Is Atheism Protected Under the First Amendment?

Asked by: 21MolonLabe
  • Once implicit, now explicit.

    Atheism, although not a true religion, is classified as such under the first amendment.

    The problem people on the NO side are having is focusing on the explicit allowances in the first amendment, and not what it fully offers.

    The first amendment was a dividing line between government and free speech, assembly, and religion. This does not mean that anything else outside of these rigid bounds is unprotected.

    It is justifiably as important that a non-religious group be treated as equal to a religious group by the government. After all, fairness and equality was the entire point of assuring groups could meet freely.

  • Freedom of Religion

    I honestly do not think freedom of religion means what people think it means. Freedom of religion does NOT mean that you only have the right to pick between a religion and keep it as more; it means that you have the freedom to believe in a religion or not

  • Ha ha ha

    It doesn't need protection. How would it? Protection is needed for those who need to do things in accordance with their spiritual/divine beliefs,, and protection FROM those whom identify with religion (individuals, groups, companies, governments) from religious actions being imposed on others. If you want to say atheism is or isn't a religion and thus is/isn't protected is really irrelevant. Thats how we roll. We don't need to draw lines of 'protection' for some/all/others regarding their beliefs provides they don't interfere with others.

  • Freedom From Religion

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" The text indicates the religious neutrality aspect of the Constitution. The mentioning of god in legal scripture indicates a creationist standpoint in the making of the law during the time of the founding fathers, however not an aspect of a specified religion is found in the constitution.

    The main purpose of choosing a Republic over a Democracy is so that the rights of the minority are not violated, witch would happen if the government held one religion held above the other.

    The only assured freedom of religion is ultimately freedom from religion, in that religions will tell you how to live your life and that aggressive religious zealots will sway the consensus

    Forcing someone to become religious just so they may share the rights that we enjoy seems inane.

    Side note: America was NOT based on religious scripture, bits of dogma exclusive to religious scripture would be found in the Constitution if this were true. The Constitution has very basic social ideas set into practice formed during the Roman republic and then expanded upon by the age of enlightenment.

  • State isn’t religious

    State and religion don’t mix. Atheism is a way of seeing life just like islam and christianly. So, it is up the individual to choose if atheism is the right thing for them, and as the first amendment empathizes freedom of religion, atheism is protected. State and religion don’t mix.

  • The Right to Not Have A Religion

    There is a very simple, clear, and conclusive arguement for atheism to be protected under the first ammendment of the US constituion. That arguement is the right to free speech.
    When you are taken to court or to the police office you are read your rights. One of the things that the police should tell you is that you have a right to not say anything, because anything they say can and will be used against them. I'm sure this sound familiar. But nowhere in the US constitution does it say that people have a right to not speak. It is taken from the given right to free speech, because part of what saying what you want, is being able to not say what you want. They are inseperable.
    If we take the same perspective with the right to religion as we do to the right to free speech, then it is clear that atheism is protected.
    We should not be inconsistent in our interpretations of the constitution so we must accept that atheism is protected under the first ammendment.

  • Atheism is not a religion, but it is a lack of one

    Given that atheism is the lack of belief in god(s), it is absolutely still covered under the constitution. The constitution claims the right to a religion, not an obligation to one. If you have the right to practice any religion but are not obligated to practice one, then you have the right to not have one as well.

    You also have the right to bear arms, but that doesn't mean you are all forced to bear arms. You also have the right to not bear arms.

  • Freedom of religion

    One of the guiding principles that the United States was founded on was freedom of religion, we are entitled to our religious/spiritual beliefs as long as we do not force them down other people's throats. Atheists are allowed to not believe in a divine power as long as they don't force other people to agree with them.

  • The First Amendment Spells it out in plain English

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"
    The US Government is wholly incapable to endorse any religion over any other religion or any religion over no religion. The Framers were secularists and deists. And that's really that all that one needs to say as far as that goes.

  • Freedom of religion includes freedom from religion

    Freedom of religion includes freedom from religion. Religious freedom includes the choice to not practice religion. Forcing an atheist to worship is the same as banning a person of faith from practicing it. By claiming that freedom of religion does not include atheism, the argument becomes hypocritical. Oppressing the nonreligious is the same as oppressing the religious. No one should be forced to believe in anything.

  • Atheism is not a religion...

    The constitution offers freedom of religion . .
    Atheism is not a religion . .
    So Atheism is not protected by the constitution. .
    Its that simple. .
    Quite honestly America was based on religion as well, so since atheism is not a religion, and the writers of the constitution would not have that in mind to protect. (most people at the time were religious.

  • No, Atheism is not protected under the First Amendment.

    The First Amendment mandates the freedom of religion, as well as press and assembly.

    The definition of religion is: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

    The definition of Atheism is: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

    The two definitions are contradictory, thus Atheism is not a religion, thus Atheism is not protected under the First Amendment.

  • It isn't though...

    Atheism is a LACK of a religion. Atheists don't believe in a greater power, so how can they be protected by an amendment about religion? Most people at the time WERE religious, so they may not have considered it a religion. It is not a religious/spiritual belief, it is the lack of one. I will have more to say later.

  • Atheism is not Protected under the First Amendment.

    The First Amendment permits the free exercise of RELIGION, not non-religion.

    Let's take a look at the definition of religion:
    the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

    Let's now take a look at the definition of Atheism:
    disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

    As per the definition, Atheism is not a religion, thus not protected under the Establishment clause or the Free Exercise Clause.

Leave a comment...
(Maximum 900 words)
Vox_Veritas says2014-12-03T23:41:14.037
Indeed. The Constitution equally protects the right to or the right not to believe in God.
Leo.Messi says2014-12-04T15:35:34.507
Does it?
Leo.Messi says2014-12-04T15:35:52.823
It allows atheism but does not protect it.
abyteofbrain says2014-12-06T19:37:59.107
Interesting question. I would say that it does not directly protect it. The constitution seems to protect all individual views to some degree.
Vere_Mendacium says2014-12-11T10:24:10.163
Leo, Explaint how/where it 'allows' atheism, and how one protects either atheism vs theism. I believe you will answer your own question in the process.
Vere_Mendacium says2015-01-06T04:40:55.453
Knock knock, @Leo.Messi