Atheists want to erase history, deny freedom of expression, and reject the original meaning of the First Amendment. The latest publicity stunt was made by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), a Madison, Wisconsin-based atheist and agnostic group that intimidates anyone who holds to religious beliefs and municipalities that even mention that religion exists.
Officials in Wyoming, Michigan, received a faxed letter from attorneys representing the atheist group “that the city’s logo, adopted around 1959 when the city incorporated, which features the silhouette of a church adorned with a cross in the lower right quadrant” is unconstitutional. “The other quadrants contain a house, a factory and a golf course.”
The FFRF is arguing that a church on a city seal violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution’s First Amendment, which mandates that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
The FFRF wants us to believe that the very existence of a church building and a city’s acknowledgment of a church’s existence violate an amendment to the Constitution that was designed to keep the federal government from being involved in religious issues at the state level.
The First Amendment very clearly states that “Congress shall make no law. . . .” In the case of Wyoming, Michigan, Congress didn’t make any law. A silhouette of a church on a city seal doesn’t establish a church any more than a silhouette of a golf course establishes golf courses.
If the silhouette of a church is constitutionally prohibited, then the names of cities across the United States should be changed. Santa Fe (“Holy Faith”), San Francisco, Los Angeles, Bethel (“House of God”), Corpus Christi (“Body of Christ”), St. Louis, Providence, Bethlehem, PA (“house of bread,” the city where Jesus was born), and so many others should have to change. Parishes of Louisiana have names like Assumption, Ascension, and St. John the Baptist. A county in Illinois is named Christian.
American towns, cities, and counties commonly incorporate the subject matter of their name into their seals and flags. For example, the seal of Columbus, Ohio, predictably depicts one of Christopher Columbus’s vessels (the otherwise nondescript sailing vessel is identified as such by a red Latin cross on the mainsail.1
Then there are all fifty state constitutions that make reference to God or providence in their preambles. Let’s not forget the Declaration of Independence and its insistence that rights are an endowment of the Creator. The Constitution itself references Jesus Christ in its closing statement: “DONE in the year of our Lord. . . .”
- Paul F. Weinbaum; Martin J. Boyd vs. The City of Las Cruces, New Mexico (2008), page 28, note 18. [↩]