Atheist Activist Group Wants Courthouse Scripture Mural Removed

Photo Credit: FFRF

FINDLAY, Ohio — One of the nation’s most conspicuous professing atheist activist organizations has sent a letter to the clerk of the Findlay, Ohio municipal court to claim that a displayed mural referencing Psalm 91 violates the U.S. Constitution.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) says that it was contacted by a “concerned citizen,” who advised that a large mural in the courthouse features artwork of an eagle and the phrase, “Under His wings shall you find refuge—Psalms 91.”

“The Establishment Clause in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits government sponsorship of religious messages,” wrote FFRF Legal Director Rebecca Markert.

“It is inappropriate for the county to display this religious message on the wall of the Findlay Municipal Court because it conveys government support for religion,” she asserted. “A reasonable observer would view the text as an endorsement of religion by Findlay. The mural calls for viewers to seek refuge in the Christian God.”

The letter further contended that the display makes those who are not Christian feel like outsiders.

“The municipal court serves all citizens regardless of belief or nonbelief, and with this display, Findlay appears to be preaching to citizens required to come to the courthouse,” Markert stated. “The messages alienates the 24% of American adults who are nonreligious. It excludes non-Christian residents of Findlay and expresses a preference for the Christian faith in a government building responsible for administering and upholding our laws.”

The FFRF has requested that the mural consequently be removed. Read the letter in full here.

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It is not yet known whether clerk David Spridgeon plans to respond.

As previously reported, for over 100 years in early America, those in the legal profession often looked to British judge William Blackstone’s “Commentaries on the Laws of England,” which regularly pointed to Scripture—particularly the Torah—as the foundation for the law.

Blackstone

“Considering the Creator only as a being of infinite power, He was able unquestionably to have prescribed whatever laws He pleased to His creature, man …, ” Blackstone wrote in 1753. “But as He is also a being of infinite wisdom, He has laid down only such laws as were founded in those relations of justice, that existed in the nature of things antecedent to any positive precept. These are the eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the Creator Himself in all His dispensations conforms; and which He has enabled human reason to discover, so far as they are necessary for the conduct of human actions.”

“Such among others are these principles: that we should live honestly, should hurt nobody, and should render to everyone its due; to which three general precepts Justinian has reduced the whole doctrine of law,” he stated.

“If man were to live in a state of nature, unconnected with other individuals, there would be no occasion for any other laws, than the law of nature and the law of God. Neither could any other law possibly exist, for a law always supposes some superior who is to make it; and in a state of nature we are all equal, without any other superior but Him who is the Author of our be­ing.”

Read Blackstone’s words here.


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  • Amos Moses – He>i

    cry bullies gotta cry … and bully …….

  • bowie1

    If they sue the court will be same court hear the case – that would be interesting indeed!

    • Guzzman

      The constitutional violation is being committed by a municipal (county) court. If this were to reach trial, it would end up in Federal District Court. So no, the trial would not be held in the same municipal court that is ostensibly in violation of the Constitution.

  • Brand New Key

    Same old same old. Why don’t they take up a hobby – learn to do macrame or latch-hook, or do volunteer work? Anything is better than hating.

    • Guzzman

      Why don’t those who seek to promote their religious beliefs using the imprimatur of government take up some other, more lawful activity? Sorry, but protecting and defending the Constitution is not “hating.”

    • Croquet_Player

      You think atheists don’t have hobbies? Or do volunteer work? Look up Matt Dillahunty.

      • MCrow

        Funnily, when I bring up doing volunteer work with folks here, I’m accused of boasting. Of course, they likely count church donations as “volunteer work”, so their standards must be pretty lax

        • Croquet_Player

          Now, now, I like to think the best of people. I think a lot of people are told their donations go to charity, and as it turns out, maybe a small percent is. When I first moved to San Francisco, I came from a well-off family in an well-off area. I was leery about giving money, and I was young, and didn’t have much money, so I did food! I was part of a group that would pick up “slightly past their prime” vegetables, and rice and beans. (Rice and beans eaten together make “protein”! A vital component of human nutrition.) I was pretty astonished. Most of the veg were just fine, you had to shave a little spot off maybe, but grocers couldn’t sell it. So it was all “waste”. Anyway, I used to jazz the rice and beans and veg all up with some nice spices, (of my own) and it was a hit. I liked the fact that it was very direct. I cook, you eat. I still love that direct method of “charity”. Too much money gets “shaved off” by “charities”.

