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Conservatives Argue First Amendment Only Protects Christians

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: abuse, americans, congress, constitution, dishonesty, ethics, freedoms, lies, media, propaganda, religion, republicans )

- 1650 days ago -
In a bizarre bit of Orwellian double speak, Christian conservatives argue that "religion," when used by the founding fathers, really means "Christianity," and thus the First Amendment only applies to Christians.

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Kit B (276)
Friday December 13, 2013, 12:39 pm
Photo Credit: The New Yorker Magazine

First I recommend you watch the video and then read the following:

In a bizarre bit of Orwellian double speak, Christian conservatives argue that “religion,” when used by the founding fathers, really means “Christianity,” and thus the First Amendment only applies to Christians.

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association said Tuesday that the founding fathers intended the First Amendment to only protect Christianity, not Islam or any other religions.

Arguing that authorities in Oklahoma have every right to reject an effort by Satanists to erect a monument outside the Oklahoma Capitol building next to a monument of the Ten Commandments, Fischer said:

“If by 'religion,’ the founders, and the founders of the state of Oklahoma, meant Christianity, then you can ban a monument to Satan because that's not Christianity ... You can say 'no, we're not going to let you do it. Our Constitution protects the free exercise of the Christian religion; yours is not a Christian expression, we're not going to have that monument.'”

Fischer went on:

“If we don't understand the word 'religion' to mean Christianity as the founders intended it, then we have no way to stop Islam, we have no way to stop Satanism, we have no way to stop any other sort of sinister religion practice that might creep onto the fruited plains.”

Fischer, blinded by a cynical and intellectually crippling religious fundamentalism, is playing semantic games, and doing it quite poorly. In point of fact, there is no mention of Christianity or a "God" anywhere in the Constitution.

Indeed, many of the founding fathers were not Christians, but Deists. And as children of the enlightenment, the founding fathers would probably be surprised by the number of Americans still clinging to a literal interpretation of the Bible, something their educated contemporaries had for the most part abandoned as religious superstition and ignorance.

And then there is this rather elegant refutation of Fischer’s ignoble thesis, an excerpt from the Treaty of Tripoli, a treaty ratified unanimously by Congress and signed by then President John Adams:

“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion...”

The Treaty states clearly that America was not founded upon the Christian religion, a treaty having the unanimous endorsement of the U.S. congress, a congress literally filled with the founding fathers.

Simply quoting the relevant clause from the Treaty of Tripoli should silence all those Christian conservatives like Fischer who attempt to pervert U.S. history and the clear intent of the founding fathers, but that would be to assume such Christian conservatives are reasonable, rational individuals, which they obviously are not.

By: Michael Stone | Democrat Examiner |

Wilde Thange (10)
Friday December 13, 2013, 1:10 pm
That makes sense if God is only christian and no one else was created by that god. So other gods must have created the others but which one created Earth? Then we have pretty much what freedom of religion was meant to prevent, religious warfare between the religions forever. If god is for everyone but intended them to only think and believe a certain way he should have installed a thought control mechanism but since we don't seem to have one we sort of have to believe and disbelieve for ourselves. if we can think for ourselves we should be allowed to speak for ourselves too. If you let some people post their thoughts on the village square then maybe everyone should be able too. God is going to have to live with what he created I'm afraid or else just get it over with and do it all over again.

Arielle S (313)
Friday December 13, 2013, 1:54 pm
(lots of laughter) Just when you think they can't say anything more ridiculous than they already did, they say something even more ridiculous!

Animae C (514)
Friday December 13, 2013, 3:28 pm

Fiona Ogilvie (565)
Friday December 13, 2013, 5:26 pm
I believe there is a cosmic, benevolent, intelligent design to everything in the Universe with the possible exception of the GOP and advertising firms.

Kit B (276)
Friday December 13, 2013, 5:37 pm

Can you just imagine all of those sinister religions creeping around on our fruited plains? Bryan Fischer and Pat Robertson deserve one another.

Rebecca Birchfield (18)
Friday December 13, 2013, 8:58 pm
The title of this opinion piece is utter bullshit. One person's speech does not represent all "conservatives".

Jason R (67)
Friday December 13, 2013, 9:52 pm
They are getting crazier, faster.

pam w (139)
Friday December 13, 2013, 10:10 pm
More proof that religion can rot the brain!

Ben B (20)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 1:28 am
Say, what...? ROFLOL

To claim a non-existent supremacy in order to invalidate all other religions, not only demonises others' legitimate expressions of faith, hence undermining the specific freedom enshrined in the Constitution, but is a really poor way to argue for discrimination or limiting the spread of weird "satanic cults"....

If the guy wasn't serious, it'd be hilarious...., that the guy IS serious is really scary...

Alan Lambert (91)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 1:41 am
A more beautiful example of DoubleSpeak I've not seen out of 1984

Louise D (44)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 2:34 am
If ever Bryan Fischer says anything that is rational, thought out or is about Satan and his association with liberals it would be a very unusual day. Satan on the other hand, just feels that he really should get over himself and stiop annoying people and if he wants to look at who is the ultimate source of this vitriol and toxic hate, he should look in a mirror some day. And no he is not controlling critics of Sarah Palin she sort of does the job very well every time she opens her mouth and Jesus has piped in that any attack on Rick Santorum is not an attack on him and if he had the chance he would give Foamy a bitch slapping he won't forget and go all old Testament on him any day if he has any balls. Actually we had to let Jesus calm down as it is very unusual for him to get upset but he did say that Fischer should really get over himself and did he not get the hint to love your neighbor or he will pop his sorry ass. Satan ever the voice of reason in such discussions just says that Bryan Fischer is, in short, a raving douchebag.

