CP Opinion

Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014

Atheistic Billboards Across N.C. Tout a Dangerous Message

July 2, 2010|11:33 am

They refer to themselves as the North Carolina Secular Association and they've mounted an ad campaign that has their message posted on billboards (see picture of billboards) in six major cities in the Tar Heel State. The message on the billboards: "One nation, indivisible."

That certainly seems like an innocuous message superimposed on an American flag. But according to the NC Secular Association's website, the "ad campaign is intended as a conscious-raising effort to point out how every U.S. citizen who doesn't believe in a monotheistic god is being 'officially' marginalized, disrespected, and discriminated against by the insertion of 'under God' in the pledge." They further contend that they believe that "our Founders intended to establish a secular government, one that separated church from state."

What does the North Carolina Secularist Association want? They say via their website that they want no references to God in the "Pledge of Allegiance" or the National Motto which says, "In God We Trust" – no reference to God in the state's constitution – or as they vaguely added, "and in many other ways." Don't be fooled by the mild-mannered demeanor of the people representing this cause: they're on a search-and-destroy mission against any vestige of religion in public life.

Although the group placed one ad on the Billy Graham Parkway, they argue their decision to do so was purely based on where they could get the most "bang for their buck." But Rev. Mark Harris, pastor of the First Baptist Church, Charlotte, says placing the ad in that location was "at best, in poor taste and, at worst, a disgrace."

Indeed, the whole ad campaign is in poor taste and a disgrace. The irony of the secularists' claims that their atheism or agnosticism is marginalized -- while at the same time not only attempting to marginalize religion in America's founding, but to exclude it from all public life -- is the height of absurdity and hypocrisy.

The only way these secularists can possibly come to the conclusion that the Founders intended the nation to be a purely secular state is to employ selective history. In essence, they base their contentions on a few selected passages of history and dismiss a mountain of evidence to the contrary. [1]

Its most unfortunate so many today are far removed from the original intent of the Founders with regard to the meaning of "separation of church and state." The purpose of the Founders was to prevent the establishment of a State Church, like the one they fled from in England -- not to separate God and Christianity's influence from the state. Secularists have led the charge on this misinterpretation of the First Amendment, and the results have been devastating for the nation.

Few matters have done more to divide the country. Interestingly, secularists tout the word "indivisible," which means "incapable of separating or dividing," without the phrase "under God" in the Pledge. They argue it is the insertion of "God" or the recognition and encouragement of Christianity by the state that is divisive. Nevertheless, without a moral consensus it's not possible to have or maintain unity. Lack of a moral core or religious base only produces various value systems constantly pitted against one another, until there is nothing but legislative and public-policy deadlock (at best) or outright civil unrest and violence (at worst) -- not unlike what the nation is currently experiencing because of its ousting of God and religious principle in public life. There must be a general belief in something higher than oneself that most trust or are willing to be accountable in order to preserve the peace.

Of course, the atheists and the agnostics counter that although they have no commitment to religion, they are moral and patriotic people too. Indeed, many non-believers are upstanding citizens. But where do they get their morals? Did they muster them up from within? Was their sense of right and wrong inherent in their natures? Nonsense! They're living on borrowed morals -- a morality they consciously or unconsciously gleaned from religious principle.

Thus, George Washington, the nation's first president and often affectionately referred to as its father, warned:

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens....And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." [2]

Should atheists and agnostics have equal rights and protections under the law? Absolutely! And many Americans of faith would die for the right of another to disbelieve. Still, to countenance the position of unbelief in the public arena as equal or preferred to an acknowledgement or encouragement of religion by the State would be a serious injustice.

What have atheism or agnosticism contributed to civil liberties? Civil liberties are found only in nations with a Christian base. If one searches for an example of the supposed virtues of a government with a secular or atheistic base, one need look no further than the former Soviet Union and China. The civil liberties enjoyed in America today are the direct result of the nation's strong Christian heritage.

No doubt this is exactly why, when various versions of the First Amendment were discussed by Congress in 1789, Congressman Benjamin Huntington, son of the prestigious Governor of Connecticut, admonished Congress that the amendment should be written "in such a way as to secure the rights of religion, but not to patronize those who had no religion at all." [3]

That's right! Contrary to what the North Carolina Secularist Association contends with their $15,000 billboard display, the Founders didn't patronize an indifference to religion by the state. And neither should we!

Resources
[1] D. James Kennedy, What if Jesus Had Never Been Born?, Revised Edition 2001, Thomas Nelson, Inc., p. 75
[2] Washington's Farewell Address, 1796
[3] M.E. Bradford, Religion and the Framers: The Biographical Evidence, Marlborough, NH: The Plymouth Rock Foundation, 1991, p. 11; Wells Bradley, "Religion and Government: The Early Days," Tulsa, OK: Tulsa Christian Times, October 1992, p.7; William Federer, America's God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations, Amerisearch, Inc., St. Louis, MO, 1999, p. 159.

Rev. Mark H. Creech is executive director of the Raleigh-based Christian Action League of North Carolina Inc.
Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/atheistic-billboards-across-nc-tout-a-dangerous-message-45763/