"If belief in a Higher Power is considered a religious faith, then an equally powerful argument can be made that the non-belief in a Higher Power is also a religion. To put it another way, a religious person believes in a Higher Power. An atheist does not. Neither position can be proven with facts or science; each requires faith in an idea."A Google search of the title of this post reveals many relevant links to this discussion. Many of those who consider themselves atheists bristle at the charge that atheism is a religion. Many of these people have a very simple adherence to atheism that they don't believe in any Higher Power, no After-Life, no Supreme Being, nothing.
There is also a very large segment of the atheist population who very actively seeks to abolish any references to any form of religious faith in any public forum, governmental agency, or public schools, or any organization or activity open to the general public. I would characterize this group of atheists as "activists", and suspect that many of them would also characterize themselves as politically liberal.
The latter group is the more vocal 'face' of atheism, and are usually the ones filing lawsuits to remove religious symbols from public buildings, schools, etc. These activist atheists zealously and ruthlessly pursue their non-believer goalsÂwhich seem to this writer as ultimately the elimination of all religious activity anywhere except possibly in the privacy of one's home. One such zealot sued to remove the Cross atop Mt. Soledad, and another sued to stop public schools from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and its reference to "under God".
In researching this question, however, I discovered a recent United State Appellate Court ruling that held that atheism is indeed areligiouss belief. The August, 2005 decision by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has spurred furious debate between those of religious faith and atheists, and even among atheists themselves.
Since the federal courts have now affirmed that atheism is a religion, my argument that the San Diego judge who ruled that the public vote to transfer the land under the Cross on Mt. Soledad to private hands was an unconstitutional promotion of religion, was by her ruling violating the constitution by promoting atheism. Atheists want the Cross removed because their religion (atheism) says such symbols are opposed to their religion. If you are anti-religion, then you are pro-atheism. Therefore the removal of religion and religious symbols from public property is the promotion of atheism. The promotion of atheism is the promotion of a religion. The promotion of a religion by government is unconstitutional, therefore the order to removereligiouss symbols and practices from government property and institutions is, in fact, the unconstitutional promotion of a particular religious faith over others.
The Supreme Court has held (the Lemon Test) that to beincompletelye with the1stt amendment, government must be secular in nature, must neither promote nor inhibit religious activity, and must not excessively entangle government and religion.
The ruling on the Mt. Soledad Cross, given the above, is in clear violation of the Lemon Test in that it promotes atheism, inhibits Christianity, and, through its promotion of atheism, excessively entangles government and religion.