An atheist and agnostic group mocked President Donald Trump in a full-page advertisement on May 25 in The New York Times.
The ad shows a cartoon version of the president — which is surrounded by cartoon images of various faith leaders. The text reads, “Mr. President, we are NOT a nation of believers.”
“In America, we don’t worship government, we worship God,” said Trump.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) advocacy organization claims Trump has excluded nonreligious folks in the country.
“The ad’s irreverent graphic lampoons Trump’s signing of a May 4 executive order signaling that tax-exempt churches are now free to politick from the pulpit,” the group said in a press release about its ad. “FFRF is suing Trump over that executive order.”
Trump’s executive order promises to protect the religious freedoms in this country.
“The Founders envisioned a nation in which religious voices and views were integral to a vibrant public square, and in which religious people and institutions were free to practice their faith without fear of discrimination or retaliation by the federal government,” the executive order states. “For that reason, the United States Constitution enshrines and protects the fundamental right to religious liberty as Americans’ first freedom.”
“No one should be censoring sermons or targeting pastors,” Trump said May 4 during remarks at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, laser-focused on the separation of church and state, denounced Trump’s order.
“We are one nation under a godless Constitution,” the group’s ad says. “‘We the People’ are free to believe or disbelieve.”
The group filed a lawsuit immediately after Trump signed his executive order. Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-presidents of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, said they were “tremendously concerned.”
“As the watchers on the wall of separation between state and church, we’re pleased to announce we’ve just filed a federal lawsuit against President Trump’s harmful executive order giving churches the green light to engage in politicking,” Barker and Gaylor wrote on May 4.
The ad shown in The Times borrowed from a phrase Trump used during his commencement address at Liberty University, a Christian college in Lynchburg, Virginia.
“America has always been the land of dreams because America is a nation of true believers,” Trump said in that speech. “When the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, they prayed. When the founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, they invoked our creator four times. Because in America, we don’t worship government — we worship God.”