The National Atheist Party: Taking God Out of the Equation Since 2011

By Amy Lutz, TheCollegeConservative

January 12, 2012

 

 

After visiting the United States in the 19th century, Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, “Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.  America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”  The United States has been based on a resolute belief in God since her founding. This belief has provided a strong foundation for American values and exceptionalism which has long propelled our nation towards greatness. However, in recent decades, this principle has been prey to a barrage of outside attacks. Our “greatness” has faltered in proportion to the degradation of our God-centered foundation. When you take God out of the political equation, misfortune is always sure to follow.

One of the more recent assaults on the beliefs of God-fearing Americans comes, unsurprisingly, from the newly-formed “National Atheist Party.” The party espouses an array of left-leaning political positions including a pro-choice stance on abortion and an open borders approach to illegal immigration. It claims to be a party based upon America’s “secular” foundation, but that premise is at its heart, faulty.  The NAP’s purpose is encompassed by the following statement on the front page of their website, “We are an American political party, uniquely formed as a true, constitutional movement, reaching out to all who seek a secular government as outlined in the First Amendment to our United States Constitution.” I do not deny that the National Atheist Party has every right to exist, but their assertion that a secular government is part of the First Amendment is nothing short of false.

The First Amendment to the Constitution states in regards to religion, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Nowhere in the Constitution or in our nation’s founding documents is a statement regarding the “secular” nature of the United States. That’s because God was a key part of the foundational equation of our republic. George Washington put this plainly when he stated, “While just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion affords to government its surest support.” As Washington alluded to, the First Amendment gives the government the power to protect the exercise of religion while preventing a government-sponsored religion, or favoritism towards one faith practice. What the founders feared was certainly not religion itself, but theocracy. References to reliance upon God are pervasive throughout our founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence, which refers to “nature’s God,” “the Creator,” and “Divine Providence.” Our nation draws its strength from a dedication to religious freedom and central foundation upon a belief in God. The NAP seeks to remove God from the political process which begs the question, what are they centered on? Where would America’s strength originate without reliance upon, and accountability to, God?

The NAP aligns itself with a variety of political positions, but as a whole, they are united upon the desire to remove God and religion from the public sphere. However, without a foundation based on a higher power, government is largely dependent upon human error and imperfection and; therefore, destined for corruption. Since our founding, God-fearing Americans have believed that God bestows upon us inalienable rights that governments are designed to protect. All God-fearing (whether they be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc.) people hold themselves accountable to the higher power that bestows such blessings upon them. It follows that a government founded upon a belief in God is accountable to Him.

The question stands, to who is a government without God accountable? It’s certainly not the people. Without the concept of God-given, inalienable rights, the government is “free” to “create” any right they see as necessary. Think the “right” to health care (which the NAP strongly endorses). In this system, the government may “give” rights, but they can also take them away, making the people’s rights dependent upon governmental decision. How can the government be accountable to those that depend upon them?  Rights become contingent upon one’s support for the government because the relationship between the people and a government which “creates” right is one of conditions. If the people allow the government to do what they wish, then they can keep the rights that they have been “given.” A government without God is one with unlimited power. In some ways, government takes the place of god. Conversely, a relationship between a nation and the true God is one without conditions. We are the recipients of God’s unconditional love and our rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable despite our human tendency to make mistakes. This breeds freedom and innovation because we do not have to perpetually align ourselves with the “conditions” set for the receipt of our rights. A relationship between the “god” of government; however, is conditional and exploitative.

Conclusively, I certainly support the NAP’s right to exist, just as I support their rights to espouse no faith all together. However, the idea that we do not need God’s influence is a dangerous one. Remember, “America is great because she is good.” Without a God-centered morality, American exceptionalism slips away and our foundation crumbles. A nation without God is one without an unshakable foundation and in this time of economic, political, and social turmoil, we need Him more than ever.

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19 Responses

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  1. The Arbiter of Wrath
    May 19, 2012 - 09:07 PM

    “However, without a foundation based on a higher power, government is largely dependent upon human error and imperfection and; therefore, destined for corruption.”
    The status quo you mean?

    “The question stands, to who is a government without God accountable?”
    Government isn’t accountable to God in the status quo–count the number of times God has intervened in public policy. God didn’t get of His throne for Hitler, we had to if you recall–given that, I can’t see ANYTHING we are doing in the status quo provoking Him.