Bridget Robertson (106)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 2:34 am
WOW!! This is a whole new level of manipulation by the very right wing of Christians in the GOP. I always had the very silly idea that ALL religions were free in this country .i still believe they are!!!

Jonathan H (0)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 3:34 am

Diane O (194)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 4:01 am
This is an opinion article. 80% of Americans identify as Christians.

Diane O (194)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 6:35 am
Either a person believes in God or not. The overwhelming majority of Americans identify as Christians. There are religious groups that have different interpretations of Biblical scriptures. Some religious groups believe that homosexuality is a sin while other groups of Christians embrace and accept it. This is why we have different denominations...Lutherans, Catholics, Episcopalian. Baptist, Methodist etc. America will never be an atheist majority and this is precisely why atheists will never have the power to change a country where the majority of people are Christians.

You will notice that Americans have ditched the PC "Happy Holidays" and have gone back to "Merry Christmas." A small percentage of non believers in our country simply don't have the power to change but they are free to deny God exists with their freedom of speech. Interesting that atheists will decorate a Christmas tree and exchange gifts. To each his country and most definitely a Christian country.

In Rhode Island the governor referred to lighting the Christmas tree as a holiday tree and because people who lived there didn't like that and voiced their outrage it is now called a Christmas tree again. Interesting to me how the absurd PC is dying a quick death.

. (0)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 6:48 am
That is bizarre. Thanks for sharing, Kit.

Fiona Ogilvie (565)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 6:57 am
I believe in Gods and Goddesses. I know that in Europe, from the 12th to 17th centuries, nine million people were burned at the stake by Christians, for having a faith similar to mine.

There is a lovely book with this title "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared Diamond.

Many readers have discussed the title with the author, who now agrees with this title: "Guns, Germs, and God." Essentially, what Diamond proved in his book is that humans have killed more of their own kind over matters of religion, than guns or germs have killed humans in the whole course of human evolution.

Politics should never be mixed with religion.

Arielle S (313)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 7:00 am
A thousand stars to you, Betsy!

Diane O (194)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 7:05 am
This is certainly true in the Middle East and there is no end in sight.

Kit B (276)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 7:33 am

Happy Holidays, Diane.

Politics and religion - exactly why this article is appropriate. People that think this man has merit is the real problem, that their faith in their god of choice has any relevance to making laws that affect the whole population is a problem. We are a secular government, the founding fathers wanted this country to be secular, and had good reason for that.


Diane O (194)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 8:26 am
Merry Christmas, Kit!!!! What type of tree will you put up this year to celebrate the birth of Christ?


Daniel Partlow (179)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 8:41 am
I do not believe "religion" means Christian. Jewish, Bhudist, or any of hundreds of others should all have freedom in this country. That does not mean anything that "religion" dictates overrides any of our other rights. All should be free to worship as they wish, but no one has a right to impinge on others rights. I believe a moral correctness is justice for all!

Fiona Ogilvie (565)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 9:19 am
Please everyone flag the comment above mine as "inappropriate."

Kit has an interesting thread here and I thoroughly dislike these "advertising" intrusions.

Sheila D (194)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 9:23 am
My mother and I had a "lively" discussion about our Founding Fathers and their beliefs. Interesting, that while reading up on them, I found that a majority of our wonderful. intelligent Founders weren't Christians. My mother says they could believe whatever they wanted, but because the majority of people back then, as now, were Christians, they couldn't discriminate and all the Bill of Rights, the entire Constitution was written for the Christians, with a few nods to non-believers...such as the separation of Church and State. The Christians are now making those corrections/changes to reflect the majority of voters.

Interesting...Yes, my mom is definitely, wholeheartedly, happily GOPTP. Sadly, she's a bit disappointed in her brain-washed daughter. Sigh.

. (0)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 10:08 am
Round up all the religious symbols and put them in public museums. That way if people want to see them they can pay for the privilege. In Dog I trust and I'm very Sirius about that.

Jason R (67)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 10:12 am
Mother Teresa quit praying. Sighting that she never had one answered. shows the alien connection to christianity and its purpose of ending wars. I always wondered how Jesus could be born to a virgin. Moses went up "the light" 3 times. Saw little people at wheels.


Kit B (276)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 10:17 am

George Wasington: “To Bigotry No Sanction, to Persecution No Assistance”
George Washington's Letter to the Jews of Newport, Rhode I790.

An excerpt:

Not surprisingly, it is Washington’s response, rather than Seixas’s epistle, which is best remembered and most frequently reprinted. Washington began by thanking the congregation for its good wishes and rejoicing that the days of hardship caused by the war were replaced by days of prosperity. Washington then borrowed ideas – and actual words – directly from Seixas’s letter:

The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for giving to Mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens.

Washington’s concluding paragraph perfectly expresses the ideal relationship among the government, its individual citizens and religious groups:

May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.

Washington closed with an invocation: “May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.”

The letter, a foundation stone of American religious liberty and the principle of separation between church and state, is signed, simply, “G. Washington.” Each year, Newport’s Congregation Kahal Kadosh Yeshuat Israel, now known as the Touro Synagogue, re-reads Washington’s letter in a public ceremony. The words deserve repetition.

Kit B (276)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 10:20 am

I don't put up a tree, Diane. Though my son does because his wife is Christian and recently they shared the lighting of the Menorah for celebration of Hanukkah. I thank you for the seasonal greeting, Diane.

Barbara K (60)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 10:22 am
There is a reason for the Separation of Church and State. They don't mix. We have a Freedom of Religion, which includes a Freedom from Religion.. Those hacks who want to say that Conservative means Christian are just showing their nuttiness again. The First Amendment clearly states that "No religion shall be established in the government". That means that the government is separate from religion. If one wants a Religious moment, they can go to Church. It doesn't belong in our government in any form.

