Atheists sue US House chaplain for not allowing non-prayer “invocation” in the House

From The Catholic League:

Atheists Sue U.S. House Chaplain
May 6, 2016

Bill Donohue comments on an atheist group suing the U.S. House chaplain:

Thursday, May 5, was America’s annual National Day of Prayer. So of course the anti-prayer Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) [These goofs are based in Madison.] chose that day to sue the chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives. FFRF president Dan Barker is upset that House chaplain Father Patrick Conroy, a Jesuit priest, has declined to invite him to deliver a non-prayer “invocation” on the House floor. FFRF also named House Speaker Paul Ryan, along with several members of Father Conroy’s staff, in the lawsuit.

Remarkably, Barker invokes his ordination as a Christian minister 41 years ago to justify his request—even though he later renounced God and proclaimed his atheism. [I fear for his soul.]  Noting that House rules require  guest chaplains to submit a valid ordination certificate, FFRF states that “Barker, who was a Christian minister for 19 years, retains a valid ordination, which he still uses to perform weddings.” Really? Do those he marries know that he has renounced the Christian faith for which he was ordained? In short, do they know that the man is a fraud?  [I suspect he gets paid.]

Fortunately, the House chaplain sees through this sham. It has been a long-standing requirement, Father Conroy explains, that any guest chaplain must be “ordained by a recognized body in the faith in which he/she practices (My italics.) “This is a substantive requirement—not a mechanical or check-the-box requirement,” Father Conroy wrote to Barker’s Congressman. “For example, I do not invite member-recommended individuals who have obtained an Internet-generated ordination to serve as guest chaplains, even if they hold deep and long-standing religious beliefs.”

All the more reason not to invite as a guest chaplain someone whose deep and long-standing beliefs are anti-religious. On a day in which President Obama reminded us of the need to “see God in everyone,” FFRF reminded us that they see God in no one.


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  1. Sonshine135 says:

    So if they are in fact admitting that irreligion is a religion, it becomes altogether plausible to take a case to court stating that the United States Government is imposing a religion of irreligion in violation of the Constitution. Does it not?

    You can’t eat your cake and have it too.

  2. benedetta says:

    Indeed, did Pres.Obama say we “should see God in everyone”?! Including, but not limited to, even all tiny humans, every one, who may dwell by happenstance in the womb, who feel pain and can be seen laughing and playing upon ultrasounds, fully developed at 10 weeks of age, human from the start and never to not be? Wanted, or ‘unwanted’? Gosh…I guess he is rather clever to wait until he is leaving office to affirm such a value…One can only imagine the hell that would be unleashed upon him by the powers that be for saying something so very…honest …human…and authentic? Still, some of us are braver than that and say it in and out of season or office as the case may be…A happy weekend to all.

  3. Adeodata says:

    Listening to Dan Barker speak to a college crowd in my town about atheism and FFRF was one of the worst experiences of my life. I was seething, and unfortunately the time for questions ended before I got up to the microphone. The college students (poor saps) sucked up the nonsense and half-truths that man spouted.

  4. Healingrose1202 says:

    A non-prayer prayer is still a prayer. To acknowledge the desire to participate in anything that is going to be labeled as a prayer would suggest a point of worship. Is an atheist allowed to even “worship” anything for fear of undermining and disproving the basis for everything an atheist claims to believe? If they are not giving a prayer, then it is just a chance to climb on a soapbox and give their two cents in a brief speech. We can’t make a National Soapbox Day, there are not enough hours in a day to celebrate.

  5. pannw says:

    An ‘ordained minister’???

    For it had been better for them not to have known the way of justice, than after they have known it, to turn back from that holy commandment which was delivered to them. For, that of the true proverb has happened to them: The dog is returned to his vomit: and, The sow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire.

    God have mercy on his soul.

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