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A Disease Which Affects Only Atheists?

American Atheists have filed papers with an official government body claiming that they, American Atheists, suffer from a debilitating illness from which only the government has the power to cure. Strangely, this malady affects the central nervous system only of members of this group and not of ordinary citizens.

The group I mean are official “American Atheists” and not atheists who are Americans per se, though that organization claims to speak for non-affiliated atheists living in this country.

We learn from Jordan Sekulow at the Washington Post that the papers filed by the American Atheists is a lawsuit aimed at those in charge of rebuilding the World Trade Center site, destroyed on September 11, 2001.

The American Atheists claim that the cross builders would ensconce on the new building is harming them physically and emotionally.

In their suit, they charge that “Named plaintiffs have seen the cross, either in person or on television, and are being subjected to, and injured in consequence.” On television! As plaintiffs, they “pray and demand” (no irony intended) that they cross be removed.

Among those suing are

Plaintiffs Dennis Horvitz and Kenneth Bronstein [who] are members of American Atheists and are Atheists reared in the Jewish tradition. They find the cross, a symbol of Christianity, offensive and repugnant to their beliefs, culture, and traditions, and allege that the symbol marginalizes them as American citizens.

Plaintiff Jane Everhart says the cross would be an “insult” to non-Christian survivors of that attack. Plaintiff Mark Panzarino does not go as far and would be satisfied if they put up a “Lutheran cross” instead of the ostensibly non-Lutheran one.

Among the defendant’s named are Mike Bloomberg and that larger-than-life figure Chris Christie (why not?). Old Rudy G. is in there, as are a church (American Atheists are against them) and Silverstein Properties.

Ground Zero CrossThe American Atheists also single out my friend Brian Jordan, a Franciscan Friar who the American Atheists accuse of conducting “a religious ceremony directed at placing a symbol of Christianity on government-owned property.” They mean that Father Jordan blessed the serendipitous cross of steel found in the rubble of the trade towers “after construction workers at the site told him they saw the cross as ‘a sign that God never abandoned us at Ground Zero.'”

But what does all this legal rigmarole and matters tragic have to do with the cruel disease suffered by American Atheists?

Seems something untowardly evil happens to the biology of an American Atheist when viewing a cross. According to the sworn-to-as-true (presumably, not sworn to God) papers filed in court, American Atheists, whenever they so much as glance at a cross, at least suffer from

dyspepsia, symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish.

Awful stuff! Poor things! This is anguish we’re talking about here. I looked it up: extreme pain, either of body of mind; excruciating distress. Excruciating—God help us—distress! Foul, nasty business. Shades of torture and all that.

Although horrific, we note it is not as bad as it could be. The cross-viewing American Atheists only endure “symptoms of depression” and not actual full-blown depression itself. And none has (yet) claimed to have outright expired from seeing objects of faith.

Power of the CrossThe good news is that this syndrome is not unknown to medical science. It has long been identified as a malady suffered by vampires and several other species of the undead. But this is the first time it has been identified in American Atheists.

Science is yet silent on how American Atheists react to holy water, however, though experiments with garlic are progressing.

The bad news is that there is but one cure which brings complete remission of the disease. But since this cure is anathema to American Atheists, they must either learn to bear stoically the burdens of their cross (to coin a phrase), or they must resort to palliative care.

This consists in accumulating historical knowledge, and with it precious perspective; but it also means awakening and exercising their dormant senses of humor. The first is accomplished easily, and may be begun, for example, by reading Mr Sekulow’s column.

The second task has been shown to be nearly impossible, however. Experts recommend various strategies, such as canceling subscriptions to the New York Times, eschewing the phrase “equal rights,” and remembering the full version of (relevant clause) of the first amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

33 thoughts on “A Disease Which Affects Only Atheists? Leave a comment

  1. I am familiar from various documentaries with the disease these American Atheists suffer from, that of anguish at the sight of a cross. There are several folk treatments for the ailment: 1) the most common treatment is a stake through the heart 2) also popular is exposure to sunlight 3) not so popular, but by some accounts most effective, separating the head from the body and burying the head at a crossroads. There are several documentaries in both film and literature on this terrible condition, I suggest starting with one of the older documentaries, either the film Nosferatu or the book Dracula to help understand what the disease American Atheists admit to suffering from is like.

  2. Andy, you’d do better by actually reading the document, instead of trusting mr Briggs’ rethoric.

    Our beloved blogger made it once again: to turn a very good argument into a silly shenanigan. If you’d bothered to read the document without your usual hatred for anyone who dares to have an opinion on religious matters, you’d see that there is, in fact, a case to be made for religious descrimination not only against atheists, but also against any other religion.

