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Atheists protest 'America is a Christian nation' sermon: 'We the people not we the Christians

After a controversial highway billboard advertising a sermon titled "America is a Christian nation" was removed, atheists showed up Sunday outside First Baptist Dallas to protest the sermon itself. (Image source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram video screenshot)

After a controversial highway billboard advertising a sermon titled, "America is a Christian nation" was removed, atheists showed up Sunday outside First Baptist Dallas to protest the sermon itself, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Atheists held signs reading "We the people not we the Christians" and "The Constitution is a secular document" along with other messages for over an hour across the street from the church amid Senior Pastor Robert Jeffress' Freedom Sunday event, the paper said.

Image source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram video screenshot

What else did the atheists have to say?

"Our main purpose is to educate," Courtney Stewart, president of Metroplex Atheists, told the Star-Telegram. "Many people believe that this is a Christian nation, and that is not surprising. This idea is spread by many religious leaders and media. However, this is absolutely not the case, and we want to set the record straight."

Metroplex Atheists has over 1,400 members, the paper said, adding that about 2o members showed up to protest.

Stewart added to the Star-Telegram that Jeffress has a record of inflammatory and bigoted statements about other religions.

"The United States is a secular nation founded with a secular constitution," Stewart added to the paper. "That means it protects the rights of all Americans, not just those who adhere to his narrow definition of 'Christianity.'"

How did folks react to the atheists' protest?

"Praise God!" someone from a passing car shouted to the protesters, the Star-Telegram reported, adding that a church member handed out bottles of water to them as well.

"I believe they have a right to their ideas," Nemat B. Massey told the paper in regard to the protesters. "I believe in God."

Image source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram video screenshot

Massey — who distributed sheets of paper with Bible verses on them to protesters — also called Jeffress "the best pastor in the United States," the Star-Telegram said.

Image source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram video screenshot

More from the paper:

Inside the church, Freedom Sunday was unveiled with all the songs and fireworks of a political convention. Red, white and blue balloons dotted the church and American flags were handed out to church members as they walked into the service.

Image source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram video screenshot

One patriotic song after another filled the church Sunday morning as the service began. The sermon included real fireworks exploding in the church.

Image source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram video screenshot

At the 9:15 a.m. service, Jeffress noted to the congregation a letter he had received from Vice President Mike Pence, who wrote of his support for Freedom Sunday.

"Now perhaps you've heard there has been a little bit of controversy," Jeffress said as he began his sermon, the Star-Telegram said. "But I have been so gratified by the outpouring of support from Christians all over the country."

In his sermon, Jeffress said Orthodox Christians founded America, and that the nation's future will depend on Christian principles, the paper said.

Flap over military insignias

Adding to the controversy were reports that the Military Religious Freedom Foundation — another atheist outfit — sent the church a letter saying Jeffress wasn't authorized to use military insignias during the service, the Star-Telegram reported.

There were no military insignias at the Sunday services, the paper said, adding that there were five people dressed in military uniforms.



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