Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
~ the First Amendment of the Constitution
David Silverman, President of American Atheists, wants to eliminate religion from the public eye. He says he wants religious neutrality but he really wants to prohibit the free exercise thereof. Why doesn’t he try to stop the Muslims from going out onto the streets of NYC, laying out their prayer mats and bowing to Allah? He doesn’t you know.
Mr. Silverman is upset that Christmas is a national holiday because it forces him to recognize it by preventing him from going to the post office, the stores, to work, and so on. I guess he should revolt against all holidays if that is the measure he uses.
In this video, Bill O’Reilly, talk show host, interviewed David Silverman, President of American Atheists. For me, it was difficult to get past Mr. Silverman’s extreme arrogance.
During the interview Bill O’Reilly said Christianity is not a religion, but a philosophy.
O’Reilly is splitting hairs a bit but what O’Reilly is saying is that you can celebrate Christmas but not be a Christian. It is the spirit of loving one another and coming together that is the message of Christmas.
Christianity is, however, seen by most as one of the world’s major religions, but it is actually a general term to encompass Catholics, Protestants, and Eastern Orthodox religions.
It is also a philosophy, a way of life. One can follow the philosophy of Christianity without being a member of any of the Christian churches.
O’Reilly also called Silverman a fascist, not because he’s an atheist, but because he appears to want religions to become invisible since their very visibility is a government endorsement. Mr. Silverman was angry at O’Reilly’s comment and said he, David, Silverman, is a patriot.
Silverman believes public displays of religion violate his first amendment rights. Silverman believes that any expression of religion must be abolished if it can be interpreted as government endorsement. Of course that encompasses every public display of any kind, even if it is an important historical symbol or a philosophical portrayal of the spirit of the holiday.
So, is Silverman a fascist?
Fascism is a difficult term to tackle because it has a broad meaning beyond Mussolini’s definition. Beyond political fascism, it has also developed into a system of thought. Mussolini envisioned this when he said, “…everything in the State, nothing against the State, nothing outside the State.”
I think FDR’s definition is solid and one of the broadest definitions:
The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt, April 29, 1938, Message to Congress
An Atheist might say religious people are the fascists for caroling or putting “In God We Trust” on a coin.
If Atheists, a group in this country, become so powerful as to deprive others of their rights to their history and any public manifestations of their beliefs, is that fascism? You decide.