Skip to comments.Atheists File Suit Against UHP Memorial Crosses
Posted on 12/01/2005 7:13:41 AM PST by Andyman
A lawsuit against memorial crosses is set to be filed Thursday by a group that feels they violate the separation of church and state.
Three Utah atheists, backed by a national organization based in Texas, are filing suit against the state for allowing crosses to be erected in honor of highway patrol troopers, who have died in the line of duty.
Richard Andrews said, "I feel the same way a Jew might feel if you put a state symbol on a swastika"
According to the UHP Association, a support group for troopers and their families, many fallen troopers' relatives consider the memorial crosses just as important as the tombstones that mark their graves.
Sgt. Todd Royce of the UHP Association told ABC 4 News, "It's a sense of pride, I think. It's a... kind of a sacred feeling."
The atheists suggest the association could honor the troopers with a non-denominational symbol.
The individuals who perpetrated the German atrocities were NOT church goers at best and thought they were gods...Don't cloud the issue with weak attempts to cover the crimes that godless people have perpetrated throughout man's history.
The point is Morris, the US has been careful about the markers of her war dead LONG before your suggestion and long before you were born. You are intimating that they haven't been in the past and they should follow your advice. Turn your ego down a bit...
If God doesn't exist, then do atheists have God-given rights?
Don't try to pretend that the crimes committed by religious people throughout history were committed by atheists. Hitler in fact boasted he had eradicated atheism in Germany. His motto for women was 'Kinder Kirche Küche" = Children, Church, Kitchen.
HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY, VOLUMES 1 2 AND 3.
When the end of the war neared, the Nazis worked frantically to eliminate as much of the evidence of their crimes as they could. They knew full well that what they did was wrong...does that sound like the act of Christians?
>> I think there are certain strains of nihilism which do conform to your description, but simply because one is an atheist does not make on a nihilist. The atheist can easily find value and meaning in life, even without the belief in God or an afterlife. <<
Oh, absolutely! Atheists certainly can have value and meaning in life, in ways nihilist specifically reject. I meant to make the point that nihilism may be a subset of atheism, but atheism is certainly not merely nihilism. By providing but one example where nihilists might reject the label "atheist," I certainly did not mean that there weren't many examples of why various atheists might reject the label "nihilist."
>> But, more to the point, the authoritarianism, warped optimism and value placed on das Deutchevolk in Nazi philosophy does not evidence a belief that there is no purpose, meaning or value to life. On the contrary, that philosophy saw the propagation of and success of the Aryan race to be the highest purpose of existence and its ultimate goal. Warped and twisted as the Nazi values were, they were not existential pessimism. <<
I don't think all nihilists need to be said to be existential pessimists; Nietzsche is the philosopher (anti-philosopher?) most readily associated with nihilism. While it may be unfair to assign Nietzsche blame for fore-running Nazism, Nietzsche and Nazism definitely have much in common. Most of the values and purposed you ascribe to Nazism are perfectly consistent with Nietzsche's "will to power," and, as such, quite dependent on the absence of a god.
>> Reading the rest of your post, I think that you may be missing my point. I am not saying that the Nazis were a religious group. I am saying that they were not an atheistic one. If the Nazi state was atheistic, one would expect that the it would have been as actively hostile to all religions as it was to, say, Jehovah's Witnesses. <<
What religion was Nazism not hostile to? Islam? It was plainly hostile to Christianity, Judaism, and Romanism ("Gypsies"). (The Islam reference isn't a smart-ass comment; the Basque Party of Iraq and Syria was established by Hitler.) Luther and Mohammed were admired by Hitler only to the extent that they were opposed to Judaism and pre-Lutheran Christianity (i.e., Catholicism).
It is true that Hitler made overtures to certain Christian elements, but that can even be seen in the Communist Party's support of their own corruption of the Russian Orthodox Church. Does that make Marx or Lenin any less atheist? The desire to corrupt an institution is firm evidence of hatred of that institution, if the corruptor is fully aware that what he is doing is corruption and not reform.
I agree dueling quotations are tiresome, but let me ask this:
Would you be able to play such "dueling quotations" with a Christian? Is not the fact that we can play such games evidence the extent to which Hitler appeared to some as "Christian" is extent to which he was deceptive? I mean, some leaders, such as Thomas Jefferson, invite dueling quotations because they were somewhat ambiguous; With Jefferson, we can discuss differences in what we are defining as Christian, the distinction between private and public life, varying interpretations, the disctinction between being Christian and believing Christianity is good, the various stages of Jefferson's life, philosophy vs. theology, etc. With Hitler, there's no reconciling plainly contradictory statements. Plus, he flat-out praised the benefits of deceit.
