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The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Our Religious Heritage

Posted by goodnessofgod2010 on March 25, 2013

in god we trust By Jay Sekulow

As one of America’s most radical atheists sues to remove the National Motto — “In God We Trust” – from our currency, I thought I’d bring back two of my favorite blog posts from the Washington Post. I wrote these when American Atheists sued to remove the Ground Zero Cross from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, and the posts help illustrate the extent of our nation’s religious heritage – and the radicalism of those who seek to erase that heritage. Please enjoy:

It is with the utmost urgency that I write this blog.

A group of atheists have filed a lawsuit to prevent the inclusion of the historic Ground Zero Cross at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. We have learned from their lawsuit that they, “have suffered, are suffering, and will continue to suffer damages, both physical and emotional, from the existence of the challenged cross.” Atheists have reportedly endured cross-induced, “dyspepsia [upset stomach], symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish.”

In order to ensure that atheists in America never again experience any of the aforementioned ailments, I need your assistance in writing “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Protecting American Atheists.”

To help you get started, I’ve identified things that must be removed or altered immediately to rectify the government’s continued disregard for the hurt feelings of godless Americans.

-The new Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial includes much of “Dr. King’s Spiritual Presence” by permanently inscribing portions of his sermons on the memorial inscription wall.

-The Ground Zero Cross at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

-The National Motto: “In God We Trust

-“Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance

The National Day of Prayer

-“Seven in Heaven Way” street sign honoring seven firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11

-Original copies of the Declaration of Independence in the National Archives, which reference “our Creator” and “Nature’s God”

-The Chaplains Corps of each branch of the U.S. Military

-All “Religious” Artwork in the National Gallery of Art

-The Latin phrase “Laus Deo [Praise be to God]” on the cap of the Washington Monument

-Surviving copies of The National Anthem, which includes the phrase “In God is our trust”

-On the Lincoln Memorial are etched the word of the Gettysburg Address (“this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom”) and his Second Inaugural Address (“with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right,”) which are replete with references to God

-The Jefferson Memorial’s dome includes this inscription about God, “I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” There are other references to God in the memorial

-On the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery is inscribed, “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God”

-The federal courthouse containing the Court of Appeals and the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia contains a sculpture, which includes a cross and the Ten Commandments

-The south frieze of the U.S. Supreme Court Courtroom depicts Moses holding the Ten Commandments

-The metal gates on the north and south sides of the U.S. Supreme Court Courtroom contain the Ten Commandments, as well as the doors leading to the courtroom

-The east facade of the outside of the Supreme Court shows Moses holding the Ten Commandments

-The Library of Congress Jefferson Building contains a large statue of Moses holding the Ten Commandments and the Apostle Paul over looking the rotunda

Inscribed on the wall of the Cox Corridors of the U.S. Capitol is the phrase “America! God shed his grace on Thee”

-The chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives features Moses.

-The Prayer Room of the U.S. Capitol contains the phrase “Annuit coeptis” (translated “God has favored our undertakings”) and the words of Psalm 16:1

-The House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol contains the National Motto “In God we trust

-Inscribed in the Senate Chamber of the U.S. Capitol are the phrase “Annuit coeptis” (translated “God has favored our undertakings”) and the National Motto “In God we trust”

-The Emancipation Proclamation featured in the National Archives invoking “gracious favor of Almighty God”

-The United States Department of Veterans Affairs chaplains program

-“Christmas” and “Thanksgiving” are official federal government holidays

-The U.S. Constitution itself references “Year of our Lord

-Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 143 U.S. 457 (1892), where the Supreme Court declared that “this is a Christian nation”

Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306 (1952), where the Supreme Court declared, “We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being”

-The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial with thousands of white crosses over each of the graves represented at that cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery is replete with religious symbolism complete with a list of authorized religious emblems

Please leave your additions to “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Protecting American Atheists” in the comments section below.

In response to my request for comments, new suggestions poured in:

Less than two weeks ago, I asked you to assist me in finalizing “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Protecting American Atheists.” As you know,American Atheists continue to suffer from Ground Zero cross-induced, “dyspepsia [upset stomach], symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish.”

You immediately grasped the urgency of my request and submitted your well thought out additions to the Guide in a most timely manner. Below, you will find “The Updated Complete Idiot’s Guide to Protecting American Atheists 2.0,” updated with suggestions from commenters.