    • Netizen_James

      Hating? Expecting the government to follow it’s own rules is ‘hating’?
      If your child’s government school were promoting reincarnation and the worship of Lord Ganesha, would you not object? Would that objection also be ‘hating’ Why or why not?

  • manwithnoname

    Poor widdle snowflakes!!

    • MarkSebree

      Yes, the Christian snowflakes seem to melt quickly when their privileges are pointed out, and called into question. They cannot seem to accept that they have to be treated the same as everyone else.

      • manwithnoname

        Yeah, those pesky Christians just cannot accept the freedom of atheists to be atheists, that’s why they keep harassing atheists with threats of lawsuits against their atheism!

        • Netizen_James

          “When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, ’tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.” – Benjamin Franklin

          “Reason and experiment have been indulged, and error has fled before them. It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. Subject opinion to coercion: whom will you make your inquisitors? Fallible men; men governed by bad passions, by private as well as public reasons. And why subject it to coercion? To produce uniformity. But is uniformity of opinion desireable? No more than of face and stature. Introduce the bed of Procrustes then, and as there is danger that the large men may beat the small, make us all of a size, by lopping the former and stretching the latter. Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion.” – Thomas Jefferson

          Do you want your child’s school to promote Hinduism or Scientology to YOUR children? No? So maybe it’s time for some of that ‘do unto others as you would have them to unto you’ action. How about them apples? Do you have a problem with ‘equal rights under the law’ for all citizens? What makes you think that you have a right to have OUR government use MY taxdollars to promote YOUR religion? Or hadn’t you really thought the issue through?

          • ” What makes you think that you have a right to have OUR government use MY taxdollars to promote YOUR religion? Or hadn’t you really thought the issue through? ”

            The same reason that MY tax dollars fund abortion !! Or hadn’t you thought that issue through ?

          • Samwise

            Stop believing lies. The federal government does not pay for abortions.

            Government action must be religiously neutral.

          • That’s such bull!! Planned Parenthood gets a shyte ton of govt money !!

            I didn’t say govt should NOT be religiously neutral.

          • MarkSebree

            And they cannot spend one dime on abortions. They are even required BY LAW to track the money separately.

            Planned Parenthood receives the money in payment for medical services rendered, most of which is covered under MediCare and MedicAid. This is a fact that is easily researchable. The patients also pay, either through their personal insurance, or on a sliding scale based on income.

            Abortion is only 3% of there business, and even then it is not available at most of their locations.

            If you do not like abortions, then don’t get one. However, do not expect anyone else, especially the women pregnant with unwanted or dangerous pregnancies, to care what your opinion and desires are. Besides, I would rather pay for a woman to get a desired abortion (~$750 ave) than to have the state pay for her childbirth and hospital care ($20,000) + housing, SNAP, schooling, and everything else ($250,000+ over 18 years or more).

            You were the one that brought up money. Apparently, you have not taken a look at the numbers.

          • As far as your statement that none of the money could go to abortions I defer to Paul Ryan’s statement on the matter

            “: “money’s fungible, and it effectively floats [around] these organizations.”

            Example??

            Joanne wants to help her son Max because he’s struggling financially. One day, she writes Max a check for $500–but there’s a caveat. Joanne knows that Max wants to buy an HDTV, so she tells him that the money must be deposited in his savings account, or used onlyon essentials (like rent or groceries). Joanne explicitly forbids Max from using her gift to buy himself an HDTV.

            Max’s monthly expenses would normally prohibit the purchase of the $500 TV. After paying for rent, wireless, student loans, and food, Max is usually left with only $200 in his checking account. Meanwhile, he only has about $300 in savings.

            Honoring his mother’s demand, Max deposits the check into savings. Now he has $800 in his account. He then transfers the original $300 from his savings into his checking, and buys an HDTV for $500. Max can certainly claim he didn’t spend his mother’s money on the TV, but her money did allow him to purchase it.

