Street name “Seven in Heaven Way” upsets American Atheists
POSTED AT 7:12 PM ON JULY 12, 2011 BY TINA KORBE
This summer, the city of Brooklyn renamed a neighborhood street “Seven in Heaven Way” to honor seven local firefighters who gave their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. A nice thought, right? Simple, symbolic, sincere. But sadly, the commemorative gesture has since generated controversy.
The New Jersey-based American Atheists, the same group that brought the country “God Less America” Fourth of July aerial banners, promptly objected to the street name.
“It’s improper for the city to endorse the view that heaven exists,” American Atheists president David Silverman said. “It links Christianity and heroism.”
Atheist bigots have no shame. The naming of the street reflects the views of the vast majority of Americans who want to honor these brave men-- who are in heaven.
Additional objections: Sept. 11 was an attack on “all of America,” so no memorial of it should “break” the Constitution — and, also, the street sign presumes to know what the seven firefighters themselves believed.
But, as The Heritage Foundation’s Jennifer Marshall points out, the group’s objections reveal a misunderstanding of freedom of religion.
"Godless secularism – or a “naked public square” denuded of all religious references and symbols, as the late Richard John Neuhaus put it – never was intended to be the character of our American republic. Religious freedom, the cornerstone of all freedom, is freedom for religion, not hostility toward it.
Yes, the Founders wisely separated political from religious authority in our federal government, but they didn’t intend to divorce religion from public life or politics. They based the American model of religious liberty on a favorable view of religious practice.
Far from privatizing or marginalizing religion, the Founders assumed religious believers and institutions would take active roles in society, engaging in the political process and helping to shape consensus on morally fraught questions. …
Most nations are dominated, demographically anyway, by adherents of particular faiths. But every denomination – and the atheist camp as well – is a small minority somewhere on the planet. This reality underscores why religious liberty, not the radical secularist or theocratic systems at either end of the spectrum, should be precious to everyone."
But on a more practical level, the objections reveal an acute sensitivity that seems unwarranted in this situation. A street name with the word “heaven” doesn’t automatically imply an endorsement of Christianity — many other religions include a paradisal idea of the afterlife, too. Nor does it even necessarily imply an endorsement of the belief that heaven is real. Are no streets named for mythical places or fictional characters?
Do we have to change all names of public places-- Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis -- that some moonbat atheist might find objectionable?
We need to understand that the humorous caricature of the atheist-- the faculty lounge denizen with the pony tail and the Che t-shirt-- under-represents the simple hate that these people have for Christianity. They are the perpetually offended, inveterate totalitarians, who use every means at their disposal to inflict their idiot ideology on the American public.
The proper response to these thugs is derision and defiance.
"these brave men-- who are in heaven."ReplyDelete
"the humorous caricature of the atheist-- the faculty lounge denizen with the pony tail and the Che t-shirt"
I've never heard of such caricature. But I don't live in a theocracy like Americans.
'Seven in Heaven Way'? Not much recognition for the 7 firefighters. In a few years, no one will know what the name means. Why not name 7 streets after each of the firefighters? In future years, anyone curious as to the reason for the names would be able to do an Internet search and find the reason.
Anon once again bravely posts,ReplyDelete
"But I don't live in a theocracy like Americans."
Proving he is both inconsistent in his view, and out of touch with political reality. Theocracy in the USA? Where are you to make such an assertion, Mr Chekov? Never mind. If you wont even show a name/tag you must be frightened of us finding out, or of the officials knowing your online. Maybe your glorious free republic restricts the free speech of it's citizens. Nevermind Anony mouse.
I am lead to believe that the individual responders will have things named after them in due course.
The idea of naming the street in such a broad way is to provoke the question 'Who where the seven?' People see the name and wonder. In order to properly understand their locality and exude their 'New Yorkness', it becomes a duty for the savvy New Yorker to know who those Seven where, and what they did to get a street named after their effort.
In a hundred years time, God willing, the citizens of NYC will ask themselves the same question. Those types of names keep history alive.
The proper response to these thugs is derision and defiance.ReplyDelete
Thugs huh? So I suppose they are out knocking the signs down and attacking Christians in the streets?
So public protest now makes one a "thug"? Taking legal action is "thuggery"?
You have an interesting definition of "thug". One that doesn't really match reality. But that's about par for the course for you.
"Where are you to make such an assertion, Mr Chekov? Never mind. If you wont even show a name/tag you must be frightened of us finding out, or of the officials knowing your online. Maybe your glorious free republic restricts the free speech of it's citizens. Nevermind Anony mouse."
