Atheists condemn House resolution to reaffirm importance of religion
The Secular Coalition for America on Tuesday blasted a resolution proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives that “reaffirms the importance of religion in the lives of United States citizens.”
“A resolution that ‘reaffirms the importance of religion’—specifically a Judeo-Christian religion—in the lives of Americans excludes the many Americans for whom religion is not important, or those who do not identify with a Judeo-Christian religion,” said Edwina Rogers, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America.
“This only serves to divide rather than unite Americans,” Rogers continued. “This resolution insinuates that because Christianity is the majority religion in the United States, the religion and its followers should be privileged by our government, but this logic is problematic – our Constitution is secular precisely to protect all Americans regardless of their religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs.”
The symbolic legislation, which was introduced by Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN) last week, notes that the United States adopted phrase “In God We Trust” as the national motto in 1956 and claims that “the Bible is the best-selling book of all time.” It also notes that “92 percent of United States citizens believe in God and 78.4 percent identify themselves with Christianity,” according to a Pew Research poll from 2007.
The resolution calls on the House to recognize “that Judeo-Christian heritage has played a strong role in the development of the United States” and fight against “efforts to remove evidence of Judeo-Christian heritage and references to God from public structures and resources.”
Last year, the Republican-led House passed a resolution reaffirming that “In God We Trust” is the national motto. The symbolic legislation encouraged the public display of the motto in all public buildings, public schools and government institutions.
“The resolution was necessary because we felt it was appropriate to remind the president what, in fact, the motto of our great country is,” Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) explained.