            That’s fungibility; money floats around. Even if federal law like the Hyde Amendment prohibits taxpayer dollars from directly funding abortions, federal money can be used elsewhere within the Planned Parenthood organization so that other funds can be reallocated for abortion services.

          • MarkSebree

            You are missing an important point. Money is also accountable. PP is required BY LAW to maintain separate accounts and separate accounting of the money received for abortions and for everything else. The funds cannot be in the same account. They are also subject to professional audits, which check those accounts, and if the government, then the bank records can also be subpoenaed. One of the things that the auditors will be looking for is money that was transferred between accounts as well as auditing tricks to hide such transfers.

            The money is really only fungible if it cannot be tracked, and if it is not subject to accounting and auditing. In your above example, you never had the mother auditing his bank accounts looking for financial hanky-panky. If she had, she would have found the transaction and caught him.

          • Samwise

            That money is compensation for services provided, exactly like payments by any insurance provider to a medical practice. Planned Parenthood provides cancer screenings, contraceptives, prenatal care, and many other medical services. For those services are that are covered by Medicare and Medicaid, the government reimburses the provider.

        • W2.718281828stl2.718281828y

          No, Christians by and large don’t use lawsuits (and there aren’t many instances of government imposition of atheism anyway) — what they do is unlawfully have the government push their religion, such as having public school coaches pray with players, or put up 10 commandment monuments up on government property.

          • Seems the monument issue is good enough for the satanists so why not the Christians ??

            Oh right, because it’s on public land. As if that has any bearing on a specific outcome. Only atheists can get so morally outraged at the fact that a Christian symbol is merrily on public land. Of course, the atheists could always put up their little symbols in some vane attempt at equality and then we can all get in a good pissing match about it!!

            Jesus, Mary and Joseph !!! The country has bigger problems than the piddling shit FFRF spends their time on !!

          • W2.718281828stl2.718281828y

            Seems the monument issue is good enough for the satanists so why not the Christians ??

            Satanists only insist on monuments on public land when Christians are given special access.

            Only atheists can get so morally outraged at the fact that a Christian symbol is merrily on public land.

            Oh, not at all. Americans United for Separation of Church and State has a lot of religious members, and they’re against it, too.

            Of course, the atheists could always put up their little symbols in some vane attempt at equality and then we can all get in a good pissing match about it!!

            This has happened; American Atheists put up the first atheist monument on public land in the US outside Bradford County courthouse in Starke, Florida, because it has a 10 commandments monument, and the town decided to keep it by creating a public forum.

            Jesus, Mary and Joseph !!! The country has bigger problems than the piddling shit FFRF spends their time on !!

            You worry about what you want, I and the FFRF will do what we think is right. Didn’t you have better things to do than write a rant?

          • thedbm

            Or………….you don’t put religious symbols in federal buildings because we don’t live in a theocracy.

  • Reason2012

    These activists are not atheists – they’re pro-islamists using atheism to eradicate any signs of Christianity everywhere they can. Search on public school islam and read all about the growing number of public schools where islam is taught and Christianity censored and these ‘atheist’ activists do not care, which shows they’re really islamists.

    • W2.718281828stl2.718281828y

      No, they’re really atheists, and your lies about public schools teaching Islam never seem to have the names of actual schools doing this, nor would it explain the lack of lawsuits.

    • Croquet_Player

      I keep asking you for the names of these schools that “promote Islam” and you haven’t come through. I’ll be the first to report them. Please, give me their names.

      • james blue

        Probably got you on block. Doesn’t matter how many times it’s pointed out to him that the FFRF does go after Islam in schools etc. he won’t acknowledge it.

        • Croquet_Player

          Well, I’ll keep asking. If there are any U.S. public schools which promote a particular faith, or lack of faith, I’d like to hear which they are. No faith (or lack of faith) may be promoted or denigrated in United States public schools. This is fair to everyone. And students are free to pray in schools (or not) alone or in groups. This actually protects everyone. Students, parents, teachers, etc. The position of the government is NEUTRAL.

    • Netizen_James

      Name some names, or stop repeating this bald-faced lie. You’ve been called out on this lie several times, and yet you keep repeating it.

      Don’t you understand that lying is a sin, and that repentance doesn’t include repeat-ence?

