Mojave Cross Case Shows Nonbelievers Are Still Second Class Citizens

April 25, 2012

In case you were wondering, nonreligious Americans are still second class citizens. It's time to put aside that Reason Rally euphoria and face the harsh, sad truth: men and women who live without religion are still systematically discriminated against at the highest level. With the Supreme Court's blessing, a transparent ruse has been OK'd to "establish" that a large Christian cross on public land in the Mojave desert is now on "private" property, finally negating earlier court orders that the cross must come down. In other words, there is warm official approval for imposing Christian symbolism on every American. In one sense, of course, the nonreligious aren't being singled out for this abuse: Jews, Muslims, and Americans of every other religious or nonreligious tradition that isn't Christianity will stand -- and be belittled -- in the shadow of this overt Christian symbol on what is still (except in the most official way) public land. Attention, non-Christians, you're all being put in your place by America's Christians. Their message rings loud and clear: "This is our country. It's not yours."

At least we know where we stand.

And given the rapid growth of the nonreligious category -- it's now far and away the largest lifestance category except for Christians -- one can't help wondering how long America's Christian conservatives think they can get away with this. Or what form payback will take when the pendulum reverses, as (given our numbers) it must before too very long.


#1 Ophelia Benson on Thursday April 26, 2012 at 10:31am


It reminds me of what Dave Silverman said so emphatically in his talk in Orlando - don’t litigate unless you’re sure you’ll win, because losing is really bad. Losing makes things worse.

This is really bad.

#2 spectator (Guest) on Saturday April 28, 2012 at 5:20pm

Where the redefinition of atheism as a lack of belief in God breaks down in light of the evidence. A clandestine object in the middle of nowhere has the power to keep atheists up at night. Why does it matter if there is no deity? Most theists agree that it silly that a grilled cheese sandwich becomes a pricey commodity if a recognizable pattern emerges.
Certainly this object was not intended as a middle finger to non-Christians. Funny how the only people who believe that message are those who claim to value science and evidence as the only method of knowing.
It’s not believers who are making you feel bad. You feel bad for some reason, and blame it on some inanimate object that only means something in your imagination. So you rally the troops through rhetorical analogies. The Supreme Court didn’t buy it. And they do put importance on evidence. Guess there wasn’t any good evidence to support your right to not be offended by something that you don’t believe exists, huh?

#3 Benjamin Radford on Sunday April 29, 2012 at 9:24pm

Good post, Tom. Argh.

#4 leege (Guest) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 at 12:23am

good post. come

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