Why atheists aren’t suing Muslims in 10 questions

Christina here…

I’ve come across a curious type of comment lately, usually in reference to the FFRF or other organizations working to protect our freedoms under the Establishment Clause:


@theblaze @billyhallowell I like the question about the athiest lawsuit. Why don’t the athiests go after the Muslims. Are athiests Muslims?

— Joe Snuffy (@Snuffy_Joe)


@ziztur so show me one lawsuit atheists have brought against muslims or hindus or Jews

— Talesin (@talesin)


Presumably, the people who are asking this question have an answer, which goes like this: because atheists are really just anti-Christian, are secretly Muslim, or have some other nefarious reason for “attacking” Christians but not Muslims. That’s why they only sue Christians.

People who ask questions like these are correct on one thing: most of the time, when you hear about lawsuits brought against religious groups in the USA, Christianity is the religion in question.

Here’s the answer. We atheists really are up to no good. Here, I’ll show you with ten examples:

1. Why aren’t there news stories about atheists suing the government of a local town, because that town has decide to carve passages from the Koran into the marble entryway of a courthouse?

  • Because Muslims have never carved passages from the Koran into the marble of the courthouse entryway (or done anything else analogous). Unlike Christians, who have ten commandments displays in courthouses all over the country.

2. Why aren’t there news stories about atheists suing to have the 9/11 Muslim memorial removed as a violation of the establishment clause?

3. Why aren’t there news stories about atheists suing to remove “Under Allah” from the pledge of allegiance?

  • Because it says, “Under god”, yo. If we sue to have “under god” removed, then we’re not targeting any specific religion.

4. Why hasn’t the ACLU sued Muslim charter schools for using taxpayer funds to promote religion?

5. Why hasn’t the ACLU sued to stop schools from forcing children to recite Hindu prayers before classes start in a public school?

  • Because Hindus, unlike Christians, don’t force kids in public schools into reciting Hindu prayers. Nor have other minority religions tried to make kids in public schools recite prayers.

6. Why hasn’t the ACLU sued the library in a prominent Jewish neighborhood when it blocked access to Christian websites?

7. Why haven’t atheists sued to block Pennsylvania from declaring 2012 the “year of the Koran”?

  • Because Pennsylvania didn’t try to declare 2012 the “year of the Koran” – that was the “year of the Bible“. Nor has any state or local government tried to do anything even remotely similar.

8. Why haven’t atheists sued to remove a Muslim prayer on display in a public school?

  • Because there aren’t any Muslim prayers (or prayers from other minority religions) on display in public schools for atheists to sue over.

9. Why don’t atheists sue Islamic countries where apostasy is illegal?

  •  Because the world doesn’t work like that.  We would if we could.

10.Why haven’t atheists sued to block Muslims from invoking Shariah Law in court proceedings?

  • Because a Muslim invoking Shariah Law in court proceedings is as effective as a Christian invoking Old Testament law in court proceedings: a Christian or a Muslim can invoke whatever silly law they please, but that’s no threat to established domestic law. I could invoke “atheist law”, which allows me to speed 15 miles over the speed limit on Sundays, but my local court will just roll their eyes and fine me anyway.

The reason atheists, the FFRF and the ACLU target Christians for lawsuits under the establishment clause isn’t because we just hate Christians so much. It’s because Christians are violating the establishment clause with reckless abandon, while other minority religions are not.  People just don’t make good legal targets when they aren’t doing anything illegal.

-Learn more about Christina and follow her @ziztur.

About christinastephens
  • Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    ZOMG atheists don’t try to stop minority religions from doing things they don’t have the power to do because the majority religion is too busy exploiting its power to trample all over them.

  • otocump

    Good article, though that last line will get mined and spun. I’m kinda interested who’ll spin it and the results because I think it’ll be hilarious, but still….just saying. Quote-mine material out of context.

  • Jasper

    Cue the “Stop breaking the law, asshole!”

    In short, Christians are predominantly the ones breaking the law here.

  • eric

    The corollary question that one often gets is: “why doesn’t the ACLU defend Christians when their freedom of speech is being repressed?” The answer is, “they do.”

  • Baal

    Thanks for this :); I love having a big grin on my face in the morning. It makes my co-workers wonder why I’m smiling.

  • http://pzer0.com Dan

    A proper response to “why do atheists hate christians so much?” is clearly “why do christians hate following the law?”

  • http://www.ziztur.com Christopher Stephens

    “If we sue to have “under god” removed, then we’re not targeting any specific religion.”