Kit B (276)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 10:35 am

Thanks Barbara - right on target!

Fiona Ogilvie (565)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 11:15 am
I hope the US never ends up with a powerful faction trying to replace the secularism of our country.

In Arizona, the slogan of Jeff Flake who won the position of younger senator, was "Faith, Family, Faith."

In Turkey, the growing Islamism is threatening to overcome the secularism, which earlier generations of Turks celebrated.


. (0)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 12:01 pm
If anyone ever noticed, the Great Seal of the US, has a 6 pointed star above the eagle's head wjth 13 stars representing the colonies. This Star of David was not by accident. The founding fathers were believers in the teachings of Abraham as Kit pointed out. The old Testament was very much the fabric of the early colonists. It was the Church of England they were trying to separate themselves from.

Roger G (154)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 12:18 pm
noted, thanks

Jason R (67)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 1:09 pm
"Christ Can Fix It
Christ Can Fix It. growing love for GOD by fixing worldly problems. The majority of Americans (73-76%) identify themselves as Christians; however the culture of American society does not show that amount of Christian faith. "

Our worldly problems have been mounting faster and faster, with the extreme stupidity coming from our ® politicians. Every day one or more of them say something dumber than before, while proclaiming to be god like! They end jobs in america and curse the people that need help, sighting that they are lazy and should be working at that job that doesn't exist! How this gets by their supporters is WAY beyond comprehension.

The only sign I see as to winning the war against humanity, is coming straight from the x-tian, republican party.

Mitchell D (87)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 1:36 pm
The illogic is unbelievable, whether from the mouth of this fellow, or anyone who wants to think in circles. how many people in the U.S. may identify as Christian is irrelevant insofar as determining whether or not the country was founded as a Christian nation.
It was not founded as a FOOTBALL nation. yet how many millions will engage in that cultural obeisance to the Elliptical Orb, come Super Bowl Sunday??!!
Thomas Jefferson is quoted, in the Smithsonian Magazine, as having responded to a question about the absence of the word/name "God," in the founding papers of the country, by saying "We never thought of it."
Oh, damn, I'm sorry, that is only a fact, and they, of course, only get in the way of myth creation!

Kit B (276)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 2:07 pm

I'm pretty sure the constitution does address that all football is created equally. Something like that. Thanks Mitchell. If 100% of the citizens of this country identified as Christian, how does that affect the need to keep religion out of politics. Even if all Americans were Christian, they are still Americans and would still (I would hope) have a right to disagree on certain issues. I think some folks need to read history.

Louise D (44)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 3:15 pm
Interesting comments I noticed the one Conservative voice went on about political correctness by missing the irony that Conservatives always seem to do by trying to justify censorship on the grounds that something is "offensive to Christians," and think that people forget that "political correctness" actually used to be called "spastic gay talk". Atheists, Agnostics and the whole shebang are not bothered by Christmas in the slightest it is that Christmas itself is a blatant ripping off a pagan holiday or that puritanical types have made a few wars against Christmas themselves in a twist of irony, the only times that a war has actually been declared on Christmas, the fundamentalist types were the ones warring against it and after the Revolutionary War, celebrating Christmas fell out of style in the US as too British.

Still Bryan Fischer is a man known for being a douche bag and I think everyone can settle that is the best thing that can be said about him.

Gloria H (88)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 3:16 pm
Jill Pham is SPAM!!!!! Report her!

Back to the topic.............:
My eyes just stopped rolling to the back of my I can see...
Just when I think I've read the dumbest thing "Christian" conservatives could say, this pops up. If I was related to Bryan Fischer I would be walking around wearing a paper bag over my head. Bryan must have been drooling over a Playboy centerfold during history class, stoned out of his gourd during Ethics class and was grand winner in "who can eat the most pies" contest. Way to go Bryan, what's the point of being stupid if no one knows you are./you is, or you bees.

Gloria H (88)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 3:21 pm
Bryan is in his happy place, the rest of us non-Christian or rather not-his-type-of Christian are all illusions. We don't really exist (unlike the voices in his head). If he takes two asprins at night we will all go away.
then again..the Rapture may take Bryan away.Interesting thought.

Joanne Dixon (38)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 3:26 pm
I was just about to say that if 100% of Americans identified as Christian, and 100% of the Founding Fathers, there would still be a need for separation of church and state. No human being, and no group of human beings, could be trusted to fairly administer justice from a position of within a religious group. The Pilgrims left Europe because no country would have them because they were so inflexible. Religious rule of communities within what was later to become the United States caused many deaths and much more injury to innocent people. Gandhi nailed it when he said, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." John Fugelsang is also right on: "I've come to view Jesus in much the same way I've come to view Elvis - I love the guy; the fan clubs scare me."

The Founding Fathers probably did not consider one aspect of the separation of church and state with which I as a Christian was brought up: the fact that the separation protects the church at least as much as it protects the state. It protects YOUR church from being eaten up by MY church. Not being Christians, they may not have considered it. Being a Christian I know my duty to fight to maintain (or recover when it is already compromised) the separation of church and state.

Yes, the latest Census figures show 76% self-identifying as Christian, with the next biggest group being atheists/agnostics at 15%. 5% refused to identify at all. But, of course, the numbers are not a real issue - unless one, as a Christian, takes seriously the command of Christ to do good to "the least of these," in which case it is your duty, like mine, to protect them from tyranny.