We no doubt have failed to identify every possible thing that must be removed or altered to correct the government’s malicious disregard for the hurt feelings of godless Americans. But, if we successfully remedy all the government-sponsored wrongs listed in this updated guide, we will be well on our way to protecting atheists from references to America’s religious history and Judeo-Christian heritage.

In fact, American Atheists have acknowledged the accuracy of the guide. One commenter on the American Atheists’ blog writes, “I have to agree with almost every item in the list in the article.”

For your ease of use, everything in the updated Guide is categorized and acknowledges the hardworking patriots who contributed. Everything that appeared in Guide 1.0 is italicized:

Historical Documents, Songs, and Speeches:

Songs with religious references such as The Star-Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, God Bless America and official songs for each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces (r8arnhart, HUACNOW)

Public references to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have Dream” speech that include the quote, “Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.” (sofsu)

Copies of the Mayflower Compact, which mentions God numerous times, are found in public museums and libraries across America (ag1986)

Any official documents containing “A.D.” dates, which refer to the Latin term “Anno Domini” (In the year of our Lord) (nesquire)

President John Adams wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.”

Jefferson’s Bible displayed at the Smithsonian

National Motto – “In God We Trust”

Pledge of Allegiance – “under God”

Declaration of Independence – “our Creator” and “Nature’s God”

Emancipation Proclamation – “gracious favor of Almighty God”

National Anthem – “In God is our trust” (HUACNOW)

Public Buildings, Displays, and Money:

All coins and currency containing the phrase “In God We Trust.” (goldblattp, WKJR, darthofer, ag1986, grep_boy, chance175)

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial – sermons and religious references

Nativity scenes that appear on public property across America every Christmas season. (Sherry Forrester Leslie)

The Library of Congress Bible Collection with “1,500 editions of the Bible in more than 150 languages”

The National Cathedral – Chartered by Congress in 1893 and home to many significant presidential affairs of state from Thanksgiving services to funerals

The National Park Service has designated St. John’s Church, where Patrick Henry delivered his “Give me Liberty, or Give me Death” speech, as a National Historic Landmark.

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial – thousands of white crosses

Tomb of the Unknowns – “American soldier known but to God”

Prayer room of the U.S. Capitol

Evergreen Chapel at Camp David – President Obama’s church

Ground Zero Cross at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum

Lincoln Memorial – Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural Address are replete with references to God

The floor of the National Archives contains a medallion with the Ten Commandments

Doors leading to U.S. Supreme Court Courtroom – Ten Commandments

Zion National Park

A steel covered World War II Bible displayed at the National Museum of American History which was originally advertised to “protect from bullets” when carried in one’s pocket on the battle field.

Arlington National Cemetery is replete with religious symbolism (michsmith7)

Religious artwork in the National Gallery of Art

Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia – cross and Ten Commandments

Cox Corridors of the U.S. Capitol – “America! God shed his grace on Thee”

East facade of the outside of the Supreme Court – Moses holding Ten Commandments

House of Representatives chamber – Moses

Jefferson Memorial’s dome – “sworn upon the altar of God”

Cap of the Washington Monument – “Laus Deo [Praise be to God]”

Library of Congress Jefferson Building – Statute of Apostle Paul and Moses holding Ten Commandments

Senate Chamber – “In God we trust”

Seven in Heaven Way” street sign

South frieze of the U.S. Supreme Court Courtroom – Moses holding Ten Commandments (johnstern100)

Constitutions, Laws, and Cases:

Many state constitutions that reference God, such as the Massachusetts Constitution that declares that, “the encouragement of arts and sciences, and all good literature, tends to the honor of God, the advantage of the Christian religion, and the great benefit of this and the other United States of America.” (jinxmchue, HUACNOW)

Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. 677 (2005) – permitting Ten Commandments on government property

Pleasant Grove City v. Summum, 555 U.S. ___ (2009) – permitting government to display Ten Commandments and reject other monuments

U.S. Constitution references “Year of our Lord

Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 143 U.S. 457 (1892) – “this is a Christian nation”

Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306 (1952) – “We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being”

Cities and Geographical Names:

City names honoring Christian individuals, such as San Antonio, TX, San Diego, CA, San Francisco, CA, San Jose, CA, Santa Barbara, CA, Santa Monica, CA, St. Augustine, FL, St. Louis, MO, St. Paul, MN, and St. Petersburg, FL. (Chris Prevas, Denise Brown)