    Money quote:

    Plaintiff American Atheists opposed inclusion of a cross on the grounds
    that other religious groups
    were not given the opportunity for a similar faithbased memorial at the site of an American tragedy.

    The following rethoric is pathetic, I agree but until one knows how much of that is just lawyer talk to grab as much as of a case as possible, one should refrain judgement.

    Here, the important issue is plainly clear for all those who aren’t lazy and just want to gusher at mr Briggs’ joyful bashing:

    Plaintiffs seek
    a declaration that the inclusion of a cross at the September 11 Memorial
    and Museum, in the absence of equal acknowledgment of those nonChristians who also were victims of the 9/11 attack, is unconstitutional.

    But I get you mr Briggs. The problem isn’t the constitution being violated, the problem is a few shenanigans written by the atheists.

  3. Rhetorical question #64. Repeated one more time. Why, oh why dear Lord, don’t liberals have senses of humor?

    Answer to rhetorical question #64. Because they lack self confidence. Their driving fear is that other folk will not take them serious. The fear is well founded, btw. Because folk’s don’t.

  4. Those poor atheists are so put upon. Of course the atheist faith is a difficult sell. They tell us our existance is meaningless and we should be happy about that. That’s not very inspirational. I think the atheists are just envious because the christians have great music, symbols and rituals. Seriously, when was the last time you heard a good atheist hymn or saw a good atheist ceremony?

  5. Good shot, 49. Unfortunately I don’t think mr Briggs is only on for the joke. Take for instance the medical case of mr Ray. He is apparently just joining the fun, but also venting his own prejudice and ignorance. I’m here only to educate the distracted, and I will admit I’m not very humorous today (and it isnt your fault at all ;)).

  6. I think it ironic that followers of a religious belief in No God are horrified that followers of a religious belief in A God are permitted to display that belief which somehow supposedly forces their view upon others so in retaliation the Believers in No God wish to force their belief upon others under court order no less.

    “I don’t want the WHOLE world — just YOUR half” eh?

    Luis,

    “No opportunity” may be the claim but I’m willing to bet that it lacks proof. Can they produce an ad or public request for a Christian-only memorial? Can they show that other (non-Christian) groups tried for representation but failed? Somehow, I doubt they can.

    I look forward to the day when “loser pays” becomes the operational outcome for lawsuits. It would certainly stop these frivolous ones.

  7. DAV, again, instead of stuttering nonsensical diatribes how atheists this and atheists that, you would avoid embarrassment by actually reading the panflet. Yes, they did try to do such thing and they were continuously ignored, despite offering all expenses.

    Beginning in 2002, various groups proposed including the cross blessed by Defendant Jordan in the September 11 Memorial and Museum.

    Plaintiff American Atheists opposed inclusion of a cross on the grounds that other religious groups were not given the opportunity for a similar faithbased memorial at the site of an American tragedy.

    On multiple occasions, plaintiff American Atheists publicly offered to provide a memorial for the September 11 Memorial and Museum, at its own cost, to represent the approximately 500 non-religious victims of the attack on the World Trade Center.

    Plaintiff American Atheists never received a response.

    As of approximately July 15, 2011, widespread news coverage indicated that the defendants intended to move the cross blessed by Defendant Jordan in 2001 to the September 11 Memorial and Museum

    On July 22, 2011, plaintiff American Atheists again offered to place a memorial to the non-religious victims of the 9/11 attack in the September 11 Memorial and Museum, at its own expense.

    As of the date of filing this complaint, no answer has been forthcoming.

    On July 23, 2011, in a religious ceremony during which the cross was blessed a second time by Defendant Jordan, the cross was installed at the September 11 Memorial and Museum.

    You know, I could be a really obnoxious man, and accuse religious people of uttering nonsensical hatred towards others because of their apparent lack of reading skills, just as I see many people here generalizing that atheists this and that. But I don’t do that. I know that these traits belong to the people that demonstrate them, not the metaphysical beliefs they have.

  8. No luis, they are still tosspots. One cannot take the position that all religions are wrong and then complain about religious believers disagreeing amongst themselves without looking hypocritical.

    It seems to me from across the pond most American atheists and disliked because most American atheists are dicks.

  9. Luis,

    “Plaintiff American Atheists opposed inclusion of a cross on the grounds that other religious groups were not given the opportunity for a similar faith based memorial at the site of an American tragedy.”