Lois Jordan (63)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 4:02 pm
Noted. Thanks, Kit.
Flagged the spam "Jill Pham." (Your report has been submitted to customer service. Thank you.)
Our tree is "seasonal." Our dinner is meatballs & pasta, and we give gifts because we love sharing. We just leave religion completely out of our family's winter solstice celebration and all are very happy here.

Birgit W (160)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 4:05 pm
Noted, thanks.

Jason R (67)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 5:33 pm
I don't think atheists deny Jesus Christ. Just that son of a virgin/son of god thing.

The Bible was written 300 years later. How could it be close to accurate?

David C (129)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 5:44 pm
not sure if my prior post made it or not......but if so then I guess I get 40 points, if not 20....

1st. Thanks.
2nd Good discussion.
3rd. if there is a "war on Christmas" then the lights, signs, decorations, manger scenes, etc at malls, banks, churches, parks, tv stations, etc must be for Hanukkanh? Kwanza? New year? Eid?

4th. If there is such a war on Christmas, why doesn't God or Jesus come and end it?????

5th. Just another "poor us" GOP/Republicans/Conservatives turning the table with their thought...can't get myself to say the world logic with that group.

Jason R (67)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 6:29 pm
Good points, Dave. It's no secret that fox consistently maintains the war on democrats and that they recycle their hate tools. It's also no secret that really gullible people get on that obvious band wagon, without a thought. In spite of the fact that there is no war on Xmas, they'l be feeding it until new years. Around and around we go with those clowns.
Get unfoxed!

Animae C (514)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 6:33 pm

Michael A (28)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 7:55 pm

Deb E (63)
Saturday December 14, 2013, 8:03 pm
Christmas did not originate as a Christian religion to begin with and anyone who thinks Jesus was born on December 25 is lacking in knowledge.

"The Reverend Increase Mather of Boston observed in 1687 that “the early Christians who first observed the Nativity on December 25 did not do so thinking that Christ was born in that Month, but because the Heathens’ Saturnalia was at that time kept in Rome, and they were willing to have those Pagan Holidays metamorphosed into Christian ones.”[3] Because of its known pagan origin, Christmas was banned by the Puritans and its observance was illegal in Massachusetts between 1659 and 1681.[4] However, Christmas was and still is celebrated by most Christians."

"In the 3rd century, the Roman Empire, which at the time had not adopted Christianity, celebrated the rebirth of the Unconquered Sun (Sol Invictus) on December 25th—this holiday not only marked the return of longer days after the winter solstice but also followed the popular Roman festival called the Saturnalia (during which people feasted and exchanged gifts). It was also the birthday of the Indo-European deity Mithra, a god of light and loyalty whose cult was at the time growing popular among Roman soldiers."

The decorating of Christmas trees started in Germany. In case people don't know, the German people are really BIG into decorating their homes for their holidays. Christmas is not really a religious holiday. It was hijacked into one. There is nothing wrong with decorating a tree to bring some kind of joy into the home during a cold winter.

Our present day celebration of "Christmas" is just like any other "holiday" in this country. It is a combination of a lot of different beliefs in order to try and get people to come together to celebrate. Yes, the Catholic religion tried to take it over, but if you are a Christian, it doesn't mean you are a Catholic. All this fighting over celebrating Christmas is just another way to keep the country divided.

Past Member (0)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 1:17 am
Brilliant! Atheism is winning! This is another example of why.

Diane O (194)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 3:07 am
Well, thank you , Kit!

Diane O (194)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 5:54 am
I would not agree that atheism is winning. It's still a small percentage of our population. It's interesting that when a person is faced with a very dangerous situation and/or learn that they have cancer or other disease that cannot be treated many turn to God to pray. Young military men in combat (and women) turn to God and pray for their safety. I have no documentation to support this but we all know it is true. I believe there is something in all of us that when faced with losing a loved one, a missing child, or family pet have said, "God, please them home."

It matters not to me if a person doesn't believe in God. I believe in everyone's right to believe what they want to believe and I believe in your freedom of speech to express your feelings. However, I also believe that all of us at some time or another will pray to God for help.

Thanks for the star, Kit.

Diane O (194)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 5:56 am
typo: "please bring them home."

Kit B (276)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 6:04 am

You are welcome Diane - you seem surprised though I am not sure why.

First, thank you Joanne and Deb, and so many others for stating your comments so very well. I have no problem with voices of descent, I think they often cause us to work a bit harder to respond with some strong research and clearly stated ideas. I thank each of you for your thoughts.

I have some hesitation in accepting these figures of 76% Christian, not because I am not; that would be a bit egotistical. I hesitate to accept them because this like all polls this is based on what the question asks and what choices are possible. Last year the majority of surveys stated that 16-20% affiliated with no religion and between 8-12% with a religion other than Christian. I think that may offer a better insight to where we stand as a nation. Which still would leave us with a huge majority of Americans that identify as Christian and I would hope that a majority of those Christians would recognize the need and "protections" for both their government and their religions to be free of having a one religion being named as THE religion of this nation.

I certainly accept that Fischer has a right to his beliefs and his statements, though I would hope the majority of thinking people would reject his attitude.

Diane O (194)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 6:28 am
I believe the religious affiliation numbers come from census reports. Also, with the latino movement into our country the majority of them are Christians and they are having more children than other groups in our country so that is a number to watch. I've read that by 2030 the latino community will far outweigh other ethnic communities in America. This will bring the numbers up. I'm not sure if 2014 is a census year but it will be interesting to see the results based on the new immigration numbers.

Fiona Ogilvie (565)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 6:28 am
There has been a problem for people burying a family member in a veterans' cemetery such as Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Family members of atheists could not get a stone without a religious symbol on it. Family members of Pagans could not get a stone with a Pentagram on it.

