Wisconsin Police Department Removes Prayer Plaque Following Atheist Complaint

ONALASKA, Wisc. — A police department in Wisconsin has removed a prayer plaque from its walls following receipt of a complaint from a prominent professing atheist organization.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently sent a letter to the Onalaska Police Department after being informed by a local resident—who it left anonymous—that a “Police Officer’s Prayer” plaque had been displayed on the wall in a public area of the police station.

“Lord, I ask you to be with me in a very special way as I face the challenges that I must face each day,” it reads in part. “Please give to me compassion for the innocent I see. Help me to protect and serve those who depend upon me.”

FFRF asserted that the display was unconstitutional because it called upon God for strength for the duty.

“While it is laudable for the OPD to recognize the challenges officers face and to promote compassion and courage in law enforcement, these sentiments may not be couched in the religious message that a God should be [the] officers’ ‘guide’ in their work, and is responsible for officers’ success and safety,” its correspondence read.

“Anyone viewing this display would understand the OPD to be endorsing religion and belief in a God,” it said.

The organization also contended that the prayer plaque could make those who identify as atheists and agnostics to feel like outsiders in their community.

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“The OPD’s religious display conveys a message to nonreligious citizens that they are not favored members of the political community,” FFRF wrote. “These citizens should not be made to feel excluded, like outsiders in their own community, because the local law enforcement they support with their taxes prominently places religious messages in the police station.”

The Church-State separation group consequently requested that the prayer plaque be removed, and on April 13, Police Chief Jeffrey Trotnic responded with a one-sentence reply simply reading, “The item in question has been removed.”

FFRF cheered the news that the display had been removed from the walls of the police station.

“Nonbelievers in Onalaska will now feel fully included, as they should be in our secular state,” said Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor in a statement.

President John Adams proclaimed in March 1798, just 12 years after the signing of the U.S. Constitution, “[T]he safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depends on the protection and the blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgement of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him, but a duty whose natural influence is favorable to the promotion of that morality and piety without which social happiness cannot exist nor the blessings of a free government be enjoyed.”


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  • Guzzman

    The police department, being a government entity, is prohibited from promoting or endorsing a religious message. A “Police Officer’s Prayer” plaque conveys an obvious religious message. The department made a mistake. The mistake has been corrected and the religious message was removed. A very costly lawsuit was avoided.

    • Amos Moses

      yep ….. being a wuss often comes down to money ….. you cannot serve God and mammon ……..

      • Ambulance Chaser

        That’s not what he said at all.

        • Amos Moses

          you and he may not realize it ….. but yes he did …………..

          • Rookheight

            If you think that “serving God” requires that you break the law, please move to another country. Maybe a theocracy would suit you.

          • Amos Moses

            WHOs Law ……….. and you live in a theocracy …. but you are blinded to that fact ………

          • Rookheight

            No, I certainly do not. The United States created, and still has, the western world’s first secular constitution. The only mentions of religion are all exclusionary.

            Try asking a police officer to arrest someone for working on the Sabbath and see how that goes.

          • Amos Moses

            “The United States created, and still has, the western world’s first secular constitution.”

            secular ….. without God …. and it is a lie …… this country …. and ALL governments of this world ….. are under the rule of satan …… and a more religious person you will never meet …… and you fail to recognize the one who all governments have declared allegiance …….

          • Rookheight

            Satan doesn’t exist. You’ve been lied to. If you want to come back to reality at some point, maybe we can have a conversation about the real world.

            Also, your period key is still sticking. You should really invest in a new keyboard (or maybe pray for it?).

          • Amos Moses

            “Satan doesn’t exist.”

            interesting theological statement ….. what proof do you offer …….. or is it a scientific statement ….. again …. What Proof Do You Offer ………….

          • Rookheight

            The burden of proof is on the person claiming that a being exists.

            Do you require proof that the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn’t exist? Or is it enough that there’s insufficient proof that it DOES exist?

          • Amos Moses

            and your CLAIM is that he does not …………. so ………….

          • Rookheight

            So you believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Since you just haven’t looked in the right place yet?

