Posted on September 19, 2014
Freedom From Truth
FFRF is beyond all reason
“Our purpose is to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church,” At least that’s what Freedom From Religion Foundation Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor wrote in a thinly veiled threat to the Allegheny County Council, to dissuade it from installing a plaque in the county courthouse that says “In God We Trust.”
That principle, like everything else the FFRF stands for, is a lie. If Gaylor and friends can point to anything in the U.S. Constitution that prohibits a Pittsburgh courthouse from acknowledging God, this particular resident will purchase the biggest, most uncomfortable hat in the county and eat it. If you ask them to demonstrate the constitutionality of their position, they’ll point to activist judicial precedent, not to the Constitution itself.
The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” To arrive at their desired outcome, the FFRF conflates Congress with all government entities at every level, and equates “establishment of religion” with God. Never mind that the meanings of the words don’t cooperate. The proper name “Congress” refers to the federal legislature only, and God cannot be an “establishment” when our founding documents presume it was He who established us, and not the reverse.
Had the purpose of the FFRF been to protect a constitutional principle, its leaders would care whether or not the Constitution actually agrees with them. Gaylor doesn’t. That’s because she and her mother, Anne Nicol Gaylor, are pro-abortion activists, who founded the organization to knock out the moral underpinnings from the opposing point of view. If they, with the help of likeminded judges, politicians and media, can convince the public that the law cannot intersect with any religiously informed moral code, then anything goes, including the wanton slaughter of the innocents.
There’s no reconciling that with the Constitution, so the FFRF has to lie about what the document says, as well as about America’s fundamental character. Gaylor wrote to the county council that “In God We Trust” was adopted as our national motto “during the Cold War as a reaction to the purported ‘godlessness’ of Communism,” apparently believing that Communism is not godless, but that dastardly American Christians have slandered it as such. She added that “America’s original motto was purely secular, i.e. [sic], ‘E Pluribus Unum’ (‘out of many, one’), which was selected by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin.”
Strictly speaking, we had no national motto until “In God We Trust” in 1956. “E Pluribus Unum” was only adopted as the motto for the Seal of the United States, which it still is. Gaylor is contrasting the two in order to suggest that America’s founders had rejected any recognition of God. As long as she’s feigning respect for the opinions of Jefferson, Adams and Franklin, she might try reading the Declaration of Independence, which concludes by saying that its signers pledge their support “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.” Gaylor and the FFRF should explain how that clause substantively differs from “In God We Trust,” or else stop presuming to lecture us on the subject.
They’ll see no need to do that, however, as long as their tactics are successful. In this case, the plaque was voted down 8-6, with eight of the council’s nine Democrats – including an original co-sponsor of the bill – voting with the FFRF. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, in an clumsy attempt to regurgitate FFRF talking points, had threatened a veto based on the literally stupid argument that people of other faiths, including Jews and Muslims, would be offended by an acknowledgment of God.
Any Christian organization that declared a right to freedom from exposure to others’ beliefs would be universally denounced as a hate group, even if it never took or threatened any legal action. An outspoken and litigious band of bigots like the FFRF, on the other hand, receives no such condemnations, simply because it shares the liberal media’s anti-religious bias, as well as their favorite morally indefensible political cause.
Our nation is based on the premise that we are endowed by God with fundamental natural rights, which therefore cannot be taken away from us by mere men. The more that concept is eroded, the more vulnerable those rights become. If the FFRF succeeds, Americans who don’t believe in God will have their rights to life, liberty and property imperiled the same as everybody else. But at least they won’t “feel excluded,” eh, Annie?
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