      • Ah yes atheist moral indignation !!

        • thedbm

          Name one good, moral thing that a person who does not believe in God would be totally incapable of doing. Now think about naming a horrible, despicable thing that only religious people do. Maybe reflect on those answers next time you say Atheists aren’t moral.

          • MarkSebree

            I can certainly name a despicable thing that “only religious people do”. Religious based wars (i.e. Crusades). Forced religious conversions. Inquisitions. Killing those not of their religion. And the list goes on.

    • Arlenj

      Where do you come up with that crap? You must be a Fox News watcher.

    • thedbm

      Hi, I’m an Atheist and I am anti-magic. The magic-man-in-the-sky that Muslims and Christians believe in, is not real. I’m not sure who told you what Atheism is, but you should seek out information from a different source.

      • Reason2012

        Yes, atheists do not defend islam. These atheists activists who attack Christianity to have it removed from places are the ones that are not atheists.

  • Guzzman

    A religious mural in a municipal courthouse is plainly unconstitutional. This has been litigated, the Supreme Court has repeatedly pointed out:

    “Whether the key word is ‘endorsement’, ‘favoritism’, or ‘promotion’, the essential principle remains the same. The Establishment Clause [of the First Amendment], at the very least, prohibits government from appearing to take a position on questions of religious belief or from ‘making adherence to a religion relevant in any way to a person’s standing in the political community.'” Allegheny County v. ACLU quoting Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. at 465 U. S. 687.

  • Nidalap

    If the Founders had intended for the Constitution to be implemented in such a manner, they would have done so themselves…

    • Croquet_Player

      How right you are. People may hold whatever religious views they like. But the United States is not a theocracy.

      • Amazingly enough no one said it was a theocracy nor has it been argued that it should be a theocracy .

        Atheists blow things like this so out of proportion! We all have tax dollars that go to things we may not agree with ( like abortion or nuclear warheads or whatever ) but if religion is mentioned everyone shytes the bed !!

        • True, theocracy was not mentioned. But if fundamentalist Christians had their way, we would indeed have a theocracy. That is precisely why no government agency is allowed to promote ONE religion.

          The Establishment Clause was founded on the concepts of Thomas Jefferson and Madison. Jefferson laid out those concepts in “A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom” – Google that along with “Founders Online”. It is the intent of the Establishment clause and that is to which learned judges most often turn in cases evolving church and state separation.

          • Nonsense! There is no proof other than your opinion that a fundamentalist Christians would indeed wish to operate under a Christian theocracy! Or should I also assume that fundamentalist atheists would do away with religion altogether simply because there are quite a few atheists out there that posit such a stance?

          • No proof? Then why do they attempt to have the government make laws against people who want to seek happiness through marriage when it happens that they love a person of the same gender? Why do they want to have government push creationism into public schools science classes? Why do they want Christian prayers in school classrooms and at school functions over the sound system?

            Why do they resist removal of Ten Commandments monuments from public property? Why do they deny the purpose of the Establishment Clause and insist that our laws are based on the Bible? Why did they push lawmakers to make “In God We Trust” a national Motto? It is EXCLUSIVE, leaving out citizens who do not believe in gods? E pluribus unum,” which means “Out of many, one.” That is INCLUSIVE of all citizens.

            Many, or most atheists would never be bothered by religious beliefs so long as they were never pushed on the rest of society by fundamentalists who insist that the government leaves THEM alone.

            I don’t care what people believe. Just keep it out of politics! And NO! The disbelief in god(s) is not pushed in public schools or anywhere else other than on social media. The Establishment Clause forbids any government agency or agent (e.g., a teacher) to promote religion of any brand.

          • Once again only your opinion based on a very small percentage of religious people.

          • As for the first sentence, I’ve been writing about FUNDAMENTALISTS and I try to make it clear that I am not talking about ALL of them–just the vast majority. They are the group that, ironically, voted in the highest numbers for Trump. They are the ones who want the government to make religious laws to force the rest of society to abide by their religious beliefs. As a voting block, they were critical to his election. We’re talking about ~35% of the population.

            “Should I believe that all atheists want religion eradicated because a very small percentage posit such a belief?”