The government only had prepared memorial stones with a Christian cross, an Islamic crescent moon, or a Star of David available.

There had to be several class action law suits before the government would give the correct grave stone to the soldiers killed in the endless US wars.

Kit B (276)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 7:08 am

The choice of atheism in a world filled with a large variety of godheads is choice of life style and intellectual rigor. Those who do make this choice do not suddenly find a god in a foxhole or a doctor's office. The idea that people who see a lack of evidence followed by blind belief will suddenly abandon their being for comfort in stress is certainly a popular idea, but in fact is not real. Just as those who follow religion find their comfort in times of need, those without religion find their own comfort. It is truly disrespectful to deny their choice as one that is but superficial. We simply do not believe in magic. And magic does not present simply because times become stressful. That assumes that those who do not attach to a godhead are presenting whimsical ideas just to be contrary to popular beliefs.

"The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper."
--Bertrand Russell

Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance.
--Bertrand Russell

"I think being an atheist is something you are, not something you do."
Christopher Hitchens

"One of the things that is wrong with religion is that it teaches us to be satisfied with answers which are not really answers at all."
Richard Dawkins

"You don't need religion to have morals. If you can't determine right from wrong then you lack empathy, not religion."
- Unknown

I could offer hundreds of thousands of quotes from well respected people from our most ancient and modern times. My effort is not to "convert" anyone, but only to ask that each human being be equally respected, that the assumption made is not that a humanist, free thinker or atheist is not lacking something but simply holds their own unique ideas about this world. People that make this choice do not do so lightly, those who make a choice to live outside the common and popular inner circle do so with conviction and courage.

The only thing I truly resent about the religious is that attitude which is meant to disparage those who do not follow their thinking.

Kit B (276)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 7:32 am

The Census is for the US population is taken every ten years and will fall on years that correspond to that with correlating numbers as in 2000 and 2010 however, other surveys are also done. This year many are being asked to participate in an economic survey, this is done to determine use of tax monies by populations.

[In thousands (175,440 represents 175,440,000). The methodology of the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) 2008 replicated that used in previous surveys. The three surveys are based on random-digit-dialing telephone surveys of residential households in the continental U.S.A (48 states): 54,461 interviews in 2008, 50,281 in 2001, and 113,723 in 1990. (

Those who identify as Christian:

175,440 - 151,225 (1990) - 86.1%
207,983 - 159, 514 (2001) - 76.6%
228,182 - 173, 402 (2008) - 75.9%

As other surveys have also shown the percentage is continuing a downward spiral.


Diane O (194)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 8:10 am
This data makes sense. The next census may tell a very different story if amnesty and fast track to citizenship is passed. A large part of the Latino community will identify as Christians.

I am not happy with the downward spiral of non believers but perhaps the immigration debacle will change that for our country.

Thanks for the information. Looks like we'll be up for another census in 2016.

Kit B (276)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 8:44 am

No Diane - as I said in the above comment, the census will be taken again in 2020. For this century as it has been in the past, the Census is taken every ten years, 2000, 2010 and 2020 etc....

Occasionally additional information is collected.

What possible difference could it make to your life whether or not individuals make a choice to not believe as you do?

Jason R (67)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 8:54 am
There's really only one problem with X-tians. It makes them think irrationally. It is too cult like. It causes people to act insane.

10 Certifiably Insane Rants from the Right-Wing Fringe This Week: War on Santa Edition
Janet Allon, AlterNet
Megyn Kelly, Donald Trump and Pat Robertson vie for the craziest prize. READ MORE»
Why? One is only left to scratch one’s head and wonder why, why, why? Why was it so important to Fox host Megyn Kelly to repeatedly look into the camera and tell America’s children that Santa is “just white”?

It is laughable, yes—and Jon Stewart helped us laugh at it when he asked, “Who is Megyn Kelly talking to? Children who are sophisticated enough to watch the 10 o’clock news, yet naïve enough to believe in Santa, and racist enough to be upset that he might not be white?” That is, as he points out, a fairly narrow segment of viewers..

2. Pat Robertson: Letting lesbians into your house could turn your kids gay.

Patty Robertson slays us. He really does. His delusional view that gayness is a contagious germ was revealed this week when a viewer named Catherine wrote in for some advice. She had recently reconnected with an old best friend who, it turned out, was a lesbian. She had invited her to meet her children, but became concerned when her old friend wanted to bring her life partner along.

Big mistake, the 700 Club host told her. Having lesbian friends in her home could turn her children gay, and “you don’t want your children to grow up as lesbians.”…

3. Trump rejoices at having his birther conspiracy confirmed.

Perhaps Trump’s obsession with the wide-ranging conspiracy to obscure President Obama’s real birthplace could be better sorted out by a psychiatrist, one who specializes in racist delusions. Know anybody?.

4. Jim Garrow: Of course, Obama was in on that plane crash, and he also tried to nuke America (God stopped him!).

The Donald is not the only eminently reasonable man who thinks Obama arranged that plane crash. He enjoys the company of Conservative nutjob Jim Garrow, who also knows for a fact that Obama killed Andrew Breitbart, Michael Hastings and Tom Clancy. Oh, yes, and he tried to nuke America.

“There are no coincidences with this administration and with the thugs that have brought Chicago tactics to bear,” Garrow said. “We’re seeing murder.”…

6. Todd Kincannon: The left likes school shootings.

The Twitter war launched by gun nuts in the immediate aftermath of the Arapahoe school shooting, which coincided with the anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting, reached new levels of viciousness….

Is it any wonder why people are getting really sick of religion in politics and on TV? Can't you all keep it to yourself and NOT let it make you think irrationally?

