Another Moron Fell Asleep During His U.S. History Class

What is it about the mere presence of atheist billboards that brings out the stupid in people?

Case in point, ABC News did a segment on the “One Nation Indivisible” ads in North Carolina. It was pretty fairly done. They did explain that the phrase “Under God” wasn’t in the original pledge when it was written in 1892 (they omit the fact that it was written by a Baptist minister, but still). And they interviewed a member of the North Carolina Secular Association and a self-described “post-theist” city council member as well:

Jennifer Lovejoy, a spokeswoman for the secular association, said including the words “under God” was discriminatory.

“I don’t believe in God and I don’t believe that our country was founded on Christianity or any religion,” she said. “I’m not taking away anyone’s belief in God. Many of our forefathers feared God, but I think they feared religion more — and what it could do to the country if any one religion was allowed to be in control.”

“Any religious reference excludes people and we’re a government of the people, for the people and by the people,” said Asheville City Councilmember Cecil Bothwell. Bothwell, a self-described “post-theist,” was not involved in the campaign but supports the billboards.

But like any news story, they had to get the perspective of the obligatory idiot preacher.

Enter, Reverend Ralph Sexton, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, who tries to make a point despite having no biblical, historical, or moral leg to stand on.

“We felt we couldn’t just look the other way,” Sexton said. “It was important enough to stop and say that needs to be answered.”

Sexton and We Still Pray, a group founded to support prayer in public schools, immediately responded with four digital billboards that bore the message: “One nation, under God.”

“The biggest thing that bothered me as a person of faith was I thought, at best, it was disingenuous. … Our very Constitution, our law system, everything is built upon the word of God,” Sexton said.

Sexton disagreed with the assertion that having those words on U.S. currency and in the Pledge of Allegiance made atheists feel left out.

“It’s political correctness gone amok. Silliness,” he said.

Sexton’s digital messages will remain for a month.

“We are a people of faith. We are a nation that is built on Christian principles and we need to make sure our children, our grandchildren, our teenagers, our young adults, know what we’re really all about,” he said.

I know that’s a lot of revisionist-history bullshit to drink in all at once, but let’s take this asshole’s assertions apart piece-by-piece, shall we?

“The biggest thing that bothered me as a person of faith was I thought, at best, it was disingenuous. … Our very Constitution, our law system, everything is built upon the word of God,” Sexton said.

No. It isn’t. Unless by “Our very Constitution” you mean “The Constitution of Pakistan” and by “word of God” you mean “word of Allah.”

The Constitution has never, in any way, been based on any kind of Judeo-Christian principles. And the Christians who assert this have never offered up any real evidence supporting this nonsense. Christianity, nor the Christian god, nor the Bible are ever mentioned in the Constitution, and when religion is mentioned, it’s in parts like this:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

“…no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

That certainly seems at odds with the underlying message of the Bible, which is pretty much “accept Jesus or fry in a fiery pit.” No?

Sexton disagreed with the assertion that having those words on U.S. currency and in the Pledge of Allegiance made atheists feel left out.

How can he have the gall to disagree with what atheists feel? That would be like someone telling you “I’m tired,” and you responding, “I disagree… you’re not tired.” Perhaps this is merely an editorial miscommunication?

Regardless, the federal government shoving the word “god” in places where it originally wasn’t absolutely leaves out non-believers. In fact, it could be argued that this was the very intent of such actions, having been enacted in the 1950s during the height of the cold war, when everyone was running around scared of the possibility of godless commies taking over our government.

“One nation, indivisible” is a sentiment that all Americans can identify with, religious or non-religious. “E pluribus unum” (Latin for “out of many, one”) is also a universally agreed-upon patriotic slogan. Once you throw in “under God” or “In God we trust,” you’ve immediately excluded a portion of Americans, simply because of their absence of religious belief.

For a private institution to do this? Fine. Do whatever the fuck you want with the money you take from poor, gullible people. But for the government to do this is quite clearly unconstitutional.

We are a people of faith. We are a nation that is built on Christian principles and we need to make sure our children, our grandchildren, our teenagers, our young adults, know what we’re really all about,” he said.

We? Is that the royal “we”? The editorial “we”?

“We” are not all people of faith. “We” are not just a Christian nation. “We” are not “all about” anything except liberty, mutual respect for each other’s rights, and the pursuit of happiness.

And if even the very existence of people that don’t adopt your superstitions is enough to make you flip a shit and start making stuff up, perhaps “we” (meaning you) need to go back to high school and re-take U.S. History a few times until you get it right.

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