Godless Americans March on Washington

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A Call to Action
from the President of Atheists of Silicon Valley

It’s time for us to stand up and be counted.  Approximately 21 to 36% of Americans call themselves nonreligious, and it’s steadily growing.  Also, a 1998 national survey in Nature magazine showed that only 7% of National Academy of Sciences members believe in a personal God.  However, with all the religious fervor bouncing around, there is a real danger that this great nation could be wrenched to a full theocracy, from our current de facto theocracy.  Heavy pressure is on our elected officials to add an “Under God” amendment to our constitution.  We must do all we can to keep this a secular nation, free of any more government entanglement with religion.  Don’t think that it can’t happen.  With GAWD on their side, the religious feel that they can do no wrong.  We’ve already seen 99 senators prostrating themselves to their perceived spirit-in-the-sky addled electorate.  All but three representatives also followed the path of Christian righteousness.  Our constitution is supposed to protect minorities, but as of February 2019 there are four hard-core conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court and the Chief Justice is conservative.  So all the religious Americans need is the opportunity to get a suitable ruling and there could be a lock on our (non)religious freedoms for decades.  They wouldn’t even need that if the constitutional amendment passes.  It really could.  After all, what politician would vote against GOD?

Stand up.  Be counted.  See what we did in the 2002 godless Americans March on Washington DC, and the 2012 and 2016 Reason Rallies in DC.

See this page in Dutch.

See this page in Ukrainian.

We have also collected some great articles on the Pledge of Allegiance that should give you better insight into this issue.

If you want to email or call any of your government representatives, go to our government page.

If you want to understand more about Atheism, you can read my article on Atheism or read some of the great articles and websites on our debate page.

"...it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brushfires in people's minds."
— Samuel Adams

"Can anyone look at the carnage in Iran, the bloodshed in Northern Ireland, or the bombs bursting in Lebanon and yet question the dangers of injecting religious issues into the affairs of state?"
— Barry Goldwater, "Mr. Conservative"

"The mixing of government and religion can be a threat to free government, even if no one is forced to participate....  When the government puts its imprimatur on a particular religion, it conveys a message of exclusion to all those who do not adhere to the favored beliefs.  A government cannot be premised on the belief that all persons are created equal when it asserts that God prefers some."
— Harry Andrew Blackmun, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, majority opinion in Lee v. Weisman, 1992

"History furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government.  This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes."
— Thomas Jefferson, 1813

"It is error alone that needs the support of government.  Truth can stand by itself."
— Thomas Jefferson

"The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious nonreligious Americanss of man."
— Thomas Jefferson to Jeremiah Moor, 1800.  For other quotes of his, see Thomas Jefferson on Politics & Government.

"... the government must pursue a course of complete neutrality toward religion."
Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38 (6/04/1985)

"Religion has ever been anti-human, anti-woman, anti-life, anti-peace, anti-reason and anti-science.  The god idea has been detrimental not only to humankind but to the earth.  It is time now for reason, education and science to take over."
— Madalyn Murray O'Hair, 1990

" [Non-believers] can't be considered citizens or patriots...this is one nation under God."
— George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the United States

"There may have been a more senseless, ridiculous decision issued by a court at some time, but I don't remember it."
— Senator Lieberman, on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the Pledge of Allegiance
(Perhaps he has forgotten the Dred Scott and the Korematsu (WW2 Japanese internment) decisions by the US Supreme Court.)

"Today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between communistic atheism and Christianity."
— Senator Joseph McCarthy, in a speech to the Ohio County Women's Republican Club, 2/09/1950

"As True Christians, we are called upon to marginalize other faiths or people with no faith, and to scream “PERSECUTION!” when they rudely return the favor."
— Pastor Deacon Fred, Landover Baptist Church (parody)

’Under God’ is Unconstitutional and Divisive

by Mark Thomas
President, Atheists of Silicon Valley
March, 2003

In regards to the Pledge of Allegiance, I am very concerned with the actions of our president, governor, and almost all of the national senators and representatives.  When they took office, they swore to uphold the Constitution of our country.  Despite this, after the first ruling by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, they jumped on a McCarthy-esque bandwagon and openly flouted the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals again ruled correctly on the reference to God in the Pledge of Allegiance, saying that it conflicts with the First Amendment.  What part of the First Amendment is confusing? "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."  Any reference to God by our government respects an establishment of religion - specifically monotheism of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim variety.

Our Constitution was designed to protect the rights of the minorities from the tyranny of the majority.  All Americans have a constitutional right to freedom of religion.  This includes freedom from religion, because we can’t have true freedom unless we have the right to choose "none of the above."  References to God in the Pledge of Allegiance, our national motto, our national anthem, or on our money respect an establishment of religion, and are thus unconstitutional.

References to God by our government also imply that the 14% of Americans who don't believe in a god are lesser citizens.  This is similar to when white men once made blacks and women lesser citizens, often using the Bible as an endorsement.  It wasn't right then.  It isn't right now.

Our nation was founded as the first country that derived its power from a purely secular, nonreligious basis.  All nations before then had kings and queens who used their supposed "God-given divine right" to rule.  Instead of this top-down power structure, our founders wisely created a government that derived its powers from the consent of the governed.  They also realized the inherent divisiveness of religion, and kept it specifically out of our Constitution and government.  The Treaty of Tripoli, written during the administration of President George Washington, signed by President John Adams and unanimously approved by the Senate in 1797, stated "The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion."

As shown by the national uproar and debate, religion is still divisive.  The Pledge of Allegiance is supposed to help unite Americans.  Having "God" in it divides us and attempts to link patriotism to public professions of religious belief.  Let's return the Pledge to its previous, nonreligious form — so we can all once again say "one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."