Atheist Group Places Full-Page ‘Constitution Day’ Ad in Newspaper

The Albuquerque chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation bought a full=page ad in today’s Albuquerque Journal marking Constitution Day, the anniversary of when the document was ratified:

It’s a response to a full-page ad placed by the Hobby Lobby chain declaring the country a “Christian Nation”:

“We feel it is important to respond to the full page ‘In God We Trust’ ad placed by Hobby Lobby in the Albuquerque Journal on July 4, which we have researched and found to be very inaccurate and deceptive,” said Ron Herman, director of the chapter.

To paraphrase an argument I’ve heard many times before, the word “religion” is mentioned twice in the Constitution, and both times, it’s preceded by the word “No.”

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.

  • ortcutt

    This seems more than a little scattered.  If they wanted to make a point about the Constitutional guarantees of secular government, that would have been one point to make.  But there are things about “In reason we trust” and the Dark Ages.  Then, “Be good without gods”?  What is the message here?  I wish people would stop the kitchen-sink approach to messaging.

    • Jason

      Agreed, it’s kind of embarrassing 

      • ortcutt

         It’s disappointing to me that so much atheist/secularist media is just so damn bad.  I see better stuff on r/atheism than what goes into newspapers and onto billboards.

  • Jgassen

    Opportunity to do something cool and establish a cogent response to an insidious incorrect belief displayed as common knowledge; it fell short to say the least. Emphasized the possibility of morality without religion, but it should have made the true Constitutional approach to secularism more salient.

  • Jake

    That seriously sounds like it was written by someone in middle school. And I also know some history professors who would have something to say about the usage of the phrase “Dark Ages”.

    • Artor

      It’s use here is rhetorical, not historical. I disagree with your analysis otherwise too. This is sophomore high-school work at least. Remember, this is America, not some damned socialist country that actually pays for decent schooling!

  • Cornell

    Hey Hemant it seems you talk alot of talk, but you never want to get in the ring for a debate on whether or not God exists.  How about backing up your emotions with some real substance?Well I read your book “I sold my soul on ebay” and gave it a one star review on Amazon as the book was nothing but emotional garbage that is just a cheap trick to make a few bucks.   Your whole mindset in that book was as follows:”I don’t like some of the Christian sects, therefore Christianity is false”

    Well some of your friendly atheist lemmings might find this emotional reasoning plausible, but those who envoke REAL rationality will not buy that.

    So if you, or your friendly atheists here want to defend your terrible book that provided NOT ONE REASON why “Naturedidit” sounds more reasonable than “God”, go ahead.

    The reason why you feel so comfortable is because you never want to get your hands dirty, now is your chance.

    I’ll be waiting. Let’s see if you actually have a spine and genuinely think God is not a plausible explanation for the nature of reality, or if you are just an abject coward that wants to say:”Hi, I’m Hemant Mehata, NATUREDIDIT, Ima Free-thinker now”

    • Cornell

      And if you wish to run away and not defend your book that published by Christians go ahead.   I’ll make note to everyone that you are one to run from a challenge.    All talk and no game, you just want to post links and that’s it.  You can find my 1 star review on the amazon page regarding “I sold my soul on ebay”.  That’s where I’ll be, if I don’t see you or any of your friendly atheist buddies (who do nothing but complain about how much they hate Christians)  then, what can I do? 

      I can’t fix cowardliness….

      Perhaps though I can go a few rounds of debate with your fellow posters.   So my time here wouldn’t be such a waste of time.

      I’m not coming back here to look at your reply, so if you want to say something to me.  You can defend your emotional book on amazon.  

      • LesterBallard

        Yawn.

        • Coyotenose

           *Yawn*

          Dammit, those things are contagious.

          • LesterBallard

            Wouldn’t it be nice if critical thinking was contagious .. . .

      • Artor

        “I’m not coming back here to look at your reply,…” Oh bullshit. You’ll come back here every few hours to see if you’ve stirred anyone up with your trolling. Yawn.

      • Sven

        -Accuse people of “cowardliness”
        -Leave drive-by comments and announce you’re never coming back.

        Hahaha, good one!  Your imitation of a dishonest fundy is spot-on!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Buchy/542338898 James Buchy

         I get what he/she/it REALLY is, a sales troll for Amazon, since you can’t reply to any of his lame rants on Amazon unless you make a purchase.

        • Anonymous Atheist

          As if there aren’t plenty of much better reasons for having an Amazon account than just another place for arguing with religious nuts… but FYI, all it takes to get an account activated for full posting privileges is any non-free purchase (and a 48-hour waiting period); this can be as little as a $0.99 Kindle ebook (or in limited countries, an MP3, video rental, or Android app). So you don’t have to let Amazon make more than a very negligible amount of money from it if you really want to pursue that.