            Then you would be wrong and you completely misunderstood my position or never read it.

            I never said I wanted to “eradicate” religion. I advocate for only one tenet–the Golden Rule. I advocate that all people should consider adopting that rule as their number one guiding principle in life.

            The view that there is a god or gods is fine, but once the view becomes organized, it establishes a wall of EXCLUSIVE tenets that block out everyone else who has different views. The Golden Rule is 100% INCLUSIVE, and most religions actually have that tenet, but they’ve crushed it beneath walls of exclusive dogma.

            So, for that reason, I consider most ORGANIZED religions (especially the three Abrahamic religions), to be the most divisive organized belief systems on Earth. They are EXCLUSIVE (believe MY dogma or you are against God). They foment and encourage xenophobia.

            Therefore, I advocate for universal empathy and benevolent reciprocity. What GOOD god would not approve?

    • Guzzman

      I think the Founders did “implement” the Constitution so that it put religion and government into separate domains. Madison and Jefferson said as much.

      Madison, when asked to reflect on the separation between religion and government in the U.S. Constitution had this to say: “The civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the State (Letter to Robert Walsh, Mar. 2, 1819).”

      When Jefferson and Madison used terms such as “wall of separation between church and state”, “total separation of the church from the State”, “separation between religion & Gov’t in the Constitution”, “perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters”, “the line of separation between the rights of religion and the civil authority”, and so forth, I have to take them at their word. They meant separation – The division of religion and government into independent domains.

      And common sense dictates that if government cannot require its officials to support a church in order to hold office (Article VI); cannot support a church itself (Establishment Clause); and cannot interfere with the worship or belief of any church (Free Exercise Clause), is there really any serious argument that the Founders did not intend to separate church and state?

    • Netizen_James

      And they did. They purposely and intentionally left both the word ‘God’ and the name ‘Jesus’ out of the Constitution. They explicitly and intentionally included religion only three times in the Constitution, and in all three cases in the negative. NO religious test for public office (Ar6,S3,C2, NO punishing individuals for their religion (Am1,c2), and NO government endorsement or promotion of religion (Am1,c1).

      Why is it that some people can’t understand this is beyond me.

  • Vince

    Do they realize GOD is named more than once on the Jefferson Memorial?

    • Guzzman

      Yes, the Jefferson Memorial contains inscriptions of some of his quotes, and some of those quotes contain the word “God.” But what makes you think Jefferson was referring to your God? He was a religious skeptic, and when he used the term God, he was very likely referring to the Deist God of the Enlightenment. Remember, Jefferson stated, “I have examined all the known superstitions of the world and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature,” and “Christianity . . . (has become) the most perverted system that ever shone on man.”

      But you raise an interesting legal issue – why does a government memorial have the word God on it? The Supreme Court has a 3-part test to determine whether a government act violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment: Lemon Test: 1) Is the primary purpose of the act religious in nature; 2) Does the act promote religion; and 3) Is there excessive entanglement between government and religion?

      I’m guessing the primary purpose of the Jefferson Memorial was to honor a Founding Father and not promote religion or entangle government with religion. A generic reference to an unspecified god does not seem to promote religion. If so, which religion exactly or which beliefs in particular?

      There is one quote from the Jefferson Memorial I like:

      “No man shall be compelled [by government] to frequent or support religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion.” From “A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom”

      • Croquet_Player

        Summed it up quite well there, Guzzman.

      • Netizen_James

        My favorite is this one:
        “”I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” – Jefferson to H. Tompkinson (AKA Samuel Kercheval), July 12, 1816″

        • infidel1000

          Absolutely. The Constitution truly is a living document.

      • Ahhh, so as long as it’s not a specific God then we’re cool as far as the atheists are concerned, eh?? None of the atheist groups are going to protest the Jefferson Memorial because he says a disparaging remark about the Christian faith , is that about right ??

        • Guzzman

          I’m sorry you seemed to miss the point of the discussion. Vince implied the courtroom mural with the biblical quote must be constitutional because he likened it to the Jefferson Memorial which has inscribed quotes from Jefferson’s writings containing the word “God.” So I brought up the Lemon Test to determine how the courts might look at the constitutionality of the mural as opposed to the Jefferson Memorial.

