2/06/2007                                                                                       View Comments

Discrimination against atheists?

CNN's recent report on allegations of discrimination against a family of atheists. The members of the "objective" panel in the second segment is interesting.



40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Paula Zahn is a fucking tool. Nothing more nothing less. another typical media whore selling her integrity for ratings.
Gimme a break.. not one Freaking Atheist on her panel?

CNN: America's most trusted propaganda.

D Laurier said...

There was a movie called,
Johnny Nobody.
The opening scene has the town "atheist" on a drunken rampage, shouting at everyone that
"Nobody can kill me, Bawhawhaw."

The "atheist" is a Huge hulking figure with brutish features, He is obviously the town bully. And only the town reverend dares to stand up to him.
The reverend of course is showen as a heroic figure.

Its a british movie and it dates from the early 1950s, But the caricature is part of the prevailing mythology.

My being an atheist makes me a drunk and a public menace.
I have been told that I live in an endless sex orgy, And that my life is a "crime spree".

The notion that I might hold a steady job, or that I might read books. Is unthinkable.

Anonymous said...

Yes...it's interesting how unbalanced this whole thing is. Put someone like Brett Keane on there for the interview and those folks would eat their words. It's also interesting that these folks aside from the black guy (who actually was the fairest) don't have a clue what this nation was based on. They all need to read the Bill of Rights. Also, under God was never in the pledge of allegiance. It was added later by President Eisenhower. What really makes an impression of me is that these folks claim to be people of faith and they pretty much act the opposite to what their faith dictates. It's crap like this that makes me dislike people of faith even more...and I'm not an a-theist.

Sarabhi said...

That panel was a complete joke. I'm sick to my stomach now...

huesnlight said...

+1 for the ESPN announcer. if there was any voice worth giving credit to, it's him.

Jamie G. said...

I wasn't surprised by the panel. Of course it pissed me off, but I'll stay civil.

First, it's apparent that Ms. Hunter thinks her hard stance is somehow going to win points with the American public, which it probably will with the religious right. I wouldn't be surprised if someone like her decided that atheists should have all their rights taken from them forcefully. I think if Ms. Hunter would look back during the civil rights era that there were news commentators saying the exact samething about the black community...that they should just shut up. And if they got their way she wouldn't be on the air.

Secong, Miss Sabrina the Teenage Witch is a closet Christian whether she says she is Jewish or not. Listening to her made me think they put a suit coat on one of the interns and told her to talk about god. "You can do that right, I mean, come on, we are only talking about atheists."

Third, Mr. Smith seemed to have some sense, although I was expecting him to break out in some COGIC preaching, he looked like he was starting to feel the spirit.

Yes, I was disappointed, but not surprised, even from CNN.

Jim Arvo said...

What a stunning display of ignorance and bigotry, especially from the two women on the panel. Note carefully that they both vociferously assert that atheists should "shut up" yet neither of them seems have the slightest clue what the issue before them is. They use their platform to gleefully flaunt their simple-minded prejudices rather than explore any idea. What a sad state this country is in if those two imbeciles are at all representative (and I fear that they are).

John W. Loftus said...

This program only inspires me to speak out in intelligent and cordial ways to reach believers with the evidence. There are things we can do. Up until now we sue in the courts over prayer and stuff. We need a charitable organization to pass out food to the hungry. We need some rich benefactor to buy up tons of atheist books and hand them out through student organizations on campuses around our country. Maybe the time is now to act. Maybe with Harris and Dawkins and Dennett, the time is now.

TastyPaper said...

"Atheists are not strong, and I think that's a good thing."

If this is the perception, we have to start fighting harder.

I'm fortunate to living in New York City, where like the gentleman said, it's not a big deal, but I was talking to a fellow last night in Georgia who is having these problems.

Heretic said...

As I was watching this video I was reminded of a very common quote in the media industry: “Every unopposed lie becomes truth within 24 hours”.

Why do they ALWAYS refer to the USA as a CHRISTIAN country? That is the BIGGEST LIE that they keep repeating and NOBODY ever refutes it! When did the US become a Christian country??? Was I in a coma when this became our OFFICIAL religion? When did we vote on that?

