One thing that can be said about atheist and secularist legal groups is that they are dedicated, persistent – and very predictable: Nothing brings them to legal action faster than finding an official mention of God. In many ways, this seems oxymoronic, for they don't even believe God exists. For myself, I don't believe the tooth fairy exists; but I also don't go across the country looking for mentions of her so I can sue. Most folks just shrug off things with which they disagree, but the irrational intolerance of secularist legal groups doesn't make much sense to most folks and causes their actions to seem extreme and illogical.
Because these groups are non-discriminatory in their God-hating, even our venerated military heroes are not off limits. The Veterans of Foreign Wars in Oil City, Pennsylvania, placed a bench in a city park, and on the bench was an inscription of a famous quote by William Penn: "If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants." This quote, selected by retired military veterans from the historical writings of the founder of their state, was too much for these history-haters. It generated a lawsuit from the American Atheists Legal Center.
(Maybe I should apologize for my patronizing tone, but my defense is that "Sarcasm is the body's natural defense against stupidity." Albert Einstein once noted: "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." It seems he's still being proved right on the latter.)
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If historical quotes mentioning God are now to become the target of lawsuits, then Pennsylvania is certainly a target-rich environment. Here are some additional suggestions for equally absurd Pennsylvania lawsuits:
- The Liberty Bell: emblazoned around its top is the Bible verse Leviticus 25:10.
- Independence Hall: the Declaration of Independence is publicly displayed, and it acknowledges God four times.
- President Abraham Lincoln's famous quote is displayed in bronze at Gettysburg: "We here highly resolve … that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom."
- The Pennsylvania Constitution: It mentions God in multiple locations.
- The State Capitol: It prominently displays a William Penn quote expressing why he founded Pennsylvania: "There may be room there for such a holy experiment. For the nations want a precedent. And my God will make it the seed of a nation." And a bold "In God We Trust" inscription is carved in stone at the steps entering the building.
- The Rotunda of the State Capitol: Four medallions honor "the forces of civilization," one of which is "religion."
- The Scripture Rocks at Brookville: Some 500 stones are etched with Bible and Christian quotes throughout the park and surrounding woods.
- The State Supreme Court Chamber: Moses is shown with the Ten Commandments and also a large mural of Jesus bringing peace to the world.
- Many Pennsylvania towns were named solely and exclusively to exalt Jesus and the Bible, including:
- Nazareth (1740) – named after the area where Jesus grew up
- Bethlehem (1741) – named to honor the place where Jesus, the Savior of the world, was born
- Emmaus (1759) – specifically named to honor the place where Jesus instructed some of His followers after His resurrection
- Mount Carmel (1770) – the holy mount where the God of the Bible prevailed over all other gods, faiths and religions
- Zion and Mount Zion (1784) – the home of the House of God and His earthly dwelling place
- Bethany (1821) – the location from which Jesus ascended into heaven
- St. Mary (1842) – specifically named to honor the mother of Jesus
- Galilee (1848) and New Galilee (1854) – named solely to commemorate the place where Jesus lived and ministered
- And many others. In fact, reading a list of many towns in Pennsylvania is almost like reading a Bible atlas.
If atheists and secularists get tired of Pennsylvania, they could probably make a lifelong career of going after nothing more than the publicly displayed God-quotes of Thomas Jefferson. (To learn more about the surprising religious beliefs of this Founding Father, get my book "The Jefferson Lies.") They should also file suit to remove George Washington's Inaugural and Farewell Addresses from textbooks – along with Patrick Henry's famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech, Benjamin Franklin's call to prayer at the Constitutional Convention, President Franklin Roosevelt's D-Day announcement and countless other famous speeches.
It is because of these types of silly history-hating individuals and groups that numerous states enacted the American Heritage Act, which stipulates that official state entities "may not limit or restrain instruction in American or state history or heritage based on religious references in documents, writings, speeches, proclamations, or other historic records."
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Atheists and secularists such as those at American Atheists Legal Center are fully supportive of historical censorship. They are proud revisionists. The Soviets used to laugh, "The future is known; it's the past that is always changing." For Americans today, this joke is no longer as funny as it used to be; it's hitting too close to home.