The Militant Atheists Must Have Done Something *Really* Bad This Time…

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel thinks an evil atheist is out to get the Christians:

“I think what we see is militant atheism trying to use the courts to literally crush Christianity, silence anyone who believes in God, and to make those who do a target of punishment,” Staver suggests.

Oh wow. What horrible thing are the atheists doing?

Are we trying to eradicate churches across the country?

Are we trying to ban Christians from holding public office?

Are we out to eliminate Christmas holidays?

Nope. None of that.

Staver’s claim that militant atheists are out to “crush Christianity” is in response to atheist Patrick Greene‘s lawsuit against San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro because the city council’s invocations are almost always Christian in nature.

By custom, council members take turns inviting people to say a prayer before council meetings. Greene said he checked records back to 2008 that showed nearly all those who said prayers were Christian. Two were rabbis, he said, and a Muslim once was invited but did not make it.

“It reeks of favoritism,” Greene said, adding that he hopes to end the invocation practice.

It absolutely does, and it’s good that Greene is raising the issue. It’d be even better if the mayor got rid of the invocation altogether and kept religion out of city council meetings. Maybe they could, you know, get down to the work at hand instead.

Greene isn’t trying to silence Christianity. If the invocations go on, though, then there ought to be a rotating cast of Christians, Muslims, atheists, Hindus, Buddhists, Pagans, etc delivering their own invocations. No one could be prevented from delivering one. The smarter move would be getting rid of the useless practice completely.

In Staver’s mind, everything should stay the way it is because no one ever complains about invocations except for atheists like Greene:

Of course, there’s also the possibility that no one else has said anything because they don’t want to be bullied by the likes of the Christian Right…

I’m glad Greene is taking the lead on this. At best, maybe the attention he’s getting will inspire representatives from non-Christian faiths (as well as the atheist community) to step forward to offer their own invocations full of actual wisdom and inspiration… instead of calls for Jesus to save us.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Steve

    Yes, isn’t it terrible, all we atheists burning down churches…………this guy should be thankful he doesn’t live in countries where this actually happens. Yet another example of a Christian shouting “persecution” Grow up, man!! As you say, Hemant, either rotate between religions or non believers or scrap this whole nonsense altogether.

  • Armus

    Is this the same Patrick Greene of Atheist Experience’s “Foolish Atheist”  infamy?

    • http://twitter.com/PolyAuteur Polly Auteur

      Yes, it is. 

    • Greg

      To be fair, despite the ‘Foolish Atheist’ being a perfectly accurate moniker for what he was doing, that doesn’t mean he isn’t right with what he’s doing here.

      • Armus

        I don’t necessarily disagree, the name just sounded really familiar.

  • http://www.dougberger.net Doug B.

    Common tactic – “only one person is complaining…”

    As if this is strictly a majority rule country

  • Anonymous

    “Use the courts to crush Christianity?”

    Why didn’t I think of that!

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    If it’s in an area where there’s very few if any organized religious institutions other than Christian, then I can see why Christians would get the most opportunities to give the invocation. It’s not necessarily favoritism if there’s a lack of other speakers and an abundance of Christian ones.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

      A little too convenient…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joshua-Armstead/100000133082715 Joshua Armstead

    If  it was a Hindu or Muslim prayer that was the majority of time recited, one can bet their ass that Christian Right would complain, proclaiming their rights are being infringed upon and all that jazz… 

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.zamecki Joe Zamecki

    Adapt, adopt and improve. I’m glad Patrick didn’t give up on activism. We all make mistakes, and this move seems right. Good for him! 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2C6XFSMIUYAZUDZ4CWUWLV7CEY Josh Pearson

    It never ceases to amaze me the level of persecution-complex that Christians harbor to this day, in the United States. When was the last time Christians were marginalized or even persecuted in the United States?

    The only real time I can think of is maybe the Puritans (who were Christian) or possibly the Anglican Church of England before our revolution. Even then though it was Christian-on-Christian persecution.