          • Amos Moses

            absence of evidence is not evidence of absence …….. i do not care about your strawman ……. ZIPPO out ….. BURN BABY BURN …………. your positive claim of nonexistence is at issue ……. not your strawman ………….

          • Rookheight

            Don’t you realize that you are applying one set of rules to the things you want to believe, and another to the things you don’t want to believe? That’s called special pleading and it’s not a very good policy if you want to believe things that are true.

            You should reconsider why you believe the things you believe. I think you’ll find that there’s no reason to believe that Satan is real—you are afraid of a boogey man. You may as well be afraid of Medusa.

          • Amos Moses

            “Don’t you realize that you are applying one set of rules to the things you want to believe, and another to the things you don’t want to believe?”

            the evidence of the existence of God is ABUNDANT ……… and so everything He has said ….. also has ABUNDANT evidence ……. so no …. not even close to the samething ………. FAIL ………

            Oh … and just more strawman argumentation ….. where is that Zippo …

          • Netizen_James

            No, there is ZERO objective empirical evidence of any ‘spiritual’ anything. There is zero evidence of ghosts/souls, zero evidence of demons/angels, zero evidence of ‘miracles’, zero evidence of a ‘creator deity’.

            There is as much evidence for ‘god’ as there is for ‘reincarnation’. Zero.

            And no, elections clearly exist, even though we can’t ‘see’ them directly. We can still measure and test them empirically. Objectively. Repeatedly. At will. Can you do that for ‘souls’? Can you detect a ‘soul’ empirically? You know you cannot.

          • Amos Moses

            “No, there is ZERO objective empirical evidence of any ‘spiritual’ anything.”

            that is actually a lie ……….. but ……….

            and how do you prove a negative statement such as that ….. there is one way …… to search EVERY inch of EVERYTHING in the known and UNKNOWN universe …………. have you done that ….. NO …. you have not …..

            ok …. lets go at this from a different angle …… do YOU have absolute PERFECT knowledge of EVERYTHING EVER ………….. for the record …. yes … neither do i ….. so we can dispense with that little distraction ………… YOUR TURN ……..

          • Netizen_James

            If you think there’s empirical evidence that can reliably and repeatably demonstrate the existence of a ‘soul’ or a ‘spirit’, do share the methodology. If you can’t, it’s because there is no such evidence.

            Is there ANYTHING that you can reliably and repeatedly show or demonstrate that cannot be explained through physics? If so, why didn’t you claim James Randi’s million dollar prize when it was still being offered?

            I can no more disprove the existence of YHWH than you can disprove the existence of Zeus or Ganesha or Odin. We both disbelieve in many gods, I just believe in one fewer god than you

            Oh sure, you can SPECULATE all you’d like. Sure, I can PRETEND that unicorns and leprechauns exist, just as you can PRETEND that angels and demons exist.

            But since there’s no EVIDENCE to support these speculative contentions, they remain just that.

            Feel free to keep your beliefs. If fear of a punishing afterlife is all that is keeping you from killing others, then by all means, believe what you need to. Just don’t pretend to have empirical evidence that you don’t have.

          • Amos Moses

            “If you think there’s empirical evidence that can reliably and repeatably demonstrate the existence of a ‘soul’ or a ‘spirit’,”

            YOUR statement was ………. “there is ZERO objective empirical evidence of any ‘spiritual’ anything.” …. YOU have made an ABSOLUTE DECLARITIVE statement that YOU CANNOT prove when you said ZERO …….. so either put up …… or take a hike ………..

          • Amos Moses

            AGAIN ………. lets go at this from a different angle …… do YOU have absolute PERFECT knowledge of EVERYTHING EVER ………….. for the record …. yes … neither do i ….. so we can dispense with that little distraction ………… YOUR TURN ……..

          • Amos Moses

            AGAIN ….. “No, there is ZERO objective empirical evidence of any ‘spiritual’ anything.” …..
            and how do you prove a negative statement such as that ….. there is one way …… to search EVERY inch of EVERYTHING in the known and UNKNOWN universe …………. have you done that ….. NO …. you have not …..

