by James Rogers
Clash Daily Contributor
I have a special kind of ire for Atheists who want the We the People to accept that the First Amendment of the Constitution means “Freedom From Religion.” They even have a foundation called “Freedom From Religion Foundation” and they seem to prefer that everyone else join them and become Atheists also. And even if everyone else became Atheists, I don’t even think that would make them happy; they are acting like spoiled children and would probably find something else to whine about.
If they do not believe in God, why do they think someone else might just perchance be coerced into believing in God by seeing some religious painting, the Ten Commandments or anything of a religious nature on public display? I can understand their desire to protect the young, impressionable minds of school age children, but I’ve been around long enough to know that a child in the public school system is more likely to be drawn away from his parent’s religious teachings than to convert or coerce any of his friends and acquaintances to his.
I am not stating a religious belief here. My religious beliefs or affiliations have nothing to do with the grievance I have for people who want to re-interpret the Constitution for any reason. Those who know history should remember that England’s break with Rome was affected by a series of acts of England’s Parliament passed between 1532 and 1534, among them the 1534 Act of Supremacy which declared King Henry VIII to be the “Supreme Head on earth of the Church of England.”
On the Mayflower, in 1620, there were close to 40 members of a radical Puritan faction known as the English Separatist Church. In the ensuing years, people with many different religious views and beliefs have migrated to America but suffice it to say they all have the freedom to worship as they see fit according to their understanding. The Constitution is a promise that the Government of the United States will not impose any such state religion on its citizens but allow them the freedom to worship as they see fit.
This current ranting of mine, as I call it, was brought about by an article demanding that a poster based on a painting titled “Faith in America” by artist Donald Zolan be removed. It has been hanging in Kenneth Cooper Middle School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for nearly two decades. The Freedom From Religion Foundation claims it in violation of the United States Constitution.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to district officials on August 25, 2014 complaining about the poster which features children praying in front of an American flag. An attorney for the Putnam City Public School District responded to the group September 29, noting that the complaint, reportedly based on a local family’s dissatisfaction with the poster, is the first ever the district has received in its 18 years of displaying the image.
“We cannot agree that the poster displayed in the office is a per se violation of the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution,” wrote attorney Anthony Childers. “Though, as you have pointed out, the title given to the artwork by the original artist is labeled ‘Faith in America,’ there is no text displayed with the poster which imputes the artist’s intent, theme, or title.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is hard put to take no for an answer and have written that:
“In any school context coercion is virtually assumed demanding that the district remove the image to fall in compliance with the U.S. Constitution.”
Quoting Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia:
For more than 35 years I have written on the topic of America’s religious foundation. I’ve written five books on the subject, dozens of articles, and participated in a debate with atheist lawyer Edward Tabash.
“The study of American history will show that the atheists, ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Freedom From Religion Foundation do not have a constitutional or historical leg to stand on when they file suits against religious displays, sectarian prayers, monuments, or anything else religious as it relates to government. They get away with their legal theatrics because:
(1) the general population is ignorant on the subject and
(2) the courts rule in terms of precedent and not historical verities.
Also, during a speech at Colorado Christian University on Wednesday, October 1, 2014, Justice Scalia argued:
“The U.S. Constitution does not prohibit religious references in public places, including schools. Anyone who says otherwise on the facts of the case is lying.”
Image: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/194288171397158938/ (fair use)
James Rogers is retired from 37 years of Newspaper/printing and publishing and has written and edited a lot of copy during those decades. He currently blogs and writes short stories for his entertainment and to keep his mind sharp.