    Then I think of all the peoples that Christianity has persecuted in the United States (including pre-1776):  Native Americans, Blacks, LGBTQ, Muslims, Atheists, other Christians, Scientists, Women, Educators, Artists, Philosophers, Writers, Jews, Pagans, Wiccans, “Psychics”, Hindus, Buddhists, Communists, Socialists, Liberals, poor people, immigrants, Doctors, men with long hair, alcoholics and drug-addicts, homeless people, and children.

    Now that isn’t an exhaustive list, obviously, as Christians have persecuted just about every type of person on this planet at one point in the last 2000 years.

    Now, honestly, who have atheists persecuted:
    Charlatans, Zealots, Extremists, “Psychics”, Liars, Anti-intellectuals, and just plain old frauds. 

    We don’t persecute Christians, we are attempting to the level the playing field that THEIR persecutions have warped. Equality and parity are not acts of persecution but acts of justice. Especially since Christians do compose the largest demographic in the United States, and it’s very hard to persecute the majority.

    Is what this really is, all of Christians persecution-complexes, is just whining. They are annoyed that their disgusting tactics, abuses of the Constitution, and pushes towards inequality are being attacked and adjusted. They view the laws of this country, or any country that is primarily Christian, as laws that only pertain to them.

    Freedom of speech is cool as long as your pro-Christian, anything else is slander, libel, or persecution. Seperation of Church and State only applies to non-Christian religions, because after all this is a Christian nation so pro-Christian laws are okey-dokey (which, we know it never was, or is). And this list goes on too.

    Frankly Christians should realize that our goals of equality and freedom from religion are conducive to the survival, and health, of their own religion. The more they want their religion bled into the laws and policies of our government they are destroying their own religion. They are killing themselves by trying to force an antiquated world into a modern one.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

      You forgot one: the disabled. We’re pretty much rolling around with big fat targets on our backs that scream TRY TO SCAM ME WITH YOUR FAITH.

      Seriously, I was once told that if I would “just believe in God”, he would “give me new legs.” *rolleyes* Never have I wanted over-sized spiked tires as much as I did in that moment.

    • Ann Onymous

      We don’t even have enough power to persecute. We just decry.

  • Themiddleme

    Wait, is it the Mayor’s fault that no one else is stepping up to the plate to do an invocation? From the way it’s presented here, it sounds like the Mayor isn’t stopping anyone from volunteering to do so. Why all the hate toward him, then? 

    Also, the first comment (the really long rambling one whining about Christians) was completely off topic.

    • JimG

      Actually, it probably is up to the mayor, or at least to the city council as a whole. I’ve been to a lot of meetings which open with prayers in several cities, and the usual practice is for the city to officially invite a pastor to give an invocation. Often it’s someone from a church that a member of the governing body attends.

      And Josh Pearson’s comment was precisely on topic: Staver’s comments are nothing but an extended wail about imaginary persecution.

  • Dan W

    Oh those darned militant atheists- how dare they make the government follow its laws!  /snark

    The word “militant” really has an entirely different meaning when used to describe atheists. Militant muslims blow themselves up in crowded streets. Militant christians kill abortion providers. And militant atheist? They talk about how religion is wrong and sue to keep religion and government separate. Quite the double standard.

  • Anonymous

    Whenever I of some poor defenceless little Christian whining like a 5 year old whose mummy won’t buy him sweeties and complaining that we mean atheists want to crush their religion I think of this:

    Mongol General: Hao! Dai ye! We won again! This is good, but what is best in life? 
    Mongol: The open steppe, fleet horse, falcons at your wrist, and the wind in your hair. 
    Mongol General: Wrong! Conan! What is best in life? 
    Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women. 
    Mongol General: That is good! That is good. 

    They should stop being such great big Wendy’s Night Outs and face up to the slow erosion of their special privileges.

  • Dan

    Sweet and sour jesus with salt and pepper, my head hurts from the sheer amount of stupid spewing out of mat staver’s mouth.

  • http://twitter.com/fester60613 I May Be Crazy

    I only wish the claim that Christianity is being crushed had some truth to it! 

  • Alla & Greg M

    Don’t they also do it in US Congress?

  • Harbinger888

    Militant Atheist? Please, it’s an oxymoron at best. The name is moot.

  • Ann Onymous

    How does one “literally crush Christianity”? Should I form the word with Cheerios and stomp on it?


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