A case of nonbelief


The nation’s atheists went to Capitol Hill on Monday to launch an effort that they hope will someday give them the lobbying clout of the Christian conservative movement.

They don’t have a prayer.

But that obvious fact won’t stop them from exercising their God-given right to petition their government for a redress of grievances. And their grievances are many, including:

● the “In God We Trust” national motto.

● the National Day of Prayer.

● the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.

● the practice of opening sessions of Congress with a prayer and ending oaths of office with “so help me God.”

“What does that do to our non-theist community?” asked Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, which bills itself as the only full-time lobbying group for atheists, agnostics, humanists and the like. “What does that do to our minority religions like voodooism, etcetera?”

No doubt it makes them mad enough to cast a hex.


Written By: Dana Milbank
continue to source article at washingtonpost.com


  1. give them the lobbying clout of the Christian conservative movement

    No; they want the per capita clout of everyone else. If your group outnumbers Jews, for example, it should have more say than Jews.

    that obvious fact

    Would be more obvious if you supported it with evidence.

    atheists aren’t about to breach the fence of piety because uniting nonbelievers behind a cause is an oxymoron; atheists and agnostics tend not to be the type to join affinity groups. That’s why there isn’t an International Brotherhood of Individualists.

    The flaw in that analogy is US atheists share a hatred for the horrible way their society regards and treats them, and often also the way religion in US politics harms the nation in general.

  2. That obvious fact

    Would be more obvious if you supported it with evidence.

    Well, I’m guessing that it was actually supposed to be a humorous.  “Atheists don’t have a prayer.”  See what he did there?

  3. God-given right to petition the government for a redress of grievances? He’s joking, right? He understands that the right to petition the government is guaranteed by the Constitution? Right?

  4. Dana Milbank looks a little like John Travolta. Makes about as much sense as him too.

  5. ..or, as ya know, the Northern Irish notes….the Northern Bank polymer £5 has a space shuttle graphic on it, http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_1agZ

    10 pound note featuring J. B. Dunlop, inventor…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Boy…
    20 pound note featuring Harry Ferguson, inventor…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Fe…
    50 pound note featuring Sir S.C. Davidson… inventor…http://http://www.bleakleyfamily.info/?q=scd...
    100 pound note featuring Sir James Martin, engineer.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J

  6. In the context of the rest of his column, I would not suspect him of trying to be humorous. I think he was being serious and not a little smug.

  7. It’s time to put an end to the misapplication of the truism that says you can’t herd atheists.  Aren’t we told all the time on this site how someone is sick of us all being like this, thinking like that, doing x, y, z? Well, to some extent we are guilty as charged.  Obviously there is never unanimous agreement, but on issues like faith’s role in government, law, healthcare and education, many of us mostly agree. Even if some, especially other atheists, can’t stand it.  Too bad, adopting similar approaches to thinking has lead a lot of us to like conclusions on a bunch of important issues.   

    Also, which is it, evil atheists operating at the highest levels of government and business are working tirelessly to destroy Christmas, or they can’t even get a decent lobbying effort going? :tee hee tee hee:

  8. I was going to write something here, yesterday, but I couldn’t think of anything but insults. Today, I tried again. Nothing but insults come to mind. I don’t even know how to point out the obvious without looking like a douche. I’m trying really hard to be polite, these days.

  9. Milbank’s reporting is just the kind of shallow and shoddy
    reportage that we find in the general media that caters to the religious
    establishment all the time.  Atheist and
    other freethinkers have always been considered outside the mainstream in
    American life, just consider electoral politics and the number of non-believers
    elected to public office nationwide there is a long standing bias deeply
    entrenched in American life against the godless; furthermore the tax code is
    rigged so faith- based organizations and businesses are exempted from paying
    their fair share in taxes which amounts to the billions of dollars annually.
    The religious seek to merge church& state and end secular government as it
    has been- at least in theory- since the founding of the nation.

    Public policy should not be guided by the personal religious
    predilections of elected officials and policy makers in a democracy all voices
    are considered equal and that includes non-believers.


  10. I can’t think of any more non important issues to worry about since same sex marriage.  More important is fixing the tax code so the religious entertainment industry becomes a business and pays taxes as Mr. Faircloth is always pointing out.  We need to make sure Catholic Charities and other brands using the non profit tax code are clear about taxpayers supporting their work not misinforming that fans of the cult support its work.  Funding for science education and museums (ever try to take kids to the Academy of Science, it is always packed) While I appreciate the sentiment of these symbolic efforts by Secular Coalition or reported about the Secular Coalition, I wish we would follow the money,

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