Mayor Defies Atheist Group’s Demands, Vows to Keep Bible Verse on Courthouse Wall

HENDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. – After receiving a complaint letter from a prominent atheist group, the mayor of a Tennessee county says he has no plans to remove a Bible verse inscription from his county’s courthouse and hopes instead to add an additional verse to the building’s walls.

On June 30, attorney Rebecca Markert with the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) mailed a letter to Dan Hughes, mayor of Henderson County in Tennessee. She said that a “concerned local resident” told FFRF about a biblical inscription on the cornerstone of the county courthouse.

“We understand that a Bible verse is etched on the wall of the Henderson County Courthouse in Lexington, Tennessee,” Markert wrote. “The verse reads, ‘Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: Mercy and truth shall go before thy face. Psalms 89:14.’”

Arguing that the scriptural inscription violates the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause, Markert said the verse on the courthouse is “inappropriate” because “it conveys government support for religion.”

“The context of the religious message is particularly problematic,” she added. “The verse alludes to the throne of a Judeo-Christian god, and it is embedded into the walls of the courthouse, the seat of government. This perpetuates the myth that our law is based on biblical principles, and it sends the message to private citizens with business at the courthouse that the justice they seek will be decided based on religion.”

Markert concluded the letter by urging Hughes to remove the verse from the courthouse wall “as soon as possible.”

However, Hughes said he was surprised that anyone would take issue with the Bible verse and advised that he has no plans to remove the inscription, which has reportedly been on the courthouse cornerstone for more than 50 years.

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“I wasn’t expecting anything and had not been contacted about the verse or really believed half the people in county even know the verse is on that side of the cornerstone,” Hughes told WBBJ.

In his reply to FFRF, Hughes noted that most residents of Henderson County believe in God.

“Our community is based on the belief of a true and living God,” he wrote.

Hughes told WBBJ that he has received nothing but positive feedback regarding his decision. Furthemore, he said he hopes to add an additional verse to the courthouse: Psalm 33:12. That verse says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD: and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.”

Local residents interviewed by WBBJ said they were glad their mayor didn’t capitulate to the atheist group’s demands.

“It ought to stay right there,” said Henderson County resident John Huffman. “If somebody else wants something different, they’ll chisel it on there. There’s plenty of squares.”

“It’s a big Bible Belt around here, and you know, if they don’t like it, they don’t have to read it,” Henderson County resident Adam Pinte opined.

“Well, it’s on the back of your dollar bill too, but nobody complains when they spend their money,” Pinte added.

FFRF released a statement on Wednesday saying they were “alarmed” by the mayor’s decision to retain the biblical engraving and “shocked by such an explicit endorsement of Christianity.” FFRF co-presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker mailed a response letter to Hughes, urging him to reconsider his decision.

However, Danny Sorrell, pastor of Campbell Street Church of Christ in Jackson, Tennessee, said biblical principles played an important role in the founding of the U.S., so biblical inscriptions on government buildings are constitutional.

“Our country was founded on a Christian heritage, and there’s so much that we can gain from and learn from our past and learn from God’s word,” Sorrell told WBBJ.

“Having a Bible verse on the courthouse, that’s not imposing anyone’s religion on anyone else,” he added. “It’s just part of the history of our country.”


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  • DoorknobHead

    LIVING IN A TIME WHERE DARKNESS SPREADS OVER THE WORLD
    There are so many people that oppose the Constitution of the United States of America these days. Big money, sure, but also many who are errantly religious oppose the founding principles of the United States of America, such as a secular government, which is the reason for freedom of religion in the first place. It is strange to live in a time when the forces of human evil are once again conspiring so strongly against a bright beacon of light such as the Constitution of the United States of America and it’s founding principles. Are we really doomed to repeat the dark ages? Are we really doomed to see the final nails driven into the coffin of the United States of America?

    • Netizen_James

      The twin evils of anti-science propaganda and immoral/short-sighted evangelicals are combining to roll back all the progress we’ve made since the Enlightenment. Yes, the new Dark Ages are coming. Einstein was right, the war after the next big one will be fought with rocks and sharp sticks.

  • Oboehner

    The “we really don’t care one way or the other” activist group rides again!!

    • zampogna

      Clearly they do care.

      • Oboehner

        Must be their religious belief they wish to assert.

        • zampogna

          Oh yes their nonexistent religious belief. That one eh?

          • Oboehner

            Yes the “we really don’t care one way or the other” activist group, because it couldn’t be the nonexistent separation of church and state thing.

          • Netizen_James

            You keep claiming that separation of church and state doesn’t exist. Yet the establishment clause clearly exists. Are you claiming that you are more informed about what the Constitution means than is the Supreme Court, the ONLY legal body which is empowered to interpret the Constitution? If the establishment clause isn’t about SOCAS, what IS it about?

            If the president issued an executive order that called for the Muslim crescent and star be affixed to every door in every government office building, including the offices of Rayburn House Office Building, would you have a problem with that or not? Pick one. Yes that’s a problem, or no that’s not a violation of the establishment clause. No hemming and hawing, no avoiding the question. Yes. Or no.

            Note carefully that no *new* religion is being ‘established’. Note carefully that the President is not ‘Congress’.

          • Oboehner

            You keep claiming that establishment means exactly the same as endorsement.

            “Are you claiming that you are more informed about what the Constitution means than is the Supreme Court, the ONLY legal body which is empowered to interpret the Constitution?” According to judicial(dot)gov, they empowered themselves – hardly in itself constitutional.

            If the Supreme Court illegally legislates and declares atheism/secular humanism as the official religion of the U.S. would YOU have a problem?

            “Note carefully that the President is not ‘Congress’.” Note carefully that only Congress can make law, so anyone with half a brain can tell the president to kiss off.

          • zampogna

            In the real world, you know, the one we live in, if you are an activist, you obviously do care.

    • Sarah Jones Geer

      The secular care about unconstitutional endorsements of religion by the government, yes. We should ALL care.

      • Jason Todd

        What the bleep are you talking about?

        • AnnieHaslam

          If I may, I think she’s saying that it’s of paramount importance that it is not the government’s place to be promoting religion.

          • Jason Todd

            No, you may not, unless you can read her mind.

          • AnnieHaslam

            It isn’t a question of reading her mind. It’s a matter of stating what it is obvious she intended for clarification.

          • Jason Todd

            But she didn’t appoint you her spokesperson.

            Let me be clear: I did not ask you. Shut the bleep up.

          • AnnieHaslam

            Christian News Network, I invite you to read all the comments made by Jason Todd throughout this discussion. Can you tell us please why he has not been banned, when in your guidelines it states clearly that discourteous behavior will not be tolerated? I mean, all he does is tell people to shut up, sneers and mocks (and then blocks) them, and interestingly he is representing the CHRISTIAN side of this debate! Not very Christian at all if you ask me.

          • zampogna

            Seconded.

          • Sisyphus

            I vote in the affirmative.

          • Netizen_James

            %Let me be clear: I did not ask you. Shut the bleep up.%

            There’s that “Christian Love” we’ve all heard so much about. Way to Witness. Not.

      • Oboehner

        That would be “establishment” not endorsement as it is so often twisted. Perhaps you should care about THAT misuse of the Constitution.

        • Netizen_James

          You are making a distinction without a difference. The ‘establishment clause’ is part of the definition of religious liberty. The establishment clause forbids government entities from endorsing any one religion or set of religions as the ‘officially correct’ one(s). Thus, the establishment clause forbids endorsement. So what ‘misuse of the Constitution’ are you talking about?

          From the COTUS:

          “The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever from they may adopt to teach or practice religion. ” (330 US 1)

          • Oboehner

            “The establishment clause forbids government entities from endorsing any one religion or set of religions as the ‘officially correct’ one(s).” Your are welcome to your opinion, however the clause was to prevent what happened in Britain from happening here – religion established by the state. We do have the freedom to practice our own even if in public. Basically to keep the state out of one’s religion, not the other way around, people have the right to act on their convictions.
            By ruling in favor of atheists, the state IS getting involved in religion.
            330 US 1 – “ALL legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of
            the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of
            Representatives.” Article 1, Section 1.

          • Netizen_James

            Of course every INDIVIDUAL has a right to practice their religion. But government entities are not individuals. Government entities have no ‘rights’. Government entities have only those authorities that We The People have ceded to them through the Constitution. So no, you’re wrong. The GOVERNMENT entity here in this case has no ‘freedom of religion’, nor do the people in this town have any sort of right to have their government promote THEIR religion as the ‘officially correct’ one.

