I don’t know how many of our VOXXI readers caught the Bill O’Reilly show last week where he got into a screaming match with American Atheists President David Silverman. But for those who viewed the show, it was television theater at its best, yet their topic of discussion is not trivial by any means. On one side, was atheist Silverman declaring that his group is only trying to stop the government from preferring one religion over the other. On the other side, Fox talk show host O’Reilly insisted that Christianity is not a religion, it is a philosophy, thus the American Atheists organization has no business interfering with our Christmas trees and other such holiday celebrations whether it’s in government buildings and property or anywhere else.
Atheists will stop at nothing
Whatever position you take, think about this…there was a time when we displayed Nativity scenes and Christmas trees, held Christmas parties, took Christmas vacations, and celebrated Christmas this and Christmas that all in honor of the birth of the baby Jesus. Today, America has taken a turn, substituting the word, holiday for the word Christmas in all baby Jesus birthday related celebrations. This country was founded as a Christian nation and today the majority of Americans are of the Christian faith, yet the smallest percentage of Americans, approximately 6 percent are declared atheists, have managed to impose their argument/beliefs on the rest of us. In the case of the American Atheists, they argue that any government agency be it local, state or national shouldn’t prefer one religion over the other, thus the reason that many government offices no longer hold Christmas type events and when they do, they are called holiday parties/events.
The atheists don’t stop there; they insist that crosses should be taken down when placed, here again, on government property. And to make matters doubly complicated, there is a group dedicated to ensuring that their extreme interpretation of the separation of church and state is imposed on all of us. A few years ago, Michael Newdow, a church-state separation activist and atheist filed a law suit on behalf of his daughter to remove the words “under God” in public schools that recite the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance. After much court action, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th District Court upheld the words, “under God.” But Mr. Newdow didn’t stop there, he brought suits regarding the use of “so help me God” in swearing in/installation ceremonies and “in God we trust” in American coins. He has lost on all counts. However, he and other atheists stop at nothing and continue to challenge the use of the word God in our everyday lives.
Are people overreacting?
Interestingly, it was rumored that the words “In God we trust” were omitted from the one dollar 2007 presidential coin. Chain emails were sent all over the country asking us not to accept the coin. Some blamed the Obama Administration for supporting such action. However, the truth is that presidential coins are mandated by Congress, not the U.S. President and the particular coin in question had the words “in God we trust” inscribed on its edge not on the face of the coin as previously done. I have one of those coins and the words “in God we trust” are indeed inscribed on the edge. Admittedly, about 50,000 coins were mistakenly produced without the words, “in God we trust” and inadvertently released but the mistake was caught and close to 300 million corrected coins are in circulation. However, due to concerns that the words would eventually fade with much public handling, President George W. Bush signed a bill that specified the words “in God we trust” appear on either the front or back of the next one dollar presidential coin rather than on the edge.
The U.S. Mint is the agency that produces such coins. Incidentally, this agency falls under the direction of the U.S. Treasurer who is currently a Latina from California. She was not a part of the original coin mistake, nor for that matter was the then U.S. Treasurer who was also Latina. The printing machine made the mistake, not political leaders. Both U.S. Treasurers, are true patriots and we are fortunate to have them serve as two of the highest ranking Hispanics in the Bush and Obama Administrations.
But back to the ongoing challenges to our Christmas celebrations from atheists. This country is a by all accounts, a predominant Christian nation. Those of us who are believers of the Christian faith or philosophy should continue to uphold our beliefs. The courts so far haven’t ruled in favor of taking the word God out of all things we know but there are many who think otherwise, and have stopped using the word God when there is no legal reason to do so. Is this overreaction, being too cautious to what atheists might do to them? We need to stop the madness and do only what is legally correct; let’s get out of the “what if” game and use our heads. There are some atheists that say they are offended by symbols such as crosses and other things related to Christ because of their beliefs. But what about those of us that are Christian, aren’t we too offended by those that want to take away our religious freedom (which, by the way, was reason for the founding of this country) and our expressed Christian beliefs? I’ll carry/wear my many cross necklaces anywhere and anytime of the day that I want, what about you?