    That’s a good point; either they don’t know that atheists also sue to remove “Under God” from the pledge (unlikely, this is usually one of the first cases that they bring up), or they think that “Under God” clearly refers to the Christian god. I’m so shocked.

  • Eileen

    Great read, as always. Thanks for brightening up my morning, and also giving me a nice link whenever I get this question. I love having ammo against christians with a persecution complex.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/almihrab/ Irfan

    Good piece….thanks for sharing. P.S. I’m an American Muslim.

  • Dan Lewis

    I think it’s sad that there’s some falsehood in some of the answers. Those rotten apples can ruin the entire barrel.

    • christinastephens

      Could I bother you to tell me what falsehoods you’re talking about?

      • Andrew Kohler

        Hmmm, it’s been over three months and still no specific points have been adduced. Curious, no? ;-)

  • RuQu

    Didn’t you know? Being a Muslim is apparently a crime in itself in the minds of these people. At least where I live, I frequently hear people assume Muslim = terrorist.

    • Sane Man in a Loony World

      It’s disgusting how much Muslims, as people, are degraded. Mostly, this is done by Christians. Atheists do nothing to degrade people. We do everything in our power to eradicate insanity, be it Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc. I know Muslims are not all terrorists. I also know that Islam preaches much violence at its core, much like Christianity. So no, being Muslim isn’t a crime. It’s just doing yourself a great disservice.

      • Baal

        There are bad people who are also atheists. There is a bias toward liberalism in the US atheist population and we don’t do as many bad acts (judging by the prison population) as the rest of the country but they (bad folks who are atheists) exist. This isnt to say they do the bad acts in the name of atheism; they don’t. They are still people.

  • ZiaMccabe78

    Fantastic article. Christians just have a hard time understanding that they are the primary offenders.

  • topeka

    “It’s because Christians are violating the establishment clause with reckless abandon, while other minority religions are not.”

    Nonsense. 1 . The statement is a factual misrepresentation of the meaning of the establishment clause. (At least prior to its redefinition by Justice Black – conceivably the establishment clause is whatever SCOTUS says it is.)

    2. The establishment clause was originally seen as law intended to prevent a religious sect from imposing its religious views on the national, state, and local communities. Hence, using it to establish the religion of atheism is a violation of the establishment clause.

    3. Promoting the culture, history, and philosophy which makes it possible for a dissenting viewpoints to exist in a civil society is a good idea. Taking offense to the 10 Commandments, e.g., carved into public edifices is simply taking an offense to the community’s history, culture, and its civil order. This is the same as promoting all of the offensive (and dangerous) alternatives.

    4. When you have achieved your goal of intolerance of the tolerant: You will have a society that cannot defend itself from intolerant beliefs – including those arising from your viewpoint, and those arising from the “majority” viewpoint.

    5. The ACLU has strong communist roots. Other than an nominal variation of the “atheism” cult – I doubt you would enjoy any society operating on the basis of such a political system.

    6. As to your other points – I technically agree. When trying to destroy a community, always attack it at the weak points. Since “good” in a Christian culture includes “humility” – attack the visible points where the uninformed or misinformed might question the puffing and boasting of the established culture. i.e. if a Christian society is a humble society, then it’s a hypocritical society to point out its advantages – even if such advertising and promotion are necessary to sustain those advantages. Thus it’s no surprise communists decided to attack the community’s pride and pride-based symbols.

    7. Unfortunately. … do you have any idea what happens then? When a minority cult can impose its religious view on the majority? When the established community cannot defend itself? When even public displays which might jog suspicions are forbidden? Or worse – tolerated in forums which are intrinsically marginalized? This has happened before. The result is cultural failure. And if there is an atheist utopia out there – please identify it. As the cliche goes; those who live in glass houses should think twice before throwing stones.


    • RobMcCune

      1. Government can’t take steps to establish a religion, but is due to the need for approval from authority many christians seem to have.
      2.I don’t see a demarcation point between sect and religion, or how certain degrees of religion in government are OK. Atheists don’t want an atheist religion at all let alone a state atheist religion, if you knew anything about atheism you’d know atheists have caught tons of flak for that very thing. What your doing is projecting your theocratic urges onto others.

      3. No one is ‘offended’ by the 10 commandments, they are a religious symbol being displayed on government buildings. They have never been used to establish civil order, so getting rid of them won’t open the flood gates to “dangerous alternatives”.

      4. Where was that goal stated, and for that matter when have fundamentalists ever been tolerant? Secularizing the government won’t mean christianity goes away. The bill of rights protects individual freedoms from majority rule. Religion, for the most part, has tried undercut individual rights through majority rule. Your slippery slope arguments have no merit.