    • TheKingOfRhye

      That’s just another way of putting your old argument that things like this prove that atheism is (always) more than a lack of belief, isn’t it? Sorry, but that actually makes you more wrong than before. First of all, atheism doesn’t necessarily mean you “don’t care way or the other” about the existence of a god. Some atheists take that position, but it doesn’t mean they’re not atheists if they don’t. And secondly, basically the same thing I keep trying to say to you…we’re talking about one’s position on the involvement of church with state. People can believe they should be separate and be atheist and/or agnostic, theist, deist, what-have-you. The quotes from several of the Founding Fathers that I keep citing should be evidence enough of that.

      • Oboehner

        So the “it’s not a religion” religion wants to push a fairytale about the separation of church and state? How quaint.
        I’m quite sure the Founding Fathers said a great many things, yet they are not included in the rule of law – the one you can’t cite.

        • TheKingOfRhye

          I’m not even talking about the rule of law here, though. That’s beside the point of the post you were replying to. I was talking about if people believe in separation of church and state or not, and the relationship of that and their belief or lack of belief in a god. Try responding to what I actually said, maybe…

          • Oboehner

            They can believe in leprechauns too if they wish, doesn’t mean they exist.

            “The quotes from several of the Founding Fathers that I keep citing should be evidence enough of that.” Are out of context, they were arguing that the state has no business in one’s religious belief – you know like they did in Britain? So now we’re back to the “we really don’t care one way or the other” activist group. Personally I can plainly see that is horse pucky, the religious atheists are attempting to use some mythological “separation of church and state” nonsense to force THEIR religion on others.

          • Netizen_James

            There is nothing mythical about the establishment clause. It’s right there in black and white.

            As is the complete and utter absence of either the words ‘God’ or ‘Jesus’ from the Constitution for the United States of America. If the framers wanted a ‘Christian Nation’, the lack of mention of Jesus in the Constitution seems a rather huge oversight, eh?

          • Oboehner

            “There is nothing mythical about the establishment clause. It’s right there in black and white.” Never said there was, only the “separation of church and state” fallacy.

            “IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

            The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

            When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to
            dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and
            to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station
            to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent
            respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the
            causes which impel them to the separation.

            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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

        • Netizen_James

          The rule of law is that religious liberty includes freedom FROM government religion. Simple as that.

          • Oboehner

            Yup, even atheism and secular humanism.

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

    LOL! Same old story. Yet another mayor who thinks he can go up against the US Constitution. If the mayor forces FFRF to go to court, the county will lose a costly court battle and the people of Henderson County will be wondering why they had to pay tens of thousands in court costs just to cover the mayor’s illegal activities. It happens year after year, yet Christians never seem to get a clue: it seems they just love to give FFRF their money.

    • faithlocke

      How are taxpayers giving FFRF their money by allowing the issue to go to court? Wouldn’t taxpayer dollars be used for the mayor’s legal expenses? FFRF receives no benefit; FFRF has to pay for their own legal expenses out of their own pockets. Just looking to clarify – thank you.

      • wreck

        The County will lose in court, and part of the judgement will be to pay the plaintiff’s legal fees. Happens all the time.

        • Jason Todd

          You mean like the Childress (TX) PD when they told the FFRF to “Go fly a kite” in response to the demand to remove the phrase “In God We Trust” from squad cars?

          Wait: No. The FFRF did nothing. Absolutely nothing. And they’ll do it again.

          • wreck

            “In God We Trust”, having been designated as a national motto, is different than carving a bible verse on a courthouse.

          • Jason Todd

            Not the point.

          • Jeff Simons

            And here you’ve moved the goalposts.

          • Jason Todd

            What are you talking about?

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

        If the matter goes to trial, and if county loses its legal battle, which precedent suggests it will, the county will be required to pay FFRF’s legal fees. This is why most of FFRF’s cases are settled as soon as the county officials hire competent lawyers (who tell them the county hasn’t a leg to stand on), and before involving the courts.

        FFRF gets a lot of requests for help every year. The few cases it pursues represent pretty clear cut violations. FFRF’s first step is issuing a legal request, asking the county (or city or school board) to obey the law. Most times, the county accedes to the request. In such cases, FFRF eats the legal cost, which is tiny. Where FFRF makes big money is when counties refuse to obey the law and FFRF has to take them to court. Recent cases have involved tens of thousands of dollars being paid to FFRF out of the public coffers.

        The cases that FFRF takes are usually open-and-shut. I suspect part of the reason FFRF makes so much money is because many of the cases that FFRF has to take to court take place in rural areas where local governments get legal help from lawyers who simply are not versed in constitutional law. FFRF always tries very hard to make local government see sense and avoid court cases, not because the folks at FFRF are afraid they won’t win, but because they don’t want poor people to have to pay their legal costs.

        • faithlocke

          Thanks for the clarification!

  • Guzzman

    Henderson County Courthouse is a government entity subject to the Establishment Clause’s prohibition of governmental promotion of religion. The Supreme Court has repeatedly 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).

    A biblical inscription on the wall of the courthouse represents a blatant promotion of religion. One option is to create an open forum. I’m sure the Satanic Temple would love to put an inscription on that wall as well.

  • 0pus

    Stouthearted men are rare.

    An individual standing up to a pack is still an inspiring thing.

    • Bob Johnson

      And “A fool and his money are soon parted.”
      If these stouthearted men want to throw away their money, I’m sure FFRF will be standing-by ready to catch it.

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

        Wait. 0pus is right and I have to give him an upvote. The individual in question is the person who complained to FFRF. The pack is the Christian majority in the county. It is indeed inspiring to see a stouthearted person stand up to a pack of Christian lawbreakers.

  • Jason Todd

    The FFRF can be as shocked as they want. But as there are Bible verses and references to God on federal buildings in Washington DC, shocked is also all they can be.

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

      Well, I doubt a Bible verse on what looks like a 1970s era converted prison building in Henderson County, Tennessee has the same historical value as one written on a national landmark in downtown Washington D.C. You will no doubt find that, where there is no overriding historical significance (as in this case), US courts routinely force the removal of such illegal installations, sometimes (if the county insists on flouting the law to the extent that they are willing to go to court) at a heavy cost to local taxpayers.

    • LKRunning

      Really? Because I go to DC all the time and outside of churches, I’ve never seen them. Granted, I’ve not visited all the federal bldg’s in and out of the Beltway but I’ve seen a good number of them. No bible verses on the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Dept or Treasury, Dept of energy, none of the Smithsonian have any, nor the Capital bldg that I’ve been able to see. Also no statues to Jesus or Crosses on any federal property that I recall. So if the intent was to actually promote christianity, they’re doing a poor job of it.

      • Jason Todd

        I said Bible verses and references to God.

        And yes, really.

        From the Providence Foundation website:

        The Library of Congress
        Within the Great Hall of the Jefferson Building are two climate controlled cases, one contains a Gutenberg Bible and the other a hand-copied Giant Bible of Mainz. The display of these two bibles is very appropriate because, in the words of President Andrew Jackson, “The Bible is the rock upon which our republic rests.” Many Biblical inscriptions can be found on the ceiling and walls including: “The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not”; and “Wisdom is the principal thing therefore get wisdom and withall thy getting, get understanding.”
        In the Main Reading Room are statues and quotes representing fields of knowledge. Moses and Paul represent Religion, with the inscription, “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God.” Science is represented by, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handywork.” History: “One God, one law, one element, and one far-off divine event, to which the whole creation moves.”

        The Supreme Court
        The Biblical foundation of American law is evidenced throughout this building. On the outside East Pediment is a marble relief of Moses holding tablets containing the Ten Commandments. Engraved on the oak doors at the entrance of the Court Chamber are the Roman numerals I through X, and above the heads of the Justices is a carved marble relief with a large stone tablet containing I through X in between two allegorical figures, representing The Power of Government and The Majesty of the Law (each set of numerals represents ancient law, that is the 10 commandments). In the main foyer are marble busts of previous Chief Justices, many of
        whom were Christians such as John Jay, the first Chief Justice, and John Marshall, the most prominent in the early years. Each day the Court is in session, a crier ends his call announcing the formal opening by declaring, “God save the United States and the Honorable Court.”

