Atheists to Unveil Florida Courthouse Monument

Press Release: Atheists to Unveil Florida Courthouse Monument

Posted on: May 29, 2013

Stone Bench Featuring Secular Quotes Will Sit Beside Religious Tribute

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.”

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.

The original post can be see here on the American Atheists site.. 

Views: 373

Tags: American, Atheists, Bradford, Commandments, County, Florida, Madalyn, Murray, O’Hair, Ten, More…and, atheism, church, freethought, humanism, monument, of, secular, separation, state

Comment by Strega on May 29, 2013 at 2:34pm

I wonder if it will take long for it to be defaced :(

Comment by _Robert_ on May 29, 2013 at 7:00pm

Finally my home state does something right !

Comment by Ed on May 29, 2013 at 10:33pm

This tit-for-tat monument erection is a double edged sword. The point being made by the atheist backed monument will probably not be understood by the Floridian theist since it requires rational thought. We have won this battle but the war rages on.

Comment by Kairan Nierde on May 29, 2013 at 11:07pm

We have not won this battle.

Comment by SteveInCO on May 30, 2013 at 3:00am

I agree, this is NOT a win; we got outsmarted here.

it was a tactical mistake to settle.  We cannot possibly produce enough atheism monuments to counter all the 10 Commandments monuments Xian organizations can pay to erect.

Comment by Ray R. on May 30, 2013 at 7:02am
Agreed . Not a win . Religious symbols have no place on public property , Period . Placing a monument to human reason alongside a monument to human stupidity is not a win . It is a capitulation .
Comment by archaeopteryx on May 30, 2013 at 1:31pm

About damn time! I agree it's not a win, but theists need to see the potential issues placing a Judeo-Christian monument on public property can invoke. I was once banned from a theist site advocating the placement of those ten commandments on the courthouse lawn, saying it opened the door for other religious symbols - and I wasn't even wearing my Atheist hat at the time! They just didn't want to hear it.

Of course, what I was advocating instead, may have had something to do with their decision --

Comment by archaeopteryx on May 30, 2013 at 9:15pm

I don't know where to post this and haven't ever had any luck in getting a thread of my own featured, so this seems as good a place as any - is anyone knowledgeable about the "Dominion Movement"? Please read, then somebody start a thread who is more popular with the admins, like a total stranger, for example --

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