      • amycas

         “I’m not coming back here to look at your reply, so if you want to say
        something to me.  You can defend your emotional book on amazon. ”

        Seriously? You came over to his turf to try to stir up shit, and now you’re telling him he has to defend himself on Amazon because you can’t bother to check back in the place where you made this ridiculous challenge?

        Hubris, thy name is Cornell.

      • Antinomian

        I see someone is wearing their passive-aggressive panties today.

    • C Peterson

      There’s nothing to debate. It’s like having a debate about whether the Earth is flat, or whether humans are changing climate. There exist NO rational grounds for supposing any gods exist. Zero. So a rational debate is impossible, and an irrational one is pointless.

      Rationally, the matter of the existence of a god or gods is settled beyond reasonable doubt.

      • Cornell

        You are a typical village atheist.

        Just because you say GOd does not exist, it doesn’t magically entail that God does not exist.    This flawed emotional reasoning might work for you, but I’m not buying your meaningless drivel for one second.

        The Earth being flat is a false analogy, we have professors in academia that still take this question seriously and debates still occur.  Why?  because it is the most important question one will ever face in our lives.    It’s been a philosophical question since the days of Aristotle, and whether you like it or not the debate has not been settled. 

        You are probably just a layman that hasn’t popped open a philosophy book in your lifetime.

        Why don’t back up your words a bit and come join me here:http://www.amazon.com/Sold-My-Soul-eBay-Atheists/product-reviews/1400073472/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_1?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addOneStar&showViewpoints=0

        Talk is cheap, so if God is irrational I should see MANY, MANY, MANY REASONS on why this is so.  All I see from you so far is a bare assertion based on NOTHING but emotion, come on over and let’s see if you are for real.

        • Cornell

          Honestly I think C Peterson is trying to make ‘excuses’ and wants to promote a cop-out tactic.

          Hey did you know that Atheist Scientists such as Richard Dawkins, Lawerence Krauss and Peter Atkins have debated the existence of God?

          I guess by your flawed reasoning we should ask them why didn’t debate whether or not the world was flat.

          Well I guess I’m done here addressing your terrible cop-outs, I linked the link so if you want to put your money where your mouth is, come on and SHOW ME WHY your little magical worldview in which ‘reason came about from a reasonless process’ is more rational to hold to.

          • LesterBallard

            I said Yawn.

          • TalkingSnake

            You strike me as the type of person who hasn’t done the courtesy of looking up any of the arguments counter to your position.

            Atheists are no longer some fringe position.  Many people don’t accept the existence of deities – check out some of the latest Pew Research on the growth of non-belief.

            I mention this because we don’t feel obligated to find a podium any longer.  Our position is clear and strong.  You are the one making the claim about the existence of a magic sky-daddy, not us.  The burden of proof is on you, not us.  And you can’t come up with a single shred of evidence that stands up to any scrutiny.

            Ancient “miracles”, arguments from incredulity, reference to magic books, CS Lewis/Aquinas thought experiments – these are not evidence.  It seems the one thing your provincial, omniscient, omnipresent deity can’t do is produce evidence of himself.  It is really quite comical to watch you god-botherers get your panties all wadded up over this, trotting out debunked arguments like irreducible complexity, intelligent design, or the illusion of design.  Yawn.

            What is hilarious is that you point out EXACTLY why many famous non-believers no longer debate evangelical creotards – it gives your ilk a measure of respect that you have not earned.

            So go drool into your horrid misogynistic tome, continue the mental masturbation about angels, devils, spirits, and whether the big guy is capable of preventing evil but doesn’t want to, or is just incapable – it sounds deep and philosophical and may keep the shroud of mystery up a few years longer.

            • Artor

              Don’t waste your breath- he’s trolling. There’s nothing worth debating here.

              • Coyotenose

                 Nah, it’s cool if people want to shred him.  It’s their time to spend, after all, and it’s good practice for when the rare slightly-more-articulate-than-a-hamster Creationist comes along.

                The biggest drawback is the occasional waste of a really good zinger. You can reuse them, of course, but it just isn’t the same.

          • amycas

             Why do you keep replying to yourself?

            • allein

              I looked at his link to Amazon…he appears to be having a conversation with himself under a different name there. (The “other” poster uses the phrase “village atheist” as well, which makes me just a tad suspicious…). Oddly, no one else has replied to his review.

        • LesterBallard

          Yawn.

        • Artor

          Obvious troll is obvious. 

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Weren’t you the one who tried to stun us with a bunch of symbolic logic a couple of weeks back?  Your “naturedidit” rings a bell.