        The Capitol Building
        All of the eight large paintings in the Rotunda present aspects of our Christian history. A few include: The Landing of Columbus — Columbus said he was convinced to sail because “it was the Lord who put into my mind” and that “the Gospel must still be preached to so many lands.” The Baptism of Pocahontas — This shows the baptism of one of the first converts in the Virginia colony . The Virginia charter said they came to propagate the “Christian Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God.” Departure of the Pilgrims from Holland — shows the Pilgrims observing a day of prayer and fasting. William Brewster is holding an open Bible upon which is written: “The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” “God With Us” is written on the ship’s sail.
        Also in the Rotunda are carved reliefs including: Penn’s Treaty with the Indians — Penn called his colony “a holy experiment” and said of it that “my God that has given it to me . . . will, I believe, bless and make it the seed of a nation.” The Landing of the Pilgrims — “having undertaken for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith.”
        In God We Trust, our national motto, is inscribed in letters of gold behind the Speaker’s rostrum in the House Chamber. Also in this chamber, above the central Gallery door, is a marble relief of Moses, the greatest of 23 noted law-givers (and the only one full-faced). In 1867 the House Chamber was the meeting place for the largest Church congregation in America. This was not unusual for Churches had been meeting in the Capitol from its beginning.
        Statues of many early leaders are displayed throughout the Capitol. Most of these people were Christians (and many were ministers), including George Washington, James Garfield, Samuel Adams, Rev. Peter Muhlenberg, Rev. Roger Williams, Rev. Marcus Whitman, Daniel Webster, Lew Wallace, Rev. Jason Lee, John Winthrop, Rev. Jonathan Trumbull, Roger Sherman, and Francis Willard. Many plaques in the Capitol declare our faith as well, including: In God We Trust, placed above the Senate main door; “What hath God Wrought!” — the first message sent over the telegraph in 1844, found on the Samuel F.B. Morse Plaque outside old Supreme Court Chamber.
        The Prayer Room contains an open Bible sitting on an altar in front of a stained window showing Washington in earnest prayer. Behind him is etched the first verse of Psalm 16, “Preserve me, O God, for in Thee do I put my trust.”

        The National Archives
        A bronze design on the floor of the Rotunda contains the Ten Commandments with Senate and Justice to the right of them, which symbolizes that our legal system has its origin in God’s law. The two most important civil documents on display reflect Biblical principles of government.
        These are: The Declaration of Independence (1776) — contains such ideas as man is created in the Divine image, all men are equal, man is superior to the state, the state exists for man. The United States Constitution (1787) — Christian ideas include: the reign of law; trial by jury of peers under law; Creator endowed rights, not government granted; Christian self-government; religious freedom; private property rights.

        The Washington Monument
        From the tallest structure in Washington a message of Praise be to God goes forth. Engraved upon the aluminum capstone on the top of this 555 foot monument is Laus Deo. Inside the structure are carved tribute blocks with many Godly messages: “Holiness to the Lord,” “Search the Scriptures,” “The memory of the just is blessed,” “May Heaven to this union continue its beneficence,” In God We Trust,” “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

        The White House
        An inscription by the first President to inhabit the White House, John Adams, is cut into the marble facing of the State Dining Room fireplace. It reads: “I pray Heaven to Bestow the Best of Blessings on THIS HOUSE and on All that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under this Roof.” Each President has attended church, associated with the Christian faith, taken the oath of office with their hand on a Bible, and referred to God in their inaugural addresses.

        The Lincoln Memorial
        The words engraved upon the walls of the Lincoln Memorial reflect the Christian faith and providential perspective of our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. On the south wall is the Gettysburg Address which ends exclaiming “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” On the wall of the north chamber is Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address which shows his knowledge of the Scriptures: “Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. „Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh‟ (Matthew 18:7).”

        Were you ignorant of these or are you just lying?

        • james blue

          Chain email/blogs are fun

          Just the Scotus building

          “Justice the Guardian of Liberty” was sculpted to depict three of the Eastern civilizations from which our laws were derived and has Confucius, and Solon (hardly Christian) and the Moses figure holds blank tablets. The I-X depicts the bill of rights.

        • LKRunning

          Nice C&P. Now do you have any pics of alleged references?

          • Jason Todd

            That’s the best you can do? You said you have been to DC many times, and yet you have not noticed any of these things?

          • LKRunning

            Yup. Go there a few times each year for work. Been in most of the Muesums at the National Mall. If you’re walking up the right side of the mall facing Congress, on the side of the street where the Native American and Art Musumes are, you see these sliver posts. They’re a scale representation of the solar system. 1 billionth of scale I think. Pretty cool.

            If you want to see the Enterprise from Star Trek, it’s in the bottom section of the gift shop in the Air-n-Space. You should go see the Dullas Air-n-Space. Has an I-Max and when you walk in, there’s a beautiful view of the shuttle. However, last time I was there a yr ago, they ruined the view from the observation post by hanging a glider. OH, and see if you can fid the R2D2 on the model ship from Close Encounters.

            If you want people watch, I would reccomend in front of the White house. The North side. There’s usually a couple protesters there. And the Secret Service police are nice guys and will answer questions.

            In the Navy Yard, there’s a couple cool museums and you can tour the ship moored there. However, I don’t recall what the hrs are.

            So I stick by what I said. If the founders intended the US Capital to reflect christianity, they did a poor job of it.

          • Jason Todd

            Then you’ve seen these things and are lying about it. I am just SHOCKED! SHOCKED an atheist would lie!

          • Jeff Simons

            When in doubt, reverse the burden of proof and throw out ad hominems

          • Jason Todd

            Again, what are you talking about?

          • Jeff Simons

            Are you not aware of the multitude of logical fallacies your arguments seem to depend on?

          • Jason Todd

            There are no logical fallacies. The argument begins and ends with the constitutional right to express yourself in religious context. If the FFRF is upset over this, then they need to be upset over the precedent set in our nation’s capitol.

            They are otherwise welcome to sit down and shut up, as are you if you don’t like someone mentioning God.

          • Jeff Simons

            No, you’ve committed many logical fallacies, and if you think you haven’t you don’t know what a logical fallacy is and think I’m calling you a liar (I’m very much not, you should look up the fallacies I’m telling you about). the precedent set in the capital of the ONE thing you’re right about is that it’s there as a secular display including other points of view then the abrametic one.

          • Jason Todd

            The mention of God is secular? Did you really say that?

            You are blocked.

          • Jeff Simons

            No, they don’t mention god, they mention documents found in the bible. There’s a very big difference. And you are welcome to plug your ears like a child like you have elsewhere here as well.

          • zampogna

            Yes, you’re guilty of several logical fallacies, I could practically keep a checklist handy for the violations. But you have blocked me, just as you block everyone.

          • Netizen_James

            So when government officials start promoting reincarnation as the ‘officially correct’ afterlife scenario, and when government officials start putting up statues of Ganesha on courthouse lawns, that’s all good and fine for you, and you will have no objection to your child’s classroom teacher asking the whole class to face mecca and get on their knees for prayers to Allah, right?

            Or is it that you think that government can only promote YOUR religion, and nobody else’s? And isn’t that a bit arrogant and bigoted?

          • Bob Johnson

            I could try to explain Jeff’s comment to you, however, you have blocked me.

        • Sisyphus

          Irrespective of the quotes on old buildings, time to move out of the dark ages of superstition and belief to the age of reason and knowledge. They would make fairly interesting museum pieces not guidance for a moral State in the 21st century.

          • Jason Todd

            So you are one of those who thinks Christian morality is antiquated?

          • Sisyphus

            Christians do not have a monopoly on morality, and religious superstition is outdated.

          • Jason Todd

            So you are one of those people who think morality should be defined by the individual? And what if that individual thinks it moral to walk up to you and blow your brains out?

          • Sisyphus

            Reductio ad absurdum.

          • Jason Todd

            No, it’s the application of logic. Hiding behind irrelevant Latin terms doesn’t change that.

            Now, in 2015, Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth was pumping has into his car when a man came up behind him and proceeded to shoot him 15 times.

            What if the shooter thought that was the moral thing to do?

            Answer my question.

          • Sisyphus

            Moral facts are socially constructed, but not dependent on the god Christians have created. The individual in the scenario you described was probably a criminal or mentally ill.

          • Jason Todd

            Morality is a social construct? According to whom?

          • Sisyphus

            History. Can you name one universally objective moral fact that has existed the entire time of human society?

          • Jason Todd

            Only in the sense of what living without God does to society.

            Morality is not defined by individual choice. And living like there’s no God makes you a fool.

            If you want to argue that, do it somewhere else with someone who cares.

          • Stu Wingbeef

            Stop being a rude asshole, Matthew T. Mason.

          • Jason Todd

            Flagged for profanity and blocked.

          • Sisyphus

            Show me even one piece of objective proof the god you’ve created actually exists.

