Displaying an incredible lack of self-awareness, a group of militant atheists with the Freedom From Religion Foundation is complaining that an atheist within their ranks has been denied the chance to deliver an invocation before Congress – just days after they filed a formal complaint over an elementary student’s prayer at her school.
The FFRF, who have nothing better to do with their time than complain about people of faith, took issue with a little girl reading a Christian prayer during an open house event at her elementary school in Elizabethton, Tennessee. The group claimed that by allowing the child to recite a prayer, the school violated the “Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.” FFRF’s complaint prompted the district to not only issue a formal warning to the school’s principal, but schedule a mandatory district-wide training session on the issue.
Never mind that FFRF’s erroneous and illogical interpretation of the Establishment clause violates the Free Speech clause. What these atheists conveniently miss is that the First Amendment simply prohibits the federal government from mandating that its citizens subscribe to a specific religion – it doesn't protect citizens from ever hearing it in the public sphere. By forcibly banning through legal intimidation any mention of religion from the civic sector, FFRF is essentially robbing citizens like this little girl of her free speech rights.
But what’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander, as FFRF turned right around and began complaining when one of its members was prohibited from giving an invocation at a congressional event.
“I'm suing U.S. House Chaplain Patrick Conroy, a Roman Catholic priest, for explicitly barring me as an atheist from delivering a guest invocation before Congress,” declared FFRF President Dan Barker, who noted that a U.S. district judge in Washington, D.C. already a threw out his challenge in federal court. (Probably because it’s bogus.)
“As House chaplain, Conroy has only one official duty: to deliver an opening invocation before the House at the start of the day. Yet Conroy frequently passes on this responsibility to 'guest chaplains.' Although there are no written rules, I met Conroy's de facto requirements, including, as a former minister, still possessing a ministerial ordination,” Barker said.
“But after many delays, Conroy sent an insulting letter to my representative, Mark Pocan, saying that since I'd announced my atheism publicly, I was ineligible for the honor of solemnizing the House day,” he complained.
Now, Barker’s suing, saying his constitutional rights have been violated.
So, wait. Barker is now crying “discrimination” after being turned down from giving a congressional invocation – despite admitting that he doesn’t actually believe in a divine power to, you know, invoke – just days after arguing against the free speech rights of a young child who voluntarily offered a prayer at her school.
That just makes the kind of sense that…well, doesn’t.