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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Name:
Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Atheist Holiday

Have you heard about this case? Great answer from the judge!

In Florida, an atheist became incensed over the preparation for Easter and Passover holidays. He decided to contact his lawyer about the discrimination inflicted on atheists by the constant celebrations afforded to Christians and Jews with all their holidays, while atheists had no holiday to celebrate.

The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the long,
passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel and
declared, "Case dismissed!"

The lawyer immediately stood and objected to the ruling and said, "Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and many other observances. Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah... yet my client and all other atheists have no such holiday!"

The judge leaned forward in his chair and simply said, "Obviously your client is too confused to even know about, much less celebrate his own atheists' holiday!" The lawyer pompously said, "Your honor, we are unaware of any such holiday for atheists. Just when might that holiday be, your honor?"

The judge said, "Well, it comes every year on exactly the same
date-- April 1st! Since our calendar sets April 1st as April Fools
Day, consider that Psalm 14:1 states, 'The fool says in his heart,
there is no God.' Thus, in my opinion, if your client says there is no
God, then by scripture, he is a fool, and April 1st is his holiday!

"Now have a good day and get out of my courtroom!!"

~~ Author unknown

11 Comments:

Blogger D.K. said...

I think there are a few things worth asking about this case:

Is the state government of Florida a theocracy? If not, then why should a judge be ruling according to the Bible? Does Florida's constitution contain biblical passages?

Does it make sense than the courts would be a place for an Atheist to establish an Atheist holiday? Wouldn't the legislature be a better place?

Sat Apr 05, 02:17:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Steve Rankin said...

Tim Birdnow comments:

"I think D. K.`s second point answers the first one nicely.

"Oh, and it should be pointed out that, yes, a judge SHOULD use the Bible in deciding law; American jurisprudence was based upon it, after all!"

Thu Apr 10, 09:04:00 AM CDT  
Blogger D.K. said...

Since I have never read the Bible from beginning to end, perhaps I am simply unaware.

Please inform me where in the Bible it says that no law respecting the establishment of religion shall be made.

As well, please direct me to where in the Bible it says that the free excercise thereof - the practice of any religion - can be conducted.

After all, if American law follows the Bible, then what is present in our Constitution must be in the Bible as well, correct?

Sun Apr 13, 04:14:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Steve Rankin said...

Pamela Van Buren comments:

"The Florida judge dismissed the case based on lack of merit. That lack of merit was determined by the lack of evidence or proof to support the complaint. In so doing, a judge may quote any book, paper, or saying he chooses as long as his legal ruling is based on law.

"The United States of America was not established as a theocracy; therefore, neither the Bible nor any other religious books or documents or any other religion are the founding documents. It is founded upon the Constitution, which includes the Bill of Rights by addendum. Therefore, the Constitution covers matters of governmental rules that are not found in the Bible. While it is not a Christian document, you will find that many, if not most, of the rights given come from Christianity. However, freedom of religion accepts that people of all religions, even those contrary to or in opposition to Christianity have the same rights as Christians. This is contrary to theocracies that Islam prefers which either forbid other religions to practice there or make it so hard that it is impossible for other religions to flourish. Also, communism prevents religious practices. Historically, look at the former Soviet Union and the current communist governments. Cuba tried to prevent religious practice. However, as it had been a largely Catholic island before Castro, he saw, in his waning years, the futility of trying to suppress religious practice. In a move to hold on to power and appease his populace, Castro allowed Pope John Paul II to visit the island and hold mass.

"As I have read the Bible cover to cover and have studied it, I will tell you that it does not say that “no law concerning the establishment of religion shall be made”. As I will assume, perhaps incorrectly, that the argument D.K. is attempting to advance concerns the New Testament, I will say that the laws, if you use that term, are the laws or commandments of God to His people as to how He wants them to live. However, the New Testament does not set aside the Ten Commandments given in the Old Testament. An examination of the law given to Moses along with a reading of the Constitution and Bill of Rights demonstrates, even to the meanest of intelligences, that there is a very close alignment between Judeo-Christian ethic and our founding documents. To reiterate, as the U.S. is not a theocracy, our founding documents and the Bible, both testaments, are not verbatim."

Mon Apr 14, 01:26:00 PM CDT  
Anonymous James Atticus Bowden said...

The Preamble to the Constitution of Florida says this:

"PREAMBLE

We, the people of the State of Florida, being grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, in order to secure its benefits, perfect our government, insure domestic tranquility, maintain public order, and guarantee equal civil and political rights to all, do ordain and establish this constitution."

The Almighty God referenced above isn't Allah, Buddha or Rama - or Baal, the Great Spirit, etc.

Therefore the judge, if this is true, citing the Bible of the same Almighty God didn't impose a religion, establish a religion, but referenced the author of liberty cited in the Florida Constitution.

Mon Apr 14, 02:46:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Steve Rankin said...

Here's a relevant quote from James Wilson, one of the Founding Fathers:

"Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other. The divine law, as discovered by reason and the moral sense, forms an essential part of both."

Reference: The Works of James Wilson, McCloskey, editor, 125.

