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← Atheist group sues Bush over national prayer day

Atheist group sues Bush over national prayer day - Comments

Chris Roberts's Avatar Comment 1 by Chris Roberts

Whilst it is wrong to legislate againt non-believers, isn't this just being a bit silly?

For me, they can have their national prayer day, just don't expect me to join in. I'll be the one stood at the back laughing at ya all.

That said, they have a prayer day every bloody Sunday, Christmas and Easter so what the hell else do they want?

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 17:37:00 UTC | #246689

WilliamP's Avatar Comment 2 by WilliamP

president's mandated proclamations calling on Americans to pray violates a constitutional ban on government officials endorsing religion.
Of course Bush is going to ask Americans to pray-he has no idea what he's doing and needs all the help he thinks he can get.
I wonder when Operation Finger Cross will begin.

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 18:02:00 UTC | #246693

8teist's Avatar Comment 3 by 8teist

Shirley Dobson, chairwoman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force,

I guess ,if you can`t get a real job get your imaginary friend to create an imaginary one for you.
Could this prayer day run on the same day as the raving fuckin looney day, perchance?

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 18:53:00 UTC | #246704

nother person's Avatar Comment 4 by nother person

Nails: while I believe I understand your response and have myself often been the bloke in the back row amused at all the fuss, nevertheless, I don't think this challenge is silly. Yes they can have their prayers every Sunday but that is them doing it, not us doing it, and while I may be free to not participate today, what about 10 years on once this sort of thing becomes institutionalized in my government? There are some things that one can watch develop with distain and aloofness until they self-destruct of their own absurdity. And then there are other things that need to be nipped in the bud. I think this is one of the latter. I don't want it to get a chance to grow and Mr. Bush deserves a rap on the knuckles for instigating it.

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 18:56:00 UTC | #246708

Ed-words's Avatar Comment 5 by Ed-words

Nails #1 Comment

It is a violation of the US Constitution

for our govt. to endorse religion, which should

include endorsing a nationwide prayer service

organized by a fundamentalist.

Go to FFRF.ORG and punch News Release (Oct 3 ) for their reasons for the suit.

Small fires left unattended become big ones.

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 18:57:00 UTC | #246710

Mayhemm's Avatar Comment 6 by Mayhemm

While I personally wouldn't have called for this suit, I am glad they're doing it.

It's in clear violation of the constitution, and I can see where in some parts of the country it could create a hostile environment for those not taking part. "Hey buddy, why aren't you prayin'? You think yur better 'n us or some'in?" (Pardon the weak attempt at a text-based accent)

We can't just shrug it off and say "what's the difference?" because that's what we always do as non-believers! Our "herded cats" attitude is the reason why the religious wingnuts have been able to garner so much pull.

You said it yourself, Nails, they have a prayer day every Sunday, Christmas and Easter. A government-legislated one is unnecessary (and illegal). What's next? National Stone-the-Heretic Day?

**Wow. Started typing as #2, but end up as #6 by the time I post. Sorry if some comments are redundant.**

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 19:02:00 UTC | #246711

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 7 by Diacanu


..what the hell else do they want?

Don't you get it by now?
They want the whole ball of wax.
Everything! And then more besides.
That's what all cults want.

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 19:03:00 UTC | #246712

Ed-words's Avatar Comment 8 by Ed-words

Nother Person (Comment #4)

A "slippery slope" isn't necessary here.

Nobody's being forced to pray, but just the

endorsement and planning of such an activity

is wrong, of and by itself.

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 19:08:00 UTC | #246714

8teist's Avatar Comment 9 by 8teist

"what the hell else do they want? "

Your soul, Nails ,your immortal soul ,forever and ever...........and once they`ve got you they`ll never let you are doomed, I say,Doooooomed

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 19:08:00 UTC | #246715

dragonfirematrix's Avatar Comment 10 by dragonfirematrix

Prayer and other public displays of religioun should be banned.

It is okay if the religious want to excersise their religion in their own homes under strict privacy, but if the religious push their cults (large and small) upon society in public places, then the religious should be prosecuted.