          Nobody here is trying to prove God doesn’t exist.  You’re the one saying you can prove it does, but for all your hiding behind your philosophy books and insults, all you have done is regurgitate the mental masturbation of others.  “Let P be a necessary being, then !P blah blah blah”.  Those games always include some unfounded assertion, like the numbers trick that ends with “But there are no grey elephants in Denmark!”

          What I’m curious about is why you’re so intent on fighting over it?  You seem to have a real need to ‘win’.  Why is that?  Are you really that insecure that you have to prove yourself to yourself?

          We don’t think God exists, and we really don’t care if you do.  Go drink a Pina Colada.  Get caught in the rain.  Make love at midnight in the dunes of the cape.

          • Blacksheep

            Damn I wish I had thought to use that quote at some point. Funny.

          • Coyotenose

             Yeah, it’s him. He’s too dumb to understand that he gives himself away over and over.

        • Ned Ludd

          “if God is irrational” Which god do you mean? If it is the Biblical god, you just need to reed the Bible to see that he is irrational.

          The ancient Greeks had the idea that the earth was spherical in the 6th c BCE.  Later Aristotle provided evidence and Eratosthenes proved it in the 3rd c BCE.

          Seleucus of Seleucia also said that the earth revolved around the sun. It was not a philosophical argument for them. It was proven physical fact. It is not an open question today either. I doubt you have ever opened either a philosophy book(which is of doubtful use anyway)nor a science book, particularly a physics book.

      • Mike Laing

         I guess you’ve never read the constitution, then?
        Grade school level is still way over the heads of most of these folks.

    • Sven

      “So if you, or your friendly atheists here want to defend your terrible book that provided NOT ONE REASON why “Naturedidit” sounds more reasonable than “God”, go ahead.”

      The laws of nature can be tested and demonstrated, but the nebulous idea of “god” can NEVER be tested OR demonstrated.

      The laws of science are falsifiable, but the hypothetical existence of “god” is not.

      For example, the (tested and demonstrated) laws of thermodynamics preclude the existence of any immortal being.  Entropy doesn’t allow it.  “God” is impossible.  Hmm.  That was easy.  Now prove me wrong. Break the laws of thermodynamics.  Build me a perpetual motion machine.

      • Sven

        You were talking about “cowardliness”?  Prove me wrong.  Pray that my coffee mug turns into a ferret.  Show me how men can be created from dust and women can be created from men’s ribs.  Show me how things can be created from nothingness*.

        There is no dragon in the garage.

        * anticipating the predictable creationist counterargument: No, the “Big Bang” hypothesis does not suggest that the universe popped into existence from nothingness.  Rather, the mass-energy of the universe is and always has been constant (in accordance with the laws of physics), but before the singularity it was in an unknown configuration.

      • Blacksheep

        Sven,
        My understanding is that the law of thermodynamics / entropy work against evolution too, no?

        • Sven

          Thermodynamics certainly does NOT work against evolution.  Why would it?

          The Earth is not a closed thermodynamic system.  The Sun is constantly showering the Earth with light and heat (in other words, usable energy) to sustain life and allow it to grow, reproduce, and thus evolve.

        • amycas

           Your understanding is flawed. Think about it, either you’re wrong or millions of biologists over the last century and a half have just forgotten to account for physics. Hmm, I think I’ll go with the former.

        • Coyotenose

           Nope. Some Creationist made that up a while back, and it stuck just because they kept repeating it among themselves. In order for evolutionary processes to be impossible in living beings, those beings would have to not eat, drink, excrete, inhale, exhale, lose or gain heat, or otherwise in any way interact with anything outside themselves. Obviously, nothing in the universe fits that description.

          And since evolution occurs in species, not individuals, each member of that species would have to exchange no energy with the environment, which would make reproduction a neat trick.

          Basically, the only thing that can’t exist because of the Laws of Thermodynamics is God. Now, explaining THAT usually makes people counter with some variation of “God is beyond Physics.” No, he isn’t. Everything is part of physics. If something alters the tiniest mote of matter or energy is the tiniest way, it has properties identifiable as physics. If Voldemort showed up in London today with an army of his dark-whatever wizard followers and began casting what were inarguably magic spells, those spells would still be part of Physics. We’d just have to figure out what we didn’t know yet about Physics that was causing those phenomena.

          Any science majors here, please feel free to correct me, because I’m an English major. :P

        • http://www.facebook.com/abb3w Arthur Byrne

           As several others have noted, this is a misunderstanding. In fact, it’s ultimately the Second Law of Thermodynamics that underlies evolutionary natural selection. For a derivation, see “Natural selection for least action”, Kaila and Annila (doi:10.1098/rspa.2008.0178).

          Essentially, the second law dictates that local order can and will increase as a result of a mass-energy flow between two regions with unequal entropy. Thus, if you put a mason jar of everclear into the freezer, and then set it out in a humid room, the flow of energy into the resulting heat sink allows for the order in the atmospheric water to increase, forming ice crystals. The overall entropy continues to increase, but local entropy decreases.