Our founding fathers were Freemasons who made the distinction between our government and (all) religion top priority when they designed our system of government! Where do those bible thumping ignorant assholes get off lumping everyone in this country as Christian? Every unopposed lie becomes truth within 24 hours………

I've been an American for 49 years and I have met other Americans who are Buddhists, Moslem, Seek, Taoists, Pagan, Satanists, Lucifarians, Rosicrucian’s, Catholics, Jewish, Atheist, etc.......What about all of those people? Are they NOT Americans anymore? And why the hell aren't those people pointing out the fact that they are NON-Christian Americans? I'll tell you why. Because we Americans have ALLOWED this SMALL MINDED pack of Morons to intimidate us, elect our moron president and run our country! It all started when they called themselves the Moral Majority. Remember that? Well, as it turns out, they are neither MORAL, nor are they the MAJORITY! But they act like they are and WE have allowed them to get away with it! In hind sight, I realize we should have nipped it in the bud during the Reagan era.

Unfortunately for us, these pea-brained fanatics have taken advantage of the fact that most NORMAL people are too busy trying to live their lives and take care of their families to get involved with the moronic bullshit that is the politics of this country. The majority of us believe in the "Live and Let Live" philosophy. We don't want religious wars, or any wars, for that matter. And we don't want to be involved in petty fights over dogmatic bullshit, and we don’t want to waste our time fighting with pompous, self righteous assholes that have some sort of sick fixation on what other people do in their own homes; especially their bedrooms.

Most of us don't have a problem with other people's beliefs or lifestyles. We don't care who our neighbor is boinking, or what color his skin is, or whether or not they smoke pot or eat pork. We just want a good world for our kids to grow up in, good food, and a nice place to live.

But these fundamentalist FREAKS are all about WAR and DOGMA and HATE and DISCRIMINATION! They WANT ARMAGEDDON to take place! Believe it folks! They are fucking insane! They are NO different than the Islamic terrorists and the Zionist terrorists! Of course they would run an atheist family out of town! I’m actually rather surprised they didn’t burn a cross on their front lawn and lynch them! It is the SAME mentality as the KKK or any other terrorist group! That family was smart to pack their stuff and get the hell out of Dodge!
These fundamentalist nutjobs will sacrifice their own children for their dogma and their mythological gods! I’m sure they would have no problem sacrificing someone else’s children!

We have allowed the fundies to take over our country and make the rules! And we don’t have a chance in their proverbial hell to change it unless we unite, organize and fight back! This will be tough, though. Because the crazies have gained a LOT of ground in the past 25 years or so! This is why I am very careful about what I say at work and in public.

Unfortunately for me, I live in the bible belt of the Midwest. I could literally lose my job or my life if I let on that I am not a Christian! Personally, I relish it when some bible thumping douche bag tries to cram their silly dogma down my throat! I just LOVE to chew-em-up and spit-em-out using the scripture from their own little bible! As it turns out, most so-called Christians don’t even read their own bible! They know LESS scripture than I do! And much, much less about the PAGAN and openly SEXUAL origins of their religion! It’s rather amusing to show them up when the opportunity arises! However, I must be careful in order to protect my kids, my job and my home. Never underestimate the lengths that these people will go to protect their “family values” against the evil atheists! We have allowed them to get a foothold and now they want to take over the world!

Stupid Anonymous said...

What was with the lady at the end of the panel saying tolerating atheism would somehow lead to intolerance (like in Europe, apparently)? WTF?

Spirula said...

"Why do atheists inspire such hatred"

Is that how it works now? Blacks inspire whites to hate them? Gays inspire heterosexuals to hate them? How soon can we expect CNN to use those story banners?

Oh, that's right...atheists. Sure, feel free to discriminate against them. After all, George H.W. Bush said he did not consider atheist worthy of American citizenship, nor were they patriots.

Fuckers.

Jamie G. said...

Heretic,
You said that you live in the midwest and would lose your job. I live in Oklahoma and fortunately, I don't live in one of those states that says atheists can't hold public offices, as far as I know. I am a cop, and I am pretty sure in my town that being an atheist in such a position would be looked down on (there is baptist churches everywhere here!), but nobody has said anything yet. I don't go around announcing my non-belief...but when people ask I will gladly tell them, and if they want to politely discuss it I will. Officers are required to not commit acts of moral turpitude and I have heard in some places atheists do get fired from similar positions for this very reason. But so far no one has said anything to me about my non-belief. However, since I am a recent de-convert I wouldn't be surprised if I caught more flak in the future.