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 19:10:00 UTC | #246716

Chris Roberts's Avatar Comment 11 by Chris Roberts

I understand the conflict with the first ammendment, my point was more along the lines of why do they need a national prayer day?

But yes, to give an inch is to concede a mile.

I guess I'm just not thinking straight today....


Sat, 04 Oct 2008 19:11:00 UTC | #246717

Enlightenme..'s Avatar Comment 12 by Enlightenme..

"isn't this just being a bit silly?
For me, they can have..."

The very fact you needed to put 'they' is the problem here.
Do you value your freedom?

Edit; I see you've come to your senses and realised just what's at stake!

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 19:16:00 UTC | #246719

jksander's Avatar Comment 13 by jksander

Maybe, while we are at it, we can institute "National Sacrifice-a-Goat Day"?

(apologies to Dr. Dan Dennett)

-Joe K.

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 19:23:00 UTC | #246720

TalkyMeat's Avatar Comment 14 by TalkyMeat

There's a simple answer to this, the perfect peaceful protest. If this ridiculous law is passed, atheists should celebrate it with public prayer meetings imploring God to rain destruction and misery down on the United States, to bring sickness and death to everyone in the Whitehouse and every politician involved in the National Day of Prayer, to bankrupt American businesses and the American economy (not that that one needs any divine help), to strike America with new, untreatable, deadly pandemics, to bring about the failure of American military efforts and the slaughter of American troops, to afflict America with floods, earthquakes and other deadly natural disasters, and to give everyone in the country a succession of really shitty days. Atheists, of course, can do all this in the cheerful knowledge that they are praying to a non-existent being and they need not worry about any of these prayers coming true as a consequence of having prayed them - but the sorts of imbeciles who instigated this absurd law should be frightened by it, perhaps even enough to think that maybe it wasn't such a great idea after all.

The Day of Prayer is a serious concern, and not just for first amendment reasons - it is also a really transparent, and frankly dangerous, attempt to claim God's endorsement for whatever cretinous and despicable thing the US government tries to do, whether it's another pointless war in the Middle East or ripping up pristine wildernesses in order to buy another decade's worth of Not Doing Shit About Climate Change. It is my strong suspicion that if fewer Americans thought that God was guiding their country, fewer of them would be so comfortable with handing temporal authority to known idiots.

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 19:28:00 UTC | #246722

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 15 by Cartomancer

How about World Hang-a-Stockbroker Day? That might actually help...

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 19:31:00 UTC | #246725

Wosret's Avatar Comment 16 by Wosret

We need like a "World" something day. That the whole world celebrates. Like "Human Day", "Earthling Day", "Terran Day", "Mitchell Gilks day". Any of those would be good.

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 19:47:00 UTC | #246728

Patte Lanus's Avatar Comment 17 by Patte Lanus

Can we all write our governors in protest? While I understand it does no real good---isn't it prudent to also voice our dismay (disgust is also a very good choice!) to our elected officials--and perhaps a few editors as well! All kidding aside, the more voices heard in the halls of local government the more control we can exercise over own lives, and perhaps even initiate even a small ripple effect.

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 20:03:00 UTC | #246731

Enlightenme..'s Avatar Comment 18 by Enlightenme..

Carto, it was poorly regulated investment bankers this time, not stockbrokers!

And, losing faith(!) in Capitalism right now would seal a miserable fate for some billions of our fellow kind.

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 20:31:00 UTC | #246735

bachfiend's Avatar Comment 19 by bachfiend

Personally, I'd welcome a National Prayer Day in Australia (provided it was made a public holiday). In Western Australia, we have just had a public holiday for the queen's birthday (which is a bit strange, because she certainly wasn't born on that day, we just needed a public holiday on that day for an agricultural show, which most people seem to ignore anyway).

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 20:53:00 UTC | #246736

8teist's Avatar Comment 20 by 8teist

Assassinate a Politician Day, might prove popular.

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 21:05:00 UTC | #246739

atp's Avatar Comment 21 by atp

>The day of prayer, held each year on the first Thursday of May, creates a "hostile environment for nonbelievers, who are made to feel as if they are political outsiders," the lawsuit said.