"these brave men-- who are in heaven."ReplyDelete
J. R. Braden, who needs evidence when we have faith?ReplyDelete
[But I don't live in a theocracy like Americans.]ReplyDelete
Wow. Just wow. A fount of wisdom and truth, this anonymous.
I am glad you find the Trek reference funny, it was meant to be. I love my scifi.
But as much as I enjoy delivering the chuckle, the humour is really in what I am responding to.
You don't HONESTLY buy that the United States is a THEOCRACY do you? So... I parried your rhetorical flourish with a little silliness of my own.
AND! I am glad you have found a name, Mouse.
Us old fashioned types love to be able to differentiate between who we are talking to. Cheers!
They are the perpetually offended, inveterate totalitarians, who use every means at their disposal to inflict their idiot ideology on the American public.ReplyDelete
Very well said Michael!
There is no end of atheist religious uprisings these days. Anything and everything with the slightest religious connotations is their target.
... Er, well, except Islam. They are terrified of Islam.
I wonder if, next on their religious agenda, is "killing in the name of no god".
Gee, that sounds quite familiar. 140,000,000+ deaths in the 20e century alone - under strictly atheist regimes.
These are the cockroach type of atheists.
The ones who are so insecure in their vain, meaningless world view, that they must impose it on all and seek to stop anyone criticizing the feckless void of their ideology.
They whine and squeal like little hogs everywhere anyone is talking God or exposing atheism for what it is.
Like here for example. I rest that case.
Their minds are shut like a steel trap on the void of nothing creating everything for no reason. No amount evidence, proof, logic or reason can pierce the thick armor they have created around their minds to shut out all "noise" of God.
God does not exist, in their shrunken "logic", not for any lack of evidence, but because they do not want him to.
The theological? The deeds and manner of these men, and thus the justification for inferring they have made a good/worthy passing into what lies beyond life?
Or are you asking for some sort of hard proof of the existence of the immaterial, and thus heaven / afterlife / super-nature? Is this your query?
Could you take the time to rephrase that question? I would appreciate it!
Yes, anonymous is indeed a fount of wisdom eh? Not.ReplyDelete
America a theocracy.
Right. Not allowed to pray in school, not allowed to read bible in school, not allowed to talk God in school, not allowed to question anti God dogma in school.
Yes, I can see how that constitutes a theocracy. ;-)
Well here's some, "Greater love has no one than this, that one should lay down his life on behalf of his friends." -Jesus Christ
Now if anyone should know about heaven and those who are allowed in or not, it would be him.
Love, the "seeking the highest good of all" kind, the "love your neighbor as yourself" kind, the "do unto others kind".
If anything gets a soul into heaven it is that love. Something not possible without God, "for God is love", i.e that which describes best the whole of his nature and character.
Well here's some, "Greater love has no one than this, that one should lay down his life on behalf of his friends." -Jesus ChristReplyDelete
So, anything that is written down is true?
"If anything gets a soul into heaven it is that love."ReplyDelete
So all it takes to get into heaven is good deeds. Great! I'm good to go!
Names often get distorted in memory. I think in a few years 'Seven in Heaven Way', if it's in anyone's memory (and there are plenty of streets in my suburb I don't actually know the names of, and I know them well enough to travel along them everyday), it will become:
'Seventh Heaven Way', and no one will think of what it means. In German, if you're in a particularly good place, you're in 'seventh heaven'.
How did you escape from your padded cell?
I understand what you mean, but history and historians counter that crap all the time.
That's part of our job, especially in the arena of education. Also regional pride has a great deal to do with preserving a cultural memory, such as 911.
Why is 'Hells Kitchen' named so? Well if you are a TRUE urbanite from Manhattan or NYC you KNOW why.
Many cities have such stange names and traditions associated with it. I think NYC is just trying it both ways, if you follow what I mean. They are being both direct and mythical in their approach to memorialising this event and the response to it.
My hat is off to them.
PS It's 'Rib-Fest' in my town this week...so I know ALL about 7th Heaven :P
"So all it takes to get into heaven is good deeds. Great! I'm good to go!"
Theology? I had no idea, KW!
It takes LOVE, not just good deeds. Real OBJECTIVE good. Not 'playing nice'.
Look, KW, I realize you are not being serious and you are totally set in your views...but I will respond for others who may be more flexible in their ideas and who may stumble across this exchange. I will attempt to be as secular and broad/simple in my terms as possible - so folks can understand me.
In Christianity, the motive for your being 'good' is what is central.