Also....maybe that panel ought to look at the Treaty of Tripoli, we ARE NOT a christian nation!

slingshot said...

There are two females and two African Americans on that panel. I wonder how they would feel if they lived in Mississippi in the 1940's when they had to ride in the back of the bus and couldn't drink from the same water fountain as whites. I noticed that the African American female said that atheists should just shut up. This is not only rude, it is a violation of atheists' right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech means that anybody can say whatever they please. We all have that right in the USA. She has shown herself to be a bigot and her people were once opressed by whites in this country. Equality means equal treatment for all people. THAT is what this nation stands for. Equality. Some of us don't believe in the nonsensical religion called christianity.

They referred to the USA as a "christian nation." In fact, it is aproximately 40% christian and 40% catholic with the remaining 20% being a mix of atheists, agnostics, wiccans, hindus, muslims, new agers, etc. etc. etc..

The christian and catholic churches disagree on many things. The christian church is divided into countless denominations over the same book. One thing they agree on is "Jesus saves," and that a person who "accepts Jesus" is "saved," with everybody else destined to burn forever. I don't believe that doctrine. It doesn't fully explain the gospels, as far as I'm concerned, and I'll happily debate my point of view any day with any christian or catholic.

Christianity is nonsense, and men and women fought and died in wars for my right to say that.

I don't like it when somebody burns the American flag at my fee, but I must tolerate it, since they may do so in the name of freedom of speech.

I can say anything I damn well please.

Steven Bently said...
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slingshot said...

I mistakenly wrote "at my fee," which should read "at my feet."

Speaking of religious discrimination, I was once fired from a position of six years for telling a christian he's going to hell, in accordance with the teachings of the Saraydarian institute (www.Saraydarian.org,) which teaches a synthesis of the worlds religions. According to Saraydarian, the word hell is a word which originally meant reincarnation. In essence I was telling him that he would continue to reincarnate rather than going to heaven when he dies, since he believes that he can go through life being a total asshole to non-believers, as he was to me, and still go to heaven. This is not the way to heaven, according to Saraydarian. Shortly after our disagreement the manager scolded me, telling me "You told him he's going to HELL!!!" with anger and vengeance. She then ripped me a new one and terminated me. At the time, I was giving aproximately $750.00 per month to a single (christian) mom with three kids whose deadbeat (christian)ex-husband was too busy smoking pot to get a job and support his own children. He owed her about $65,000 when I met her. The children were ages 4, 6, and 8, and she was earning about $23,000 per year. I was working two jobs plus overtime in order to help her out. When they fired me she started giving blood to feed her children. She gave so much over a period of several months that she developed health problems. Imagine being twelve years old and knowing that your mother is going through this to put food on your plate. I hate those bastards for doing that to her and the kids. I complained to the eeoc, and I was treated as though I were a joke. I consulted an attorney, but he kept shaking his head "no" through the entire session. I suspect that he felt it was futile to go up against christianity here in the south where I live (Dallas, Texas, which is in the bible belt.) I couldn't afford to fight it on my own and I dropped the case. The kicker is that the single mom is the daughter of a christian preacher. Those sons of bitches did that to a fellow christian and nobody gave a damn! Christians tend to care about one thing only, and that is their alleged free ride to heaven on the blood of Jesus. They tend to be quite selfish, really.

That single mom is okay now. She's making about $43,000 per year now. One of her kids is eighteen years old and earning her own living.

Steven Bently said...
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Anonymous said...

These are growing pains. We cannot afford to stand down and deny what atheism is and that is a lack of beliefs based on the evidence.Will there be casaulties? Yes but I think in the end it will be worth it and necessary.

Trancelation said...

"Atheists need to shut up."

Ah. Yes, that was convincing. Such advanced linguistic fortitude, such an impressive logical application of an argument that is well thought-out and considered from every angle. I do suppose I'll be quiet now. After all, mixed messages embolden The Enemy.

*rolls eyes*

Hopefully, this nonsense will incite the backlash in other places that it has here. This war is an information war, and needs to be fought as such. I applaud the efforts of those fighting the War on Christmas, and even the less well-known War on Easter. As a teacher of mine once said, "Silence is compliance." The only way to fight back is to spread information, to spread the truth.

