Christianity under attack

In Opinion

There’s a war currently being fought in the United States. It’s not being fought with guns or with fists. This war is being fought with the pen. It is being fought in the name of tolerance. This is a war on Christians.

I know you’re thinking I’m just another crackpot Christian with a so-called persecution complex.

You’re most likely thinking, “Christianity is the least persecuted religion in the world, so why bother?”

Probably because in the U.S., atheists try to strip Christians of their rights on what seems like a daily basis.

There are people who want to remove the national motto “In God We Trust” from the nation’s currency. According to Christian Broadcasting Network News, Michael Newdow, a big proponent of the separation of church and state, tried to challenge the motto in the courts, but the Supreme Court of the United States refused to hear the case.

Surprisingly, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, a liberal court that tends to rule in favor of atheists, had earlier ruled against Newdow, which is why he appealed to the Supreme Court in the first place.

Newdow also has won and lost court battles against the Pledge of Allegiance. He wants it banned from schools because it contains the words “under God.” He claims that because the pledge contains those words it is an unconstitutional violation of the establishment clause in the First Amendment, and atheist children are supposedly being “forced” to recite it.

However, in a 2010 article published by the Los Angeles Times and a more recent one published by The Atlantic, atheist children are actually free to not participate in reciting the pledge. According to The Atlantic, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Massachusetts rejected claims that the inclusion of “under God” violates the 14th Amendment equality rights of nontheists, as well as the establishment clause in the First Amendment.

The American Humanist Association countered the decision by mounting a state constitutional challenge to the pledge in the state court. The AHA is helping an anonymous couple (called John and Jane Doe) and their three children because any mention of God in the pledge supposedly violates the guarantee of equality in the state constitution.

This means, according to Newdow and the “Doe” family, that by having the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and “forcing” atheists to recite it, believers are being intolerant of the fact that not everyone believes in God. This creates a paradoxical situation, because by constantly demanding that the pledge be banned in the public school system, they are actually being intolerant of those of us who do believe in God.

This is why it is impossible to have total and complete separation of church and state.

By banning the pledge from schools because of its words, are they not taking away the rights of Christians or even those who don’t mind reciting it?
Don’t get me wrong, I actually support a separation of church and state.

Without it, we’d end up with someone forcing his or her religious beliefs on the masses and our country could become a theocratic dictatorship.

There are other instances where the war on Christians continues, such as in the public school system in the U.S.

We are force-fed evolution and if we don’t allow educators to teach it to us, we don’t graduate from high school. I see nothing wrong with allowing us to opt out of it. They can give us creationism classes and let that count toward science credits.

Vanderbilt University has also been under attack. Catholic student organization Vandy Catholic chose to not register at the school because of its discriminatory nondiscrimination policy, which forces student religious organizations to allow those who don’t share the same faith to become leaders. Until last year, religious organizations were exempt. If a Christian group were to elect an atheist, it would undermine the fact that the group is supposed to be faith-based.

On March 24, there was an atheist rally called the Reason Rally in Washington, D.C. It was headlined by high-profile atheists such as Richard Dawkins, who wrote The God Delusion. Jessica Ahlquist, who won a lawsuit recently that forced her school to take down a prayer banner that had been up for decades that began with the words “Our Heavenly Father,” was also a speaker.

While David Silverman, the rally’s head organizer, said there would be no religion-bashing before the event, there were several cases where members actually did denounce religion. Taslima Nasrin, author of Shame, referred to Muslim prophet Muhammad as a charlatan, a pedophile and a rapist at the event, according to CNN.

Participants also constructed a wooden cross in the middle of the crowd. A sign that read “Banish the 10 Commandments to the dustbin of history” was hung from the cross.

People say they want religious tolerance, yet they mock those of us with a religious background. They try to strip us of our freedom of religion. Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they don’t. However, whether they want to admit it or not, the war on Christians wages on.

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  • Mike Herron

    Crackpot. You got that part right.

  • upo

    You’re right you are so persecuted in this country. Maybe someday a Christian can actually be elected President of the United States.

  • Brian Westley

    Mr. Anderson doesn’t know what a “right” is.

    Having a motto on currency that reflects your religious views is not a “right”; if it were, everyone would get to have their mottos engraved on currency. The same goes for pledges, or would you prefer “under Allah?” or “under no gods” instead?

    “We are force-fed evolution and if we don’t allow educators to teach it to us, we don’t graduate from high school. I see nothing wrong with allowing us to opt out of it. They can give us creationism classes and let that count toward science credits.”

    Evolution isn’t religion, and creationism isn’t science.

    Mr. Anderson is so imbued with religious privilege, removing it looks like a war on Christians; he can’t recognize a level playing field when he sees one.

    Take that school prayer banner. Was a banner espousing atheism up for 50 years alongside it? No. How about one promoting polytheism, or goddess worship? Nope. Did people with these religious views have their ideas presented? Not at all.

