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.
The 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.
The 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.”