      5. Citation needed. The ACLU routinely defends the religious freedom of christian when they aren’t trying to impose their beliefs or worship through the government. Maybe you should learn about the organization from someone other than Joe McCarthy.

      6. You couldn’t think of a rebuttal there could you, have fun in your fantasy world fighting invisible subversive communists.

      7. Yup, you’ve completely run out of ideas, a 10 point rebuttal might be too much for you, 5 seems to be your limit. As for your fantasy world, do you really think your religion is not strong enough to survive without government endorsement? I bet you have all sorts “faith is more powerful than x” stories you forward to friends and relatives. Religion is publicly displayed all the time by private individuals and organizations on their private property, and yet no atheist challenges it. Churches have the freedom to put up religious displays all they want, city halls don’t. Now I understand you can’t tell the difference because they’re both authorities to you, but one is a government institution and one is not.

    • JSC_ltd

      Hm, it looks like your position is built entirely on sand.
      1. The Establishment Clause does in fact mean what the Supreme Court says it means. That’s how our government works. See Marbury v. Madison.
      2a. Even if you are correct about what the Establishment Clause “originally” meant, and I maintain that you are not because it says “religion” and not “sect,” that is not relevant to current events.
      2b. Atheism is not a religion.
      3a. Total logic fail. I barely know where to start. Carving ten commandments onto a government building is government establishment of religion, not merely promoting culture, history, or philosophy. Taking offense to government establishment of religion is perfectly acceptable, and in my opinion is a duty of Constitution-loving Americans.
      3b. How are these commandments related to any civil order in the U.S.? I can take a guess as to which ten commandments you are referring to, but remember that there are two sets in the Bible. None of them are referred to even obliquely in the Constitution. Only three of them describe illegal acts (murder etc., theft etc., and perjury). The rest are irrelevant to “civil order.”
      3c. Your last sentence under point 3 is vague to the point of meaninglessness.
      4. More gobbledigook. Learn how to write.
      5. [Citation needed].
      6. Jesus H. Christ leafing desperately through a grammar primer, you are a terrible writer.
      7. Yes, do go on about what can happen when part of society can impose its religious beliefs on the rest of society by violating the Establishment Clause. Again, atheism is not a religion. We only insist that the First Amendment be adhered to. Such adherence does nothing to restrict personal public displays; believers will still be able to express their beliefs wherever they want (barring “reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions,” see Frisby v. Schultz). They simply may not use government buildings or other resources to do it.
      8. Your passive-aggressive winking smiley does nothing to dispel your douchebaggery.

    • Joe

      In reply to your number 2, the Establishment Clause leans towards a secular (not atheist) position because it is the only reasonable middle ground. References to ‘The Lord” and the Ten Commandments will alienate Muslims. References to Allah will alienate Christians. Generic references to “God” will alienate Hindus. References to the being no god (the atheist position) will alienate religious people. The only way not to alienate anyone is to not refer to religion at all – the secular position. (But then, what do I know about the American Constitution, I’m an Aussie)

    • Anonymous

      1. You got it. The laws are what the lawmakers/Supreme court say they are.

      2. Atheism isn’t a religion. Despite that, if atheists wanted to have “There are no gods!” engraved on the courthouse lawn, that would be a violation of the establishment clause. You’re confusing neutrality for atheism.

      3. This is not about “taking offense” as people don’t have the right to not be offended. This is about violating the law. This is not about “simply taking an offense to the community’s history, etc” – if a community’s history, ect are illegal, then they are illegal. That’s what the lawsuits are about.

      4. Citation needed.

      5. Citation needed. p.s. the ACLU defends Christians too.

      6. We’re not trying to destroy a community. We’re trying to preserve a community. Including religious communities.

      7. We’re not trying to impose atheism – we’re trying to promote neutrality. Again you confuse the two. We’re not trying to force kids to read the God Delusion in school (or similar). Not even close.

    • Anonymous

      Hi. I live in South Africa and I am an atheist. Lucky for me I was born and raised that way. In SA, we face a few challenges on the religious front. Yes, this country is majority Xtian, but we have an ever growing and increasingly-vocal Islamic movement. Due to a bunch of political ties and debts, we are already seeing major banks adopt Shariah banking, next will be Shariah law. In fact we had an absurd incident this year around easter, when a major supermarket chain advertised Halal hot cross buns. The Xtians here are largely toothless, very different to you in the US, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have some very real religious problems happening. For example, our people in townships frequently kill and torture the muslims. Don’t for one second think that the world you live in (USA) is the be all and end all of religious nonsense. I live in a country where gay marriage is legal and constitutionally protected – this has not stopped certain communities from beheading and otherwise abusing gays. If Africa becomes entirely lost to Islam, there is a serious knock on effect for the rest of the world. Think about it.