"'Vengeance is mine', sayeth the Lord. 'I shall repay.'"
To address the account you provide. It presents strong cases on both sides. But I'd not two distinctions: The case that Hitler was anti-Christian is based on private statements, and later statements. The case that Hitler was Christian is almost exclusively based on public statements made by Hitler during his rise to power. I have to agree with what is sort of a conclusion to that account:
"It seems Hitler, like many modern-day politicians, spoke out of both sides of his mouth... Also, it seems probable that Hitler, being the great manipulator, knew that he couldn't fight the Christian churches and their members right off the bat. So he made statements to put the church at ease and may have patronized religion as a way to prevent having to fight the Christian-based church. "
To state what the author seems hesitant to: Hitler played the Christian a little early on, while rising to power. Once firmly entrenched, he played the anti-Christian.
And I will disagree with your source on some points: He states that many of the leaders of Germany were devout Christians. I would challenge him, if I could, to name one regular communicant. Likewise, he claims that Hitler never left the Catholic Church. He did not receive communion as an adult, and unlike many lapsed American Catholics, he knew very well that by failing to receive communion, he was rupturing his ties to the Catholic church. How else do you expect him to leave? Do you want him to APPLY for a formal excommunication? Burn his baptismal certificate?
I would contemplate one distinction where Hitler's nihilism may not be consistent with atheism: He does seem to subscribe, in some speeches, and in some ways which may not be mere deceit, to some notion of a god. Perhaps he has elevanted Nietzsche's will to power to a deity; perhaps he is that god. But while such references may be no evidence of "religion" per se, they may be refutation to the disbelief in any entity called a god. It's hard to separate belief from propaganda with Hitler, but he may even have had some Caesar-like notion of divinity.
Ideologically, however, where Christianity has many specific and universally accepted notions which are emnity between Christianity and Nazism, there is plainly nothing in atheism to oppose Nazism. That's not saying that there aren't personal ethics held by atheists that don't hold Hitler's actions abhorrent.
It established the German Christian Church, for heaven's sake! It was racial, not religious.
There is nothing in the theory of universal gravitation to oppose Nazism either. I don't believe in a god. Why should that bear on any political movement? Some Christians undoubtedly supported Hitler. The Serbs loved him; he let them impose orthodox Christianity on their neighbors. Others opposed him. It appears they're in the same boat I am.
There are other ideological similarities as well. All three tend to be ethnocentric, viewing the world around them as being inherently evil, and all three tend to see everything in simplistic, dualistic terms: Us vs. them, good vs. evil, etc. This is an important fact to be remembered when religious zealots today insist that everyone follow the absolutes of their religion. Properly understood, atheism stands for the principles of reason, freedom and individual rights. It is opposed to all forms of totalitarian ideology. Yes, there are individual atheists who are communists. However, the attempt to link all atheists and all communists under the same ideological banner completely falls apart when the facts are revealed. But then, what does faith have to do with the facts?
"Gott mit uns,"
No more is expected from good "Christians".
"Gott mit uns?"
As in the case of Michael Newdow, perhaps?
What a truckload of Bravo Sierra!
You probably think that is clever but if you re-read it carefully, you will see how dumb it reads.
You would like crescents on the back of our dollar bills?
The Church did everything they could to hide the molestors ...
What is there in Christianity to oppose Nazism?
Get a load of this one, guys. So all of those atheistic Communists were really opposed to totalitariansim, eh? Must be slow over at DU today.
Almost as much as I like non sequitirs and strawmen posing as a discussion, sho'nuff!
The brotherhood of man, the image of God in all men, salvation for all those who seek it...
Perhaps you should stick to a topic that you know about?
"In one week, almost 100,100 Protestants perished. The rivers of France were so filled with corpses that for many months no fish were eaten. In the valley of the Loire, wolves came down from the hills to feel upon the decaying bodies of Frenchmen. The list of massacres was as endless as the list of the dead!
When news of the Massacre reached the Vatican there was jubilation! Cannons roaredbells rungand a special commemorative medal was struckto honor the occasion! The Pope commissioned Italian artist Vasari to paint a mural of the Massacrewhich still hangs in the Vatican!"
Christianity. The brotherhood of fellow "like" Christians, the image of God in only fellow "like" Christians and hell for all that do not seek salvation even if they have never heard of salvation ... Duh .
The brotherhood of man, the image of God in all men, salvation for all those who seek it... Perhaps you should stick to a topic that you know about?