    But for some reason, Mr. Anderson thinks that it’s terrible that a banner promoting the idea that there is one (male) god was taken down. Where is your concern about other religious points of view, Mr. Anderson?

    I guess nobody else’s opinions have rights, only yours.

  • MESkeptic

    “This is a war on Christians.”

    Only in the sense that the civil rights era was a “war on white people.” Some white people felt that they were being persecuted when they were required to treat black people as fully human. Right-wing Christians are doing the same thing now, wallowing in fear and hatred.

    I don’t agree with Richard Dawkins and his approach, but there’s nothing he has said or done that even comes close to the arrogance and presumption voiced by public Evangelicals on a regular basis.

  • Joe Spell

    Sadly the assualt will continue, revealing the righteous sons of God and those who are unrighteous, those who work iniquity. One place no atheist can remove the name of God is from the new hearts of God’s elect people. Temporary suffering & trials are for the perfecting of faith. Those who are facing even more severe persecution have discovered this. They hated Him they will hate us. Come quickly Lord Jesus.

  • Ray

    You seem to get it and then you don’t. Jessica Ahlquist did not attack Christianity. She upheld the Constitution and specifically the separation of church and state. You can’t support the separation and support a school endorsed religious prayer banner. The fact that it was a Christian banner is immaterial. An Islamic banner would have been a violation too.

    With respect to evolution and creationism only one of them is science and it is not creationism. Even if evolution were wrong it is 100% science based. If enough good evidence is found to prove evolution wrong the scientists will be the first to tell you. But from a creationism point of view your work is still ahead of you as evolution being wrong would not make creationism right. I’ve followed many, many discussions on creationism and they all boil down to making claims that evolution is wrong and therefore creationism is right.

    No one is taking your freedom of religion. That is exactly why the separation of church and state exists. People might disagree with you and say so. So what?

  • Ciro Galli

    Not knowing evolution equals to not being educated, since nothing in the universe makes any sense other than in the light of evolution. You just need to go through any scientific paper published nowadays. To say “We are force-fed evolution” is like saying “We are force-fed” maths, or English, or geography. How can people even understand the universe they inhabit or even make a rational decision without understanding how they came to be, what they are and their own nature?

  • Herman Cummings

    The evolution theory is an irrational falsehood, zealously embraced by atheists, that is a phony conclusion of the 600+ million year fossil record. There is no “valid supporting data” for evolution. In a court of law, or in a public forum, the same evidence that evolutionists would use to try to “prove” the validity of that theory, I would utilize to reveal the truth of Genesis. In order to believe in evolution, you have to purposely ignore certain facts of reality. For example, when you see illustrations of primates being pictured as evolving into humans, it can be shown in a court of law that such a premise is impossible, because certain human and primate traits are different, and could not have ever been shared. The only “common ancestor” that humans and primates share is God Himself.

    Current Creationism has refused to teach the truth of the Genesis text, and either teaches foolishness (young Earth), or false doctrines (non-literal reading of the text). Creationists thoughtlessly try to prove “Creationism”, rather than seeking and teaching the truth of Genesis. How can an untruth, ever prove another lie, to be in error? You can’t do it. That is why Creationism fails. It essentially is also a lie, and should be discarded, even by Bible believers.

    The correct opposing view to evolution is the “Observations of Moses”, which is the ONLY presentation that reveals the truth of Genesis chapter one. It is the true rendition of the Hebrew text. Everything else, unfortunately, are false and foolish interpretations of scripture.

    Those that imply that God used evolution are infidels at worse, or clowns at best, that refuse to learn the truth of Genesis. The truth has been available for more than 18 years. Such a discussion is currently silly, and shows stubbornness against learning the truth of God’s Word.

    There are no “creation stories” in Genesis. In fact, about all of theology and creationism have no idea what Moses was writing about. You can’t simply take an advanced book of math or science, and try to read from it on your own without personal instruction.

    For example, Genesis declares that mankind has been on this Earth, in his present likeness, for more than 60 million years. The “male and female” in Genesis chapter one was not “Adam & Eve”. Has modern science discovered that yet?

    Herman Cummings
    [email protected]

  • James

    As a committed believer, I get weary of this “poor persecuted me” attitude so many Christians express. St. Paul wrote to the Philippian believers (1.29): “He [God] has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ but of suffering for him as well.” Christian believers in many parts of the world would love to have the freedom to proclaim their faith that we have. As far as Pledge of Allegiance is concerned, “under God” doesn’t even belong there. We never said it when I was in school. It was added sometime during the Cold War as a poke in the eye of the Communists.

  • cfeagans

    Which “rights,” specifically, are atheists attempting to remove from Christians. The author made this accusation several times but failed to support it.

  • Mike Newdow

    Mr. Anderson, like many of the others who enjoy having the government favoring their religious views, completely misses the point of the first ten words of the Bill of Rights. Those words – known as the Establishment Clause – comprise a purely American ideal which says, in essence, that the government has to show equal respect for all lawful, purely religious views. Clearly it is anything but showing equal respect for the purely religious view that there is no god when the government stands little children up each day to proclaim that there is a god, or when it mandates that every coin and currency bill claims “In God We Trust.”