          I think the courtroom mural with a biblical quote would fail every single prong of the Lemon Test. The primary purpose of the mural with the biblical quote is religious in nature. The religious mural promotes religion. The religious mural entangled government and religion because court officials authorized the placement of the religious mural for display in a public area on government property. Conclusion: The mural with the biblical quote is very likely not constitutional because it endorses religion, specifically the Christian religion by quoting the Christian holy text.

          I already applied the Lemon Test to the Jefferson Memorial. The primary purpose of the memorial is to honor a Founding Father. Jefferson’s inscribed quotes don’t promote religion. If anything, some of the quotes advocate that government stay out of the business of religion. And finally, the memorial doesn’t entangle government and religion because the memorial honors Jefferson with a statue and some of his quotes and does not promote or endorse any particular religion or religious beliefs.

          Jefferson’s use of the word “God” does not seem to relate to any specific God or religious practice, and the God quotes are interspersed with secular quotes. The courts have often given such generic god references a constitutional pass (e.g., In God We Trust) by saying such generic references fall under the rubric of “ceremonial deism” and therefore “lack religious significance.” I don’t agree with that analysis because I think it sidesteps the issue, but that’s where the courts currently stand.

          • It sidesteps the issue, how?? I agree that the govt should be neutral but I don’t agree that inscribing a quote is grounds for saying govt is trying to establish a religious preference. Perhaps the idea is acknowledging that since the US has many Christians it’s safe to assume we are the majority and don’t get worked up about it. How about if it was a quote from the Islamic holy book you ask? I say ” dandy”. Have at it and quote the Quoron all you want! However, since we’ve established the United States is primarily Christian it’s unlikely there will be a call for Islamic quotes in a majority Christian nation. Would we see quotes from the Bible in Palestine, for example?

          • Guzzman

            I believe the courts have failed to address the religious message contained in the national motto from 1956 (In God We Trust) and the words added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1955 (under God). These words are given a constitutional pass by saying such generic religious references fall under the category of “ceremonial deism” and therefore “lack religious significance.” I don’t agree with that pretzel logic. I think these religious messages have religious significance (as do many Christians) and therefore violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

            You wrote, “I agree that the govt should be neutral but I don’t agree that inscribing a quote is grounds for saying govt is trying to establish a religious preference.” Um, posting a religious mural with a Bible quote in a courthouse is most certainly giving “a religious preference”, which government is prohibited from doing, regardless of which religious group happens to be in the majority at a given location and time period. That question has been litigated, and the Supreme Court has repeatedly pointed out:

            “Whether the key word is ‘endorsement’, ‘favoritism’, or ‘promotion’, the essential principle remains the same. The Establishment Clause [of the First Amendment], at the very least, prohibits government from appearing to take a position on questions of religious belief.” Allegheny County v. ACLU.

      • Yeah, we all ( Christians ) agree that religious freedom is what it’s about. Freedom for all religions !!

        • infidel1000

          You say “dandy” but there are many christians who would be violently opposed to that. “Freedom for all religions” to vie over advertising space on public property sounds like a recipe for chaos and a possible prelude to civil strife and civil war. Kicking the door wide open to unrestrained competition between religions in such a way could be catastrophic.

          Better to keep them all out. They have their multitudes of churches and private property laws. Their freedom to worship is complete under the Constitution. If they are not content with that, they betray their own theocratic agenda.

          • You assume the church has a theocratic agenda , which it does not. Maybe some do but everything you are putting forth is not the norm. I believe in religious freedom for all and I don’t know a single fellow Christian that feels differently . Yes, of course it would be nice to win more people to Christ but no one is asking anyone to give up their freedom of choice.

          • infidel1000

            1) I did not say that.
            2) There are thousands of churches that preach politics in a flagrant attempt to do battle with the IRS simply in an attempt to repeal the Johnson Amendment. These must be just the tip of the iceberg.
            3) Try advocating that a sura from the Koran be inscribed on your County Courthouse wall and see if you don’t cause a collective howl of protest in your area.

          • No, I wouldn’t care that much. Unlike yourself, I truly believe in religious freedom for all!

