Atheists Can’t Find Atheists to Support Atheism

Atheists, specifically, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, are in a full court press to take a public stand and declare their belief that God does not exist. The long-term implications of such a belief are horrendous to think about, but I’ll save my comments on that topic for another time.

First it was the American Atheists who set up a monument to “no God” (a = “no” + theism = “god” [atheism]) but couldn’t find an American founder who was an atheist.

It’s easy to find theistic founders who were critical of the way religion was practiced by the clergy.

Jesus was more critical of the religious leaders in Israel than He was of the Roman government. Matthew 23 is a chapter-length indictment of them: “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?” (v. 33; Matt 3:7; Luke 3:7). The Old Testament is equally damning (Isa. 1).

So finding people like Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Paine who were critical of the way Christianity was practiced in their day is neither unusual nor surprising. In fact, it’s quite biblical.

godlessconstitution01_cropped

The latest atheist campaign by the Freedom From Religion Foundation was conducted on July 4th to counter the folks at Hobby Lobby who placed ads in newspapers across the country touting America’s religious and Christian heritage. The Freedom From Religion Foundation ran a series of its own ads touting the “Godless Constitution” that references Jesus Christ (“Done in the Year of Our Lord. . .” ):

 “The ad is a direct response to a series of July 4 ads sponsored annually by Hobby Lobby since 2008, which shamelessly promote the myth that the United States was founded on God and Christianity. . . .

“The ads quote U.S. Founders and Framers on their strong views against religion in government, and often critical views on religion in general. The ad features two revolutionaries and Deists, Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin, and the first four presidents: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.”

The problem with the claims of the Freedom From Religion Foundation is that not one of the men they list was an atheist. A Deist (from the Latin deus = “god” or “deity”) believes in God. In Thomas Paine’s Common Sense (1776), Paine appealed to the Bible in his support for America’s independence from Great Britain. Paine (1737-1809) has an extended discussion of Judges 8:22–23 in Common Sense where he describes “the King of Heaven” to be Israel’s “proper sovereign.” He then spends several pages quoting, discussing, and making application of the importance of 1 Samuel 8 to the situation of his day. He concludes this section of Common Sense with these words: “In short, monarchy and succession have laid (not this or that kingdom only) by the world in blood and ashes. ’Tis a form of government which the word of God bears testimony against, and blood will attend it.”

He makes the following argument from the New Testament: ‘Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s’ is the scriptural doctrine of courts, yet it is no support of monarchical government, for the Jews at that time were without a king, and in a state of vassalage to the Romans.”

It was the later Thomas Paine who wrote The Age of Reason, nearly two decades after the publication of his Common Sense. It was after its publication that Paine lost his credibility among the people of his day. John Adams wrote the following n his diary dated July 26, 1796:

“The Christian religion is, above all the Religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern Times, the Religion of Wisdom, Virtue, Equity, and humanity, let the Blackguard[1] Paine say what he will; it is Resignation to God, it is Goodness itself to Man.”[2]

Age of Revelation

Available for $16.95 (Hardback)

Founding father Elias Boudinot wrote The Age of Revelation, a a book-length response to Paine’s Age of Reason.

Samuel Adams wrote Paine a stiff rebuke, telling him, “[W]hen I heard you had turned your mind to a defence of infidelity, I felt myself much astonished and more grieved that you had attempted a measure so injurious to the feelings and so repugnant to the true interest of so great a part of the citizens of the United States.”[3]

In his Introduction to Common Sense, Gregory Tietjen writes that Paine’s “explicit expressions of disbelief roused the faithful to fury and earned Paine an enmity that destroyed the good reputation he enjoyed for his earlier activities in behalf of the American cause. . . . [H]is polemics against President Washington had lost him the loyalty of many patriots, and his religious beliefs had earned him the wrath of the Christian faithful.”[4] Even the usually tolerant Quakers refused him burial in a Quaker graveyard.

There’s so much more. Our founders were not perfect, and many of them were not Christians, but there wasn’t an atheist among them.








Notes:
  1. scoundrel, rogue []
  2. John Adams, The Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L.H. Butterfield (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1962), 3:233–234. []
  3. William V. Wells, The Life and Public Services of Samuel Adams (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1865), 3:372–373. Letter to Thomas Paine on November 30, 1802. []
  4. Gregory Tiejen, “Introduction,” Common Sense (New York: Barnes & Noble, xii. []

Gary is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and earned his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. He is the author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles.