    “Without a God-centered morality, American exceptionalism slips away and our foundation crumbles.”
    Good–you know that every nation (hell, any ideology for that matter) throughout history has told itself its own myths of exceptionalism. We ALL have told ourselves “we are special,” the belief is intuitive and unconscious for many. But like every other belief, belief alone is not sufficient to MAKE it true. And on the contrary, Americans, like every other people, have the same capacities for the depths of depravity and the heights of nobility within each one of them. But while all people are unique, in the same way no two individuals are exact repetitions of all properties, it is not a novel uniqueness, but a mundane one–thus in one sense everyone is “special” in their own way, but in another no one is “special” in any way beyond the realm of our common humanity.

    Rather it is what defines as for who and what we are.

    “What the founders feared was certainly not religion itself, but theocracy. References to reliance upon God are pervasive throughout our founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence, which refers to “nature’s God,” “the Creator,” and “Divine Providence.”
    The Founding Fathers simply BEING the founding fathers is not the source of any authority that is legitimate, any more than God’s simply being God (presuming something like that exists) is what MAKES God authority legitimate. Legitimacy, if either of these authorities has any in their dictates/beliefs, comes not from the person speaking but from the things beings said. The name of the speaker neither adds to nor detracts from the merits of the argument they are making–to argue otherwise is to make the fallacy of appeal to authority, but authority does not MAKE truth; TRUTH, is sufficient to stand on its OWN merits.

    The Earth is for the Living, so why do you deify the words of elitist men who have been dead for hundreds of years, and whom by majority explicitly endorsed racial, sexual, and class discrimination. When they finished the Constitution, the ONLY people whose right to vote was GUARANTEED under it, was white property owning (that means land in those days) males. Our Constitution has been amended SUCCESSFULLY 27 times, mostly for the better–it is almost nothing like the document that it emerged as, and thank HUMANITY for that!

    Reply
  2. Bob
    Jan 28, 2012 - 01:22 PM

    Sorry, but morals do not come from god; they come from society. There is no reason to keep believing in spirits and gods, even if they are comforting to you.

    As for our founding fathers and the early days of our country, most of them were deists and their view of god was much different than the conservative evangelical christians of today. Many of them, in fact, had no trouble expressing the disdain for christianity in their writings. You see, they knew all too well the country that they left was being controlled by the Church of England. They wanted to begin a country where the church was NOT a part of the government. This is why we have the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment of our Constitution.

    Frankly, I’d like a politician to be mature and intelligent enough to focus on our natural world and not get distracted with supernatural nonsense like gods.

    Reply
  3. David
    Jan 28, 2012 - 02:24 AM

    “However, without a foundation based on a higher power, government is largely dependent upon human error and imperfection and; therefore, destined for corruption.”

    You are obviously an ill-educated idiot who can’t do research.

    Reply
  4. Mark
    Jan 19, 2012 - 02:15 AM

    Thanks Clint, much appreciated.

    Reply
  5. Clint
    Jan 18, 2012 - 06:24 PM

    This article is so horrible. Basing nearly everything on partial facts or religious bias. I support the NAP as a complete whole an I will be plugging the name at every turn. This movement will grow and it will get an audience. This article only proves that the religious right is intolerant to anyone else’s rights.

    Thank you, mark, for your honest and factual comments. Nearly all nonbelievers have read the bible completely and thoroughly and they understand exactly what you mean. I have taken weeks reading it then going back and making outlines and have come to the same conclusions.

    As for the moral basing on fearing an invisible being, get over yourselves already, this is complete and utter falsehood. What’s sad is most people think I’m a sweet and caring person that wouldn’t harm a single person. I’m extremely trusted and I’ve earned it. It isn’t until I mention I’m a nonbeliever (atheist) that I have problems. I’m surrounded by thousands of christians and they are completely uneducated and misinformed on nearly all issues. I’m not talking about a select few, I’m talking about the vast majority. It’s the same no matter where you are. Time to grow up and pay attention to the issues of our reality. If you are truly concerned with national issues, then you will review all sides of debate and explore all revenues of information. Not just one side of the story.

    Reply
  6. Thomas Jefferson
    Jan 16, 2012 - 07:18 PM

    Sorry, but you got it wrong. I was there.

    Reply
  7. Tray
    Jan 15, 2012 - 01:38 PM

    There sure are a lot of baseless assertions in this article.