City names with Biblical or Christian significance, such as Bethlehem, PA (birthplace of Christ), Corpus Christi, TX (Latin for “the body of Christ”), Los Angeles, CA (meaning “the angels”), Philadelphia, PA (mentioned in Revelations as a city with a godly church), Providence, RI (providence assumes a God that cares about mankind), Sacramento, CA (meaning “the holy sacrament”), Salem, OR (from the Hebrew term for “peace with God”), Santa Fe, NM (meaning “holy faith”), and Bethesda, MD (named after the Presbyterian church in the area). (peterschamberlain, Chris Prevas)

Public Oaths and Ceremonies:

The use of the Bible for the presidential inauguration and prayers offered during the inauguration. (renia216)

Supreme Court opens with “God save the United States and this Honorable Court

Judicial oaths sworn by court witnesses often invoke God or the Bible. For example, witnesses in Pennsylvania courts are required to place their hand on a “Holy Bible” and swear “by Almighty God, the searcher of all hearts, that I will, and that as I shall answer to God at the last great day.” (renia216)

Washington’s Inaugural Prayer, which references God as the “Divine Author of our faith.” (Way4JC)

Holidays:

Christmas and Thanksgiving are official federal government holidays (don61)

White House Easter Egg Roll (Forgod2)

Public Programs and Observances:

National Day of Prayer (Forgod2)

The Chaplains Corps of each branch of the U.S. Military

House and Senate Chaplains who open each day in prayer

There you have it. This (incomplete) list from almost 18 months ago helps demonstrate the breadth of our religious heritage. America was founded by – and is still inhabited by – a deeply religious people with a distinct Judeo-Christian heritage. That’s simply a fact, and one does not “establish” a religion by acknowledging our actual history and culture.

Courtesy of http://aclj.org/in-god-we-trust/complete-idiots-guide-religious-heritage

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Supreme Court May Be Tiring of Atheist Activist Newdow

Posted by goodnessofgod2010 on March 12, 2011

By: Ken Klukowski 
Op-Ed Contributor
 
Atheist activist Michael Newdow, a controversial lawyer who once received significant media attention, may have worn out his welcome at the U.S. Supreme Court this week.Although many lawyers who argue before the Supreme Court only do so once, a select group of perhaps 20 elite lawyers repeatedly appear before the court. The court often welcomes cases offered by these top-shelf attorneys, knowing that the justices will read polished briefs and hear well-reasoned arguments, which assist the court in reaching the correct result.

Newdow’s name appears in petitions before the court so often that you might mistake him for one of these appellate powerhouses. Newdow is best known for convincing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional because it mentions “one nation under God.” This case became Newdow’s debut before the Supreme Court in 2004, where the court dismissed his case because he lacked standing.

Since then, Newdow has brought a series of lawsuits, trying to challenge every aspect of expressions of faith in public settings or events nationwide. If he loses in the lower courts, he appeals, until finally he petitions the Supreme Court to take the case.

This week, the court rejected Newdow’s latest gambit in his crusade to completely secularize society. It arose from the 9th Circuit’s decision in Newdow’s recent case arguing that it violates the Establishment Clause to print our national motto “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency.

This case, Newdow v. Lefevre, was argued before the 9th Circuit back in 2007, and was decided in March 2010 after an extraordinarily long wait. The appellate court noted that Newdow has now formed his own “church,” the First Amendmist Church of the True Science (“FACTS” for short). He argues that it violates the teaching of his “church” to use money bearing the national motto.

This proved too much even for the most liberal appeals court in America. The 9th Circuit had upheld the constitutionality of the national motto in 1970, where the court held, “It is quite obvious that the national motto … has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion. Its use is of a patriotic or ceremonial character and bears no true resemblance to a governmental sponsorship of a religious exercise.” Reasoning that the 1970 case had not been overruled during the intervening 40 years, the court dismissed Newdow’s case.

Newdow petitioned the Supreme Court to take the Lefevre case, and on March 7 the court rejected his request. For the time being, “In God We Trust” on our money is safe from the courts (though perhaps not from the other two branches of our government).

But this is not the last the court will hear from Newdow. For example, he filed a lawsuit shortly after the 2008 election seeking an order forbidding Chief Justice John Roberts from concluding Barack Obama’s presidential oath with, “so help me God.” The D.C. Circuit federal appeals court dismissed this case for lack of standing in 2010.