Posted in Atheism, Christianity, History, Morality, Politics Tagged with: , ,
  • nickRay

    Well duh Gary. Of course none of the founders could admit their aetheism. You good Christians would have put them to death. One of Christianity’s many dirty secrets is its reliance on state terror and violence to force itself onto others. ” In Maryland, “[t]he Maryland Toleration Act of 1649 had provided that anyone who would ‘blaspheme God, that is, to curse him, or shall deny our Savior, Jesus Christ,’ shall be punishable with death, and confiscation of all his property.” Id. at 78-79. Indeed, such “harsh blasphemy laws prevailed until 1819.” Id. at 79. Pennsylvania had a law “which imposed punishment upon anyone who would ‘wilfully, pre-meditatedly, and despitefully blaspheme, or speak lightly or profanely of Almighty God, Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit or the Scriptures of Truth.’” Id. Further, “[a]ccording to the Supreme Court of that state, this was still the law in 1824.” From Freedom from Federal Establishment: Formation and Early History of the First Amendment Religions Clauses, by Chester James Antieau,

  • simpletony1

    Atheists are dead by definition both here on earth and in hell where dead really hurts

  • mysticwine

    If God did not exist then He could not be defined, or named, or believed in, or referred to.
    A non-existence cannot be defined, named, believed in, or referred to.

    • COMALite J

      Right. Absolutely. Superman, the Avengers, Harry Potter, etc. all can be defined, named, believed in, and referred to, so they therefore exist.

  • mysticwine

    These dudes exist subjectively. Mathematics exists subjectively not objectively.

    The definition of a non existence is: ……………………..

  • simpletony1

    I wouldn’t think there’d be a shortage of such stupid people. There are so many. Some formerly “intelligent” people, or so I thought, STILL support obama. Good grief, what in the world will it take, for them to be looking out thru a small window in a ‘bunkhouse’ at one of those camps? How stupid does stupid get? I am absolutely flabbergasted at all the asleep, dumb, lazy and mentally incapacitated people who still support that evil muslim and his orangutan. The current bane of our existence and taking us to whole new levels beneath was our forefathers envisioned. Weren’t the 50s great?

  • ★✩★ David ★✩★

    I appreciated the Hobby Lobby and FFRF ads on
    July 4th Independence Day. If for no other reason but to show the lengths the
    God-less will go to undermine a nation. Beliefs are hard to dispel
    but facts of history are self evident. One only need to look at
    the Godless French Revolution that took place as ours ended.

    In France they burned the churches, murdered the priests, nuns,
    monks, among others and did so efficiently by inventing the
    guillotine – heads rolled and blood ran in the streets. They
    began a new calendar, their enlightenment was that human “Reason”
    would replace God the Creator. The results were utter wickedness.
    France has had five constitutions and over a dozen different
    governments while America remains as she started 237 years ago, a republic.

    Things were very different in America. In 1774, Congress appointed
    chaplains for itself and the army. It authorized the printing of the Aitkens Bible. Christian morality was adopted by the military, public
    lands were made available to promote Christianity among the native
    Indians. John Adams, George Washington and other founders were
    present at these earliest congressional meetings when on March 16,
    1776, “by order of Congress” a “day of Humiliation, Fasting and
    Prayer” where people of the nation were called on to “acknowledge
    the over ruling providence of God” and bewail their “manifold sins
    and transgressions, and, by a sincere repentance and amendment of
    life, appease his righteous displeasure, and, through the merits
    and mediation of Jesus Christ obtain his pardon and forgiveness.”

    Godless, hardly! America’s independence from Brittan was an acknowledgement of our collective dependence upon the Lord of Glory, God the Creator, Supreme Judge of the World.

  • simpletony1

    My work is done here. Just kidding, our work as believers, as Christians, is never done ’till the absolute end.

    • arich45

      Then you’re dead and lying in the ground forever. That’s all folks.

  • simpletony1

    You kids stop deliberating belly buttons and anuses; why can’t you all just get along? Atheists, you’re going to Hell. Believers, we’re going to Heaven. That’s it, game over. Unbelievers, go back to contemplating your navels but keep it to yourselves. We’ve told and shown you enough by witnessing to and encourage you but it’s all up to you. Jesus did everything you need here needed for people to make up their minds, especially with His Word. Read it, use it and join us in Heaven or go to Hell. It’s just that simple. No replies wanted or accepted. Game over.

  • Miko

    It must be illegal somehow for this group to use the “endorsements ” from these men posthumously. Where are the managers of their estates? Where are their children’s children outraged by such an inclusion?

  • Larry Lakee

    I am not sure which is worse, atheists, homosexuals, or Muslims!!!!

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqjjOrDq7ds Winston Blake

      You are not sure which is worse, atheists, homosexuals, or Muslims?

      ANSWER… Homosexuals.

      Mammalian evolution is entirely heterosexual and it agrees with Genesis.

      Muslims execute homosexuals, broken clocks are right twice a day.

      • Larry Lakee

        ha ha well I guess homos could hurt us worse than Muslims in the long run with the spread of aids, and molesting our children.

        Right Muslims execute Muslims but the also execute Christians too which is not good.

        I agree heterosexual agrees with Genesis don’t believe in evolution though. God create Adam from the dust and then took a rib from Adam and formed a women called Eve, The was the first marriage between male and female and God called it good.

        Homosexuals are spitting in Gods face and his Creation

  • bizbird6

    Scientific Method is the BEST way to determine Truth. Blind
    Faith is the WORST!

