The poignant lyrics of John Lennon’s Imagine, serve as a de facto atheist anthem to many of us. John’s October birthday gives us ample reason to remind the public of not only his life and music, but of the message in his music, that the world would get along fine without religion. So, for our October display on the Loudoun County (VA) Court House lawn, we remember John Lennon and his tribute to freethought.
For the June display , on the Loudoun County, Virginia Courthouse lawn, commemorates an important historic event which was a clear indicator of the thinking of the Founders about separating religion from government.
The Treaty of Tripoli was ratified unanimously by Congress on June 7, 1797, and signed by President John Adams.
What makes this especially relevant to the ongoing Separation argument is that it states unambiguously that the United States is NOT a christian nation.
“As the government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…”
Not a bad arrow to have in your quiver when you are battling the historically challenged.
Our Courthouse Lawn project continues.
Our Banner for May was a celebration of Science, with a brilliant quote from A.C. Grayling’s latest book, The Good Book – A Secular Bible.
Those who first set themselves to discover nature’s secrets and designs, fearlessly opposing mankind’s early ignorance, deserve our praise.
This month’s banner on the Court House Lawn commemorates the birthday of Albert Einstein. This is the fourth time that NOVA Atheists and Beltway Atheist have put banners on the court house lawn in response to the county governments hosting of christian displays at during the christian winter holiday. In order to continue to host the christian displays, the county was forced to adopt a policy that permits anyone to display anything at any time. NOVA and Beltway, with support from American Atheists, has started a series of banners – one every month – celebrating and promoting both Science and Separation of church and state.
Over xmas, the local atheist community put up displays in 6 of the 10 available spots on the lawn. In February, we put up our Darwin banner. In March we are honoring Einstein. In April, we plan to put up one honoring Thomas Jefferson, the author of Separation.
If you would like to help us in this ongoing program, you can make contributions at www.beltwayatheists.org.
On Saturday, February 5th 2011, a group of 12 Atheists erected a banner in honor of Charles Darwin and his monumental contribution to Science. Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was published in 1859. His theory of evolution has been called the greatest idea anyone ever had. Evolution is universally accepted among real scientists doing real Science and is the foundation for all of Biology.
Like many phenomena explained by Science, Evolution is properly called a Theory. Gravity is also a theory. So is Light. Some very uninformed people, and we all know who they are, completely misunderstand what a theory is, imagining it to mean something like a wild-assed guess, probably wrong. But those folks (a) should have paid more attention in science class, and (b) should not treat ignorance as a virtue.
Theory is not a generic term inScience – it has a very specific meaning and usage. Yes, in casual conversation, it is frequently misused in sentences like, ” I have a theory about chicks like that”, or ” I have a theory about how to get her to stop doing that.” Those are not really thories – those are merely pointless speculation. But a Theory is an explanation for a phenomenon that incorporates all evidence and is contradicted by none. A theory is an answer acquired through experimentation, testing, and review. “Intelligent Design”, or the ridiculous biblical creation fable, is not a theory. It’s not even a sensible hypothesis, and this is important, it is not supported by a shred of objective evidence. And, since it has nothing whatsoever to do with Science, and is transparently religious in nature and in purpose, it is entirely inappropriate for inclusion in any Science curriculum.
I talk more about Evolution here: Permalink: http://www.atheistinamerica.com/essays/evolution/
Until last year, the Court House lawn saw only christian displays and only during the christian holiday. Now that all voices are welcome on the Court House lawn, we intend to make sure that Science and Reason have equal access and get the endorsement and respect that they deserve.