I think Hitler was very strong on brotherhood and religious symbolism. Seems to have similar foundations of 'religion'.
Ah, you noticed. I hope you noticed that I threw it in to point out the "non-sequiter" and strawman to point out to the poster that he was guilty of the same. One good "sequitir" deserves another.
BTW, it helps if, when using big words, you spell them correctly.
If they were objecting to a cross being erected for an atheist Trooper, I could understand.
But apparently they are objecting because crosses erected for Christian Troopers offend them!
I have no objection to memorializing the deceased in a way meaningful to that person.
These atheists have become anti-theists. By virtue of your thoughtful post, I guess that's not the same!
That's what happened. A non-demoninational group paid for the crosses and erected them, the state just let them.
How is erecting these memorials bullying non-Christians?
Morris, if one of these atheists was a family member of a deceased atheist Trooper, I'd agree. If the family objected to a cross because the deceased was Jewish, Muslim, etc...I'd back them 100% and I'd hope that the state would respect their wishes and erect an appropriate memorial.
But these guys are raising the issue because the crosses offend THEM! It's not a matter of respect for the dead troopers.
And folks like you are making me appreciate the wisdom of our fathers.
Those Hitler quotes sound like the current atheists, are you sure these are not urban myth?
I guess he had a few million relatves and friends and fellow atheists killed for no reason other than hate by the Highway Patrol.
What an idiot.
In fact, ironically enough, the charge against early Christians was often atheism.
Now there is a word combination I never thought I'd see.
Wonder how hard someone had to work to put that set together?
The one thing that separates this nation from all other nations is that foundation upon which this nation was established.
Rights endowed by the Creator no man/government can take or give. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, protects each and every one of US. No where does that say the Creator demands any individual to accept Him or is required by others to reject Him.
So these that are so very anxious to remove any mention of the Creator or God, ignore they are free to reject the Heavenly Father and they are Constitutionally protected. Once they remove that foundation then we become no different than any other nation and what ever a majority decides that becomes the required belief. Now that is faith whether one can see it or not, that human beings are not going to take matters into their own hands from the left to the right.
Moral Absolutes Ping.
Anyone have any doubt as to the actual motive of aggressive atheists like these? One hand is raised, a lurker perhaps?
Okay. Here it is. I, personally, am not offended by religious symbols that I don't identify with or use. Not a whit. In fact, I'm glad that such symbols help people remember God, even if it's in a different manner than me. Do I dislike seeing houses of worship that are not ones I might attend? Nope. I like seeing them, knowing that at least some of the people are being helped to rememeber God. How about people who call God by a different name, or read different holy books? Fine with me. Worship on a different day? AFAIC, any day is fine - how about remembering Him and praying every day?
Why are atheists (the professional kind) so hateful about OTHERS remembering God? Why are they so intolerant, angry and vengeful?
They're envious. They don't want to be reminded that Someone Else is the Supreme controller, knower, and owner. They don't want to be reminded that they are not really the master of their own lives. That Someone else is more powerful than they are. Pure, unadulterated envy.
Freepmail me if you want on/off this pinglist.
Note: I only extend my tolerance to Muslims who do not in any way support Islamic jihad, the goal of dominating the world, and think most of the Sharia laws such as the illegality of Muslims converting to other religions wrong. If they do adhere to those beliefs or practices, my tolerance stops at that point.
>> There is nothing in the theory of universal gravitation to oppose Nazism either. I don't believe in a god. Why should that bear on any political movement? <<
I'm sorry; I need to re-assert my context more as I drift from one respondent to the next. Please believe me that I am not trying to assert either that (1) atheism inherently leads to atrocities like Hitler, (2) any individual's atheistic belief system bears similarities or vulnerabilities to Nazism, or (3) any given atheist belief system inherently is responsible for Nazism.
The context was whether Hitler was Christian or Nihilist, and whether such Nihilism as Hitler's can be considered a subset of Atheism. Since Christianity is defined by rejecting certain actions inherent to the Nazi system, one doesn't need to get bogged down in debates over Hitler's contraditory and dishonest statements. Hence, we can eliminate the possibility that Hitler was a Christian. There is nothing in atheism which similarly inherently precludes the possibility that Hitler was an atheist, so Hitler may, on the basis of his actions, be an atheist.
That alone does not prove such a case. I also admitted the possibility that Hitler's nihilism may reject atheism as having certain beliefs, even those beliefs are in the absence of something (a god), or that Hitler may subscribe to some sort of Roman self-deificiation.