          • Jason Todd

            Now you sound like Dennis from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

            Who has a comprehension problem.

          • Sisyphus

            Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries. I fart in your general direction. Now, go away, before I taunt you a second time.

          • Netizen_James

            Our instinctual morality is neither deity-derived nor individual.
            Our instinctual morality is tribal.
            That which increases the survival odds of my tribe is ‘moral’
            That which decreases the survival odds of my tribe is ‘immoral’.

            This is why killing your neighbor is always evil, but killing ‘the enemy’ in war-time is not only not-evil, but heroic.
            This is why stealing assets from your neighbor is always evil, but ‘looting’ assets from ‘the enemy’ in war-time is not only not-evil, but heroic.
            This is where ‘altruism’ comes from, and why people who risk their lives to save their neighbor’s children are treated as heroes – because that’s what’s in the best interests of ‘the tribe’.

            So if Mr. Miles believed that a state of war existed between black people in general and law enforcement officers in general, then his killing of Deputy Goforth was perfectly moral. (doesn’t make it legal, of course!) There are no rules in war, donchaknow. This was apparently an act in retaliation for the murders of Eric Garner and Walter Scott and Phil Castile and hundreds of others that you and I don’t even know about, and as such, it was an act of war, and as such, it was exactly as ‘moral’ as the Allied firebombing of the innocent civilians in Dresden, or the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty.

            Just as morality is ‘tribal’, the response to immorality is tribal. So if you murder your neighbor, don’t be surprised when your other neighbors get together and banish or execute you to protect themselves.

            The real trick here, the thing that most people miss, is that there is only one tribe – all humanity. EVERYONE is your neighbor, regardless of where they live, what they look like, or whether they worship the same deity as you. THAT is the point of the parable of the ‘Good Samaritan’. EVERYONE is your neighbor that you must love as you love yourself. EVERYONE is your brother/sister – in the great ‘siblinghood of humanity’.

            THAT is the true message of Teachers like Jesus and Ghandi and MLKjr.

          • Sisyphus

            One might credibly say, morality is a phenomenon of evolution, as you indicated, a mechanism to improve the odds of survival or our species.

          • Netizen_James

            Just so!

          • Ambulance Chaser

            What in the world happened up there?

          • Trilemma

            Jason Todd has been banned.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            What, did he get carried away blocking people and somehow blocked himself?

          • zampogna

            Oh no! Who is left now to tell me to shut the bleep up?

          • Netizen_James

            So you’re one of those people who think that Eric Rudolph, Jim Kopp, Scott Roeder, and Robert Dear were heroes? That they acted out of a sense of Christian morality in murdering their victims?

          • LKRunning

            Well, I am married and the NT preaches against it unless you can’t help but have sex so yea. I’d say it’s outdated.

    • Netizen_James

      So what? There are ZERO references to either ‘God’ or ‘Jesus’ in the Constitution for the United States of America, and that’s all that matters. The founders gave us a SECULAR government, not a theocracy. That pandering politicians have seen fit to ignore the valuable words of men like Jefferson and Madison is hardly surprising. There will always be mobs to whip up, especially where you can point at a THEM to hate and denounce the way Hitler pointed to the Jews.

      Or do you think that Washington and Adams and Franklin and the other founders were heretical blasphemers for rejecting the Biblical ‘Divine Right of Kings’ (see Romans13:1-6) by rebelling against the God-given authority of King George III?

      The USA cannot POSSIBLY be a ‘Christian nation’ as its very founding principle was this rejection of Scripture – this rejection of the ‘divine right of kings’, the very CONCEPT that government gets its authority from “from the consent of the governed” flies in the face of Scripture, and it utterly antithetical to anything in the Bible. According to the Bible, government gets its authority from God. And therefor, the rebellion against King George III was a rebellion against God, and therefor had no honor or righteousness in it.

      Pick a side and stick to it – you can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you want to be a strict Bible literalist, then you’re a Tory. If you’re an American Patriot, then you can’t be a bible literalist because you need to reject the ‘divine right of kings’.

  • MCrow

    “If somebody else wants something different, they’ll chisel it on there. There’s plenty of squares.” Why do I have the feeling if I chiseled “No Gods, No Masters” into the stone, they might take umbrage?

    • Jason Todd

      Do you have a point?

      • MCrow

        People assume that something is fine because it does not offend them specifically. If someone does the equivilent, but different, that assumption changes. My point is to have basic human empathy, see things from another’s point of view, and try to appreciate it.

        • Jason Todd

          If only FFRF understood that.

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

            You don’t seem to understand how FFRF works. The folks at FFRF only act if they get a request from a local person. They don’t go looking for illegal displays. Someone in the town or county where an illegal display is located has to approach FFRF, otherwise FFRF cannot do anything, because if it comes down to a court case, there has to be someone directly affected for the FFRF lawyers to represent.

          • Sarah Jones Geer

            But the FFRF’s position is not based on offense. It’s based on constitutional law.

          • Jason Todd

            It’s based on bigotry.

          • Jeff Simons

            [citation needed] Also yet another ad hominem from you, do you have a defensible point?

          • MarkSebree

            Directed at Jason Todd: “Also yet another ad hominem from you, do you have a defensible point?”

            Not that I have ever seen. He seems to think that everyone else should do his work supporting his arguments for him, and refuses to support his own claims when challenged. All he has are various logical fallacies to fall back on.

          • Jeff Simons

            Oh, it’s a rhetorical question for sure.

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

      I’m waiting until they try the old “Let’s make it a religious freedom zone” gambit. Then the Satanists will come, and they will gladly put an inscription praising Satan up there, right alongside the Christian one.

      • MCrow

        Or Buddhist. Or atheist. Doesn’t really matter. They only think it’s ok because they are Christian. The moment it isn’t, they start to get every bit as upset as the people they currently demonize

        • Jason Todd

          Uh…what?

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

            Yeah, like you’d be just fine if your local courthouse’s only religious sign said “Hail Satan!”

          • MCrow

            I am saying that the people involved only agree with this display because they are Christian. If the display was, say, an anarchist saying such as what I mentioned, would that still be ok with them? I doubt it.

  • Bezukhov

    Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: Mercy and truth shall go before thy face. Psalms 89:14

    Problem is I doubt this verse applies to that particular court.

  • willie

    I have challenged law firms and the atheists against religion to show me this clause in the Constitution? The constitutions states “Congress shall make NO LAW RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION, (((OR))) PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF; or abridging the freedom of speech,…… these leaders are not establishing laws respecting a religion. We have the same freedom to display or proclaim God as the most high, as you atheist have to deny him. We pay the same taxes as you do. As one man said, You spend the money that says “IN GOD WE TRUST “. Another said, no one challenges Washington, DC. Whom prays everyday before business, and has bible verses all over the capital. ESPECIALLY in the Supreme Court building.
    The Constitution was written to keep the government out of the church as Constantine did in 325 AD and the church of England in the 1400’s. Not to keep the church out of government. That did not happen until the godless generation of the 60’s was born. What really amazes me is the power of the word of God is so strong that it irritates people so much. Sadly there are enough God hating judges in the circuit courts to uphold the atheist request. But that to was prophesied to be in the last days. Remember this, you will stand before the righteous judge one day and give account for you hate of his word.

    • Trilemma

      A law had to be passed to fund the building of this courthouse with its religious inscription. So, leaders in the past did establish a law respecting a religion. The right to free exercise of religion means you can believe what you want and worship where you want but it does not mean you can do whatever you want. You do not have the right to use property that doesn’t belong to you to exercise your religion.

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

      “I have challenged law firms and the atheists against religion to show me this clause in the Constitution?”

      Not all constitutional law is directly written into the Constitution. That’s why we need judges – people who have spent decades studying law – to interpret it. For example, treaties entered into by the United States become US law protected under the Constitution. The Treaty of Tripoli is one such treaty. Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli begins “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion…”

      This is US law. The fact that you don’t understand this is due to the fact that you are not a constitutional expert. Many law firms do not have constitutional law experts on their payroll, so the fact that you have contacted many law firms means very little.

    • LKRunning

      The Constitution does not explicitly state that you have a right to privacy. Using your logic, the government can set up camera’s in your bedroom to monitor your home and ensure your safety.

    • james blue

      We have the right to free speech, we have the right to religion. What we do not have is the right to have a platform provided to us. If you think we do I’m sure there are some satanists, Muslims, and Atheists who would be interesting in placing their messages on the wall.