  • PS

    I am no longer a Christian because too much horribleness has been done in the name of the person so many claim to be their “savior”. And so much evil has been done in the name of “God” over centuries. How could that be?

    • John J.

      Just because people do evil things in the name of Jesus Christ, it doesn’t mean He is evil. The Vatican, which claims to be Christian, but is actually comprised of pagan occultists, murdered millions of Bible believers for having a Bible or a portion of a Bible, during the Spanish Inquisition. Look up A Lamp In The Dark: The Untold History Of The Bible.

      The Roman Catholic Church is counterfeit Christianity as are most of the Protestant Churches. Instead if mass murder nowadays, the Vatican is bringing the Protestant Churches back into the fold and infiltrating the mainstream churches with, among other things, counterfeit Bibles, basically anything but the King James Bible. Read the King James Bible if you wish to know the truth. If you are willing to know the truth, God will show you it. If not, you will continue to be deluded.

      • Andrew Kohler

        One wonders, how is a version of the Bible “counterfeit Bible,” and whence the claim that only the King James version is reliable? That’s not the original; it’s a translation like these various other English versions one sees floating about. It was completed in 1611, well over a thousand years after the completion of the youngest canonic texts. If any Bible is authentic, it is the Hebrew and Greek versions. I would say that all Bibles that claim to be the Word of God are counterfeit, regardless of language or translation, as there is no such thing as the Word of God.

        As to the Vatican trying to prevent people from reading the Bible, that’s obscurantism, a contemptible effort to control the public by denying them information. Deplorable and evil, but largely unrelated to the the King James Bible: the description for the video linked to above references the middle ages and Martin Luther, both of which predate the KJB.


  • Anonymous

    actually, muslims have infiltrated the schools, and the children were, as an assignment, to recite muslim prayer…. so… where was the law suite? not from atheist ….

    • baal

      Turns out the ACLU (A for American not atheist) did sue (and won) to stop teaching of Islam at one school. The rest of the time, however, you’re entirely factually wrong. There is not infiltration from Muslims. Did you have some evidence other thant right wing propaganda?

      • baal

        See also point #4 above….

  • Anonymous

    Trow all your Dollars in the trash. After all they say IN GOD WE TRUST……………….

    • Andrew Kohler

      I think it’s great when really unserious comments such as this one are made anonymously, don’t you all agree?

  • http://www.rhetorich.com Rich

    In case any creationists tell you dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time, you can tell them you know where all the dinos went. They disappeared in the VelociRapture.

    This was a well done piece. Thank you.

    Wife and I went out today and bought an Atheistmas Tree.

    Yes, this will feel like spam, but you might simply enjoy the designs. There are 10 religion/atheism-themed and 150 others at http://www.cafepress.com/rhetorich/9417493. For instance, “My frying pan doesn’t know if there is a God. Ag No-Stick.”

    Be well.

  • Anonymous

    This is foolish,and clearly not enough to go on..

  • Scott

    Because atheist know that they are scared and muslims would kill all of them. That’s why. And better yet, why haves several confirmed atheist in the past believe in God on their deathbed?

    • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

      Did you READ the post? Or did you just jump straight in with “Atheists wouldn’t dare treat muslims that way because zomg”?

      “Better yet”, who told you “several confirmed atheists” converted on their deathbed? Which atheists were they? How do you know about their sudden belief? Why do you believe them? How would the person who told you know?

      “Better yet”, why do Christians fear death? How many Christians on their deathbed think “wow, I am no longer so absolutely sure in Christianity”?

      Why do you think the beliefs of someone who is dying – someone whose mind and body are failing – is a persuasive argument?

      Typical shallow thinker. Jump in months after the conversation has finished after not having read the post, and then immediately make unsubstantiated claims that wouldn’t be convincing even if you could provide reliable citations for them. If you think such lame “thought” and “evidence” is enough to shake the foundations of atheists’ worldviews, it says a lot about how much it took to convince you to believe that the invisible magic owner of the universe is your special friend forever.

    • hotshoe

      Scott, you’re a fool.

      Go to your room and don’t come back out again until you figure out why you’re a fool.

    • Nate Frein

      Going to add on to Zinc’s fine response and point out that there are many atheist activists working in Muslim dominated countries, working against Muslim theocratic influences.

      Further, many atheist activists fight even where the christian response to them is as brutal as any Muslim response.