A political candidate in Illinois has filed a lawsuit against the state claiming it officially expressed hate and hostility towards Christians by allowing atheists to post a sign at the capitol building. Click on the title for details. The sign was posted by the Freedom from Religion Foundation which has posted signs near nativity scenes in the past. The lawsuit claims a violation of the 14th amendment which states there be no hostility expressed towards any religion, in this case Christianity. The defense claims that posting the sign is an exercise in free speech, protected under the First Amendment. It is news to me that one amendment would trump the other. I thought they worked in concert. What would have happened had a Christian church or organization posted a sign in a public building deliberately targeting atheists? Lawsuits and arrests would abound!
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has the right to promote its view but not at the expense of others. If they have a right to post a sign, every Christian church and organization should have the right to post a sign in a public building. Because of separation of church and state this does not occur and probably rightly so. The Freedom From Religion Foundation most likely will claim exemption from the 14th amendment by stating they are not a religious group. However, they are a belief system in that they most fervently believe (wish) that God does not exist and that religions are false. Not only that but they also expend an incredible amount of money and effort trying to convince others. For a Foundation that professes not to believe in God or religion they sure talk about them a lot! In a twisted sort of way, atheism requires a belief in God because in order to disbelieve something one has to accept its existence in the first place. Therefore, since they focus on God and religion so much, the 14th amendment should apply to them as well as any other God based group. In other words we should either all be allowed to post signs or no one be allowed to post signs on public property. Unfortunately what usually happens is that the rights of the non believers prevail over the believers. Why is that?
The reason I think this keeps happening is that most Christian Americans do take their freedom of speech rights pretty seriously. We want everyone to have the right to their opinion because we know that if they have the right we will as well. But the problem is that we have allowed expression of other views at the expense of our own. We have lost touch with the Christian foundation of our country. To rectify this we need to turn to the Bible, and then to the biographies and written works of our founding fathers and mothers to learn how their beliefs shaped this country. It is time for Christians to stand up for their beliefs. It is time to count the cost. Otherwise we will lose more than a lawsuit, we will lose this country.