New group aims to protect freedom of religion


A new group founded to protect freedom of religion in the U.S. is staging an unusual campaign--one to get atheism recognized as a religion. Its symbol? Nothing.

The Pennsylvania-based group, Defending Freedom Of Religion, Inc. was founded in hopes of stopping acts like removing Ten Commandment Plaques from public places, returning prayer to public schools tackling other acts which they say infringe on the rights of the faithful.

The group says that one of its major objectives is getting "nothing" recognized as the official symbol of atheism.

Ken Whitaker, founder of DFOR, said that, "The separation of church and state is an impossible ideal. If you remove all religious symbols, and replace them all with Atheism's symbol [nothing], you are establishing Atheism as our official state religion."

The group argues that the answer is allowing all religious symbols to coexist alongside of each other. They said that the nation must "not ‘prohibit the free exercise thereof’ of any religion.

"Let's place a traditional Nativity scene on the courthouse steps," the group suggested in a recent statement," and a menorah, and other symbols from other religions, and let's reserve a big empty spot for the Atheists."

"The Atheists", they quipped, "can look at their empty spot and know that their symbol is there for all to see. But they can't force our spot to be empty."

The Supreme Court recently decided two cases, one in Kentucky and one in Texas regarding Ten Commandments displays in public places.

They decided that the Texas display was acceptable because it represented law within a greater historical context, but ruled that the Kentucky display was predominantly religious in nature, and had to be removed.

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