      • infidel1000

        Many times religionists tout Jefferson’s statement in the Declaration of Independence that the people are “endowed by their creator…” as an admission of his theistic belief in “God”. I think he used the word “their” instead of “our” quite intentionally and effectively. They oftentimes use the word “our” when quoting it, and it changes the meaning entirely.

        • Guzzman

          Excellent point. Christian nationalists are shooting themselves in the foot by thinking the Declaration of Independence supports their claim that the United States was founded as a Christian nation. They also misquote the Declaration as referring to “the United States of America.” But the official transcript of the Declaration from the National Archives reads “We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America” with “united” being lowercase. That is because the United States as a country was not founded until some 12 years later.

          Also, the Declaration denounces the divine right of kings as promulgated in the Bible (Romans 13:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13). The Declaration was a political statement to King George III, head of a Christian monarchy, that the colonies were dispensing with the biblical notion of divine sovereignty and were severing ties with his government. It did not bring about independence (that required defeating the British), it did not create any law, and it did not found a country, let alone a Christian one.

          Jefferson’s reference to “their Creator” and “nature’s God” in the Declaration had nothing to do with Christianity, which is news to Christian nationalists. At the time, the references were plainly understood to be the deist god of Enlightenment philosophers such as Spinoza and Voltaire. And the role of this “Creator” is clarified in the Declaration: “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

          In other words, this “Creator” has no role in government. The founders emphatically rejected divine sovereignty, or anything remotely resembling a “government under god.” God isn’t the foundation on which authority rests, it’s the consent of the governed. That same radical thinking found its way into our secular Constitution, “We the people…”

          • infidel1000

            The word “their” also implied an individualist deistic view of a creator rather than a universal biblical one. It could have meant anything-mother nature, humanism, science, or as Einstein put it, “Spinoza’s god”. “Our” would have narrowed it down quite a bit, allowing the theists to argue implied christianity, but Jefferson outsmarted them, and most of them haven’t figured that out yet.

  • Netizen_James

    When will these local tyrants understand that the founders wrote and ratified a godless Constitution on purpose?

    We have a RIGHT to be free from Government Religion.

    Which I think some of these folks would appreciate a lot more if it was some religion other than THEIR OWN that their government was officially promoting and endorsing.

  • Netizen_James

    Heather, please. Some intellectual honesty would be refreshing. Quoting Blackstone? The failed British lawyer? And no, not all lawyers thought Blackstone was all that. Here’s what the AMERICAN Thomas Jefferson had to say about Blackstone’s nonsense:

    “If, therefore, from the settlement of the Saxons to the introduction of Christianity among them, that system of religion could not be a part of the common law, because they were not yet Christians, and if, having their laws from that period to the close of the common law, we are all able to find among them no such act of adoption, we may safely affirm (though contradicted by all the judges and writers on earth) that Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.” From Jefferson’s letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, from Monticello, February 10, 1814.

  • Charles Crane

    The 1% demand they rule the 99% The church needs to wake up before it’s to late,and that day is coming fast.

  • Regeanvoter

    There no prohibition for displays like this mural, regardless of the claims by the atheists. In fact, what the atheists desire is an establishment of humanism as the state religion, which would be a violation. Allowing free expression of belief is not establishment, but the honoring of the free expression clause of the same Amendment the atheists continue to misread.

  • Why should any normal thinking person care what these deranged mental/spiritually ill people think and why do we allow them to be pandered to?

    It is way past time for the adults to tell the temper tantrum throwing/perpetually offended that one word they obviously have not heard enough of and that word is “NO”!!!

  • “The Establishment Clause in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits government sponsorship of religious messages,” wrote FFRF Legal Director Rebecca Markert.

    Precisely correct. If the errant city government wants to promote the greatest and most wide spread tenet of all and not breach the 1st Amendment, then they should simply enshrine the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    As it is, they are showing preference for a particular religion, which is a breach of the Establishment Clause. People of other faiths AND the non religious pay taxes to support that government institution, so they should be represented as well.