    • Netizen_James

      What part of the quoted text below do you think is wrong? If your town’s government used YOUR taxdollars to put a big statue of Ganesha in front of the courthouse, would you be ok with that? (Ganesha is one of the Hindu gods – the one that has the head of an elephant in most depictions – who is also worshiped by some Jains and some Buddhists)

      “The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever from they may adopt to teach or practice religion. ” (330 US 1)

  • Michael C

    FFRF is an anti-Christian hate group. They disguise their hate by claiming they care about the Constitution.

    People that full of hate must be extremely unhappy. Has anyone done any research on atheists and anti-depressants? I’m betting most of them are drug-dependent.

    • LKRunning

      Please demonstrate how they’re a “hate group”.

      • sagat

        I bet you they can’t target a Muslim area for fear of been labelled “Islamophobes”

        • LKRunning

          Show me where Islam is trying o violate the separation of state/church.

        • james blue

          FFRF goes after Muslims bringing faith into government and schools too

          If it seems they don’t go after them as much it’s down to the fact that there are far fewer instances .

        • Jeff Simons

          quick google search finds 3 cases where they’ve fought Islamic encroachment. They go after it when it happens, which is rare.

    • Sarah Jones Geer

      No it isn’t. Telling Christians that they aren’t allowed to violate the Constitution and the law just because there are a lot of them or they’ve done it in the past isn’t “hate”.

      Oh, and sweetie? Christians not only have far higher percentages of substance abuse, but also violent crimes, teen pregnancies, STDs, divorce, and a host of social ills.

      • Jason Todd

        Telling Christians that they aren’t allowed to violate the Constitution

        They aren’t violating the Constitution.

        Christians not only have far higher percentages of substance abuse, but also violent crimes, teen pregnancies, STDs, divorce, and a host of social ills.

        Thanks for showing us you are an anti-Christian bigot.

        • Jeff Simons

          >>”Christians not only have far higher percentages of substance abuse, but also violent crimes, teen pregnancies, STDs, divorce, and a host of social ills.

          Thanks for showing us you are an anti-Christian bigot.”

          “I don’t like the stats you’re quoting, I’ll just call you a name” Yet another ad hominem attack. Real shame when you could have easily dismissed it by pointing out Christians are 75% of the population and as such will surely have a higher percentage of those problems.

        • Netizen_James

          Yes, government promotion of religion is a violation of the establishment clause of the Constitution. To deny that is to demonstrate either a profound ignorance, or a profound resistance to reality.

          • Paladin Roy

            Christianity is not a religion. It is to be Christlike. The morals of this country as the rest of the world are very quickly being drained because of these “atheists” who are extremely morally depraved.

          • Jeff Simons

            religion n – a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices. That’s Christianity to a T. You don’t get to use special pleading for your religion. You also have the burden of proof now that you’ve stated atheists are morally depraved.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            Why put “atheists” in “scare quotes”? Are you suggesting atheists aren’t really atheists?

          • Chet

            If the sight of God’s Word offends simply look away and save yourself lots of needless stress and frustration… You know, sorta like Christians have to do when spying homosexuals smacking lips…

          • Netizen_James

            So if your town used your taxdollars to erect a statue of Ganesha on the lawn in front of the town hall in order to encourage people to worship the Hindu pantheon, that would be perfectly ok with you, and you would be content with merely ‘looking away’, right? Or is that somehow ‘different’ because you want to pretend it is?

          • Chet

            All the difference in the world as there is only one true and living God Almighty and His name is the Lord Jesus Christ of Calvary. Beside Him, there is no other. Further, this nation was not founded on such idea(s) as whomever you speak of… Having God’s Ten Commandments readable on a wall for whomever is interested in seeing them is nothing at all like erecting some statue some supposed entity… And the tax dollars you’re concerned with have already been spent via prior year’s obligated funds, no further monies necessary to merely let the item hang where it is… Again, those disinterested merely need look away without incident, no problem.

            When I was once lost and on my way to Hell without the Lord Jesus Christ of Calvary as my own personal Lord and Saviour, I engaged in whatever type pleasures (SIN) I cared to deal with. I cared not my Lord willingly gave His life for me on the Old Rugged Cross. Christ suffered and bled and died willingly to save my sin sick soul and forgive me all my myriad sins and it meant nothing to me, at that time. Then, one day at the right time and under the right circumstances, I acknowledged my need of Him via the convicting power of His Holy Spirit. Thus, in faith and repentance, I then became a born-again Christian and have never been happier. My own eternity is now settled and my life in the here and now has been wondrously blessed without measure by my kind and loving Father in Heaven. And although I am not the man I’d sure like to be, I’m for sure no longer the drunken adulterer and – – – I once was… All thanks to Christ Jesus and nothing of my own doings at all… Respectfully, consider the Lord Jesus Christ as your own personal Lord and Saviour and should you take God at His Word you’ll never regret it one moment. Jesus saves from the guttermost (me) to the uttermost, perhaps yourself. No exceptions, no turn-aways…

          • Dianne

            Amen Chet and PRAISE THE LORD!!!😇

          • Chet

            Greetings Dianne and to God be the glory…

      • Michael C

        The domestic abuse rates of gays and lesbians are DOUBLE those of normal people.

        Poor old lesbians. Your emotional lives consist of hating Christians and beating up your girlfriends. I think that would qualify as “emotionally retarded.”

        You’ll never be equal until you learn some emotions other than hate and anger.

        • Jeff Simons

          TIL Gays and Lesbians are a religion.

      • Paladin Roy

        Ahhh …So it IS actually true !! This country does NOT trust in GOD !!! … So why can’t these whimps fight about the freemason “god” on the money??? Somethin strange in Denmark !!!

        • Jeff Simons

          ::looks at the back of his debit card:: nope, no mention of god on this, is it somewhere on my Credit Union’s website?

      • Chet

        One can call himself a mechanic because he changes his own oil and can rotate four tires. He can even move into his garage, nevertheless, he is no mechanic thusly… Same holds true for one who may claim to be anything else, but, God’s Word declares – therefore, by their fruits ye shall know them. Your cleverness of logic and tossing of unsubstantiated foolish stats are but meaningless drivel, madam,…

    • Netizen_James

      No Michael, no matter how many times you repeat that lie, it’s still not true.
      The FRFF doesn’t care what you believe. They just want GOVERNMENT to stop promoting religion – ANY religion. Can you find me even ONE bit of evidence that the FRFF ‘hates’ Christians? Can you find me even ONE bit of evidence that the FRFF doesn’t care if the government promotes Hinduism or Islam or Bahá’í, and only cares when the government promotes Christianity? What – you can’t find any examples of the government promoting Bahá’í? Why might that be?

      Like the FRFF, I believe that ‘In God We Trust’ is exactly as inappropriate and unconstitutional as ‘there are no gods, we’re on our own’ would be. If you don’t see those two mottoes as effectively equivalent with respect to prohibition of ‘religious establishment’, then you’re not looking at things objectively and with Justice in mind.

      Or are you just another Zapp Brannigan, hating on the neutrals for being neutral?

      Forget not that Jesus said: “whoever is not against us is for us” (Mark 9:40)

      Do not make those who are not against you into enemies. Enemies there are aplenty, without creating new ones.

      • TheKingOfRhye

        “Or are you just another Zapp Brannigan, hating on the neutrals for being neutral?”

        Maybe instead of “In God We Trust”, the country could adopt the motto of the Neutral Planet: “Live Free or Don’t.”

        • Trilemma

          The state motto of New Hampshire is, “Live Free or Die.”

      • sola scriptura, sola fide

        I’m sorry, there are a few things wrong with your argument.
        Firstly, the motto, ‘In God We Trust’, is entirely appropriate, as the United States has been historically proven to have been based on Scripture. Namely, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. So, how can you say it is not appropriate?
        Secondly, the FFRF is biased as they are not a neutral party, and will never be one. Scripture says in Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” This shows that there is no neutral ground between God and the world, there can never be.
        Thirdly, and most importantly, you are taking Mark 9:40 entirely out of context. If you look at the entire paragraph, ‘John said to him, ” Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work will be soon afterward to speak evil of me. For the one who is not against us is for us. For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.’ Mark 9:38-41. In your argument, you fail to recognize that Jesus was speaking on the terms of men who, though were not following Christ, were doing good things in his name. Not being a neutral party. Therefore, your proof text is not valid, nor is your argument scripturally sound.

        • TheKingOfRhye

          “the United States has been historically proven to have been based on
          Scripture. Namely, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
          So, how can you say it is not appropriate?”

