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Last July 4th, WND reported on the failure of the group American Atheists to find pilots willing to fly “Godless” banners over American cities in all 50 states. Some 80 percent of pilots refused the jobs, saying things such as, “I’m not going to hell flying that sign.”

According to the atheists’ website, this year they aren’t trying to be quite as ambitious.

Instead of trying to locate pilots in all 50 states, this year the group plans to hire one pilot to fly a banner above New York City on the 4th of July.

According to the group: “In celebration of the rise of atheism in America, American Atheists flew aerial banners across the country on July 4th in 2011. … The banners proudly stated, ‘God-LESS America’ and ‘Atheism Is Patriotic.’ The banners brought the breadth and patriotism of the movement into America’s conversation.”

However, when so many pilots the group tried to hire refused the work, the atheists cited the need to keep up their efforts.

“Originally, we had planned on flying banners in all 50 states, representing the fact that atheism is the fastest growing segment in all 50 states, but we were unable to find pilots in many states willing to fly our banners, representing a clear reminder of the work we have to do,” said the group.

The group seems confident they will find one pilot to help declare their message.

Of this year’s attempt the group says, “Continuing this mindset, American Atheists again will fly a July 4th banner in 2012 in New York City.”

“The banner will again read, ‘Atheism Is Patriotic.’”

Last year, American Atheists claimed:”The reality is that there is still a lot of bigotry out there and many companies refused to fly our banners. This just emphasizes the importance of doing this campaign!”

A statement on the atheists’ website declares atheism is the only “theological position that is directly aligned with American freedom.”

But as WND reported last year, many atheists have expressed reservations about the group’s banner plan.

After announcing its aerial campaign in 2011, several comments on the American Atheists website seem to find fault.

“The first statement can easily be read to imply ‘Atheism is Patriotic, Religion is Not’ by a biased viewer,” said one commenter. “Point of fact: biased viewers comprise most of the intended audience. Why put it up in the first place?”

Another suggested: “‘God-LESS America’ makes it sound like we want to kick religion out of America entirely. Maybe you do, but I only want to eat my piece of the pie in piece (sic).”

While making its case against Christianity, the group accuses the “religious right” of “selectively quoting” America’s founders ‘”to suit their intentions.”

They say, “Religion, however, being inherently weak in premise, needs the state to endorse it in order to thrive.”

“It lobbies the politicians to push a revisionist history that directly conflicts with provable fact,” the group claims, “all toward the end of state support in the form of endorsement, tax breaks and special privileges.”

The group often decries public prayer as contrary to American values and “what the Founders intended” yet never acknowledges the first public prayer, offered at the opening of the first Continental Congress in 1774 by Rev. Jacob Duche.

His prayer in part:

O Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech Thee, on these our American States, who have fled to Thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee. To Thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support, which Thou alone canst give. Take them, therefore, Heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care; give them wisdom in Council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness of their Cause and if they persist in their sanguinary purposes, of own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved hands in the day of battle!

Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst the people. Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds; shower down on them and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come. All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior.

Amen.

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