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    Posted July 5, 2012 by
    Jersey City, New Jersey
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    American Atheists Fly "Atheism is Patriotic" Banner Over NYC on July 4th


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     JoyfulGypsy was in Jersey City's Liberty State Park on July 4 when she photographed the American Atheists flying a banner over New York City that read, "Atheism is Patriotic." JoyfulGypsy, an atheist who often feels ostracized for her beliefs, says seeing the banner was a liberating experience.
    - stein0726, CNN iReport producer

    American Atheists flew a banner over New York City today, July 4, 2012. The banner behind the airplane read, “Atheism Is Patriotic – atheists.org.”


    Dave Silverman, President of American Atheists, said, “In 2011, American Atheists attempted to fly a banner in all fifty states on July 4th, but ran into discrimination from companies that refused to fly the banner. This year we are concentrating on New York City where the most powerful symbol of American freedom resides: the Statue of Liberty.”


    Mr. Silverman continued, “Religion is unpatriotic at its core, because it places its law above the law of the land. Indeed, religion abhors civil law, which is why we see attacks against science and privacy coming from our religious politicians. Religion asserts itself on the population at large by infiltrating the political system with true believers who will then use the political system to do the church's bidding.”


    The banner began flying at 7:30 PM, flew over the Verrazano Bridge, circle the entire New York Harbor, then up the Hudson River to the George Washington Bridge, then south again to circle around the Statue of Liberty several times. After the Statue of Liberty, the pilot returned to the Verrazano Bridge and finally flew west along the Staten Island Shoreline.


    Teresa MacBain, Public Relations Director of American Atheists and former pastor, stated, “As a pastor I often reminded my congregants that 'God's law was higher than man's law.’ What that really meant was that the people should take orders from the church, above our civil government. Atheism, being the absence of any religious beliefs, implies that human law alone is supreme over humanity. Here in America, the highest law is in Washington DC, not some fictional heaven. That's patriotic.”


    Silverman concluded, "I ask all citizens to remember that the separation of church and state benefits everyone, except the preachers and the politicians in their pockets. Religious equality only comes from Government neutrality. Celebrate your Independence."


    American Atheists defends civil rights of Atheists, freethinkers and other nonbelievers and works for the total separation of church-mosque-temple and state; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.


    As a woman who proudly served on active duty in the United States Army, I can attest to the fact that there are many Atheists in foxholes. I was one of them.


    Celebrate your freedom and independence!


    Photos by Lulis Leal
    July 4, 2012
    Jersey City, New Jersey


    *Some of the information above was obtained from a press release on American Atheists' website and used with permission.  Source:  www.Atheists.org

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