Florida Court Sets Atheist Holiday-Fiction! and a Joke!

Florida Court Sets Atheist Holiday-Fiction! and a Joke!

Summary of eRumor:

A forwarded email about an atheist who filed a discrimination lawsuit to stop observances of Passover and Easter on the grounds that there were not any holidays set aside for atheists.   The judge dismissed the case citing Psalm 14:1 and told the plaintiff that the first day in April has been set aside for those who did not believe in God.

The Truth:

This is a joke that has been widely circulated over the years and we have found no evidence of any such court case.

updated 02/12/09

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

FLORIDA COURT SETS ATHEIST HOLY DAY

In Florida , an atheist created a case against the upcoming Easter and Passover Holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians, Jews and observances of their holy days. The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days.

The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring,” Case dismissed!”

The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, “Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, yet my Client and all other atheists have no such holidays.”

The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, “But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant.”

The lawyer said, “Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists.”

The judge said, “The calendar says April 1st is April Fools Day. Psalm 14:1 states, ‘The fool says in his heart, there is no God.’ Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned.”