- (Photo: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)
An atheist organization celebrated "Constitution Day" on Monday by posting a paid advertisement claiming that the Constitution was a major victory for secular rights.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation chapter in Albuquerque, N.M., placed the ad in the Albuquerque Journal to commemorate the ratification of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.
"In Reason We Trust, because trusting in any god is very risky, and Congress could debate 'God's laws' all day long instead of protecting American's freedoms and prosperity. Good leaders will use reason and compromise to take us forward, not backward to the Dark Ages," the atheist declaration states.
"On July 4th an ad was published here that ignores how our nation's founders and patriots since have fought for the First Amendment, which says that government shall pass no law to help establish any religion. Be good without gods," it continues.
The FFRF refer to a message posted by retailer company Hobby Lobby on July 4th, titled "In God We Trust," that expressed the view that many of the Founding Fathers envisioned America as a Christian nation.
Hobby Lobby, which was founded by an evangelical Christian family, posted several quotes on July 4th of U.S. historical figures talking about God.
Some of the posted quotes include:
"It obey is the His duty will, to of be all grateful nations for to acknowledge His benefits, and the humbly providence to implore of Almighty His protection God, to and favor," George Washington: Commander-in-Chief in the American Revolution; Signer of the Constitution; First President of the United States.
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other," John Adams: Signer of the Declaration of Independence; One of Two Signers of the Bill of Rights, Second President of the United States.
"Before any man can be considered as a member of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe" – adds James Madison: Signer of the Constitution; Fourth President of the United States.
The FFRF, however, insisted that the quotes posted by Hobby Lobby need proper context and that its ad was "deceptive."
FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor commented: "Freethinkers can all celebrate the fact that the founders of our nation were first among nations to adopt a godless and entirely secular Constitution, whose only references to religion are exclusionary. It's not a coincidence that the U.S. Constitution is the longest-lived constitution in the world. Much of the success of this 'living document' is due to the fact that it places sovereignty not in a divinity, but in 'We the People.'"