    Reply
  8. Mark
    Jan 13, 2012 - 09:13 PM

    Yes Troykati, I have read the entire Bible. Funnily enough I did so at the suggestion of a Christian I was debating, and when I then used bible passages to make my point, he retreated to the position that only a Christian can truly understand what the Bible means.

    Yes, I have read the New Testament. I think that saying the Bible is moral if you just look at the New Testament is like is like saying that the Turner Diaries was quite a sweet book if you disregard the first 200 pages.

    I know that Christians use Matthew as an excuse to disregard the more horrific passages of the Old Testament, but the logical leaps they use to get to that position are amazing. Keep in mind that Jesus says numerous times in Matthew that he has not come to change the law.

    Also, I didn’t find the Jesus in the Gospels to be a particularly likeable character. He was brusque and rude. He only seemed able to communicate with people in the form of rebukes or parables. He was cold to his family, and doesn’t seem to have friends (his disciples were treated as students rather than friends). He encourages people to leave their families. He taught that people are born with “original sin”, which is a highly cynical and cruel view of humanity (especially since we know there was no Adam and Eve, so Jesus died for a metaphor).

    In terms of moral philosophers of the ancient world, Socrates seems much more intelligent, likeable and interesting. If I had a time machine and had to choose between visiting Jesus and Socrates, I know whom I would chose.

    Reply
  9. troykati
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:59 AM

    Mark- have you actually read the bible in it’s entirety, or are you just bringing up key passages to try to make your point? Based on what you wrote, I’m thinking that you probably haven’t read about Jesus in the new testament. You don’t seem to know anything about what the word GRACE means. Start in Matthew….and I recommend the NLT or Message translation. http://www.youversion.com . I would like to see if your position changes at all.

    Parker- Are you interested in knowing the truth? If you are, try reading The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel….a man who once shared your views. (I mean actualy READ the books, not just read blog posts ABOUT the books)

    Amy- thank you for writing this. Stand your ground.

    Reply
  10. Therese
    Jan 12, 2012 - 11:25 PM

    What a fabulous post!!! I will pass it on to many. You put into words so well what we all need to counter the NAP.

    Reply
  11. Mark
    Jan 12, 2012 - 10:08 PM

    The problem I have with this article is that Christians are not a very moral bunch, and the Bible is not a very moral book. The states with highest Christian religiosity have the highest crime rates, and Christians tend to be the most homophobic, anti-choice, anti-science education and sexist groups around. The Bible contains passages proscribing rape, slavery and genocide. For Christians to say they are moral because they subscribe to an authoritarian system overruled by a tyrant is to misunderstand hat morals are.

    Morals are systems that have been selected by evolution to increase human happiness and health. We can use reason to refine the system to further increase happiness. Our current moral system has been around over 100,000 years, but in the last 2000 years Christians have been parasitically taking credit.

    Interestingly, when a South American tribe called the Kuna were given a moral questionnaire, there answers were identical to those of Western people, despite never having been exposed to the Bible. I think that shows that the Bible has nothing to do with modern morality

    Reply
  12. williammcmahon
    Jan 12, 2012 - 03:18 PM

    This is an extraordinarily good article, Amy! Your article states succinctly what I struggle to describe at length.

    Reply
  13. Mike
    Jan 12, 2012 - 02:48 PM

    In response to “we can be good without fearing the retribution of an invisible man who lives in the sky. :-)” Asking a person to be good without God is like asking a man to be faithful to his wife if he is unmarried. If there is no eternal right and wrong or moral order, then there is no good. If we’re only the product of time and chance in a vast and uncaring universe filled with random tragedy, then there is no moral order and thus good doesn’t exist either.

    Reply
  14. Mike
    Jan 12, 2012 - 02:46 PM

    Well said. Thanks for writing this.

    Reply
  15. Parker
    Jan 12, 2012 - 02:15 PM

    Amy, maybe when you grow up a little you’ll realize that we can be good without fearing the retribution of an invisible man who lives in the sky. ;-)

    Reply
    • clownlucky
      Apr 09, 2012 - 02:59 AM

      Hate to break it to you, but she’s right.

      Reply
  16. mittens
    Jan 12, 2012 - 02:13 PM

    Oh, right you are, Amy. Two centuries of GOD FEARING politicians is the reason we have a government absolutely free of corruption!

    And you don’t deny the right of this party to exist? How kind of you! LOL.

    Reply

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