This argument can by used about National day of anything. Because whatever the day is about, there will always be someone who don't support it.

So I think this is a really bad argument.

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 22:46:00 UTC | #246760

bucketchemist's Avatar Comment 22 by bucketchemist

We need like a "World" something day. That the whole world celebrates. Like "Human Day", "Earthling Day", "Terran Day", "Mitchell Gilks day". Any of those would be good.

Pangea Day? - a bit naff this year but a sound idea grounded in an appropriate metaphor.

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 23:02:00 UTC | #246765

Styrer-'s Avatar Comment 23 by Styrer-

In light of the cited rejection by the Supreme Court - a dotty ruling, it seems to me, which decided that 'that the separationists had no legal standing to bring the suit' - and given that Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, revelled in saying "this is a very significant victory that sends a powerful message that atheists and others antagonistic to religion do not get an automatic free pass to bring Establishment Clause lawsuits", it seems even more important to me that every possible legal recourse - as here - be brought to bear on the insidious promotion of religion by Government.

The religious agenda has had it so easy for so long that there is a danger that even we atheists may be inclined to say 'oh, well, leave it alone, we just seem to be coming across as a cantankerous lot of old kill-joys'. At precisely this point it is time to re-double our efforts in sending out the message 'NO! Enough is enough. No more'. I hope this case pans out well.

The above should achieve more consciousness-raising, at the very least.


Sun, 05 Oct 2008 00:02:00 UTC | #246780

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 24 by Steven Mading

Even though I donate money to the FFRF (Hey, they're right here in my city, why not) Dan and Annie keep doing things like this and I think it's a very bad strategy. They say it's not that taxing on the funds of the group because the lawsuits don't generally cost much and the lawyers they get usually do the work pro-bono for FFRF. But what they're spending, more importantly than money, is public gravitas. They become famously known for things like this and the lawsuits about "In God We Trust" on the money, and having manger scenes at Christmas in government buildings, and that ends up drowning out the really BIG things they do. People notice this little trivial stuff and laugh off the FFRF as a bunch of kooks, and end up not noticing the bigger more important things they do. (For example, the lawsuit against the office of faith-based initiatives and the lawsuit against the practice in the US military of ranking officers ordering underlings to attend religious ceremonies.)

They take on big, important issues. But they also take on trivial issues and people notice those more.

I'm not saying they're wrong in this (they are right that this practice is a violation), but that they'd get better press if they limited themselves to only the bigger issues. They're spending their limited gravitas on the lesser things.

Sun, 05 Oct 2008 00:59:00 UTC | #246785

ridelo's Avatar Comment 25 by ridelo

How long before the Americans are on their knees in the streets four times a day?

Sun, 05 Oct 2008 01:12:00 UTC | #246786

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 26 by rod-the-farmer

Re Comment #24 by Steven Mading
Please provide examples of "bigger issues". I would be interested to read your thoughts on this.

Sun, 05 Oct 2008 01:37:00 UTC | #246789

Sargeist's Avatar Comment 27 by Sargeist


How long before the Americans are on their knees in the streets four times a day?
Can we start with Angelina Jolie? I just need a few minutes to buy a plane ticket...

Sun, 05 Oct 2008 01:41:00 UTC | #246790

Koreman's Avatar Comment 28 by Koreman

Sun, 05 Oct 2008 02:04:00 UTC | #246792

Pidge's Avatar Comment 29 by Pidge

I support the lawsuit - in the US they have the separation of Church and State (wish we had that here in the UK), and that should be respected. Laws are worthless unless enforced. If the people bringing this action don't try and enforce the law then who will? Also, lawsuits make the news, especially if you sue the President of the US!

As far a national day, I would propose "National Rational Day" - sounds good.

Sun, 05 Oct 2008 02:12:00 UTC | #246794

Thomas Byrne's Avatar Comment 30 by Thomas Byrne

Atheists rallying? Em... I renounce my atheism (not that that's possible in the technical sense but... you know what I mean. I hope).

Sun, 05 Oct 2008 02:29:00 UTC | #246798