Washington - American sporting events may never be the same if the American Atheists have their way. The organization filed a lawsuit today in Federal Court objecting to the use of the word 'proof' in the National Anthem. Never afraid to take on a controversial issue, or invent one of their own, the lawsuit alleges 'proof' is a scientific term and has no place in The Star Spangled Banner, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year.
"If they're going to claim they have proof the flag is still flying, they had better back it up with more than a few paltry bombs bursting in air," American Atheist President David Silverman told reporters. "The bombs were circumstantial evidence at best that could not lead to any scientifically verifiable conclusion. The National Anthem is misleading our children and all Americans about the meaning of proof." Silverman equates people believing bombs are proof for a flags existence to people who believe the universe existing is proof of God. "Those who believe God created the universe are the same delusional people who think bombs are proof that a Flag is waving," Silverman added.
According to the lawsuit, 'proof' is a scientific and mathematical term that instills great certainty based on logic and strong evidence. The American Atheists allege there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that the flag was still flying. The organization dismisses eye witness testimony as laughable and unreliable. Silverman asserts 'We know from Christianity that eye witnesses cannot be trusted. The Americans have an obvious bias towards wanting the flag to still be there. Did anyone interview the British witnesses? I didn't think so." The author of the Star Spangled Banner, American lawyer and poet Francis Scott Key, wrote the lyric after witnessing the battle at Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. "He was not a scientist and he wrote the poem two years after the war. It's like the Bible all over again!," Silverman exclaimed.
Lawyers for the American Atheists also claim using the word 'proof' improperly is making their members physically and emotionally ill. "Many of our members are scientists, and when they hear the word 'proof' being used out of context, they complain of headaches, nausea, anxiety, and depression," the lawsuit American Atheists v. National Archives and Records Administration states. "Scientific Americans shouldn't have to continue to suffer mental anguish due to the ignorance of all Americans."
The American Atheists propose replacing the word 'proof' with a less confident word that recognizes the fluidity of battle such as 'maybe' or 'possibly'. Instead of the present reading of "Gave proof through the night, that our flag was still there" they suggest a more modest "Maybe through the night, our flag was still there." American Atheist President David Silverman says what we lose in conviction is more than made up for with a sense of healthy skepticism.
Upon learning about the lawsuit, Attorney General Eric Holder stated "I am dumbfounded that the American Atheists waste their time and money on these petty lawsuits when so many Americans are in need of food and medicine. This is but another demonstration of their distorted priorities." An atheist we interviewed who wished to remain anonymous imitated the face palm gesture and said "It's like they want Americans to hate atheists. All the American Atheists do is make us ashamed of being atheists."
The American Atheists are best known for their lawsuits seeking to remove the word 'God' from the Pledge of Allegiance and to remove the WTC cross from the 9/11 Memorial. The lawsuit filed today marks a strategic expansion by the organization beyond religious words and symbols to those dealing with scientific matters.