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I understand it (though I'm not a liberal) and agree with it.
It's a day off. Does not objecting to government offices closing on the Jewish sabbath make you not a Christian?
I don't see how an atheist group could get standing to sue over the Senate Chaplain. You guys already secularized Christmas, it's fine the way it is: those who want to celebrate it religously do, and those who want to celebrate it without religion do, and those who don't, don't. The only issues that come up seem to involve particularly Christian displays on government property.
They don't have standing. I wouldn't have an issue with it if the members of congress paid for it with donations out of their own pockets. Christmas has been secularized enough that it doesn't seem to really violate the establishment clause to observe it as a federal holiday...and atheists aren't the people who secularized it, we have mainly Protestants to thank for turning Christ-mass into something that is widely celebrated as a not-particularly-religious holiday.
Certain Christianists around here seem to think the Saudis had the right idea declaring all atheists to be terrorists. It's those people that make us nervous, not normal Christians. AA certainly over-reacted to this proposed cross under the circumstances, but the principle that the government should stay out of the religion business is generally a good one.
So it had nothing to do with the US propping up the House of Saud in Arabia with our military for decades? I don't think bin Laden would have been shy about stating 'we're attacking you for your Christian heritage and values' if that's what was motivating him. He was a crazed fanatic, but he was a political crazed fanatic.
Good point, it rains n the just and the unjust alike, as the verse goes.
By 'inform their flocks' you mean violate the requirements of the 501(c)3 tax-free status they enjoy, rather than organizing as a 501(c)4 that can legally engage in the type of political speech prohibited by 501(c)3 status and only have to pay taxes on their political activities.
That's the way they should have gone if they wanted to lose. Freedom of religon doesn't require the government to provide a taxpayer-funded platform for your religious symbols. Admitting that it is a religious symbol and arguing for the historical value was the right way to go, legally speaking.
Yes, American Atheists must represent all atheists in America, because of their name, right? About 2500 American Atheists versus about 6 million atheists in America. This case was decided rightly in my opinion and it's poor judgement like this that keeps AA from getting even 1% of the country's atheists as members.
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