          • Amos Moses

            BTW …. you will refuse to see the evidence ….. so what would be the point ….. to show you evidence that you will not acknowledge …… so the argument falls to that as stated …… WHERE is your proof of your statement ……….. that ZERO proof exists and HOW did you determine that …………….

          • Jason Todd

            Knowing this is a Christian website, why are you here?

          • Netizen_James

            To try to educate people on the fact that separation of church and state protects everyone, even Christians.

            If you want to give government the authority to promote religion, what will you do when the demographics shift, and you are no longer in the majority, and the government promotes a religion that is contrary to your own? Will you THEN realize how important separation of church and state is, once it’s too late?

            Government needs to keep it’s filthy clumsy blood-covered hands out of something as private and personal as religious belief.

          • Jason Todd

            No, you’re not. You are arguing with Amos over the existence of God.

          • Jason Todd

            No, he thinks he lives in a klitocracy, or a government of judges. The United States of America is a constitutional republic, however.

          • Amos Moses

            actually …. i think it is now an “Idiocracy” ……….

          • Netizen_James

            That’s what you get when you elect con-men like Trump.

          • Amos Moses

            not a con-man ….. a BUSINESS man who built a life on compromise …………. and the “art of the deal” …………..

  • Jason Todd

    Really?

    It’s long, long past time to tell these anti-Christian bullies to bugger off.

    Enough.

    • MarkSebree

      What “anti-christian bullies” are you talking about? I can see the police department being considered to be “Christian bullies” since they are using their religion and their government position to impose their beliefs onto everyone else, and imply that those that do not believe as they so are second-class citizens and do not care what happens to the police officers, but I do not see anyone who is trying to deny any christians the right and ability to worship as they wish on their own time.

      Demanding that the police, the people that are supposed to uphold the law, actually follow the law is not being a “bully”. It is usually a person that is in the minority trying to protect the rights of everyone.

  • Adagio Cantabile

    Worth noting: a large percentage of military and police are Christians, a very small percentage of academics.

    Guess who lives in the real world?

    • plankbob

      Do you have the exact percentages at hand?

      • Adagio Cantabile

        Between 0 and 100.

    • Netizen_James

      So religious truth is to be conditioned on mere demographics?

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Police officers need Christian prayers. The USA was bonded by the Christian value alone and if it is taken away, the nation loses the reason to unite. Greed cannot be a bond for people because it oppresses humans. Atheists are bad because they hate the much needed Christian prayers and make people behave like animals. Atheists should repent of their evil unbelief to get saved.

    • Netizen_James

      So you think a Jewish police officer needs Christian prayers? Really?

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        Yes, the Jews get saved only by trusting in their Divine Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. Isaiah ch.53. John ch.3-4.

        • Netizen_James

          No, that’s nonsense.

          To the Jews, Jesus was just a failed rabble-rouser, executed by the Occupying Romans through the demand of the quisling Sanhedrin.

          Nothing divine about Jesus.

          It was Saul/Paul who created the ‘Christ’ myth out of the reality of the executed Jesus. It was Saul/Paul who created the animosity against the Jews, so that he could more easily sell his mystery religion to the Romans.

          You clearly have no respect for anyone’s faith but your own. Sad. Bigly.

          • Jason Todd

            Yeah. Thought so. You came here to troll. Most of these anti-Christian bigots do.

            I would never go to atheist websites and try to pick a fight there. But you guys will without a moment’s hesitation.

            I think it’s because you want to make yourself feel better. I think you know there’s a God and that means when you die you’re looking at the business end of eternal damnation because you won’t stop mocking, blaspheming, persecuting. But you want to keep that out of your mind, so you are telling everyone there’s no God. Just to convince yourself.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Or maybe it’s because we’d like to discuss certain issues and don’t want to live in comfortable little bubbles where no one disagrees with us.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You are wrong. Jesus of Nazareth alone fulfills all the Jewish prophecies; He is the Divine Messiah the Lord God has promised from the beginning. Jesus died on the cross to save mankind from sin. Christianity is God-made. If you repent of your sin and believe in Jesus, you get saved. There is no other salvation. Read John chapter 3 to find out who Jesus is.