          No, the US is not “based on Scripture”. The Constitution is definitely not. Look at it this way: If what you say is true, then why are only two, maybe three, of the 10 Commandments things that have any parallels in US law? Those being the prohibitions of murder, theft, and if you take “bearing false witness” to refer to perjury. So, call it two and a half, maybe. And, also notice those are things that are generally forbidden by every society anywhere, so is it really uniquely Christian?

        • Netizen_James

          Your assertion that “the United States has been historically proven to have been based on Scripture. Namely, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.” is an example of the “begging the question” fallacy. Where is this ‘proof’? Where is either the word ‘God’ or the name ‘Jesus’ in the Constitution? Why does the DOI say ‘THEIR’ creator instead of ‘THE’ Creator if not to recognize that different people conceptualize ‘their creator’ differently? Why did Franklin replace Jefferson’s phrase ‘We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable’ to the ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident’ with which we are all familiar? What are the implications of the use of the phrase ‘nature’s God’ rather than just saying ‘God’? Are you at all familiar with the history of the Enlightenment philosophers like Voltaire and Rousseau that the Founders based their new nation upon? Do you not understand that by ‘Nature’s God’ they meant what we mean when we use the word ‘physics’ today? Where in Scripture are you finding the fundamentally radical American concept: that government gets its authority from the ‘consent of the governed’?

          The ONLY American Value which we find in Scripture is one which far too many Christians ignore:

          “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians3:28)

          This is what is meant by ‘all men are created equal’. We are either ALL ‘children of God’, or nobody is. A sentiment that the faux-Christians of the Alt-Right and KKK varieties ignore and decry. Because ALL means ALL – regardless of skin color, facial features, political ideology, gender identity, sexual orientation, or spiritual worldview.

      • Chet

        You do know why you won’t find any references to Bahai in government facilities don’t you? Sure you do, cause there was no such influence on the founders of these USA. The influence on such was God Almighty and His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ of Calvary, thus, He is to remain honored and respected as of old… Your clever verbiage neither confuses nor confounds not those who know what they believe and why…

        • Netizen_James

          Is that why they very carefully and intentionally left both the words ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’ out of the Constitution?

          The appeal to ‘tradition’ is lame and ignorant. Slavery was ‘traditional’ too. And we got rid of it. Treating some people as ‘special’ because their parents were ‘nobles’ was traditional too, and we got rid of that, too. Treating black people as sub-human animals was ‘traditional’ and we got rid of that, too – well, most of us…. Treating women as subservient to men was ‘traditional’ too, and we’re getting rid of that as well.

          According to the Bible, the Founders were blaspheming heretics for rebelling against the God-given authority of King George III. (see Romans 13:1-6). So you can either believe in the Bible and be a Tory, or you can be an American Patriot. You can’t be both on the side of theological tyranny, and on the side of rational liberty. “Which side are you on, boys?”

          The primary influence on the founders was the ENLIGHTENMENT rejection of the Biblical doctrine of the ‘divine right of kings’. The influence on the founders were philosophers like Locke and Rousseau, not mythical sky-gods.

          What part of the Constitution or DOI do you think was ‘inspired’ by Christian Values? Was it that part about government deriving it’s authority from the consent of the governed? Where do you find that in the Bible? Was it the part about how ‘no religious test’ could be used to deny any citizen a public office? Where is that in the Bible?

          • Chet

            First, what I think, personally, is immaterial just as yourself. Second, man can get rid of all kinds of things, some, very much deservedly so as you listed in para two. Nevertheless, man will neve rid himself of his own accountability to God Almighty, giver of all flesh . For it is Him, with whom we all have to do, sooner or later. “So then, everyone of us shall give account of himself to God” Romans 14:12, Holy Bible. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” Hebrews 9:27, Holy Bible. The Word of God has survived all kinds of men for thousands of years and it will still be standing long after you and I are gone on to our respective eternal abode and altogether forgotten by the world…

          • Netizen_James

            So, typically, you’ve dodged the question about what part of the Constitution was inspired by ‘Christian values’ and have instead resorted to fallacious appeals to questionable authorities and hellfire-fear-mongering. Not a very strong rebuttal. Not any sort of rebuttal, actually.

          • Chet

            Well, when one can’t be pleasurably coaxed into Heaven, one would still do well to be subsequently scared out of Hell. It appears neither case applies here… If you are unable to detect the presence of God Almighty’s influence upon the lives and writings of those responsible for crafting the documents of America’s early days I sure cannot help you.

  • Stupid Atheist

    I’m certain that everybody supporting this mayor will likewise applaud any Muslim mayor who festoons his town hall with verses from the Q’uran. Can I get an “ameen”…?

    • sagat

      I very much doubt your atheists buddies can even dare target any Muslim institution for fear of been called “Islamophobes” Christians are easy targets for you people

      • Stupid Atheist

        You can doubt all you’d like, but Sam Harris (as just one example) is under perpetual fire for taking on Islam. Googling “Sam Harris Islamophobia” will yield a quarter million results, much of it easily pertinent enough to kill the rest of one’s afternoon.

        Matt Dillahunty and company took part in “Draw Muhammad Day” in the wake of the jihad against our apostate brethren and sistren overseas. And yes, if/when Hamtramck Michigan’s mostly Muslim city council begins to God-fitti– sorry, “Allah-fitti” up the public square and squad cars the way the Xtian devout do with such aplomb, we’ll be fighting that effort as well…

        • Jason Todd

          Sounds like you have contempt for people of faith. Is that a good idea?

          • Stupid Atheist

            You are mistaken. Most of my friends are devout.

            And my Disqus chat history being public, there are plenty of amiable and polite interchanges of record between people of faith and myself in my defense against any unfounded contempt charge[s]…

          • Jason Todd

            And yes, if/when Hamtramck Michigan’s mostly Muslim city council begins to God-fitti– sorry, “Allah-fitti” up the public square and squad cars the way the Xtian devout do with such aplomb, we’ll be fighting that effort as well…

            Explain this.

          • Stupid Atheist

            Well since you asked so nice, sure. 😉

            Hamtramck Michigan has a majority Muslim population, and a majority in government. If/when they decide to begin plastering “Allah Be Praised” on the bumpers of their squad cars and carving it into the walls of City Hall, those of us in opposition to the situation in Tennessee will be consistent by opposing that initiative.

            By supporting the Tennessee Christians right to plaster the public grounds with their religious slogans while opposing the Michigan Muslims right to do likewise, one is not demonstrating any consistency regarding religious freedom nor Constitutional deference…

          • Jason Todd

            No, the verbiage used indicates a contempt for faith. Explain it.

          • Stupid Atheist

            Actually, your original charge was “contempt for PEOPLE of faith” [emphasis mine].

            I don’t see where I’ve expressed that sort of sentiment…

          • Jason Todd

            Don’t play games. You know what I mean.

          • Stupid Atheist

            I honestly don’t. If you’d be kind enough to quote what I said that demonstrated any contempt for people of faith, I’m happy to discuss it…

          • zampogna

            “Kind enough”. Jason?

            Forgive me, just had to suppress a shriek of laughter there.

          • Jason Todd

            You’re a liar. You are deliberately playing stupid for being called out.

          • Stupid Atheist

            Then it should be easy enough for you to cut/copy/paste whatever lies you think I’ve offered in the course of this discussion. Again, I’m happy to have that discussion…

          • glenbo

            One cannot rationalize with irrational people.

          • Stupid Atheist

            One can try…

          • Bob Johnson

            Perhaps you should change your name to ‘Don Quixote de la Mancha”.

          • Stupid Atheist

            I think you’re being unfair to windmills… 😉

      • Jeff Simons

        3 cases from the FFRF alone come to mind right off the top of my head where they’ve fought against Islam encroaching on separation, you can find them with a very quick google search.

    • Jason Todd

      Relevance?

      • Stupid Atheist

        Consistency.

        If the matter is truly about religious freedom, then surely the freedom of all faiths to God-fitti up the public square in deference to any and all deities will be defended by the devout. Any who’d play favorites would seem to disregard the establishment clause and perhaps forfeit the Constitutional high ground…

        • Jason Todd

          Which means what?

          • Stupid Atheist

            That for those in the ranks of the devout who’d only defend the expression of their own specific faith, neither religious freedom nor Constitutionalism would seem a consistent nor valid defense of their position…

          • Jason Todd

            Christians do. Just not Islam (because it is not a religion, but an ideology) or Satanism (for obvious reasons).

          • Stupid Atheist

            I don’t want to put words in your mouth: Are you saying the government should establish which religions’ messages can be posted in the public square and which cannot…?