Diane O (194)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 8:57 am
Yes, of course, I stand corrected...2020 for our next census. What difference does it make to me? I believe religion is personal. As a Christian, I would like to see more Americans identify that they believe in God much the same way that you, as an atheist, would like to see more people be non believers. It's a personal feeling.

However, at the beginning of every day and at the end of every day, I believe in one's freedom to choose what is best for them.

Kit B (276)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 9:02 am

Ms Kelly from Fox recently said she was joking about Santa and Jesus being white. If so, why did she seem so very angry? Why continue to mock those who disagreed from a stand point of history? According to Kelly only liberals, who have no humor, believed she was serious. I found the whole display of her personal bias to be very funny, and I doubt there were many "children" watching this news segment. I beg to differ - there were many conservatives and many Christians blasting her on both Face book and tweeter. I guess they too lack humor? Of course there was no apology, just Kelly saying it was a big joke.

Jason R (67)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 9:02 am
Diane, Why does it have to effect everyone else?

Past Member (0)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 9:06 am
I will not tread on anyone's beliefs or non-beliefs. I will only add what my Grandmother told a relative when he touted his disbelief in God. Her words were "you will find out one day"! As we all will. I know for myself, if it weren't for my God, I would not be here today. Thank you.

Kit B (276)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 9:12 am

I do not call myself an atheist and prefer to not be labeled. I do believe in the unending possibilities of the goodness within humans. I believe it is a moral responsibility for each of us do all we can to care for those have less than ourselves. I believe we must look ahead and not behind, we must accept and examine new ideas and not reject them because they may not seem to fit preconceived ideas. I believe in the welfare of all people, in public education, in training those without skills to be able to obtain employment. I believe that all humans should have health care, no matter what their financial status. I believe in Civil Rights and Human Rights. I also believe that if there is a god, it would not matter what one professes to believe but rather how one behaves.

I could care less whether or not anyone or no one ever agrees with my own deeply held beliefs, it neither enriches nor detracts from what I believe.

Jason R (67)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 9:44 am
We just ask that you keep it to yourself and isolated, Wreaths. Keep it out of politics or be godlike.
I think the new Pope is trying to say just that.

Freya H (357)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 10:15 am
This is all too typical of their Newspeak. They yap about the Constitution, yet want it to apply to only their narrow brand of believers. A lot of Christians recognize only a small part of the Christian spectrum as "real" Christians. Some fundamentalist Protestants regard the Roman Catholic church as a tool of Satan. And so on.

If ever the religious bugnuts get control of this country, it will be the greatest tragedy in history.

Kit B (276)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 10:39 am

If you are Christian, wish me a Merry Christmas
If you are Jewish, wish me a Happy Hanukkah.
If you celebrate Kwanzaa, wish me a joyous Kwanzaa
If you celebrate the holiday of Saturnalia - wish me peace and joy for the solstice.
If you wish me a Happy Holidays - I am just thankful that you took the time and thoughtfulness give me a greeting. I can not see how wishing a good day or good holiday in any way detracts from the joy and celebration of the season.

Just take a look at the holiday celebrations this time of year:

Yule, the Scandinavian god of fertility.
Wiccans celebrate Beltane and the solstice, often with a wreath.
Druids celebrate with a kiss under the mistletoe.
The tree is a celebration of Saturnalia.
You don't need to believe in Santa, St Nick, Odin or Thor to enjoy a time of sharing gifts.
Sleipnir, Odin's flying eight legged horse still allows to pretend we hear hoofs on the roof.
Mithrus has given us a time to celebrate the renewal of the sun on December 25th.
You don't have to be a Christian to enjoy the time of the Christ Mass.

No one is trying take the joy and happiness from this time of year. (I'm sure I missed a few, just trying to make a point here.) If saying Happy Holidays is insulting to you, I think you and not the one offering the greeting has a problem.

Happy Holidays to all and I wish you the warmth and joy of love and I hope you have family and friends to make the close of this year just a bit brighter. The best gift one can give does not need a bow, just give of yourself from the heart.

Jason R (67)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 11:13 am
How many people know that for Pat Robertson giving gwbush the christian vote, he got a gold mine in Liberia, a coup that would let him mine it and a depression that would insure a hefty profit?

Mabus has been exposed. He claims to be a christian as Nostradamus said he would. gwbush/mabus is responsible of over a million innocent deaths and counting.

Robert B (60)
Sunday December 15, 2013, 3:59 pm
-Thomas Paine

One needs no more than that. NO ONE CAN PROVE NOR DISPROVE the existence of God. There is NO historical mention of Jesus during his supposed life. Love and Compassion is the only truth that can be counted on. Anyone can decorate a Christmas tree and still enjoy it. Happy Holidays!!!!!!

Jody B (6)
Monday December 16, 2013, 3:41 am

David Foster (0)
Monday December 16, 2013, 4:03 am
Ummm! I always thought Satan was an integral part of Christian theology - can you really have a God without an opposing embodiment of evil or sin? Thus Satan is very much part of Christianity...

Past Member (0)
Monday December 16, 2013, 4:12 am

Evelyn B (62)
Monday December 16, 2013, 10:27 am
Love that Ghandi quote cited by Joanne Dixon: "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." I can't believe that God is so petty minded as to slam the door on non-Christians! It's humans that are intolerant of those who don't endorse exactly their own religious affiliations .... either because they don't understand the other's beliefs, or because they daren't let themselves question their own beliefs at all. Not a weakness limited to intolerant Christian groups, either ...

Roseann d (178)
Monday December 16, 2013, 4:49 pm
Diane are aware I hope, that practice of decorating a tree is a from the pagan religion. I don't believe there were a lot of pines and fir trees in the Little Town of Bethlehem. Perhaps we should be decorating palm trees.