You must want, understand and LOVE being good - REAL, objective good.
You must respectfully and happily live out the will of the 'Father' of all things.
Kindness, mercy, forgiveness, altruism must be your GOAL; your end not your means.
You must attune to the 'word' (or signal, maybe even 'thought'- if you like) of morality that is an inherit part in all things, and recognized and conveyed into physical reality by human will and intuition.
In Christianity, our theology teaches us the creed of Love.
We LOVE the Father, and ALL of His creation. We are of him, and he is within us.
Merely avoiding evil and being civilized are seen as normal, expected hazards to the course.
An Example by contrast:
A man may do an evil thing due to his desires, fears, or lust; but, later realizes he has done evil and therefore repents. It is believed that this man can make amends or penance, and that he is ultimately forgiven for his human weakness, so that he may enter a state of 'grace' and this leads him to what is often described as an 'afterlife' in modern language- but would more properly be described as REAL-life or even the maturation of being. He is transformed by his Love and the will of God into something more than he was before. In common terms this is described as 'Heaven'.
Another man does just as many good deeds, but is consistently, quietly, and unrepentantly evil in some matters.
This Second Man does much less than resist, and he NEVER feels guilty or shamed by his immorality. He actually enjoys the rebellion of it. The immorality appeals to him, as he sees morality as a CAGE. This begs the question: Will he be forgiven? To this the only answer is another question: 'Will he ask to be forgiven?'
If not where is he destined for after the material world is done with him? After 'death'.
We can only speculate... most of us. But there is a wisdom and a history of thought we can draw from. If I draw from the Scripture of my faith, and from a certain instinct or intuition I am hard pressed to (and somewhat reluctant) to identify: I don't think it's a positive outcome.
I get the feeling that: 'It's not good to be evil.'
CNTD from above...ReplyDelete
In fact, there are a thousand plus interpretations of this understood truth in the Christian faith alone. What it means, who is who etc. But there is a recognition of culpability and the need to atone for it. There is an escape hatch for sinners.
In the broader faith community there are different angles on this truth again. Some quite severe, others almost passive. But our second man does not give a hoot about ANY of that. The rules are made to be broken, not obeyed or even bent. The various faithful and obedient will vary in style of worship and even ritual, but Evil always wears the same garb. Always manifests the same desires.
I DO know what our second man would generally hope for the length of their whole lives in this respect. They will and enforce a view/hope that there is NOTHING.
No meaning, no purpose, no afterlife, no God, no real morality, no Judgement of worth... nothing. That all is futile, so you may as well 'enjoy' life.
But, what do they mean by 'enjoy'? It seems that usually translates into 'DEFILE' in some way. To make a hobby, career or even life's work of rejecting and pushing back the objective laws of morality.
What does that mean for them?
There are many interpretations from many hundreds of years of theological study... but there is one that jumps out at me: 'The Second Death'.
The Lord, being merciful, may give our second man over to the sum of all his hopes and desire: NOTHING. Could he be deleted from the book of life by his own desire? To have never have been, in the here after. To literally cease to exist.
To be 'digital' about it, as so many of my young associates and my son can often be (in language, anyway) we could phrase the ideas as like being self-removed by a reality 'patch' in the next, improved level of existence. A corrected glitch, removed from the alpha code process leaving only properly functioning algorithms to pass into the next, refined reality with exact and perfect purpose.
It may seem to the reader that much of what I have written here is of a personal perspective on specific interpretation of metaphysical and religious ideas on the immaterial; they would be correct. That is all I have. It is all any of us have.
But, it is a whole UNIVERSE more than the NOTHING that is monistic materialism and it's theological whore: Atheism.
"But who are they, who bound in tenfold chains stand horribly aghast?ReplyDelete
This is that crew who strove to pull Jehovah from his throne, And in the place of heaven's eternal King set up the phantom chance.
Alternate seasons cheer'd the rolling year; In vain the Sun, or herb, tree, fruit, and flow'r shed genial influence mild ; and the pale moon repair'd her waning orb.
Next these is plac'd The vile blasphemer; he, whose impious wit Profan'd the sacred mysteries of faith, And 'gainst th' impenetrable walls of Heav'n Planted his feeble battery.
By these stands The Arch Apostate: he with many a wile Exhorts them still to foul revolt.
Alas! No hope have they from black despair, no ray shines through the gloom to cheer their sinking in agonies of grief they curse the hour when first they left religion's onward way. "
"Atheism is a disease of the mind caused by eating underdone philosophy." - Austin O'MalleyReplyDelete