  • Combi

    I’m upset about this but not surprised. It seems that Athiests do their utmost to force their belief in noGod by going around looking for any Christian symbol, plaque or otherwise to have it removed. I find it odd that it seems that there is only news concerning Christianity that the FFRF is involved with. Are they not just as vehement with Islam, or other religions.

    Also, we as a Christian family should be looking for ways to let the world know that we are being made to feel as outsiders in a secular world, by aiming for a court to declare Athieism as a religion in itself. The FFRF would have to abide by their own laws.

    • Ambulance Chaser

      Where is there an arm of the government promoting Islam?

      • Combi

        Why are you asking me? I just wondered if there was any news of the FFRF being just as Pro active with other religions like it seems to be with Christianity.

        • Ambulance Chaser

          OK, so if there’s no evidence that there’s a problem, how can the FFRF be blamed for not responding to it?

          • Combi

            If you want an example. Take adverts on the sides of busses, some of them read, “There is probably no God, so enjoy your life!” (And yes the disclaimer ‘probably’ was included.) If i was to complain about this slogan as making me feel as an outsider, being a Christian how far do you think i would get.

            Not very, i would most likely be ridiculed.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            This is a very complicated question which delves into a convoluted legal web of First Amendment law. It incorporates free speech, the Free Exercise Clause, and the Establishment Clause. I don’t have time or space to give you the hourlong lecture that this would require to answer your question here.

            However, if you want to understand it better, I would recommend you start with the law of public forums and what is and is not allowed therein, and allowed to be denied.

          • Combi

            Sounds a lot like ‘a law for one and a law for another.’

          • Ambulance Chaser

            I don’t see anything I said that would give you that impression.

          • Combi

            Ditto

          • Rookheight

            You know that “ditto” means you’re conceding the point?

          • Combi

            What point?

            I asked this : Are they not just as vehement with Islam, or other religions.

            I was asked this in return : Where is there an arm of the government promoting Islam?

            You can’t answer a question by a asking another one.

            The fact i said ditto was because i didn’t see anything i said which would give him the impression that i knew the answer to his question. (Which was completely unrelated.)

            So the point was never raised. If there was one in the first place.

            And yes, there is a law for one and a different one for another especially when Athiests and Christians are concerned.

          • Rookheight

            He said that he didn’t see anything in what he said that would give you the impression of “a law for one and a law for another.” You said “ditto.”

            Anyway, it sounds like you aren’t aware of something that his question assumed: the First Amendment only prohibits government speech from promoting religion. That’s why if there’s no arm of the government promoting Islam, your original question doesn’t make any sense.

          • Combi

            Are you confused? I never mentioned anything about the government, i merely wondered if the FFRF were as Pro active with other religions in targeting them for breaking some Constitution law regarding religion and state/public thing as all i see n news articles is the FFRF being involved with anything to do with Christianity.

            Which is why his question made no sense because i never mentioned the government, he did, in his question which wasn’t an answer to my wondering.

            So, the next reply i get from either you or him has to remain in context or else your just waffling mate.

          • Rookheight

            I’m not sure how I can spell this out much more clearly, but I will try.

            FFRF only takes action when the government promotes religion. This is because FFRF defends the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which only restricts the actions of the government. FFRF isn’t proactive, they are reactive. In this case, a police department put up a religious display and FFRF asked them to take it down.

            If there’s a government body promoting Christianity, FFRF can challenge that. If there’s no government body promoting Islam, there’s nothing for FFRF to challenge.

            When you ask whether FFRF ever goes after non-Christian constitutional violations, it’s necessary to figure out whether there ARE any non-Christian violations first. If there are, and FFRF is ignoring them, then there would be something to talk about. On the other hand, if U.S. Government officials only use their office to promote Christianity, or religion in general, then there is no possible action FFRF could take against non-Christian religions. In my experience, this is almost always the case.

            In other words—your question about FFRF’s action depends on government actions. You DID bring the government up, you just didn’t know it because either you didn’t know that FFRF only pursues First Amendment violations or you didn’t know that the First Amendment only restricts government actions. Now you know.