Roseann d (178)
Monday December 16, 2013, 4:55 pm
Also interesting Diane O. to note that when a pseudo Christian or a Rapturist has terminal cancer and God is calling them home, suddenly they don't want to go...and they or their family opts for Artificial Life Support which interferes with God's plan. What's up with that???

Kit B (276)
Monday December 16, 2013, 8:55 pm

Yeah, what is up with that? Good point Roseann.

Diane O (194)
Tuesday December 17, 2013, 2:53 am
We are generalizing here. What we all know is that the majority of Americans are Christians and believe in God. That was my only point. It's a fact. People are different and have different levels of faith. I don't question anyone's religion because first of all I don't care . I do care about my faith in God and I never push my faith on anyone. I am interested in the polls and the census reports to better understand how our country is changing. This is why I mentioned to Kit that it will be interesting to see how the amnesty bill will affect the number of Christians in our country. Most Latinos are Catholic based on what I've read.

Roseann, I can't answer why people are afraid to let go....and I don't believe in life support. My mother died peacefully last year without life support but that was an agreement we made together. I honored her wishes at the end. Situations are different. It's hard enough losing our loved ones but for me I found comfort in believing my mother was going to a better place. I don't expect others to think that way but I do.

Diane O (194)
Tuesday December 17, 2013, 3:09 am
Nyack I addressed that earlier. This is an opinion article written by one person. He does not represent my party and how ALL republicans think. We all have opinions just like Fischer has his. Why all the fuss over one man's opinion?

Diane O (194)
Tuesday December 17, 2013, 3:09 am
You are up early this morning!

Kit B (276)
Tuesday December 17, 2013, 7:14 am

I do believe people should have access to any and all health care benefits. I sure don't care much for the idea that it is necessary or even advisable to force life support on those who have no chance of recovery, but 12 ago I would have died if not for life support. Three days in a coma and I don't remember a thing. *joking* No one remembers being in a coma.

Right you are Nyack! - Bryan Fischer represents a large organization, which is why I decided to submit this.

It is his opinion, but like Limbaugh many listen and form their own opinions based on some of these people spouting fallacious ideas. On the other hand, some one like WRP writes his articles as an Op-Ed, clearly stated that it is his opinion and is meant to read as an opinion.

Fischer speaks as if he is imparting some truth. He needs to read the constitution.

Jae A (316)
Tuesday December 17, 2013, 9:06 am
...sigh. Every body dance now !

That being said , Happy New Year to all...and to all a good night.

A night sky worth of green stars for kit !

Jason R (67)
Tuesday December 17, 2013, 10:09 am
"What we all know is that the majority of Americans are Christians and believe in God."

I used to say I was Xtian out of fear. I was brainwashed from an early age as most were, Diane. I think we still have many, many atheists that won't admit it yet…YET.
When the blurb was let out that M. Teresa quit praying, I came out. If her prayers weren't answered, who's is?
When Ancient Aliens made their case, I found something that made perfect sense. They engineered us. We fought and killed. They tried to stop that part of our genetic make up. Now, our division seems to stem from those genetically wired to be compassionate to people and those that are not. Now we have our two parties.

What's funny. People here, who claim no political affiliation, appear to be compassionate to animals but not people. WTF?

Diane O (194)
Tuesday December 17, 2013, 10:11 am
Yes, Nyack, he is. He is spewing his personal opinion to anyone who he thinks might take him seriously.

Diane O (194)
Tuesday December 17, 2013, 10:27 am
A lot of people in DC need to read The Constitution....starting with Barack Obama.

Fiona Ogilvie (565)
Tuesday December 17, 2013, 1:46 pm
Nobody has noted that Kit, any other grandmothers commenting in this thread, or me are in serious danger if we venture into the Southern Appalachians on Christmas Eve. It is now a holiday tradition in those Bible belt mountains to have reindeer run over Grandmas. You can tell that the attacker of Kit, another grandmother or myself is a reindeer because a hoof print will be left on our foreheads. Santa has eight reindeer plus Rudolph, so nine grandmas could become victims of reindeer..

Diane O (194)
Tuesday December 17, 2013, 3:05 pm
LOL Betsy!

Diane O (194)
Tuesday December 17, 2013, 3:19 pm
I love a good sense of humor, Betsy! I'm a grandmother of four....with so many negatives in our daily lives it is fun to read a post like yours.

Jason R (67)
Wednesday December 18, 2013, 8:36 am
"Ms Kelly from Fox recently said she was joking about Santa and Jesus being white. If so, why did she seem so very angry?"

And then when we see the replay, we see that, once again, Kelly was lying through her teeth. Too any people are foxed up on the fox drug.

"A lot of people in DC need to read The Constitution....starting with Barack Obama."

Starting with the tea party, Diane. You too. Obama is a Constitutional scholar.

Tea Party Republicans Seem Determined to Destroy the United States for Their Own Benefit. ... See, the Constitution as it stands now doesn't support the kind of nation they want. They want some kind of Constitution based on theocracy. More from

Republicans are out to destroy the federal government ...
The more I listen to Republicans, the more I become convinced that the GOP is a group of science deniers who want to completely destroy the federal government because the President is a foreign-born Muslim Socialist. If they bothered to read the Constitution (assuming they can read ... More from

What about the minority of tea baggers shutting down the government? Was that considerate of the Constitution?

Republicans Set The Constitution Ablaze While Killing One ...
Republicans Set The Constitution Ablaze While Killing One Million American Jobs was ... Norquist and his Republican acolytes are guilty of acting against the government with the goal of destroying it. Meet The 18 Senate Republicans Voted to Crash The Economy By When the given the choice of ... More from

YOU, Diane, couldn't be further from reality.

