“No religious tests shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall anyone be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.”
I’m an atheist. I hear a lot about how I oppress Christian. I hear a lot about what I believe (most of it wrong), what I should believe (which is none of your business), and how I war on everything from Christmas to straight people, to freedom of religion. I’m constantly told I will go to hell, am destroying the country’s morals, and that I’m Satan trying to trick the righteous into perversion. And I hear this nearly every day from the roughly 75% of the nation that identifies as Christian.
America’s politicians are engaged in internecine warfare, but there is a far larger and equally destructive religious war going on. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction in religion. Christians build ostentatious monuments to the Ten Commandments so Satanists want their due. If the Christians and Satanists get their statues the Hindus and Atheists want theirs.
This tit for tat generally infuriates Christians, particularly evangelicals, because they see it as an innocent act that no one should object to. After all, the vast majority of Americans are Christians and most evangelicals see their place as an unquestionable birthright. Non-Christians think this is an improper and illegal affront to their views. They both have points.
“Atheists can’t live a moral life” is one of those old saws like, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” Christians often say these things to prove their moral superiority to atheists. But before handing out any awards for superiority, some Christians need to reexamine their meaning of “moral”.
First, there ARE atheists in foxholes, lots of them. Pat Tillman and his brother for example. Atheists aren’t closet Christians cowering and waiting to “come clean” to God and abandon their beliefs in times of danger. To say otherwise is insulting and the height of arrogance.
And explaining to an atheist that Christians are superior because of their belief in God is silly. See, atheists don’t believe in God. We don’t see the superiority endowed by a creator that isn’t there in much the same way we do not believe a book like the Bible because we don’t believe it is the word of God.