          • Combi

            Ah, right. Now why couldn’t ambulance man be bothered to tell me that in the first place, it would have saved a lot of confusion. So now my wondering has been abated i can rest assured that my knowledge of American law pertaining to state run offices and the separation of church and state amendment blah blah blah.

            Basically says that you have the right to freedom of speech except when talking about religion, because the state runs the state so therefore the whole of the public sidewalk,roads etc are under the first amendment. The only place where you can talk about religion is inside a church/synagogue/mosque etc. Just don’t put a symbol describing said establishment on display anywhere on the building because that’s breaking the first amendment.

            Am i right.

          • Rookheight

            No, it’s not that restrictive.

            Private citizens can practice religion, or talk about religion, anytime and anywhere they want. The government itself (and thus government employees, while on the job) can’t promote religion.

            So if you’re a police officer (or a public school teacher, for instance), you can promote your personal religion anywhere you want, all you want, so long as you don’t do it while you’re on the job. I’m oversimplifying a little bit, but that’s the gist of it.

            Cases like this one are really simple, though, because they don’t involve free speech. Government buildings can’t be decorated with objects that promote religion.

            In your example of sidewalks, private citizens can exercise their free speech by preaching on the sidewalk all they want. If the government wanted to put verses from the Quran on the sidewalk, that would be a violation.

          • Jason Todd

            Yes. I have actually seen comments from people who actually believe the practice of one’s faith should be restricted to church and home. That’s commie talk.

          • Combi

            Trump should step up on his promise to protect religious freedom.

          • MarkSebree

            Trump is unlikely to protect religious freedom since the people that he kowtows to do not believe in religious freedom. They believe in religious privilege and being able to discriminate against others because of their religious beliefs.

          • Combi

            Your entitled to your opinion….

          • MarkSebree

            And his actions have and will bear out my opinions. The republican party certainly does not believe in religious freedom, and that can be shown from their actions and the bills that they sponsor.

          • Combi

            Only time will tell…

          • Netizen_James

            No, you haven’t. You’ve merely misunderstood the difference between government speech and a public forum.

          • Combi

            Are you a Christian.

          • Jason Todd

            No, you haven’t.

            Prove it.

          • Combi

            So, what are your thoughts on this :

            Search for : one news show islam is awesome and we are its prophets

            Isn’t that something that should be reported to the FFRF

          • Rookheight

            If the article is right that the public school is “becoming an apologist for Islam,” then you’re absolutely right that it’s illegal.

            With that said, I’m skeptical that the school is actually promoting Islam, rather than just teaching about it. But it’s easy for a well-meaning teacher to accidentally cross that line. You certainly could
            report it to FFRF (via their website)—they’ll look into it and will take action if it seems like the school is promoting Islam.

          • Jason Todd

            Doubt it. The FFRF had a spaz over a restaurant offering discounts to people who brought in church bulletins, which got no news coverage, but have said nothing over the Islamic prayer room in a Texas high school, which has been covered by Fox News.

          • Rookheight

            FFRF has written on Islamic prayer rooms. If they didn’t get a notice of that particular one (or if Fox News misrepresented a “quiet reflection room” as an Islamic prayer room, for instance), then they wouldn’t have written on this particular one.

          • Jason Todd

            FFRF has written on Islamic prayer rooms.

            Of course they have. You have a ready-made excuse every time their consistency is called into question, don’t you?

            Look: Everyone knows if it were a Christian prayer room, the FFRF would be on them like white on rice.

          • Rookheight

            It’s not that I have a read-made excuse, it’s that this particular issue gets brought up every—single—time FFRF is in the news. You’d think people would just look it up at some point.

          • Jason Todd

            We have. Which is how and why we know the FFRF is anti-Christian. I also mentioned elsewhere how they mocked the Nativity, which is absolute proof.

            The FFRF is not interested in going after Muslims. Anyone who says different is ignorant or a liar.

            And the discussion ends there.

          • Rookheight

            Does it? You’re not interested in how your “absolute proof” fails to live up to its ridiculous claim? Or the fact that I just refuted your other point, and you plowed ahead as though I didn’t?