At least, that is the only civil way to fight back. These people want us to be quiet not because we "need to shut up," but because they fear us and they fear having their hold on the world broken and their beliefs challenged. The possiility of upsetting someone is no reason to be quiet. Indeed, to use their language, a little bitch that can't control their bladder needs to grow the hell up if they can't take the heat in the kitchen.

Dave, not the WM said...

As usual, CNN has a panel of theists to decide what our fate should be. The last time I saw CNN with a "debate" on the issue of atheism, their panel consisted of Rev Sharpton and Rev Jackson. What's their tagline... the network america trusts or some such shit?

Steven Bently said...

Yes we have been discriminated against way too long, because no one with any clout is standing up against the fundies and opposing what they are preaching, the religious propaganda is being spewed on all sources of media as being pure unequivocal fact.

The Fartwells and the Pat Robbersons and the Grahams are going into people living rooms and we all know that most Americans have not enough mental fortitude to separate fiction from fact.

We need a recognizable spokes person that is not afraid to speak up against religious propaganda.

But who could we elect that would be brave enough to stand up against the religious establishment?

We need to invest in a TV channel, that would oppose their religious dogshit.

The Free Speech Channel, it's got a good ring to it, that’s the quickest solution.

Anyone know how to go about renting a satellite channel, we could beg for funds just as easily as the fundies, and have a much more worthier cause.

I'm sure a lot of people would be willing to support it.

Then there would be a hefty portion opposed to it too, with boycotts and threats of violence and possibly even worse.

America needs to be awaken from the religious mind fog of myths and ancient superstitions.

tigg13 said...

There's already a satellite network called "Free Speech TV". They deal with a lot of issues big media won't touch like animal rights, global warming and the anti-war protests that have been going on since the first shots were fired in Iraq.

Its not enough to have a network, you've got to get people to watch it; you've got to let people know its there.

Contact you local cable and satellite providers and ask for this channel. Tell everyone you know about it and ask them to watch.

Then maybe we can get them to do a show about us and it will actually reach a decent sized audience.

Dirty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian said...

The actions that they were referring to such as the lawsuits to remove 'god' from everything that this country holds dear are the actions of a few ;of a small minority of extremist anti-theists. As an atheist, I ask you, America, please do not judge me or any other person because of a generalization based on a small non randomized data set. To do so would be unfair as well as throw all statistical common sense to the wind. I know from the 18 years that I spent as a Christian that Christianity teaches acceptance and openness. This is obviously not the case with these newscasters. America is a country that needs to act more like the united nation that it is supposed to be. America is great because if you want to prey, you have the right to and nobody should try and stop you. You can write god on anything you want - it's fine with me and perfectly legal under the first Amendment. However, please do not judge me or anyone else - religious or not - based on their beliefs or creed. The world has enough problems: Global warming, international terrorism, energy shortages, food shortages, poverty, and illegal drugs are just a few of them. It is my humble opinion that we should devote our resources to fighting these problems and promoting the general welfare instead of beating each other down over petty religious and racial differences.

eel_shepherd said...

TastyPaper wrote:
"...I'm fortunate to [be] living in New York City, where like the gentleman said, it's not a big deal,..."

I guess I'm even more fortunate then, having spent about 45 years of my life in Vancouver, BC, where Xtians form the minority. That/those video/s were a real eye opener for me. (I thought only males did circle-jerks, for one thing; evidently not.) Those four aren't living in a different country from me; they're living on a different planet.

It was utterly appalling to hear the black woman talk about her "right" to have prayer in school. How old is she? How old are her parents? Has it passed out of living memory that there was a time when white guys would talk about their "right" to choose their travelling companions on the city buses? HOW CAN SHE NOT SEE IT?

Maybe it's because she sees nonbelief in deities as a choice.[??] But it's not a choice --- once you've seen something, you can't un-see it; there it _is_!

CNN is like a non-musical version of the Lawrence Welk show.