    Ending governmental favoritism for (Christian) monotheism is not favoring atheism. It’s simply ending favoritism for (Christian) monotheism. That Mr. Anderson finds the elimination of this favoritism to be a “war on Christians” shows only how religious ideology can infuse an argument with myopia. That alone – aside from the notion of equality – is a good reason to keep it out of government.

  • greengirl

    As a student at CSUF I am ashamed to see an article of this nature filled with such unabashed disgust (not to mention such poor editing) appearing in our school’s paper. If one was written “Atheists under attack”, which I’m sure is being written at this moment by someone, would it too be published?

    Brian Westley’s comment really sums up what I had to say about this article, but I’ll add some more of my own personal commentary….

    “Probably because in the U.S., atheists try to strip Christians of their rights on what seems like a daily basis.”

    You seem to be forgetting that this article, which you have written, is basically doing the same thing to atheists. I know more religiously tolerant atheists than I do Christians. That is a blanket statement, yes, but one I’m willing to support.

    I do agree that, to be fair, creationism should be an option for students in school.
    However, it should not be taught as a science class, and therefore students still need to meet that requirement. However Christian creationism is not the same ideas of Hindu creation, or Buddhist creation. So that opens a whole new can of worms. How do you please every religion in place where so many people believe so many different things? The answer is that it’s not possible. Someone’s toes are going to be stepped on, if one over another is favorited…

    If you are so opposed to being “force fed” evolution in the classroom, then might I suggest a nice biblical college to attend? Perhaps at one of these schools you won’t be “force fed” the latest scientific advancements. Say goodbye to penicillin!

    I just don’t understand how you can right an “woe is me” article at a time where so many other people are under attack. Would your pretty little heart be so broken if “In God We Trust” or “One Nation Under God” were removed from currency or the pledge? Because my heart is broken when such hasty generalizations are made. I don’t see “In Allah we trust” or “In Buddha we trust” or hell, “in the FSM we trust” appearing on bills, how’s that for religious freedom? Should religious freedom only go so far as to what you believe? Forget the rest of the country who are not Christian? Not all of us here in the US trust god, not all of us are under god, not all of us believe in god. If our forefathers knew that such statements even made it into the governmental realm, they would not be happy.

    You should be focusing on the real war that is upon us right now, the war on women. You know, the one where crackpot fundamentalist Christians are quoting the bible, an ancient text, on what rights we 21st century women should have on our bodies.

  • pollypocket

    I fail to see any support in Richard’s article about christianity being under attack. Removing under god from the pledge of allegiance in no way persecutes those who believe in that particular religion. Failing to allow a non-christian to be a leader of a christian-based club is not undermining anything. In almost all clubs, there requires a majority vote in order to make any major decisions. The same argument could then be made that we shouldn’t have any caucasians be a leader in a filipino club because it may undermine the direction of the club because they don’t share the same cultural values. The argument of that matter holds no validity and if anything, it simply infringes on the rights of those who are different. Only allowing those who hold a certain personal belief should not be a qualifying factor for any club or organization leader. In the relm of life I truly hope that we can all agree that the Christian faith in America has it made in comparison to say the minority of Coptic Christians in the Middle East whose Churches are being bombed by suicide bombers. From a personal perspective, I really would hope to see the Daily Titan focus more on issues that hold more validity in their argument and are not subjected to personal bias and belief. I think all college students would rather have a paper that represents factual evidence and real tragedy rather than poorly-supported personal opinions.

  • paul

    I don’t know what the pledge of allegiance has to do with Christianity at all. Christ did not pledge allegiance to Rome. Nationalism/patriotism does not equal religious freedom.

  • cfeagans

    So we’re mostly in agreement that Richard Anderson needs define what “rights” he believes atheists are attempting to strip from Christians. Anderson mentioned no “rights” in his article but clearly stated, “…in the U.S., atheists try to strip Christians of their rights on what seems like a daily basis.”

    Mr. Anderson, please join this discourse and elucidate your position.

  • chris

    praise de lordah! haleluha!
    we need to get rid of all of dem atheists from schools so us Christians can get properly educated without having them doubt our religious beliefs all the time. It’s time we start censoring information and ideas that go against Christianity!

  • JB

    “discriminatory nondiscrimination policy”

    Can’t tell if this is serious or trolling. That’s Poe’s Law for you…

  • Alex

    This is a pretty poorly written article. What rights are taken away?

    If you’re wanting teachers to teach the Christian Creationism, you’re fine with all of the other theories presented by the major religions as well right? “Under God” doesn’t necessarily mean the Christian God. The founding fathers were Freemasons. They were deists.

    I think it’s great writing your own opinions on things, but you really should base your opinions on facts… it just makes your argument look really bad.

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