            If you say so. See you in the next thread when you embarrass yourself by repeating the same baseless assertions.

          • Jason Todd

            You’re not interested in how your “absolute proof” fails to live up to its ridiculous claim?

            It only fails in your fantasy-laden mind. I deal with reality and facts. And everything I have presented regarding the FFRF are facts, verifiable and undeniable.

            The question at this point is why are you so steadfast in defending the FFRF, but then the answer is obvious.

            Blocked.

          • Rookheight

            You have a curious understanding of what constitutes “verifiable and undeniable facts.” But it fits with your fingers-in-ears approach to confronting resistance.

          • Netizen_James

            no Jason – they have not ‘mocked the Nativity’.
            FFRF have objected to GOVERNMENT entities promoting religion, including by displaying Christian holiday scenes.

            FFRF has never once complained about a Nativity scene that isn’t on public property or supported by tax-dollars. Never once.

            If your government was promoting a religion that was contrary to your own beliefs, would you not have something to say about THAT? So do unto others, like your Savior told you to. The only way for religious liberty to exist is for government to refrain from promoting ANYONE’s religious beliefs.

          • Jason Todd

            no Jason – they have not ‘mocked the Nativity’.

            Unfortunately, I have provided others with directions to the article–and the accompanying pictures–so they can see for themselves that you are a liar.

          • Netizen_James

            search for? Can you not copy and paste a link so that we can see what it is you’re trying to say?

            Is this the GOVERNMENT saying ‘Islam is awesome and we are its prophets’? Or not?

          • Jason Todd

            Google “Dearborn and Islam,” “Islam, forced, lawsuit,” and “Prayer room, Islam, Texas school.”

            And voila! You have four! Along with absolute, dead silence from the FFRF, and I’ll give you three guesses why.

          • MarkSebree

            Because either those things did not really happen as you think they did, or nobody approached the FFRF about the issue. The FFRF is REACTIVE, which means that they need a complaint to act on.

          • Netizen_James

            No, there is not. The difference is not between religious and secular, but between private entities and government entities.

          • Netizen_James

            Yes, the laws are different for individuals and other private entities than they are for government entities like public schools and police departments.

            People have rights. Government entities do not have rights, only authorities.

          • Combi

            So why are public schools favouring teaching Islam over Christianity?

            I’ll tell you why. It’s a global elite agenda to suffocate Christianity. There are schools in the UK where they’ve had young children bowing toward Mecca, indoctrinating them into the Muslim way, it’s all to do with combating islamophobia. And now you got the pope visiting Egypt to talk about common ground between catholism and Islam which is a forbear for the creation of Chrislam as advocated by the likes of Rick Warren and Brian McLaren of the emergent church movements. This is the one world religion of a one world global government. Your education system has already desensitized millions of kids to this by John Dewey’s common core standards, and he was a Communist.

            Your Constitution law regarding separation of church and state is taken out of context because of a malicious interpretation of a letter Thomas Jefferson sent to Baptist congragation. America is a mess, and is being taken over slowly but surely by a Sodom and Gomorrah mentality, which Islam is taking advantage of, copying the lobbying techniques of the LGBT activists, and business selling themselves to Islamic investors which we have made rich by buying their oil.

            Okay pal.

        • Jason Todd

          Combi, the answer is no. And the reason is simple: The FFRF hates Christians. Period.

          As you seem to be new here, I encourage you to check out earlier stories similar to this. You will find people going out of their way to defend this obvious, malicious campaign to remove God from society.

          This is because they hate Christians, too. And if they were honest, which they never are, they would admit it.

          • MarkSebree

            Combi,

            You need to be care of people like Jason Todd. They generally do not accept any actual facts that contradict their preconceived notions and opinions, and they will malign anyone and anything that consistently shows them how wrong they are.

            I encourage you to look for information from independent sources whenever possible, or at least multiple sources which provide different viewpoints on an event. Learn about the US Constitution, especially the First Amendment and the 14th Amendment, as well as relevant Supreme Court cases. The Supreme Court cases are necessary to understand how the laws are currently interpreted and applied.