          • Jason Todd

            No. Islam and Satanism are not religions, however.

          • Stupid Atheist

            How might we demonstrate the truth of that assertion to the satisfaction of a court of law…?

          • Jason Todd

            Don’t need to. Common sense.

          • Stupid Atheist

            Somebody will need to, should it go to court (and these things tend to do so) with that offered as the defense. I’m not confident “Jason said so” will hold up, but I’d be eager to see it presented nonetheless…

          • Jason Todd

            You’re living up to your name.

          • Stupid Atheist

            Not feelin’ the neighborly love, Brother Jason.

            The story behind the moniker, if you’re at all interested, can be found by adding a dot-com to the end of my name and clicking the “About” link.

            Sorry for the convoluted instruction, but hyperlinking is discouraged by some mods.

            I do appreciate the time you dedicated to our conversation, my friend.

            Xapis…

          • Jason Todd

            You don’t deserve “Brotherly Love.” You want to abridge my Constitutional rights because I believe in Jesus.

          • Stupid Atheist

            “You don’t deserve ‘Brotherly Love’.”

            Are there biblical criteria for being deserving of Brotherly Love? If so, I’d be interested in learning what they are.

            = = =

            “You want to abridge my Constitutional rights because I believe in Jesus.”

            On the contrary. I’d like to ensure everybody enjoys their Constitutional rights irrespective of their religious beliefs…

          • Jason Todd

            Then leave Christians the bleep alone.

          • Stupid Atheist

            I’m not certain I know specifically what you mean by that. It was you who engaged me in this discussion. Sorry if you’ve become upset by the exchange. I (again) appreciate the time and your honest feedback…

          • Jason Todd

            Trolling. Blocked.

          • Stupid Atheist

            Write back any time, my friend. Xapis…

          • Stupid Atheist

            My friend Jason appears to have been raptured, dear Reader.

            Thanks for all the upvotes!

            Xapis…

          • Jeff Simons

            And there’s childish plugging your ears here, not a fallacy per se, but it doesn’t look good for your argument. Stupid Atheist is exactly right, if you’d actually read his posts and not assume he’s attacking you you’d see that

          • DavidStringfellow

            He wasn’t trolling you, coward.

          • DavidStringfellow

            How about you stop hating and oppressing homosexuals first, asshole?

          • Jason Todd

            Flagged for profanity and blocked.

          • Raymond Luxury Yacht

            Why the bleep don’t you talk like a normal human being, Matthew T. Mason?

          • Jason Todd

            Blocked.

          • DavidStringfellow

            Can’t you believe in him without hating on other people?

  • zampogna

    Oh Christians, if you only knew how practices like this hurt you more than help you.

  • Sarah Jones Geer

    Um, it’s illegal and unconstitutional. This has been ruled over and over again. This country was NOT founded on Christianity, is NOT a Christian nation, and our Constitution both expressly prohibits government endorsement or favoritism of religion AND protects the minority from the whims of the majority.

    This is not “inspiring” as other people have called it. It’s stubborn abuse of the power of the government to push a religion on the populace, and it WILL lose if challenged in court. It will cost the taxpayers tens of thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of dollars when it does- all because Christians can’t seem to handle not having special privilege.

    It’s all or none on public property and in governance. People want to keep this bible verse, they had better be prepared for the onslaught of applications from groups like the Church of Satan for equal representation- because that’s their Constitutional right if one position is allowed.

    • Jason Todd

      Another libtard spewing things they know nothing about. Big shock.

      • AnnieHaslam

        You call a lot of names here. I don’t notice anyone else doing that.

        • Jeff Simons

          Eh, one other guy is.

        • Jason Todd

          I’m sorry. You need a tissue?

          It’s really very simple: If you don’t wish to be called a bigot, don’t open your mouth and give yourself away.

          • MarkSebree

            You mean like you always do?

          • AnnieHaslam

            Excuse me sonny, but there’s nothing bigoted about pointing out that your name calling is rude, unnecessary and doesn’t put your so-called “Christianity” in a very good light.

          • Jason Todd

            You don’t like it when bigots are being called bigots. Build a bridge and get over it.

          • AnnieHaslam

            They aren’t bigots. I think it’s you doing that, plus telling people to shut up, etc. You’re a disgrace and I think you should leave if you can’t discuss things politely.

          • Jason Todd

            Excuse me? May I remind you it was YOU, an atheist, who came to a Christian website.

            There are people who have made it clear they don’t like Christians or Christianity. And yet, you get offended if I call them a bigot.

            You are cordially invited to get stuffed.

            Blocked.

          • Ann_Haslam

            Nonononono, it doesn’t work that way, Matthew. You block me when I’m not done getting in your face, I come right back. And you hear me out. THAT is how it works.

            And you’re acting like a spoiled brat on a forum filled with adults, and no one appears to like you OR your behavior here, and you’re fast becoming a nuisance, and you will answer for it all.

    • Sister Boogie

      That’s stupid.

      • Netizen_James

        The Constitution is stupid? Freedom of speech, religion, and association are stupid? Or is it the expectation that government will only support Christian denominations that is stupid? What is it you’re trying to say here Sister Boogie?

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Mayor Hughes, as is done with every elected official who tries the “majority rules” defense of this breaking of Constitutional law, your old high school civics teacher Mrs. McGillicuddy has been brought out of retirement and will be visiting you in your offices to present you with a retroactive “F” for your final grade.

    • Jason Todd

      defense of this breaking of Constitutional law,

      What constitutional law did the mayor break?

      • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

        The First Amendment, specifically the establishment clause, and all the related case law from the Supreme Court over the last two centuries. This is the principle that protects Christians and all citizens from the government establishing an official religion that everyone must follow, as in theocracies like Iran and Saudi Arabia. Freedom of religion must include freedom from having any form of government impose directly or by implication any religion over others, or religion over non-religion. Freedom of religion must be for everyone, or it will not be for anyone.

        • Barefoot

          What nursing home are you in? Is Tuesday the day for Lime Jello?

          • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

            An attempt at an insult shows that you have no actual argument to come back with.

          • Barefoot

            You’re a lonely bitter old atheist. You deserve nothing but contempt and scorn.
            No one argues with a fossil.

          • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

            Actually, I’m happy and have wonderful family and friends. But again, you’re merely demonstrating that you have no argument. You might as well be sticking your tongue out and saying “You’re a poo-poo head.”

            And creationists argue with fossils all the time.

          • Barefoot

            So sad, elderly homosexuals with no social life, just spewing their hate at Christians. No wonder their suicide rates are so high. That’s no way to live.

          • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

            Nothing but lame ad hominem remarks, not a single argument. This is a waste of time.

          • Jason Todd

            Well, you came to Christian website, for the same reason all other atheists do: To mock, ridicule, and raise your self-esteem.

            But you need to go back to your own website because the Christians here are not amused and you are not welcome here.

          • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

            If I intended to mock and ridicule, I would have done so, but I have not. I have presented a cogent argument against the Mayor’s position, and I have not stooped to return the hostile and ad hominem remarks that you and Barefoot have tossed out. You keep trying to characterize those commenters here who disagree with the Mayor’s decision as “hateful.” Firstly, I’m not, and secondly, whatever emotions I experience here have no bearing on my argument. As for a “warm welcome,” I always give respect and I expect respect, and on many Christian websites I visit, I am received with respect. People might agree or not with something I say, but they are mature enough to do so respectfully, just as I do for them.

            Are you saying that I should never expect respect from Christians, but only the poor attempts to discredit or deflect what I say with your incorrect guesses about my motives? If so, you’re not giving your fellow Christians much credit.

            Please consider this: Keeping religion and government strictly separate protects your rights as well as those of non-Christians, and those rights are constantly under assault by tiny incursions like this incident. You are free to worship exactly as you do only because of the First Amendment. If not for that, you would have to worship in whatever way the federal government dictated that you must. I don’t think you would like that. If you are assuming that you would always be in the acceptable in-group, don’t be naïve. If you live in a country that can decree what religious beliefs are acceptable, your particular beliefs are just as vulnerable to being outlawed by the changing whims of whoever is in power at the time.

          • Jason Todd

            The very first thing you said when you came in here is how someone is “breaking constitutional law,” not based on what the Constitution says, but what nine men in black robes said. The same branch of government that gave us Plessy v. Ferguson, Dred Scott and Castle Rock v. Gonzales. But we are never to question their authority, even when they step outside of it.

