If you were to ask a crowd of Americans what they think the most important or notable days in American history, you would quite probably hear a number of responses.
The day we declared independence from the British.
The day we declared the end of slavery.
The day women were allowed to vote.
The day(s) states legalized gay marriage.
All of these examples, and so many more, are worthy candidates no doubt. Each one changed or defined who America is and what America would become.
An event that occurred today equally defined who America is and was very specific on how America would be defined.
Throughout history, religion has been used as the focal point to atrocity, war and utter hatred. At Americas birth, our Founding Fathers were well aware of such atrocities. They knew how personal and more importantly, how polarizing religion can be. They sought out to avoid and prevent mistakes from the past, the same mistakes some countries to this day continue to make. Even within this country a war of sorts was waged by the faithfil to attempt to change the truth about the Founding Fathers intentions. There are factions that to this day consider the USA a “christian nation”. This couldnt be any further from the truth.
Thankfully, 216 years ago this day, John Adams signed into law the Treaty of Tripoli which includes Article 11:
“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”
So the next time you hear someone say that because the majority of Americans just so happen to be followers of a christian faith say that makes the USA a christian nation. Refer them to Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli signed by a Founding Father, the 2nd President of the United States, a Unitarian and also ratified by the Senate that same year.
We are not and never have been a christian nation. We just so happen to be a nation ruled by the law of man with a very diverse and plentiful religious citizens. Nothing more.
This pretty thing flew up and landed on that log and posed for a good 20 minutes for me and I have to say I am pretty proud of these shots I will be sharing the next few days. Hope you enjoy!
Love this reaction by American Atheists to the recent decision by Nathan Deal to re-add religious texts to government owned and operated park cabins.
Atheist group sending books to Georgia state parks
By Jim Galloway Monday, May 20, 2013
Everyone understands that this was predestined to happen, right? But you’re forgiven if you can’t bring yourself to believe in the phrase “popular atheist books.” From the press release:
American Atheists announced Friday that it will send the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GADNR) enough popular atheist books to place one in every state park cabin in the state. The atheist books will be placed alongside Gideon Bibles already in every state park cabin as directed by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal on Wednesday.
“We appreciate the governor’s invitation to place atheist books in the cabins and look forward to providing visitors with the opportunity to learn more about atheism when they visit Georgia’s beautiful state parks,” said Managing Director Amanda Knief.
The issue of the Bibles in the state park cabins came to light after former American Atheist President Ed Buckner rented one of the lodges last month and filed a complaint on April 28 after finding nine Bibles in his cabin.
The Bibles were removed by GADNR officials but Governor Deal ordered the Bibles back by executive order, saying he does “not believe that a Bible in a bedside table drawer constitutes a state establishment of religion.”
“American Atheists does not believe the State of Georgia should be placing Bibles or atheist books in state park cabins; however, if the state is going to allow such distribution, we will happily provide our materials,” said President David Silverman.
Books to be donated include “Why I Am Not A Muslim,” by Ibn Warraq, “Why I Am An Atheist” by Madalyn Murray O’Hair, “god is not Great,” by Christopher Hitchens, and “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins.
Brian Robinson, a spokesman for Gov. Nathan Deal, said the governor’s office this week is working on regulations for distribution of religious (and non-religious) works with the Department of Natural Resources and the attorney general’s office.
Ted Nugent’s brother: Gun control ‘will get done’ without the NRA
By Stephen C. Webster
Sunday, May 19, 2013 21:54 EDT
In an editorial published Sunday afternoon, Jeffrey Nugent, brother of National Rifle Association chairman Ted Nugent, explained that he and his brother have dramatically differing views on gun control and warned that the nation is moving toward regulating firearms with or without the NRA.
Specifically, the Detroit-born rocker’s brother came out hard for expanding criminal background checks to all gun buyers. He added that, much like vehicles, the U.S. should regulate guns to require a license and insurance at time of purchase, without exception.
“Car companies know it is good for the auto industry to make cars safer and get dangerous drivers off the road,” he wrote. “Why can’t gun manufacturers and the NRA realize this as well?”
Ted and I have talked about these matters over the years, but more often lately. I concede that he is right on some points: In some instances, cities and states with less-strict gun laws have less violent crime. But that does not argue for arming America. Ted is someone who speaks in extremes to make his points. It reflects who he is, and it works for him and his audience.
I have a 9-year-old son and two 6-year-old grandsons. Any of them could have been the victims of our recent gun tragedies — and still could become victims if we don’t do something. Virtually every day we see the tragic stories of kids shooting other kids, of children being killed in crossfire. We must act, not tomorrow, not the next day. End gun violence now, and start with limiting the purchase of firearms to those who really deserve the right.
Let’s see if the NRA and its new leaders step up and do what is right. If not, it will get done without them. We all have a role here, especially to protect our children. Who is going to be the voice for them?
Responding to his brother, Ted Nugent took to his usual perch at conservative opinion website Newsmax to let all his fans know that he thinks his brother “is dead wrong.”
Throughout my travels I’ve literally spoken with many hundreds of beat cops, homicide investigators, undercover cops, police chiefs, sheriffs, and federal agents about crime, and not one — not a single one — has ever said that closing the so-called gun show loophole or universal background checks would reduce crime.
What these brave law enforcement officers have told me over and over again is that America does have a loophole that, if closed, would significantly make America safer.
That loophole is the revolving door of our criminal justice system.
Nugent advocated a return to public lynching in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing and has long said he favors rapid executions over the practice of jurisprudence and fair sentencing.
Despite his continued insistence that police do not support mandatory background checks for firearms, Nugent’s theory was contradicted rather abruptly during a February Senate hearing that featured Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suddenly at a loss for words when he was corrected by a career police officer.
“When almost 80,000 people fail a background check and 44 people are prosecuted, what kind of deterrent is that?” Graham asked. “I mean, the law obviously is not seeing that as important, if it’s such an important issue, why aren’t we prosecuting people who fail a background check?”
“I want to stop 76,000 people from buying guns illegally,” Milwaukee police chief Edward A. Flynn replied. “That’s what a background check does. If you think we’re going to do paperwork prosecutions, you’re wrong.”