Anonymous said...

holy fucking shit, and this is what they put on CNN? sorry, i don't get cable, but that was a sorry and pathetic piece of "journalism"

after i picked my jaw up from the floor, I can not believe how intolerantly narrow-minded the blond lady is, and the black woman who felt that she was under attack.. it's almost like she's playing the race card instead of the prosecuted-chrisitian card, it sounds virtually the same. it would almost be funny is it weren't so sick.. that she just seems to be regurgitating what others put in her mind, atheists believe in nothing, yada yada..

and the fact they keep repeating that the us is some so-called chritian nation.. and point to europe as being taken over by islamic fundamentalists. you just want to go over there and pop those little bubbles, have they no idea? have they never been out of the fucking country?? that's the problem with our nation living so isolated by two oceans.. completely ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Oh, This is bullcrap! I'm british and I can tell you right now that europes islamic presence isn't because of any "weakness" or other such, it's not like there's mass conversions or the like it's just that due to it's geographical situation europe takes in allot of immagrants from islamic nations, period. Britain and Germany take in more immagrants than any other two nations in the world and there's allot of muslims out there, it's only natural that a sizeable quantity of immagrants are going to be islamic, that bitchcow doesn't know what the hell she's talking about.

RubyHypatia said...

I agree with you, John W., we should be more cordial and charitable. Swearing and being nasty, bitter, and hateful will not get us anywhere. Michael Newdow certainly didn't do anything for the cause. Here's what the bible says about atheists:

Psalms 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they have commited abominable deeds; there is no one who does good.

How about we set out to prove this wrong?

And can we get rid of the picture of Calvin peeing on the fish symbol? That's just the kind of nastiness we don't need.

Anonymous said...

Oh my Dog. Please tell me America is not as fucked up as I am thinking right now. That was one of them most horrible things I have seen.

THEY do this and THEY do that and THEY do this and THEY think this and THEY.

That is nothing but bigotry.

Do you Americans really label people like that? Are Americans so ready to identify groups?

I am just stunned by all that.

brettr

SpaceMonk said...

None of those panellists seemed moved by the actual story of the family that had been abused out of their home. They completely ignored the evidence they'd just been shown and simply wanted them to shut up.
No sympathy or compassion, just shut up.

And that woman saying that if Atheists want to remove 'under god', and prayer from schools, etc. then they are imposing on her freedom of religion is completely BACKWARDS!

If someone wants to pray in school they can pray anytime.
If they want to swear allegiance to a god above their own government then that's their right (however treasonous),
- but they can do it on their own time, in their own minds, and keep it to themselves.

To force every one else in society to have to make the same prayers, vows and allegiances is oppression of their rights, not the other way around.

Carbon Enigma said...

I am not an American, But it is clear, that by adding "In God We Trust" to dollar bills and adding "One Nation Under God" to the pledge of allegiance, they are IMPOSING religious belief on others. That black women (was her named mentioned, i can't remember.)doesn't want people imposing their beliefs on her, but it seems she's full of it.

Ryan Scott said...

the fat pasty jewish woman actually said "We have freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion?" So we MUST have some superstition? Wow. This country sucks.

ps: the calvin symbol is childish.

Anonymous said...

IT seams like the media would treat someone who believes the world was created by magic elves three thousand years ago better than athiests,Is it getting better in the US or worse?what are the stats on growth of athiesm and religion in north america? AL in G.A

religionkills said...

I'm not atheist, but this shit just made me sick. It was enough to make me want to be atheist. (I suppose you call me and my hubby agnostics.)
The afro-american "lady" was just such a complete bitch that my hand itched to slap her. Blondie was doing nothing to disprove the stereo type of "dumb blonds". The only one who was at least trying to be fair was the afro-american guy...but it was hard for him to get a word in edgewise for the mouthy bitch. I'm glad we don't waste money on cable TV.

gimmeadrinkawater said...

I am completely in agreement with RubyHypatia. The Calvin peeing on the fish picture is needlessly offensive and inflammatory and immature. It doesn't serve our purpose. That was the first thing that struck me when I joined this group. Graphics are much more powerful than words. I'd love to see it go.
Naomi

Bryan B said...

"Why do atheists inspire so much hatred?"

I've got their next panel discussion for them right here:

"Why do women inspire so much rape?"

Dujulan said...

