- What is Atheism
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- Press Information
- Christians Take Over Interfaith Army Chapel in Combat Zone
- Press Kit
- 9/11: 'Never Forget' Must Include All Victims
- Atheists Advocate Separation of Church and State at DNC
- Congressman Pete Stark to Speak at 2013 National Convention
- American Atheists Announces 50th Anniversary Logo Design Contest
- American Atheists Announces Harassment Policy for Conventions and Conferences
- American Atheists Jubilant Over Latest Religion Report
- American Atheists Removes Religious Billboards from Charlotte
- Former Pastor Now American Atheists Public Relations Director
- Former Pastor Teresa MacBain New Public Relations Director
- ITALIAN JUDGE LUIGI TOSTI ACQUITTED!
- American Atheists to Protest Bradford County, FL Decalogue on May 19
Supporting Civil Rights for Atheists and the Separation of Church and State
AMERICAN ATHEISTS is an educational organization dedicated to the complete and absolute separation of state and church. We accept and support the explanation of Thomas Jefferson that the first Amendment to the Constitution was designed to forge a "wall of separation" between government and religious movements. American atheists likewise affirms Jefferson's declaration that no one "shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever... "
Jefferson was the author of the Virginia Statutes of Religious Freedom, wherein he presented many of his ideas concerning liberty and individual conscience and freedom from coercive, religious institutions. He was also an intellectual skeptic and deist, who embraced not the Judeo-Christian deity, but the notion of "Nature and nature's god." He condemned the practice of "established religions" -- state supported churches similar to those which had existed in colonial America and throughout most of Europe, saying that to "compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of (religious) opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical."
It was in his 1802 letter to "the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut" that he put forth some of his strongest language concerning the relationship of government and religious faith:
"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, ' thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
Preserving the "Wall of Separation"
American Atheists has labored for over three decades to preserve this \wall of separation\, and in doing so, to protect the civil rights of Atheists and non-believers. While we acknowledge the importance of the First Amendment in protecting the various religious groups of this nation -- "religious liberty" -- we also note that the majority of Americans are "un-churched." Tens of millions of citizens are not regular attendees at churches, mosques or temples, and religious faith plays a minimal role in their lives.
And there are over 25,000,000 Americans who describe themselves as Atheists, religious skeptics, non-believers or with similar terms. We have no use for religious creeds; we doubt the efficacy of prayer and religious ritual; and we object to supporting through tax money any religious establishment, event, or ritual.
We are aware that in legal issues concerning \religious liberty\, there are those affected to have no religious beliefs whatsoever. American Atheist labors on behalf of the civil rights of these non-believers who defend the right to freedom from religion.