Tue Apr 15, 07:45:00 AM CDT  
Blogger D.K. said...

"The Florida judge dismissed the case based on lack of merit."

Perhaps he did, but that's not what he said. The judge stated the case was dismissed based on something written in the Bible.

When judges are allowed to quote the Bible as a source for their ruling, even if the actual ruling is done according to constitutional law, what is next? One way freedom can be lost is incrementally.


"While it is not a Christian document, you will find that many, if not most, of the rights given come from Christianity."

They do not come from Christianity. They come from British common law which is directly traceable to pre-Roman, pre-Christian fifth century Britain.


"I will assume, perhaps incorrectly, that the argument D.K. is attempting to advance concerns the New Testament".

I am trying to advance the concern that America is a free country and not a Christian nation.


"Therefore the judge, if this is true, citing the Bible of the same Almighty God didn't impose a religion, establish a religion, but referenced the author of liberty cited in the Florida Constitution."

Preambles are not law.


"Here's a relevant quote from James Wilson, one of the Founding Fathers...."

Yeah, and here is another quote that we constantly see from George Washington: "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible."

Yet, this quote can never be found in any of Washington's papers.

About the Framers, it could be worth noting that the federal Constitution is the first charter in the history of the world that does not invoke any god of any kind for the basis of its support.

And since it is the first, that means the Framers had nothing but the opposite to model the Constitution on, yet they chose otherwise.

Tue Apr 15, 08:33:00 AM CDT  
Blogger James Atticus Bowden said...

D.K: Nice try on trying to create a secular America. I wish you could have been in my American Government course at West Point.

The basis of the Nation is the Declaration of Independence. It mentions a God (guess which one!) 4 times. The Constitution is the second attempt at the framework of government. It doesn't need to mention God, because it provides the superstructure for government, not the foundation. The Declaration is the foundation.

Preambles to the basic law, the state constitution, provide context.

We can continue this on and on. If you think Christians didn't create this Country as a place where it would be safe Christian or a Jew, then you need to read more. Or understand what you read better.

Tue Apr 15, 08:58:00 PM CDT  
Blogger D.K. said...

Religious freedom played a part in the founding of America, but it was one of several reasons for America's founding.

I'm not trying to create a secular America. I'm trying to remind you that America is neither secular nor theocratic, nor should it singularly be either one.

The Declaration of Independence is not law.

Preambles provide context but context is not law.

Religious freedom means being able to practice any religion or no religion at all. Being unable to forgo religion or practice a religion other than Christianity is not freedom and certainly is not an example of a free country.

If that's okay with you, that's fine. But it's not okay for everybody. Your theocratic preference seems better suited for the state or local level.

Fri Apr 18, 04:45:00 PM CDT  
Blogger James Atticus Bowden said...

DK: Obviously, you don't know what a theocracy is - or how religion plays a role in our Republic.

The Judeo-Christian culture is the underpinning of our Nation. It provided the consensus culture until the 1960s when the Liberal Human Secularists started a Culture War which is civil war we are in now.

Because the consensus culture is Christian - we can call the worldview Judeo-Christian because Jews have been part of the country since the Revolution - that is why 40% of the references, in the Constitutional Convention that doesn't mention God but allows for free exercise of religion, were from the King James Bible.

Its why every state legal code uses English precedents, except Louisiana, which reflect a Christian culture. That is why marriage is between one man and one woman.

Any religion can't be practiced here - if it goes contrary to the Judeo-Christian culture. The Mormons had to ban polygamy to get Utah admitted as a state. The Indians were not allowed to have human sacrifice any more.

If you don't understand what the Declaration of Independence is to establish the Nation - that is more important than law, then you don't understand American Government or history.

The USA is not a Christian state. It is a country built on an Judeo-Christian world view and culture, peopled by a large majority of Christians, and historically shaped by Christians and Christian thought.

Sat Apr 19, 06:16:00 AM CDT  
Blogger D.K. said...

"DK: Obviously, you don't know what a theocracy is - or how religion plays a role in our Republic."

The only role religion has in our republic is that it is freely chosen or freely forgone.


"Any religion can't be practiced here - if it goes contrary to the Judeo-Christian culture. The Mormons had to ban polygamy to get Utah admitted as a state. The Indians were not allowed to have human sacrifice any more."

Judeo-Christian culture is not the litmus test to decide whether something is illegal or not. That is what law is for.


"If you don't understand what the Declaration of Independence is to establish the Nation - that is more important than law, then you don't understand American Government or history."

Try walking into a court of law and telling the judge that the sentenc handed to you is illegal because it conflicts with the Declaration and see what happens!


"The USA is not a Christian state."

Glad to see we agree on that.


"It is a country built on an Judeo-Christian world view and culture, peopled by a large majority of Christians and historically shaped by Christians and Christian thought."

I can agree that several laws are similar to Christian thought. But for every law that parallels Christian thought, that same law parallels common law (and common sense). Then there are other laws that do not parallel Christian thought but only parallel common law.

What does that mean? Only that some laws resemble Christian thought and the majority of laws resemble common law.

Sun Apr 20, 11:46:00 AM CDT  

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