of law. Judge Russell is one of four superior court judges of the Atlantic Judicial Circuit that use this courtroom, and he has made the right decision in ordering this religious symbol removed. If I could have been guaranteed anonymity, I would have requested its removal when I first saw it five years ago. But Bryan County is a heavily fundamentalist Christian nationalist county and the penalty that these extremists would have inflicted upon me and my family would have been swift and severe.

  • Frank Dorka

    Just another example of “religious liberty” or what I call “Christian Privilege and Tyranny”. If the Christians are so important, why don’t we just throw out the Constitution and follow their Bible from now on? (Why? Because the Bible is full of so much hatred that we would all be sorry!)

  • Worf

    Apparently John Adams quotes are not allowed on charisma news. I posted a well known quote and my comment got deleted. So much for being open-minded and tolerant.

  • http://www.bing.com/ Martin Smit

    No case? No proper argument? Just spineless cowardly capitulation to people who have no interest in the state of Georgia.

    • MarkSebree

      Actually, the complaint was sent to the FFRF by someone in Georgia, and I think who is in the courthouse regularly. That means that he does have an interest in Georgia.

      The reason that there is no case is because there have been plenty of similar cases in the past, and almost all of them have been decided for the US Constitution, and against the government endorsement of religion. By recognizing that they do not have a case or a valid argument, the county saved their tax payers tens of thousands of dollars at least, and hundreds of thousands if they were stubborn.

      After all, what argument is there for such a blatant promotion of a single religion in the courtroom? The judge is acting as an officer of the government since he is in his official capacity while there, and thus, by the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, he is prohibited from promoting, favoring, or disparaging any religion or non-religion, and he is prohibited from appearing to do so. Given that this is a courtroom, that also means that he is presenting “appeal bait” for apparent bias for all to see.

      • http://www.bing.com/ Martin Smit

        So they’re spineless cowards then.

        • MarkSebree

          I assume that you are referring to the courthouse personnel and judges.

          No, they are not “spineless cowards”. The FRFF letter contained references to specific court cases which support their claims. Since the courthouse is supposed to contain at least a few people with law degrees, that means that it would not take much effort to find the answers from the law books that were (or should be) on hand. The county found that there was plenty of precedence to support the FFRF’s case, and that there was almost no way that the county could win. So, they did the intelligent, proper thing and removed the flag since it did not belong there in the first place.

          Now, let’s assume that they were stubborn, and said that the FFRF could “go and suck eggs”. The FFRF files the lawsuit, with the main plaintiff remaining anonymous because of extensive history of vindictiveness, hatred, discrimination, ostracization, vandalism, bullying, death threats, and so on that “Good Christians” are known for when their religious privilege is challenged. The case winds up through the state, and then federal appeals courts, with the county appealing every time it loses the case (the FFRF probably would not need to appeal the case more than ones or twice, and then more likely at the lower level courts). As the case drags on, the county’s legal debts pile up, running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Finally, short of the US Supreme Court, the county cannot appeal any more. They are ordered by the courts to remove the flag from their courtrooms, and pay the plaintiff’s legal fees.

          So, we arrive at the same place. The flag is removed from the courtroom. In one scenario, it is done immediately, and at almost no cost. In the other, it takes years, far more money than the county can afford, and a court order, but the flag is still removed. One choice is cheap and intelligent, and the other is stupid and costly. The county took the intelligent choice. You wanted them to take the stupid and expensive choice.

          • http://www.bing.com/ Martin Smit

            You’re recommending spineless cowardice.

          • George T

            Atheists are cowards. They piss their pants when confronted.

          • MarkSebree

            Atheists are far braver than you will ever be. They are brave enough to look at the world as it really is, and to not assume that some supernatural, mythical, imaginary being influences it, created it, or had anything to do with it. That have taken a hard look at the religions that they were exposed to as a child, and seen them for what they are, myths and stories. They have rejected the “security blanket” that you cling to, and they do not need imaginary friends to function and thrive.

            What’s more, atheists stand up to the hatred, irrationality, lies, bullying, intolerance, and bigotry that are heaped onto them by “loving” Christians all the time. For political office, they are actually less trusted in the USA than Muslims.

            No, atheists are not cowards, for cowards would not leave the “safe shelter” of their religious beliefs and strike out on their own to see the world as it really is, and to think for themselves without having to rely on some ancient book of myths.

            Again, you show that you know nothing at all about atheists.

          • George T

            Atheists that I have met wet their pants when confronted. Why is this?

          • MarkSebree

            Perhaps the venue. Perhaps you had a crowd at your back. Perhaps they were “gun shy” because of all the bullying and discrimination that they had experienced in the past. Perhaps you do not actually know very many atheists.

  • Crystal

    What we do in my area is that we give the flag to a citizen and the citizen brings it each day. No laws broken. We do this at school board meetings too.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    Fly the flag. Don’t back down.

  • Chet

    Why continue to drop and roll over in the face of liberal, anti God anti Christ adversity. Where are those today willing to be a Daniel for the glory of God…

  • peanut butter

    This flag should have never been removed. There will be the devil to pay.

    • Guzzman

      The Supreme Court has made clear that “the touchstone of the Establishment Clause is ‘the principle that the First Amendment mandates government neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion.’ [McCreary County v. ACLU], 545 U.S. 844, 860 (2005).

      So any government act that violates religious neutrality, such as placing a Christian flag in a courtroom, would be deemed an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    It is back up. Thank God and his followers