            Further, we have an organization that is now without doubt anti-Christian, as they routinely harass people for the unpardonable sin of mentioning God. If those commies want a godless society so badly, someone should build a time machine and plop the whole lot of them in the former Soviet Union circa 1930.

            As for you, respect is earned, not assumed. The sooner you realize that, the better.

          • Jeff Simons

            I love when people use Dredd Scott, you realize as the constitution was written at the time that ruling was 100% legally correct (morally is a different matter we’re not talking about here, so don’t try to move that goal post) the 14th amendment changed that part of the constitution which killed Dredd Scott. Castle Rock v. Gonzales as I just looked up was not a constitutional case BTW.

          • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

            I am not calling you names, and I am not making allegations about you having nefarious motives. I’m presenting arguments that you ignore, and instead complain about what you guess are nefarious motives of me and other people, now including past and present members of the Supreme Court. Please tell me how I have “earned” your readily-apparent disrespect.

          • Jason Todd

            You didn’t address a single thing I said. Not impressed.

        • Jason Todd

          The First Amendment (and not what was started by Hugo Black in 1947) clearly says Congress is not to create its own religion nor keep people from practicing theirs. It does not say, nor has it ever said, government is supposed to be absolutely secular to the point God should not be so much as bear mention.

          And mentioning God doesn’t immediately turn the USA into a theocracy. That’s an argument coming exclusively from atheists and anti-Christian bigots, more often than not one and the same.

          • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

            Argue it out with the Supreme Court, which has consistently found against Mayor Hughes’ position for the last half century.

          • Jason Todd

            Who cares about SCOTUS? I don’t.

          • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

            Then there’s no point in discussing law with you.

          • Jason Todd

            If you, like Ambulance Chaser, believe the Constitution was written by judges, there’s no point in discussing the weather with you.

            The final authority is the United States Constitution. Not people in black robes, especially since they can somehow locate a right to kill your unborn child and a right for same-sex couples to marry, but can’t find a right to defend yourself or mention God in a public place.

          • Trilemma

            Moses established a supreme court to interpret the Law of God for the Israelites. That’s what courts do. That’s why they are necessary.

          • Jeff Simons

            The Constitution you guys are arguing about here very much cares about what SCOTUS says, it gives them the power to interpret the Constitution, IE they are the final word on what it says. Guess what they say it says.

          • Jason Todd

            They are not given final word. That’s where most of you fail.

          • Jeff Simons

            And you have just made it clear you’ve not read the constitution. It’s kind of clear on this.

          • Trilemma

            Then who is given final word?

          • glenbo

            >>”Who cares about SCOTUS? I don’t.”<<
            Isn't that one of the main reasons you voted for Trump?

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

            “And mentioning God doesn’t immediately turn the USA into a theocracy.”

            Straw man. No one is suggesting that mentioning God turns America into a theocracy. But what it does do when God is mentioned in the public square is give tacit support for one religion over any other belief system.

    • parquet

      zzzzzzzzzz

  • Netizen_James

    So when government starts promoting reincarnation as the ‘officially correct’ afterlife belief, what will y’all do then? Will you only then, when it’s too late, see the value of separating civil from ecclesiastical authority?

    So when the cops and judges start putting text from the Vedas, and statues of Ganesha on the precinct walls and courthouse lawn, that will be perfectly ok, because it’s ok for government to promote religion?

    Or does the government’s authority to promote religion only apply to SOME people’s religion?

    As Madison said:”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.”

    The only stance of government that respects religious liberty is one of strict neutrality towards ALL faith-beliefs; promoting none, prohibiting none, endorsing none, enjoining none.

    • Paladin Roy

      I don’t see these things as promoting religion, but morals in a vain and perverted society.

      • Netizen_James

        religion has nothing to do with morality, as the many cases of pedophilic clergy clearly demonstrate.

      • Netizen_James

        So you would be happy as a clam if your local police department started putting verses from the Vedas or quotes from The Buddha on their police cars and in the precinct house? What about quotes from Rabbis, dismissing the heresy of a ‘divine’ Jesus’? would that be ok, since it wouldn’t be promoting religion?

      • Ambulance Chaser

        So they’d be legal then?

    • lostproton

      There is a Islamic/Muslim judge in Pennsylvania who in a case of an atheist who was physically accosted by an Islamic/Muslim; chastised the atheist for mocking Muhammad and read, in the court room, from a Qur’an. One, since the Qur’an calls for the death to all infidels who refuse to convert to Islam, how can Islam be defined as a religion? Second, who gave the IRS the authority to classify the Satanic Temple as a 401C religious organization? The manure is getting deep around Islamic/Muslin enclaves around the United States.

      • TheKingOfRhye

        “One, since the Qur’an calls for the death to all infidels who refuse to
        convert to Islam, how can Islam be defined as a religion?”

        I don’t know how you define religion, but I go with something like this definition from Merriam Webster: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices. Now, I certainly don’t agree with anyone “calling for the death of infidels”, but I don’t see how that would mean Islam is not a religion.

        • Moxie Miscellany

          …Doesn’t the Old Testament also call for the death of anyone who refuses to convert? And, more recently: the Inquisitions, the Crusades, that whole mess in Salem, the WBC, the Duggars…

      • TheKingOfRhye

        “who gave the IRS the authority to classify the Satanic Temple as a 401C religious organization?”

        Title 26 of the US Code. But, it’s actually 501c you’re thinking of, and in fact, the Satanic Temple, along with the older Church Of Satan, willingly forgoes their tax-exempt status because they believe that all churches should be taxed.

      • Netizen_James

        And the cop who murdered Eric Garner got off for ‘lack of evidence’ too. So what? No, there’s no ‘pattern’ here.”

        Tell me – do you support the right of the Westboro Baptists to picket the funerals of military personnel?

  • Paladin Roy

    Anyone seeing the end picture in these things? There must then arise a one world government (antichrist) which will dictate each aspect of your lives.

  • integrity matters

    God Bless America – one nation under God.

    • LKRunning

      Nope. Sorry. American vet here and I worship no god. Nor did my enlistment oath have anything to do with Jesus.

  • http://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/ Ted R. Weiland

    Psalm 89:14 inscribed on the any Court house wall is merely window dressing, unless the same Court is governed by Yahweh’s justice and judgment as dictated in His immutable/unchanging moral law. The same is true with Ten Commandment monuments that adorn the outside of State and Court buildings that inside are legislating and adjudicating contrary to those same Ten Commandments and their respective statutes and judgments.

    This is not novel to this day age. Man attempting to make God a partner to their crimes can be traced as least as far back as Aaron who named his golden calf “Yahweh.”

    For more on how Yahweh’s triune moral law applies and should be implemented today, see free online book “Law and Kingdom: Their Relevance Under the New Covenant.” Click on my name, then our website. Go to our Online Books page and scroll down to title.

    Then “A Biblical Constitution: A Scriptural Replacement for Secular Government.”

  • Dianne

    Great news and PRAISE THE LORD!! Praying for the atheists salvation. Ex-Atheist make great saints once they are BORN AGAIN!

  • Abraham

    FFRF travels throughout the country trying to remove any type of Judeo-christian heritage from public places. If municipalities don’t comply they begin the process of suing the local government. This is their goal remove vestiges of Judeo-christian influence in government.

    • Netizen_James

      No, not ‘public places’. Neither FFRF nor anyone else cares what you or your church put on your own property with your own dime. Nor do they care what billboards you buy or rent time on to spread your evangelical message. The point is that GOVERNMENT has no authority to promote or endorse ANY religion or belief as the ‘officially correct’ one. No, not even yours. No, not even that of ‘the majority’. There is a reason we have a Constitution: to protect the rights of the individual from the whims of the mob. And yes, we US Citizens have a RIGHT to religious liberty, and that RIGHT to religious liberty necessarily INCLUDES the RIGHT to be free from any government expression of any religion as the ‘officially correct’ one.

      When the majority of folks in your town are Muslim, do you want your town council meetings to start with a prayer to Allah on your knees facing Mecca? No? So maybe it’s time for a little ‘do unto others’ action, eh?

  • Chet

    God Almighty bless Mayor Hughes for daring to be a Daniel and taking a stand for right as opposed to the easy and most frequent responses of the day when those threatened simply buckle at the knees in fear only to drop and roll over. We ought to fear God rather than man and these anti God anti Christ people are but sheep in wolves clothing… Next threat received via mail, simply deep six it and keep on keeping on…

    • Netizen_James

      Interesting that you should mention Daniel – the book of Scripture that warns us AGAINST allowing government to tell us who/what/how to worship….