We have seen non-religious Americans ostracized and taunted in their communities, even losing their jobs, and their homes vandalized for their non-religious beliefs; and we have seen schoolchildren attacked and punished for questioning god-belief or refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance with “Under God”.
The message is clear: If you don’t hold a religious belief, you’re not a real American, you’re not patriotic, and you’re not to be recognized or protected by our government or by our society.
We are concerned about the legal and moral implications of such actions. Such actions not only violate the spirit of the First Amendment and provide privileges for the religious community; but we are even more concerned that these actions marginalize the non-religious community and create a religious apartheid in our society where non-religious individuals and groups are considered second-class citizens, with no voice in our government; but rather to “sit down and shut up.”
We will not sit down and shut up. We will proudly stand up and fight for our rights as Americans and for the moral values of religious tolerance and equality embodied in our Constitution.
So we call on our civic leaders today to restore the values of union and inclusion that our forefathers gave us in our original national symbols and in our Constitution, to honor their oaths of office and protect our American values of government of the people, by the people, and for the people and church-state separation, for our generation and for those yet to come.