posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 12:25 AM
Dueling monuments will soon be a sight to see in a small courtyard in front of a courthouse in Bradford County in Starke, Florida. Across from a six
ton, ten year old display of the 10 Commandments, an atheist group will be erecting a smaller, but significant, 1,500 pound granite monument of their
American Atheists sued Bradford County last July, saying the Christian monument in front of the county courthouse was a public endorsement of
religion. In response, the county asked Community Men's Fellowship, the organization that sponsored the display, to take it down. But the fellowship
replied by saying it had "prayerfully considered" the request and would not comply. The county and American Atheists went to a court-ordered
mediation in March and settled upon the atheists getting their own monument.
The bench like monument will feature quotes from secularists the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson and it will include a quote from the
Treaty of Tripoli, a 1796 peace agreement between the U.S. and North African Muslims:
"The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion" – 1796 Treaty of Tripoli
The United States of America was not founded on the Christian religion!
The structure will also have the following quotes inscribed on it.
"An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said.
An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty banished, war eliminated." – American
Atheists founder Madalyn Murray O'Hair
"When religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that
its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one." – Benjamin Franklin
"It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service [writing the Constitution] had interviews with the gods, or were in any
degree under the inspiration of Heaven." – John Adams
American Atheists and ACLU are stirring up controversies over the display of the 10 Commandments in courthouses elsewhere, and in public schools in
Oklahoma and Pennsylvania too.
The display will also feature Biblical quotes that supporters say correspond to the Ten Commandments, such as Deuteronomy 13:10, which says to
"stone him with stones" so "that he die" in reference to people who worship other gods. (The first commandment reads, "You shall have no other
gods before me.")
Personally, I think that this is very creative and a fair compromise, as it concerns public property and free speech. I would rather see dueling
signs, monuments and exhibits, than see religious displays constantly under legal attack, creating even more conflict between the religious community
and the secularists.
I don't support, however, the 10 Commandments or any other piece of religious indoctrination in public schools or inside public courthouses. I do
support legal action to have those displays removed altogether, as they represent a governmental endorsement of religion. There is no room for a
government endorsed religion in our schools, our courthouses or our legislative halls.
Right on and congratulations on your win American Atheists!