Tyranny of the Nonbelievers By Joseph Perkins, San Diego Union-Tribune December 10, 2004 I had the recent displeasure of appearing before the local chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, many if not most of whose members appeared to me to be committed atheists. The forum was supposed to consider "A candidate's religion. When does it matter?" But the discussion quickly disintegrated into an ugly attack on religion by the godless majority in the room. By the time the evening was over, I knew how the Christians felt when they were fed to the lions. Now, I'm no holy roller. I do not expect everyone to share my religious faith. I respect the right of others not to believe in a supreme being. But what offends me is the contempt that the atheist minority has for the overwhelming majority of us who do believe in God. What angers me is that the atheist minority is waging an unholy war against God, against religion, in communities throughout the once-fair land. Indeed, California, the modern day Babylon, is ground zero in the war on religion. In San Diego, for instance, atheists are trying to remove a cross that has stood atop publicly owned Mount Soledad for a half-century, a memorial to those who fought in this nation's service in the two World Wars and the Korean War. The next thing we know, the ungodly element will demand that crosses and other religious symbols be removed from the graves of the war dead buried at military cemeteries in San Diego administered by the federal government. Meanwhile, up the road in Los Angeles, the county's Board of Supervisors voted recently to remove a tiny cross from the county seal. The supervisors just didn't think it appropriate for the government to officially endorse religion. Of course, if they follow their all-too-politically-correct thinking to its illogical conclusion, then they need to change the name of the county. For the reference to "Angeles" obviously has religious overtones. Then there's the Sacramento atheist who sued the Elk Grove Unified School District on grounds that it was imposing religion upon his daughter (to which he had no custody rights) by having students recite the Pledge of Allegiance, including the phrase, "One nation under God." It so happens that the same litigious atheist had previously pursued an unsuccessful lawsuit seeking to have the phrase "In God We Trust" removed from the nation's currency. The Christmas season brings out the very worst in the atheist element and their unholy allies, like Americans United for Separation of Church and State, like the American Civil Liberties Union. Not only have they bullied public entities into forgoing Christmas trees, banning nativity scenes, eschewing Christmas carols, they have made similar anti-Christmas inroads with private entities. Indeed, Target is not allowing the Salvation Army to set up outside its stores this holiday season. Nor will it allow any references to Christmas in its stores. (Anyone have a good link to this story about Target, other than what has been in the general daily newspapers about their not allowing the Salvation Army to have solicitors outside their stores?) Well, Target will never get another dollar from yours truly. And neither will Sears and other retailers who've chosen to side with the anti-Christian minority in this country over the 85 percent of us, according to polls, who consider ourselves Christians. And the hostility to Christianity, the antipathy for Christmas, is not confined to the merchant community. It also is rampant throughout the popular culture. Indeed, once again this year, Time and Newsweek have featured Christmas-themed cover stories (which are always among their best-selling issues). But the covers are just a facade. Go on the Internet. Download the Newsweek Christmas story (it will appear on MSNBC's Web site). Scroll to the bottom of the article headlined: "Religion: The Birth of Jesus." That's where you'll see what the editors and writers really think about the Christmas story, about Christianity in general. Page 4: "An Outlandish Message." Page 6: "Dubious on Almost Every Score." Page 7: "A Religion of Perplexing Contradictions." It's the same thing in Hollywood. The studios no longer make movies like "King of Kings," the "Greatest Story Ever Told" or "Jesus of Nazareth." Instead, they make films like "Dogma," in which Jesus is sacrilegiously portrayed as some sort of cartoonish figure-"Buddy Christ"-winking and giving a Bill Clinton-like thumbs-up. I accept that a minority of Americans do not believe that Jesus was the son of God. I accept that a smaller minority of Americans do not believe in God, period. All I ask is that nonbelievers stop trying to impose their will upon the majority of us who do believe. Perkins can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.