It seemed inevitable that with this story making headlines elsewhere, World Net Daily would pick it up: The Supreme Court of Massachusetts has not dismissed – meaning they will hear – a case challenging the legality / constitutionality of the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. For those who don’t know, this was added to the pledge during the Cold War so the world knew we were separate from those damn dirty commies. It wasn’t in there originally. It wasn’t on the money originally. Or the stamps.

Oh … the article on WND is by Bob Unruh under the title, “Atheists’ Fight Against ‘Under God’ Marches On.”

With a headline like that, I know it’s going to attract comments. In two days, nearly 500. To WND, the story itself is practically inconsequential, and I doubt many commenters read it. I skimmed it in 30 seconds. The last paragraph is kinda funny: “Actor, author and martial arts champion Chuck Norris reports he’s found seven times that Obama has omitted the reference to a “Creator.”” It probably bears mentioning that Chuck Norris is a WND columnist.

This is the kind of story that you read for the comments on WND. The top one is by “Hal49” who wrote this:

There is no such thing as an atheist. How could a true atheist “believer” waste any time, effort, and money fighting against something they say and believe does not exist. With any effort to fight again the existence of God they admit He exists. Are they reallty that stupid not to know this?

I remember many years ago reading about Madelyn Murray O’Hare, the top fake atheist of her time, comment when she saw her son take a bad fall down some stairs. She said, and quite loudly, “Oh my God!”

There are no atheists.

Okay, so because there exists a phrase so engrained in every-day English, someone who says they’re an atheist and then uses the phrase is a “fake atheist” therefore all atheists are fake? Seriously?

This gem is tied for top place with 19 up-votes and 0 down, written by “Dave Snow”: “Can someone please enlighten me? How is it possible to hate something that you don’t believe in? These people aren’t atheist’, they’re Satanists!!!!!!!!”

Sigh. I hear this so often, this idea of how can atheists be angry at something they don’t believe in, therefore they believe in it and are just lying, or they believe in the opposite therefore Satan. It’s a puerile attempt to demonize – literally – the opposition. No, we don’t “hate” your god that we don’t believe in, we hate the time, space, money (much of it public) spent by people like you to shove it in our faces. We hate that every single bill we spend has a reminder on it by people like you that we’re second-class citizens because we don’t believe in your magic sky monster. We hate that even The Dreaded Gays are more likely to win elected office than an atheist because people like you are scared that we don’t follow the precepts in your 2000-year-old (well, maybe 4000-5000 year-old in part, ~1500-year-old in other parts) book. We’re not mad at something we don’t believe in, we’re mad at what you do as a consequence of believing in it.

I should note that “John Bento” who tried to point out that atheism means rejecting theistic beliefs, got 7 up and 3 down votes for his trouble to correct the WND faithful.

I suppose I don’t even have to comment then, after that bit of a rant, on the third-highest comments by “Katrina Padilla”:

The problem with the world of an atheist is that he/she is fully aware that a true Creator exists and that Creator is Almighty God, who is pure and holy and does not and cannot abide with sin; be it idolatry (the atheist’s epicenter) ,adultery, covetousness, or any of the other seven not mentioned. Because the atheist has a life that revolves around self, and doing what pleases their god, themselves, they seek to prove that they can make their own peace and have it all without having to seek a god they can’t touch. Because they still can’t find complete fulfillment in those sinful practices, they curse the true God for not allowing them to have their way. Their hatred for God stems from a desire to denounce the existence of God by denouncing an existence of sin and accountability for sin. In a sense they are kicking against the goads like Saul before his conversion to the truth.

There are numerous comments that were deleted by moderators, and based on their placement, they got a lot of down-votes. Well, also based on the responses that remain. In response to a deleted comment by “Steve LaCroix,” we have “karuus” who wrote this fun one:

laughable hypocrisy. you atheists FORCE your beliefs upon the rest of us all the time, as these lawsuits prove

evolution is nothing more than an a racist atheist fairy tale posing as science. the fossil record shows sudden appearance and stasis, the lab does not support evolution, and DNA is a code and codes only come from intelligence

atheism is a religion which has slaughtered hundreds of millions it must be kep out of government and the public square

Uh huh.

One of the more negatively-rated comments that remains was another by “John Bento,” who wrote:

Can anyone tell me of a specific example of any way your personal right to worship has been restricted? Are you not free to have bible study? Are you not allowed to go to your chosen church? Are government workers infringing on your personal right to pray to whatever deity you choose? No.
Please understand that there are other Americans that do not share your particular faith and that we get pissed when you say that your way is the only way. There is no “war on Christianity”. Your faith comprises over 80% of our population and yet you say you are persecuted?
I served in the Persian Gulf, I served in the Peace Corps. I work, I pay taxes, I volunteer to help those less fortunate. I do these things because I love my country and want to make it better. I have lived overseas and know that this is the greatest country EVER!
But I am an atheist. I have no belief in a higher power. And I know that it is the religious freedom, to believe or not believe, that is one of the cornerstones of our greatness. I often see articles about the true persecution of coptic Christians in Egypt. I know that my non-belief is punishable by death in no fewer than 8 countries (3 of which I lived in), and imprisonment in at least a dozen more.
I don’t “hate” anyone of any faith that loves this country; and you folks should feel the same. Stop the *** drama.

In response, “Driver_S” wrote in part: “What I have a problem with is the zealots going to court, the legislature or where ever trying to have God removed from things and places just because they don’t/won’t believe in God. It’s a matter of special minority interest zealots trying to make the majority conform to their thinking and way of life. … Live your life as you see fit. Just don’t try to force me to accept and conform to your agenda.”

And really, it’s those last two sentences that I completely agree with. If only they realize that what they said applies to them, too.

Edited to Add (September 21, 2013): According to the Christian Post, a New York judge has dismissed this lawsuit, stating: “The Supreme Court has repeatedly assumed the motto’s secular purpose and effect, and all circuit courts that have considered this issue-namely the Ninth, Fifth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuit- have found no constitutional violation in the motto’s inclusion on currency.”

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