A person's religion is a matter of faith. Christianity is not an inheritable belief. It is fundamentally a religion of free will. As a basic tenet, it says Christians will perform good deeds as a result of their relationship with God, rather than as a means of attaining a better place in the afterlife. Few things can be more Christian than the 1st Amendment to the Constitution, which states:
"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." Amendment I, US Constitution, Bill of Rights
It is surprising then that a quote from the Communist Manifesto ("separation of church and state") is quoted as the First Amendment and that together they are often used to assault Christianity in courts and legislatures. But the War On Christianity is not limited to law suits, blackmail threats of lawsuits, and the new prophets of atheism. It is also physical attacks on churches and Christians. On this Christmas alone, Christians have been murdered in Nigeria, the Philipines, and elsewhere, by Islamists.
But that dogmatism of atheism has become an interesting paradox to me in the past few years. It has developed its own story of creation ("Big Bang" and Evolution), its own eternal thing (Universe), its own prophets (scientists), its own preachers, and now its own holiday ("Humanlight" day) to compete with Christmas. The fact that it feels compelled to create a new holiday rather than just enjoy Christmas in a non-religious manner is particularly telling. Atheist adherents are creating their own versions of churches.
Atheism should care less about conversion than any religion, yet they're buying bus ads. Why? If you don't believe in an afterlife, what are you saving people from? A belief that some amount of piety and good deeds will change what happens post-mortem?
Let me preface this by saying I personally don't care if you believe in God or not. I should, but I'll leave that between the two of you. I don't know how the Earth was created, and frankly, neither do you. When the video evidence is presented, we'll both know. Until then, it is simply theory and/or belief. I should also say that I'm not an expert on religion, though I have listened to the beliefs of many and looked a little deeper than many at various religions.
I do believe deeply in that very Christian 1st Amendment tenet, that you should be free to arrive at your own beliefs, and to practice them as you see fit, so long as you don't impose those beliefs on others. Play with rattlesnakes, claim there is no god or there are hundreds of gods, that music is given of God, or should be kept from the walls of church, that is up to you and your beliefs. But don't try to make me play with rattlesnakes, nor bow down before Mecca. Nor should you claim that a nativity scene imposes on you. You can drive by it as easily as I can drive by a Mosque or University Lab.
Nor do I have a problem with all that have no belief in God. I saw a video once of Penn, of Penn & Teller, who is an ardent atheist, in which he discussed an encounter with a Christian who attempted to bring him salvation. It is striking because Penn notes that the Christian genuinely cared, and that he was appreciative that he did, even though he was not convinced to convert. It was a statement of mutual respect, between those of different beliefs.
If you don't believe in God and do not attempt to impose that non-belief on others, please understand you're not the ones I'm talking about.
The fact remains that many of the authors of the Constitution were not only devout Christians but as early statesmen intertwined their Christian beliefs and practices with their office. In the United States, as per the US Constitution, the free exercise of Christianity shall not be prohibited.
And what I do have a problem with are those that attempt to impose their religious beliefs on me, including the dogmatic atheists and islamist assassins that would murder a man who drew a cartoon about his perceptions of their religion. I particularly take issue with those that attempt to use the legislative and legal systems to undermine the 1st Amendment, i.e. to prohibit the free exercise of religion.
There is a war on Christianity and one battlefield is the war on Christmas. The legal challenges issued against Christmas and Christianity are un-Constitutional. The murders of Christians internationally are particularly distressing. And Americans of every religious persuasion should stand shoulder to shoulder for the 1st Amendment and against violence perpetuated for sake of religious intolerance.
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens." George Washington.
"In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by chains of the Constitution." Thomas Jefferson
The point? As the first President under the US Constitution, and signatory to it, George Washington's words would be assaulted by those that would misuse the 1st Amendment today.
And Thomas Jefferson points out that the US Constitution, not the fallable judges who attempt to "interpret" it, is the final arbiter, that no man, no matter how powerful, should be above those tenets. Jefferson is not however signatory to the Constitution, though he was supportive of it, and was signatory to the Declaration of Independence which states that:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."
And then there is:
"It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." Daniel Webster