    Cut it out. You actually think that American Atheists really are supporting the rights of religious groups? Odd behavior for a group which seems to regularly attack religious belief. No? Why is it the Atheists are bringing the suit and not the other groups? Care to take a guess?

    I’m not much of a believer in God but I don’t consider myself an atheist. Just the same, the cross was a nice gesture. The Atheists aren’t going to endear themselves with this suit. It is indeed frivolous.

  10. Andy, I don’t really see (apart from the well established repertoire of psycho bullshit written in the paper) what fighting for a constitutional right has got to do with being dickish. So your point is moot in that venue. (I don’t even care if they are penis-related or not, I care if they have a case or not, and they seem to have one despite all the hatred going on around here).

    Cut it out. You actually think that American Atheists really are supporting the rights of religious groups?

    I don’t care what they are *really* doing, since that’s the realm, yeah you guessed it, metaphysics. I care what they are observally doing, which is to bring down a discrimination that is unconstitutional. And I care to the fact that you all don’t care about it in the slightest.

    Why is it the Atheists are bringing the suit and not the other groups? Care to take a guess?

    Why do you assume that other groups didn’t? Where’s your evidence of this?

    And why can’t they bring the suit? Are you a bigot, for chrrisakes? Now atheists cannot bring a lawsuit because they are atheists is that it?

  11. Luis,

    Nonsense! It’s a group trying to get their own way at everyone’s expense. The constitutionality and the frivolous dragging in of outside claims is mere camouflage. This lawsuit will be seen as attacking a specific memorial and subsequently the events which the memorial is about. Any constitutional victory here will be Pyrrhic. Some atheists call themselves Brights. This lawsuit can will only be seen as casting the color Bright Maroon. Very un-Bright indeed.

    “Plaintiff American Atheists never received a response.”

    IOW: they were ignored which is quite different than being refused. Awww! The suit isn’t specifically claiming the memorial itself is the problem as dragging in other religious groups belies that. That brings into question any claim of unconstitutionality. (BTW: the Constitution really says that there should be no State religion and not that there should be NO religion**) Instead, the complaint seems about being ignored! And what exactly is the redress being sought? An answer to their unanswered request?

    **The original Constitution, article 6: “No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

    First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

    Applying these to Being Ignored is a howler.

  12. In that context, ignored is equal to being refused, since they asked for permission. If the state is found to have descriminated other religions or non-religion in its activities then the case is settled, it acted on an inconstitutional way.

    This is utterly simple and basic, and you still aren’t getting the point, preferring instead to bring about conspiracy theories, etc.

    Then you bring about the Brights stuff, which no one here did. Does that mean I also get to bring all the religious stupidity that is unrelated to the issue at hand here? If that’s the case, buckle up!

  13. The fact is, when the government places cross on or in a government building, the government endorses Christianity. This is unconstitutional.

    Why is that so difficult to understand?

    I’m an atheist, and I’ve never become ill from viewing a cross. I seriously doubt the plaintiffs have, either.

    Nonetheless, the government has no business endorsing Christianity. Some Christians agree wholeheartedly with this concept.

    How laughable is it that religionists claim an absence of religion to be a religion in itself?

  14. 49er said:

    “Rhetorical question #64. Repeated one more time. Why, oh why dear Lord, don’t liberals have senses of humor?”

    To which I respond — Why do so many equate non-theists with political liberals? There is no effect which causes an atheist to be politically liberal, nor is there a reverse effect, causing the religious to be conservatives. It’s a mix-and-match sort of thing, and has only to do with one’s mindset.

    I am an atheist and a tea-party conservative, and not just a fiscal conservative. For instance, I don’t condone abortion. Abortion is a violation of the rights of the unborn child and is morally wrong. I don’t need a minister to tell me that.

  15. Human, Jr,

    “The fact is, when the government places cross on or in a government building, the government endorses Christianity. This is unconstitutional.”

    Except the Atheists aren’t really complaining about the cross. They show this when saying Other Religions weren’t represented implying that would have been OK. IOW: They aren’t complaining about the religious aspect at all. They seem more incensed over being ignored. Even said it twice in the press release (or whatever Luis dug up). How petulant!

    Luis,

    So what? Why should every group be addressed or answered? That’s the way to stupidity. What gives Atheists special privileges? What about my college pal who formed the Church of the Tax Dodger? Should he have been contacted as well? Should he and his three followers bring suit too? Just how much effort should be spent appeasing every possible combination of groups? Using religion here is pure camo. The press release makes that clear but you seem to have fallen for the smoke, mirrors and hand-waving just the same. They were insulted over being ignored — pure and simple. Awww!

