In trying to arrange for Kirtan (the singing of the Lord's Sacred Names) at the beautiful Reis Amphitheater in Lower Manhattan, we recently met with a solid rebuff. The Amphitheater is situated in a city-run project, and, according to the New York City Housing Authority Management Manual: "… No one is permitted to use the community facilities for religious, political or controversial purposes of any kind. Non-sectarian purposes alone are permitted."
We might argue that Shakespeare's plays (which are permitted) are religious, political, and undeniably controversial. In fact, it's to be wondered just what other than air and water could be construed as acceptable in "the community facilities."
But it is the underlying concept of religion as an arena of petty squabblers, while the atheist stands aloof and unattached which is worthy of our notice. This insidious philosophy has been gnawing at the entrails of modern civilization for many a long year, until today we find its banners unfurled in the Supreme Court decision forbidding God in the government-run classroom, as well as in the Housing Authority's carefully (if inanely) worded manual.
Although the Founding Fathers saw to the separation of Church and State with the good intention of having each operate unhampered by the other, they never considered God to be a sectarian concept. Nor did they, apparently, consider Godlessness to be a platform of aloof and serene indifference .
Atheism is a sect, to be sure. And the imposition of Godlessness upon the American people by members of its own Government is the triumph of this vicious minority over the mass of human society.