An Atheist group from Wisconsin is demanding that Valley High School remove a monument containing the Ten Commandments from its grounds.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation claims the monument is an “egregious” violation of the Constitution. They believe it violates their First Amendment rights but it’s actually they who are attempting to violate the rights of Valley High School, the community and Christians everywhere.
The monument was donated to Valley High School by the Eagles sometime before 1971, though school officials aren’t certain of the exact year. It has stood for over 40 years without offending anyone and is part of the school’s history. So why is an out of state Atheist group making such a big issue out of it?
Their lawsuit is part of a rising trend as Atheist groups seem to believe it is their right to stamp out all instances of religion in public, and they’re willing to misuse the First Amendment to do it.
Contrary to popular belief, the words “separation of church and state” are not found anywhere in the U.S. Constitution. The phrase actually comes from a 1802 letter to the Darbury Baptists by Thomas Jefferson.
The First Amendment the atheists so love to cite actually reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This means Congress can’t create or legally mandate a national religion, and they can’t pass laws that outlaw or infringe upon the practice of any religion.
In the context of the time period, our Founding Fathers were essentially ensuring that America wouldn’t do as King Henry VIII had done in England in 1534 when, in order to get a divorce the Roman Catholic Church wouldn’t allow, he created the Church of England. Throughout history in Europe, many religions and practices were banned for certain periods, heresy was often a severe crime, and many religious followers were killed for their beliefs. This persecution is what drove many to undertake the journey to the New World, so the Founding Fathers weren’t about to let the same thing happen here.
However, that doesn’t mean they’d agree with the Atheists’ reasoning. Allowing for the free practice of all religion is about including everyone in the society and ensuring everyone has the same freedoms. The Atheists’ position seeks to remove religion entirely and force society into a homogenous blob where beliefs can’t be outwardly shown. In other words, they want to make everyone and everything in society line up with their beliefs, or lack thereof.
The American Constitution preserves each citizen’s right to freely practice whatever religion they choose, or they have the right to choose no religion at all. Nowhere in the Constitution does it ban the mention of God or religion in any form from any government land or public school.
The Declaration of Independence, the very document that first detailed what America was going to stand for, famously reads, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Although President Obama likes to omit the phrase “endowed by their Creator” when he quotes the Declaration, they have always been part of the very foundation this country was founded on.
Our Founding Fathers recognized a higher power in one of the nation’s most important documents. They say that it is this Creator, not a government, that grants people these most basic rights. They didn’t specify which Creator from which religion, but they did acknowledge its existence. They certainly didn’t intend for America to be a religion-free society full of people who believe in nothing, though that’s exactly what these Atheist groups want us to become.
They want to force our government to impose their non-beliefs on society, which is exactly what the First Amendment is supposed to protect against, while at the same time crying about religion being “imposed” upon them. It’s utter hypocrisy. Just because they are a minority group does not entitle them to more rights than the majority.
It’s past time the government as well as the majority stood up to such attacks on the very foundation of America. Don’t let them religiously sanitize our rich society or strip away our country’s heritage because it mentions God.
What right does an out of state Atheist group have to tell Valley High School what to do with their historic monument?
That’s a question students will have the chance to answer when GIG hosts their second all-campus discussion, which will deal with the controversy surrounding Valley’s Ten Commandments monument. The discussion will take place Wednesday, April 25 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in Science 138 and is titled “What Right Do They Have To Tell Us What To Do?”