Once again, Newdow has petitioned the Supreme Court. And also this week, on March 9 the court extended the deadline another month for the Justice Department to oppose Newdow’s petition.

So the justices have dealt with Newdow twice in just one week. In a couple months, they’ll decide again in that next case, Newdow v. Roberts, whether to invite the unrelenting lawyer from California back into the courtroom.

He should hope they refuse him. Otherwise, some of the first words he’ll have to hear would be the court marshal’s proclamation: “God save the United States and this honorable court.”

Examiner contributor Ken Klukowski is a research fellow with Liberty University School of Law and director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/2011/03/supreme-court-may-be-tiring-atheist-activist-newdow##ixzz1GQvWICar

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Proclamation – America Seeks God in a Time of War – 1776-77

Posted by faithandthelaw on January 30, 2010

In light of America’s current war in Iraq and ongoing war against terrorism, the actions of our Founding Fathers in times of war are instructive. This is the text of the first national day of thanksgiving in America (set for December 18, 1777), declared by the Continental Congress on November 1, 1777:

IN CONGRESS

November 1, 1777

FORASMUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of; And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence, but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War, for the Defence and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased in so great a Measure to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops and to crown our Arms with most signal success:

It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive powers of these United States, to set apart THURSDAY, the eighteenth Day of December next, for Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise; That with one Heart and one Voice the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor; and that together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favour, and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may please GOD, through the Merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance; That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole; to inspire our Commanders both by Land and Sea, and all under them, with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty GOD, to secure for these United States the greatest of all human blessings, INDEPENDENCE and PEACE; That it may please him to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People and the Labour of the Husbandman, that our Land may yet yield its Increase; To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue and Piety, under his nurturing Hand, and to prosper the Means of Religion for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom which consisteth “in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost.”

And it is further recommended, that servile Labour, and such Recreation as, though at other Times innocent, may be unbecoming the Purpose of this Appointment, be omitted on so solemn an Occasion.

Extract from the Minutes,

Charles Thomson, Secr.

[This proclamation can be found in: Journals of the American Congress From 1774 to 1788 (Washington: Way and Gideon, 1823), Vol. II, pp. 309-310]


This is text excerpted from a national fast declared by the Continental Congress on March 16, 1776:

IN CONGRESS

In times of impending calamity and distress; when the liberties of America are imminently endangered by the secret machinations and open assaults of an insidious and vindictive administration, it becomes the indispensable duty of these hitherto free and happy colonies, with true penitence of heart, and the most reverent devotion, publickly to acknowledge the over ruling providence of God; to confess and deplore our offences against him; and to supplicate his interposition for averting the threatened danger, and prospering our strenuous efforts in the cause of freedom, virtue, and posterity.
. . . Desirous, at the same time, to have people of all ranks and degrees duly impressed with a solemn sense of God’s superintending providence, and of their duty, devoutly to rely, in all their lawful enterprizes, on his aid and direction, Do earnestly recommend, that Friday, the Seventeenth day of May next, be observed by the said colonies as a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that we may, with united hearts, confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and, by a sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease his righteous displeasure, and, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness; humbly imploring his assistance to frustrate the cruel purposes of our unnatural enemies;
. . . that it may please the Lord of Hosts, the God of Armies, to animate our officers and soldiers with invincible fortitude, to guard and protect them in the day of battle, and to crown the continental arms, by sea and land, with victory and success: Earnestly beseeching him to bless our civil rulers, and the representatives of the people, in their several assemblies and conventions; to preserve and strengthen their union, to inspire them with an ardent, disinterested love of their country; to give wisdom and stability to their counsels; and direct them to the most efficacious measures for establishing the rights of America on the most honourable and permanent basis—That he would be graciously pleased to bless all his people in these colonies with health and plenty, and grant that a spirit of incorruptible patriotism, and of pure undefiled religion, may universally prevail; and this continent be speedily restored to the blessings of peace and liberty, and enabled to transmit them inviolate to the latest posterity. And it is recommended to Christians of all denominations, to assemble for public worship, and abstain from servile labour on the said day.

 [Source: Journals of the American Congress From 1774 to 1788 (Washington: Way and Gideon, 1823), Vol. I, pp. 286-287]

Courtesy of Wallbuilders

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