Republican candidates will deliver their well-rehearsed campaign messages tonight at the Fox News debate and the atheists will be there to complain about it.
"We would rather (the candidates) abstain from invoking religious law in their platforms, and in their debate speeches and things like that," says Jason Benel of Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers.
Benel and likeminded atheists will be outside the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines chanting the slogan "Keep Your Theocracy out of our Democracy."
Asked to respond to that protest, Christian apologist and author Dr. Alex McFarland says the atheists are asking more than most people realize.
"They think they're preventing religion from getting into public life," says McFarland, "but what they're actually doing is, they're dismantling the moral foundation that has been this nation's bedrock for 200 years."
GOP candidate Marco Rubio was confronted by an atheist last week at a town hall event, where the atheist asked Rubio if he would defend "atheist voters" and not "pander" to religious people.
"You have a right to believe in nothing at all," Rubio responded.
Rubio went to to tell atheist, however, that the United States was "founded on the principle that our rights come from our Creator," a likely reference to "inalienable rights" in the Declaration of Independence.
"If there's no Creator," Rubio told the audience, "then where did your rights come from?"
Atheists often invoke the "separation of church and state," penned by Thomas Jefferson in his famous letter to a Baptist congregation in Connecticut.
But the author of the Declaration of Independence and third U.S. president also appealed to "Natural Law," which is the belief that God is the creator of the laws that man oversees, McFarland says.
"Man has been subjected by his Creator to the moral law," Jefferson once wrote, suggesting that man's conscience is evidence of the Creator's touch.
So when Benel suggests to OneNewsNow that elected officials should refrain from using their "religious ideology" to write laws, McFarland asks what source they should then depend upon.
"We're not advocating people abandon their worldviews or abandon their faith," Benel tells OneNewsNow.
"Everyone has a worldview," McFarland counters. "The question is not will we live by worldview - the question is whose worldview."