  16. Human, Jr.,

    “How laughable is it that religionists claim an absence of religion to be a religion in itself?”

    If what is meant that religion is a belief founded on faith alone then atheism is a religion. It is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of God.

  17. I do not get into these discussions often but this one is … I’m not sure.

    Luis,
    Educate me.
    “On July 22, 2011, plaintiff American Atheists again offered to place a memorial to the non-religious victims of the 9/11 attack in the September 11 Memorial and Museum, at its own expense.”

    Please provide a picture of the memorial this group proposed. If you do so, I will probably have to take you seriously.

  18. So what? Why should every group be addressed or answered?

    Considering that 500 of the people that died in 911 were non religious, I think that’s a pretty good reason. You think otherwise, that your own religion is eligible for a special treatment. IOW you are a bigot.

  19. Please provide a picture of the memorial this group proposed. If you do so, I will probably have to take you seriously.

    Lets get some facts straight. I don’t care if you take me seriously or not. You are the one headed to not take anything that an atheist says “seriously”, you are the one prejudiced. You are the one with all the work ahead of you.

    And you’ll see this when they win the case, which seems pretty damn simple and inevitable to me.

  20. @ Luis Diaz. The ignored thing – taking your comments at face value – bothers me. Seems boorish or rude.
    @ HPJ,Jr. True. A plus B do not always equal C. Mea Culpa.

  21. @DAV

    If Christianity is true, then, when you die and go to heaven, you can observe God, and hence prove his existence by observation. Just like you can prove all physical things by observing them.

  22. Luis, where do you get the data to support your claim that “500 of the people that died in 911 were non religious”? And how do you define and/or ascertain whether an individual is “non religious”?

  23. Please educate me. Is the Freedom Tower indeed a government building? And are the Memorial and Museum a part of the Freedom Tower?
    If so, then I have to agree with Luis even though, and perhaps because, I am a Christian myself. If it is a government building, then it should have no religious, or all religious, including non-religious, symbols. Letting any government slide in the direction of even appearing to prefer one religion over all others is a very bad idea as has been proven by history time and again. What reason do I have to suppose OUR government would be any better?

  24. Just because you don’t see it luis means very little, I suspect you are the type who sees very little beyond the end of your nose.

    To an adult, mature minded individual capable of discernment and judgement the presence of a cross at ground zero bringing comfort to individuals is a minor concern if you do not share the same beliefs.

    Commencing legal proceedings over it, even if it does affect ones ‘rights’ makes you a dick.

    Being a dick seems to be what atheists do nowadays, I am an atheist and even I dislike dicks like this.

  25. Here in America, one can say whatever they want, file whatever lawsuits they want, believe or disbelieve whatever they want, and protest whatever they want. And you can also call people with different viewpoints whatever you want. (“Dick” is not one of my favorites though.) Isn’t America great?

    This reminds me of how culturally shocked I was when I first read that the words “under God” were added to the Pledge of Allegiance because of the rise of communism. I hope that the placement of Christian cross is not due to Muslims’ denial of the crucifixion of Jesus.

  26. Commencing legal proceedings over it, even if it does affect ones ‘rights’ makes you a dick.

    Yeah Andy I get it, you like to take abuse like a good sport. Good for you.

    tertius, the claim is not mine, it is right there in the papers filed. It’s amazing, I am probably the only one here who has read the thing and yet I am the one constantly being asked to prove my assertions. And the atheists are the dicks. For goodness sake this really pisses me off.

  27. Just a thought . . .

    Is this similar to the Republican-leaning symptoms children experience when exposed to the mere sight of the American flag? Our illustrious host has examined that situation in some detail in the past.

  28. …abuse..?

    Oh does the wittle cross cause you abuse?

    You really must find the whole Christ thing terrifying then.

    Grow up and stop being a dick.

  29. Wow! Just, like, wow!

    I took Briggs’s post as merely poking fun at the AA for attributing medical symptoms to their viewing a cross.

    Shall we talk about which is the right end to start eating an egg?

  30. You really must find the whole Christ thing terrifying then.

    You wouldn’t understand the problem if it hit you in the head so forget it.

    I took Briggs’s post as merely poking fun at the AA for attributing medical symptoms to their viewing a cross.

    So did I, but as you see, the readers just don’t understand this subtlety and go by making all the following inferences from a nit picked joke. The worst case is Andy of course, who suffers the disease of “I’m an atheist BUT…”. How I hate that disease.

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