Kit B (276)
Wednesday December 18, 2013, 9:05 am

We are living in the twenty first century, it is time for a serious look at the constitution and just how well capitalism is serving us.

Jason R (67)
Wednesday December 18, 2013, 9:29 am
Republicans can't see the Constitution for what it is because they're against the social democracy it promotes.

The Curious Absence of Socially Conservative Economics, Bryan ...
So, the economic argument for social conservatism is that society's institutions arise like markets where order emerges from the cooperation of its members. Modern social liberalism is a top-down approach, attempting to correct the evils of the market, or the inequities of traditions.

Social Conservatism
"Andrew Sullivan has been popularizing the term Christianist to describe social conservatives who hope to use government power to achieve Christian ends."

Remember, "Let the die"?

Diane O (194)
Wednesday December 18, 2013, 1:27 pm
I found an interesting opinion piece based a bit of history....


slaverySome people say that the search for profit is abusive, heartless, evil, and so on. I’m not particularly in love with profit for its own sake (and I certainly don’t think it justifies abuse), but a reflexive condemnation of profit is deeply ignorant.

The truth is, “profit” killed the ancient abomination of human slavery. To eliminate the ability of people to profit would draw slavery back into the world. And we obviously don’t want that.

Here’s why:

Slavery Was an Economic System

What is not understood is that slavery was the foundation of economics in the old world – such as in Greece and Rome.

Slavery was almost entirely about surplus. (Surrounded by creative justifications, of course.) It was a type of enforced thrift.

An undeveloped man, left to himself, will spend almost all of what he earns. If he does earn some surplus, he’ll likely spend it on luxuries, frivolities, or worse. Until he develops a strong character, little of his surplus will remain for other uses.

A slave, on the other hand, never holds his earnings in his hands and therefore cannot spend them. All surplus is transferred to his or her owner. It was precisely this kind of surplus that made Rome rich.

But then Christian Europe came about. Prior to that, I cannot point to a single ancient culture that forbade the practice; it was seen as normal. So, for Europe to expel the slavery it inherited from Rome was a monumental change.

Europeans replaced slavery – slowly and because of their Christian principles, not because of a conscious plan – by doing these things:

Developing personal thrift. This required a strong focus on building up virtues like temperance (self-control) and patience.
Replacing the enforced surplus of slavery with profit. That is, by mixing creativity in with their commerce: innovating, inventing, and adapting to get more surplus out of commerce.
Under a new system that was eventually tagged capitalism, thrift and creativity generated surplus, and no human beings had to be enslaved.

A World Without Profit

On the other hand, we have recent examples of what happens when a culture forbids profit: the “socialist paradises” of Stalin’s USSR, Mao’s China, and the enslaved states of Eastern Europe. (Among others.)

These examples are bleak indeed, featuring the enslavement of everyone to a ruling party.

Profit provides an incentive to work, and when it is gone, not only does work suffer, but those who want to get ahead have no honest way to do it. And that drives them either to despair or to crime.

If you eliminate profit – innovative, rewarding commerce – you get slavery. The form of that slavery may vary from one case to another, but it will be slavery of some type.

This result is the same, by the way, whether the elimination of profit occurs via communism (make a profit, we shoot you) or fascism (all profit-making is taken over by friends of the state).

The core issue is surplus:

If surplus can be gathered by average people via honest means, slavery can be eliminated.
If average people are not allowed to create and hold their own surplus (surplus being skimmed off to the state and/or state partners), slavery of one sort or another will be the result.
Profit is simply a tool – a way of generating surplus without the enforced thrift of slavery.

You cannot get rid of both slavery and profit. You can eliminate whichever one you wish, but you’ll be stuck with the other.

Profit Rests on Virtues

To live in a civilization that prospers by profit, we need to move beyond gorilla-level instincts like envy. We need to develop self-control, patience, and a focus on more than just material possessions.

It’s a shame that the West has turned away from traditional virtues over recent centuries. If the Church that previously taught these virtues was found to be wanting, we should have replaced it with something better, rather than casting everything aside and pretending that virtues were nothing but superstition.

If we ever lose enough of our virtues, profit will lose its protections, and the ancient way of slavery will return."

What we do matters.

Paul Rosenberg

Related posts:

Collapse of Capitalism: The 9 Plagues
15 Ways the World Will Change Once the “Great Boom” Hits
Capitalism and Greed: Do they go together?
The Triumph of The Manipulators: The Entire “First World” Financial System is Manipulated

Robert B (60)
Thursday December 19, 2013, 6:46 am
1st Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Fischer makes the mistake of lumping Islam with Satan. It's the "funnymentalists" in ALL religions that make this such a stupid planet. Fischer just does not realize that he and others like him don't really grasp the concept of unconditional love and real FREEDOM for HE is also a "funnymentalist". Whether you are Christian or not is not the issue. The REAL issue is whether you are a truly spiritual person and know that you are put on the earth TO DO GOOD.

Jason R (67)
Tuesday December 24, 2013, 9:17 am
We saw what the US would look like without FREE capitalism. It's called the greatest run of prosperity ever achieved by a nation. The 50s, 60s & 70s. We had laws/regulations that protected us.
May Reagan and bush et al rot in where ever.

Jason R (67)
Tuesday December 24, 2013, 9:18 am
There is only one corporation mentioned in the Constitution. A free press. Ours has been bought up and bastardized by Nazi's.

Carol m (3)
Friday December 27, 2013, 7:53 pm
christmas is not christian and has pagan roots , not something our creator is happy with
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