    • Chet

      Para 3: Christian people and Jews (many as yet to acknowledge the Christ of Calvary as Messiah) are forced to pay taxes supportive of entities performing abortions daily all across the country. Even as the mockery of man-devised marriage is paraded everywhere nowadays as a direct result of America’s recent “fundamental transformation” under duress.
      Homosexuality is praised as normal and is essentially celebrated in American society, esp via Hollywood. Such anti God anti Christ anti Holy Bible edicts represents government’s “religion” of secular humanism. There’s new leadership in Wash, D.C which publicly acknowledges God Almighty of the Holy Bible and even boasts of Merry Christmas during the season. No longer will Christians and Jews buckle at the knees in the face of liberal anti God anti Christ adversity only to drop and roll over. Times, they are a changing right before our eyes, Hobbs… And you, Sir, being an apparent educated fellow, should plainly see it…

      • An abortion is a medical issue and any law made against it is in fact a religious law, forbidden by the Establishment Clause. Sorry, Chet, but again, we do not live in a theocracy.

        As well, marriage is a social and government issue not forbidden from any group by the Constitution. You cannot deny then, that any law made against the right of a person to marry the person he or she loves is a religious law. Forget it. We do not live in a theocracy.

        Please check out Muslim law. I’m sure there are things in there that you certainly would never allow in our society. So just leave everyone alone and stick to your own religion. Stop trying to micromanage other people’s lives. If you believe they are going to a hell for not obeying the ancient, Draconian laws allegedly established by your loving god, then believe it. That is THEIR decision, not yours.

        I invite you to open your mind and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. What you consider anti God anti Christ adversity is 100% push-back at Christians trying to force their way into other’s lives.

        Secular humanism is a philosophy or life stance that embraces human reason, ethics, social justice, and philosophical naturalism while specifically rejecting religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience, and superstition as the bases of morality and decision making.

        If you leave everyone else to live their own lives and make their own choices, then they will not be pushing back in defense. No one is attacking you for your beliefs. No one is trying to shut churches down. No one is trying to remove religion from the airwaves.

        • Chet

          Abortion kills, plain and simple. And God Almighty, the author of all life and the one who holds each and every heartbeat in our respective chests, has already spoken on this issue very clearly. And His Word trumps man’s each time.

          Society in general and God long ago decreed marriage as the union before Him of male and female, period, regardless of the man-devised sick substitute of modern man. Which is no marriage in His eyes.

          I seek to force no man into believing anything, but, rather, offer him the truth according to the Lord as opposed to that of deceit and lies as submitted by others.

          No one who is born again will be stifled in his faith nor confine his beliefs to that of some building. Our Lord Jesus Christ went out among the lost and we Christians do the same according to His Great Commission. And we will not be silenced by anyone.

          • Society in general and God long ago decreed marriage as the union before Him of male and female, period, regardless of the man-devised sick substitute of modern man. Which is no marriage in His eyes.

            First and foremost (and I keep repeating this) we do NOT live in a theocracy in the U.S. Our laws are NOT based on Christian belief. Our laws come from English civil and common law and most of those came from Roman law.

            Secondly, (although irrelevant in our secular society) I do not find any SPECIFIC restrictions against polygamy in the Bible. It wouldn’t make any difference anyway because we live in a SECULAR society. Secular laws against polygamy have different reasons for existing and it is likely that in some States they have a religious basis (decided on by religious politicians) but probably not specifically stated.

            Thirdly, what you consider “sick” is simple ignorance (non pejorative). A lot of people do not understand genetics (and there is no “gay gene”). Sexual orientation (genotype) does not always match phenotype (outward appearance) and is genetically determined before birth.

            Fourthly, if your god meant for there to be no “confusion” at birth as to sexuality–why does It allow Intersexuals to be born?” Do you consider babies that are intersexual to be “sick?” Which gender would you allow an intersexual to marry and which gender would you forbid? I really do want an answer on this.

            And most importantly, who are you to tell anyone that they cannot marry whom they love in our secular society?

  • Drake

    Separation of Church and State wasn’t to keep Biblical values out of Government but to keep the Government from controlling the Church.

  • Chet

    Aw, just tell the FFRF to go pound sand and stand your ground. Dare to be a Daniel and Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus Ye Soldiers Of The Cross… No more shaking at the knees only to drop and roll over in the face of liberal anti God anti Christ adversity. We have new leadership IN Wash D.C. Take advantage of it while we can…