            The fact that Jason does not accept is that the FFRF does not “hate Christians”. If you look at the issues that they are involved with, you do not see them “attacking” anyone for going to a place of worship or preaching on their own time on a street corner. There is always a government entity involved, and that entity is doing something to promote a specific religion or religious belief, or religion in general over non-religion. Since the government at all levels is required to stay out of the religion and proselytizing business according to the First Amendment Establishment Clause and the 14th Amendment Equal Right and Equal Protection clauses, this means that the government’s actions are litigable.

            Keep in mind the government has a lot of power over the common citizen. Think of all the things that the government does, and all the ways that they are involved in a person’s life. If a section of the government were to start promoting a religious belief, and harassing or encouraging the harassing of anyone and everyone who did not follow those beliefs, that means that YOUR rights could easily be denied. That is why there are so many explicit restrictions on the government in the Constitution and its Amendments.

            Learn about the issues for yourself, and in your own way. It can be quite enlightening.

          • Combi

            Thanks. I’ll keep that in mind.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Strangely enough, stomping your foot and saying “Period” very forcefully does not seem to affect the truth of what you’re saying at all.

          • Combi

            Thanks. I’ll keep that in mind as well.

          • Jason Todd

            Something more you need to bear in mind:

            1) These lying bigots want you to believe courts are the final authority on all things. That, of course, is false, and anyone who has ever watched Schoolhouse Rock knows it. The Constitution is the final authority, which is why you will see people routinely distort and flat out lie about its contents. Think about the pigs in Animal Farm, and you get a clearer picture of who these people really are and what we are dealing with.

            2) Never forget one simple fact about the Freedom From Religion Foundation and this case: They objected not so much to the written prayer than use of the word “God.” Not “Jehovah,” not “Allah,” but God.

            And in case you have any doubt, Google the news story, “Freedom From Religion Foundation installs a Bill of Rights ‘nativity’ scene in the Iowa Capitol” as run by the Des Moines Register on December 17 of last year. Yeah, they created a display that parodied the Nativity, complete with signs that said, “‘Tis the season of the winter solstice,” and “‘We the people, not just ‘we the Christians.'” (Pictures are there on the page.)

            If the FFRF is not anti-Christian, then why go through the trouble of mocking a cornerstone of Christianity?

            Naturally, the usual suspects will show up and tell you how what I am saying is false. But you are free to see everything I referenced, as I showed you how to find them.

          • Combi

            I’ll take a look. Are you a Christian?

          • Jason Todd

            Yes. Without question.

  • Netizen_James

    “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. The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them; and these are to be paid out of the national taxes. Does not this involve the principle of a national establishment, applicable to a provision for a religious worship for the Constituent as well as of the representative Body, approved by the majority, and conducted by Ministers of religion paid by the entire nation.

    The establishment of the chaplainship to Congs is a palpable violation of equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles: The tenets of the chaplains elected [by the majority] shut the door of worship agst the members whose creeds & consciences forbid a participation in that of the majority. To say nothing of other sects, this is the case with that of Roman Catholics & Quakers who have always had members in one or both of the Legislative branches. Could a Catholic clergyman ever hope to be appointed a Chaplain? To say that his religious principles are obnoxious or that his sect is small, is to lift the evil at once and exhibit in its naked deformity the doctrine that religious truth is to be tested by numbers. or that the major sects have a right to govern the minor.”
    –James Madison, the author of the First Amendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights

    • Jason Todd

      Where and when did he say this?

      • MarkSebree

        As you have been demanding of others, Google [“James Madison” establishment chaplainship congress].

        If you want others to look up your links for ourselves, then you should be willing to look up the links we give for yourself, and by the same method that you demand of others.

        And unlike you links, in this case it is a verifiable historical document giving the complete transcript of his speech, rather than a biased news article of, at best, questionable veracity.

  • Ambulance Chaser

    I disagree. Atheism is, legally, a religion, and I’m thankful for it. I wouldn’t want atheists not to have Free Exercise Clause rights.