I think it was refreshing that these atheist were being somewhat persecuted, not for their sake, but for the Christians all around the country that are persecuted without provocation by the small number of atheist who seem to have a large voice in setting rules and laws about removing Christ and God from mainstay America. For a 14% or less vote they seem to be able to dictate what 86% gets to say. I am sorry for these people and their peril, but It's a war for Good vs Evil, God Vs Satan. I say it's time we were silent no longer.

Astreja said...

Dujulan, are you suggesting that a majority has some magical right to force its beliefs on a minority?

Churches are for believers. Government, and the services it provides, are for everybody. This is why religion and politics must remain separate... To prevent non-believers from being abused in public places which they, themselves helped pay for.

westxcrunner said...

Many people in here need to study their history.

The first settlers to come to this country came for religion. They were being persecuted in England, so they sought refuge in America. If it were not for these people, our founding fathers would have never even been here, and America would have belonged to it rightful owners, the Indians, much longer.

I am a Roman Catholic, but please, read what I have to say.

I am sorry to see that the new wave of adults coming out of school are starting to see believing in a God as "uncool", or "stupid", as I have heard, or even "downright idiotic". I am part of this new generation, but not one of these kids. I am different. I am the uncool, stupid, and idiotic kid that believes in God.

I think that if someone wants to be an atheist or agnostic, that is their right, and they have just as much of a right to believe there is no God than I do to believe there is a God. I do not have a problem with atheists, I have many friends who are atheists. The only ones I have a problem with are the ones who want to go to war with believers over religion. If an atheist does not like "one nation, under God" in the pledge of allegiance, don't say it. If they don't like "In God we trust" on our currency, then don't trust in Him.

The atheists who want to fight force me to retaliate and fight back. I do not like fighting in the name of religion, it doesn't make me, or my opponent any different than a radical terrorist. We should all back off (yes, both sides), and do what we believe.

Religious? Believe in God
Atheist? Don't believe in God

Simple.

Lastly, there is a lot of talk about the separation of church and state. People are saying we should keep the government, a public institution, and the church separate. If this is what they want, then why do they keep turning to the government to solve religious disputes?

stronger now said...

"The first settlers to come to this country came for religion."

They came here to escape an oppressive state run church that held a monopoly on what it let it's citizens believe, or not believe. Some settlers came to enslave indians and turn a buck from the natural resources that were in abundance here. These were christians also.

"I think that if someone wants to be an atheist or agnostic, that is their right, and they have just as much of a right to believe there is no God than I do to believe there is a God."

Agreed. But when the state buckles to religious pressure and puts "In god we trust" on our currency it shows a lack of protection/representation for the non-god-believer. Same goes with the pledge.

"The only ones(atheists) I have a problem with are the ones who want to go to war with believers over religion."

So you define war as people who go to court to protect their rights from being erroded? Really?

"If they don't like "In God we trust" on our currency, then don't trust in Him."

It isn't that we are being forced to trust in a god, it is that we are grouped in with the superstitious peoples that believe in a god. We are not all believers in your superstitions and should not be grouped along with you. It should be a personal issue and not state inflicted in any way.

"The atheists who want to fight force me to retaliate and fight back."

So you wan't us to sit back and let the religious majority trample our right to our own voice? And this "fighting" you are talking about, is it physical or legal? I don't think you are making a clear distinction between the two. Especially when you blurt out things like:

"I do not like fighting in the name of religion, it doesn't make me, or my opponent any different than a radical terrorist."

See, there IS a difference in that, we are NOT killing you when we are defending our rights. We are not even threatening you. Were are not trying to force you to NOT believe in a god/gods if that is your personal belief. We just want the government to remain neutral in this matter.

"We should all back off (yes, both sides), and do what we believe."

If you expect us/me to stop speaking out about my rights and trying to stop a force that wants to implement a theocratic form of governance in the U.S., you are asking for too much.

"If this is what they want(seperation of church and state), then why do they keep turning to the government to solve religious disputes?"

Who is? The religious majority or the atheists? You'll have to be more clear on this because it makes one think that you believe that we already have a theocracy and atheists are just messing it up for you. Is that what you think?

You would do well to understand that the form of government that we have was set up as a democratic republic, and a secular one at that.

I think you need to study harder, and also gain understanding about history before you try and use it to support your agenda. An agenda that seems to mean shutting the mouths of non-religious people before they stand up for their rights.

That is as un-american as it gets.