    Are you aware of the Scientific Method of “Hypotheses”,
    “Theory”, and “Law”? A proposal without evidences is a
    Hypotheses, while a Hypotheses with lots of evidences is promoted to a Theory.
    Finally A Law is the Prevailing FACT.

    Evolution, for example, is a Theory, since there are Evidences Galore to
    support that.

    The Idea of “God” and “Heaven” is a Hypotheses at best
    since there is absolutely NO Evidence that either Exist.

    I rely on the “Scientific Method” as the most Reliable way of
    determining Truth, while “Blind Faith” is the Dumbest!

  • bizbird6

    Who killed some 3000 innocent people in NY City in 2001, Believers or
    Non-believers?

    If these believing Muslim were Atheists or Agnostics, these 3000 or so New York victims would be alive today.

    Religion results in far more harm and evil than good.

    Look at all those religious wars, the Inquisition, burning of heretics, and
    suicidal bombings where thousands were victims.

    World War 1 and 2 results in the death of Millions and Millions, and yet the
    main participants of both wars were all Catholics (Italy and Germany),
    Christians (Germany), and Shintoist (Japan).

    Both the population and leaders of those countries were raised and brought up in Traditional Religion which did nothing to prevent the Wars and the slaughter of Millions.

    For example, Hitler and Mussolini were raised as Catholics and Stalin was
    raised a Russian Orthodox (I heard Stalin even wanted to be a priest in his
    childhood days. Hitler was even a Catholic Altar Boy when he was a Child.)

    It is not of LACK of belief, but strong BELIEF in religion that causes all this
    Harm and Evil in the World.

    It would be much better for the World if we ALL ABANDON TRADITIONAL Religion and adopt a Non-religious Belief.

    Both the population and leaders of those countries were raised and brought
    up in Traditional Religion which did nothing to prevent the Wars and the
    slaughter of Millions.

    For example, Hitler and Mussolini were raised as Catholics and Stalin was
    raised a Russian Orthodox (I heard Stalin even wanted to be a priest in his
    childhood days. Hitler was even a Catholic Altar Boy when he was a Child.)

    It is not of LACK of belief, but strong BELIEF in religion that causes all
    this Harm and Evil in the World.

    The FASTEST Growing Religion in the World today is “Non-Belief”,
    which increased from almost zero over 100 years ago to the third largest Belief in the World (next to Christianity and Islam).

    Non-Belief will be the largest Belief in the next 100 years or sooner. Christianity will be extinct as Greek Mythology by then.

  • bizbird6

    The Bible is full of misquotes, lies, and forgeries. You need to read two Bible experts who spent a lifetime studying the Bible. One is Bart Ehrman,
    who have written some 20 books already about the Bible. One of them is in the “Top Ten Best Seller list” called, “Misquoting Jesus”. The
    other is Bishop Spong who retired from the Episcopal Church.

    Both of them are experts on the Bible and both of them said
    that the Bible is full of inaccuracies, lies, and forgeries. They not only studied the Bible as you know them today, but also the original ancient text that the Bible today were translated from. Many of the ancient or
    medieval translators were amateurs, liars, fiction creators, or extremely poor translators that completely misread the earlier Bible.

    The Bible is NOT an piece of “revelation that was dropped
    from heaven”, but a Human piece written and translated over the many centuries by imperfect, fallible, ignorant, and erroneous Human Beings who don’t know any better.

    We must never use the Bible as a Guide as IT is a complete
    Fraud!

  • Ddenney1

    I understand that atheist are promoting a name change such as SODOMITES co-opting “GAY” to sound more positive. They want to call themselves “BRIGHT” ? I guess they want this nane because “DIMS” was already taken!!!

  • Sheila Rider

    I read a comment from someone here but now I cannot find it that said, why do you think all Liberals are atheist? Well, because you cannot be Godly and support Abortion for one thing. And abortion is the big one for Liberals. You cannot be a christian and say killing his creations are okay. Sorry but it is the truth.

  • Light_V_Dark

    Well, Gaytheist Men, are actually AUTISTIC¿¿
    http://www.renewamerica.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=175097#p175097
    ….
    Based on Wired Magazine’s observation that atheists tend to be quarrelsome, socially challenged men, to say nothing of the unpleasant personalities….

    http://retardnews.com/uploads/2009/fruit-helmet.jpg

  • Light_V_Dark
  • Light_V_Dark

    You Poncy Little Ghouls’ FAITH, comes from the Satanic-Socialistic-Gay-Fabians…

    ..Singing the Red Flag, the highborn sons of the British upper-class lay on the carpeted floor spinning out socialist schemes in homosexual intermission. Sometimes, one of the participants would shout out an obscenity – then, as if on signal, the entire group would join in a frenzied babble of profanity. Here and there individuals would smoke or chew hashish. Most had unkempt long hair, and some sported beards.

    Dame Maynard Keynes’ honey, Lytton Strachey
    http://www.knology.net/%7Ebilrum/lytton.jpg