          In the case of earth’s biosphere, the energy flow is from the sun to the earth, and on to the heat sink of (ultimately) the 3K background.

    • LesterBallard

      Yawn.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      But my book is so amazing :( Go change your rank!

      • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

        “Come back here you coward! I’ll bite your legs off!”

        (I’m replying to you because I didn’t want to feed the troll directly.)

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Buchy/542338898 James Buchy

           I’m waiting for him to lob the “holy hand grenade”.

        • Coyotenose

           He’s had worse.

    • curtcameron

      I never realized that Hemant’s book was supposed to be an argument against the existence of god(s). I agree with you – IF that’s what it was supposed to be, it’s one big fail.

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      To the sock puppet currently calling himself “Cornell:”

      You are the same troll who went by the name “Guest,” then by the sock puppet calling yourself “Leibnizian Christian,” then by the sock puppet calling yourself Timelessapologist, and I’m sure I’ll eventually track down a few more of your sock puppet incarnations.

      You have more puppets than Sesame Street.

      You’re fond of calling people cowards. One of the most cowardly things to do on a blog is to be a troll under a screen name, then get your ass handed to you by several commenters who cut your asinine remarks into little pieces, then go lick your wounds and come back later hiding behind a sock puppet to try it all over again with remarks even more inane, then once again get your ass handed to you on a silver platter with a garnish of parsley and cherry tomatoes, then disappear for a few days and return holding up a new sock puppet, trying unsuccessfully to disguise your voice to say even sillier things,  then with a growing tedium have your ass handed to you once again, this time wrapped with gold foil paper and a lovely purple lace ribbon and multi-looped bow, then disappear for a while only to return with still another sock puppet, and only to have your now downright bizarre babbling get you your ass handed to you special delivery with a trio of Tyrolean yodelers.

      It doesn’t matter how many sock puppet disguises you try. The smell gives you away.

      You are the coward. If you had courage, you’d stick to one recognizable name and take your ass-handing like a grownup every time your narcissism compels you to go trolling for your attention fix.  Being a Dennis Markuze, aka Mabus, aka dozens of transparent aliases wannabe is a sad, sad waste of what’s left of your life.

      I think that even for the high tolerance that this blog shows to trolls in general, your repeated disruption of post after post, and your chicken shit sock puppeteering have thoroughly worn out your welcome. I hope that Hemant bans you.

      • CelticWhisper

        And an epic verb-stomp from Richard has Cornell at a serious disadvantage here, folks.

        Game. Set. Match.

        • Coyotenose

           Spear! SPEAR!!!!!

          I prefer professional wrestling analogies to tennis. ;)

      • Ida Know

         I really wish there were a Love button.   “Like” seems so inadequate.

    • Sindigo

      You have proven yourself to be an abusive, hyperbole-prone troll. Why would anyone ever choose to engage you in debate?

      Also, the Amazon product review section is a terrible place to choose to debate anything.

    • Coyotenose

      Jesus, why are these sock puppet shoe scrapings always so stupid that they don’t realize they identify themselves by dozens of grammar “tags” with each post?

  • C Peterson

    I think it is somewhat inaccurate to characterize FFRF as an “atheist group”. While most of its members certainly are atheists, not all are, and its mission isn’t really about advancing atheism. It is, first and foremost, an organization dedicated to maintaining the separation of state and church, and to an extent is anti-religion- at least to the extent that it happily points out the failures of religion as a tool for advancing its primary mission.

  • bairdduvessa

    yes!

  • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

    I like the idea, but the execution wasn’t so great. The message was all over the place.

  • Lurker111

    They used up a whole page for this?  Even if the newspaper is tabloid (a size designation here, folks), you only need half a page to get people’s attention.  You could have used the other half for a point-for-point refutation of the earlier ad.  As such, you have sound bites here but nothing to bite on.
     

  • Blacksheep

    That thing is horribly written – not to mention that while one is trying to make sense of it the star boarder is playing a wierd, wavy visual eye illusion.

    • Coyotenose

       Argh dammit, I didn’t notice that before, and now I can’t unsee it!

  • amycas

    The ad reads like something that was written by committee. This is what happens when you can’t agree on a central thesis people!

  • observer

    I thought everyday in America is Constitution Day.

  • Barbara

    Speaking of the whole “in god we trust” fiasco, there’s a petition on the White House site to bring back America’s original motto of E Pluribus Unum (“out of many, one”). I checked back on how many signatures it’s gotten. Still needs a little over 24,000 signatures by October 10. The link is below. Together, we can make our voices heard!

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/change-national-motto-back-e-pluribus-unum/K6P56Rcn


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