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Florida courthouse to see country’s first atheist monument

Posted by on May. 29, 2013 at 11:38 PM
  • 105 Replies
Christians pray for Ten Commandments monument in Bradford County, Florida (WTSP)

Next month, the Bradford County Courthouse in Florida will become home to the first atheist monument on government property.

Though public buildings like courthouses have long been home to Ten Commandments monuments, other faiths and non-faith have not received similar representation. The group American Atheists plans to change that on June 29 when it unveils a 1,500-pound granite bench engraved with atheistic quotations.

“We have maintained from the beginning that the Ten Commandments doesn’t belong on government property,” American Atheists President David Silverman explained a news release. “There is no secular purpose for the monument whatsoever and it makes atheists feel like second-class citizens. But if keeping it there means we have the right to install our own monument, then installing our own is exactly what we’ll do.”


The atheist group sued Bradford County, Florida last year after the Christian group Community Men’s Fellowship paid to have a 6-ton granite monument of the Ten Commandments installed at the courthouse.

American Atheists later reached a settlement with Bradford County, according to the news release, which allowed them to install their new monument.

“We want you all to remember that this issue was won on the basis of this being a free speech issue, so don’t be alarmed when the American Atheists want to erect their own sign or monument,” Community Men’s Fellowship wrote on Facebook following the settlement. “It’s their right. As for us, we will continue to honor the Lord and that’s what matters.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/05/29/florida-courthouse-to-see-countrys-first-atheist-monument/

by on May. 29, 2013 at 11:38 PM
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quickbooksworm
by Gold Member on May. 29, 2013 at 11:43 PM
3 moms liked this
They believe in nothing. What exactly are they going to put up?
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AlekD
by Gold Member on May. 29, 2013 at 11:46 PM
Meh. Depending on what the "atheistic quotations" on the monument are, I dont really care if they put up a monument. Better this than just removing the ten commandments or any other religious display.
-Celestial-
by Pepperlynn on May. 29, 2013 at 11:47 PM

Press Release: Atheists to Unveil Florida Courthouse Monument

Cranford, NJ—Following a settlement with Bradford County, Florida, American Atheists will unveil a new monument in front of the Bradford County Courthouse: a 1,500-pound granite bench engraved with quotations from Thomas Jefferson, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, Benjamin Franklin, and others. The bench will sit adjacent to an existing monument featuring the Ten Commandments.

The unveiling is scheduled for June 29 at noon. It is the first atheist-sponsored monument on government property in the United States. American Atheists President David Silverman will deliver the dedication.

The monument features an excerpt from the Treaty of Tripoli, signed by President John Adams, which declares “The United States is in no sense founded on the Christian religion”; and excerpts from the Bible, quoting the biblical punishments for breaking each of the Ten Commandments–many command death.

American Atheists, along with plaintiff Daniel Cooney of Starke, filed suit in May 2012 for the removal of the Ten Commandments monument, citing separation of religion and government because the monument is on government land.

“We have maintained from the beginning that the Ten Commandments doesn’t belong on government property,” said Silverman. “There is no secular purpose for the monument whatsoever and it makes atheists feel like second-class citizens. But if keeping it there means we have the right to install our own monument, then installing our own is exactly what we’ll do.”

“The monument emphasizes the role secularism has played in American history,” said Public Relations Director Dave Muscato. “And the Bible quotes make it clear that the Ten Commandments are not the ‘great moral code’ they’re often portrayed to be. Don’t kill, don’t steal? Of course. But worship only the Judeo-Christian god? That conflicts overtly with the very first right in the Bill of Rights, freedom of religion.”

“When it comes to government and religion, there are only two ways to show equality: all or none,” said Ken Loukinen, Regional Operations Director. “I am glad that Bradford County has chosen to show equality and will be a great example for other cities in Florida and the United States.”

The monument is being furnished by American Atheists via a grant from the Stiefel Freethought Foundation.

Immediately following the unveiling, a public celebration sponsored by the Tallahassee Atheists, the Humanists of Florida, and the Florida Atheists and Secular Humanists (FLASH) is scheduled to take place at the Days Inn by the courthouse on Temple Avenue in Starke, Florida.

RSVP for the unveiling & celebration on Facebook here.

AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a national 501(c)(3) organization that defends civil rights for atheists, freethinkers, and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of religion and government; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy. American Atheists celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

ms-superwoman
by Silver Member on May. 29, 2013 at 11:50 PM

Soo what does it say?

quickbooksworm
by Gold Member on May. 29, 2013 at 11:50 PM
6 moms liked this
Well damn, it seems like their monument is less a monument about what they believe and more an attack on Christianity. I'm not a Christian and I find the atheists fucking annoying. They have built an entire religion on being against another religion. Its ridiculous.
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dawnie1
by #1 Raider fan on May. 30, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Florida, why do you do this crap? Sometime it is hard to hold my head up.

SuperChicken
by on May. 30, 2013 at 9:57 AM
3 moms liked this

I wonder how long it will last before it's vandalized.

BlueRay
by Bronze Member on May. 30, 2013 at 9:58 AM
If Christians can't have anything neither should atheists

And I'm atheist!
momtoscott
by on May. 30, 2013 at 9:59 AM
4 moms liked this

Neither monument belongs on government property, IMO.  

EarlGrayHot
by Member on May. 30, 2013 at 10:02 AM
1 mom liked this

It would be best to remove religious monuments and leave them where they belong-on private property.  Frankly, I don't understand why Atheists would want to put up a monument but why not leave the rest of us alone and keep those personal beliefs to yourself?

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