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Atheists in Bradford County, Florida Erect A Monument to "Unbelief"
Atheist Monument Unveiled in Florida
Top of the Atheist Monument
American Atheists President, David Silverman
Michael Tubbs, Chairman of the Florida League of the South
Two Atheist Monument Inscriptions
Side #1 of the atheist monument is the following inscription:
"An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that deed must be done instead of prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanished, war eliminated."
-A quote from Madalyn Murray O'Haire
Inscription on side #2:
Punishment for Breaking the Ten Commandments
"And thou shalt stone him with stones that he die; because he hath sought to trust thee away from the Lord thy god."
(9 Other Old Testament verses inscribed on this side, but not listed here)
Atheist Billboard by Backyard Skeptics
If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em
The atheist group American Atheist failed in an attempt to remove the Ten Commandments from the courthouse lawn in Bradford County, Florida.
So what did they do?
They erected their own monument, in a tribute to no god. American Atheists plans to continue erecting atheist monuments around the country wherever the Ten Commandments are found on government property.
American Atheists Declare this a Monument to our Secular Nation
David Silverman (pictured on the right), President of the American Atheists, made the following statement at the unveiling.
"Today, America's atheists take another step forward in our struggle for equality."
Christians could be seen across the street from the unveiling, holding signs that say things like "God loves you" and "Honk for Jesus!" among other things.
There were an estimated 200 people that attended the monument unveiling, of which some were protestors. One man even attempted to place a toilet seat on the bench part of the atheist monument during the unveiling. Atheists swiftly stopped him. His photo - including the toilet seat block - can be viewed in this NY Daily News article.
Some members of the group, Florida League of the South, waved signs that read "Yankees Go Home."
Michael Tubbs (pictured on right), Chairman of the Florida League of the South, a Christian Organization made the following comment about the atheist monument unveiling:
"It's kind of a stick in the eye of the uh Christian people of Florida to have these outsiders come down here with their money and their leadership, and uh promote their outside values here."
It may be important to note that as Michael Tubbs points out, that the American Atheists are not based in Florida, and does not represent the feelings of the majority of the population in Florida.
The American Atheists Center is actually located in Cranford, NJ, as found on its website.
Take the reader poll: Do you think that outside atheists should be able to come in and erect monuments in states that they do not reside?
Not the First Time Atheists Quote the Treaty with Tripolitania
One side of the atheist monument erected in Bradford County, Florida reads an excerpt from Article 11 of the Treaty the U.S. made with Tripolitania (present-day Libya) in 1796.
The excerpt reads:
"...the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion..."
Other atheist groups have been known to use this same excerpt, such as the Backyard Skeptics, an atheist group based out of California. Their billboard (pictured on the right), was put up in Costa Mesa, CA.
Jesus Statue in Whitefish, Montana
Trivia About Judge Dana Christensen
Trivial fact: President Barack Obama appointed Dana Christensen as a Judge in 2011.
In Related News...Jesus Can Stay in Montana
There is a Jesus statue standing in Montana as a fallen WWII memorial. This statue is a remnant of once was known as Big Mountain Ski Resort, and is maintained by the Knights of Columbus.
U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen has ruled that the monument does not have to be removed from the Flathead National Forest, after atheist group Freedom From Religion suddenly became offended by it.
The statue has been there since 1955, as a memorial for U.S. soldiers that saw similar monuments while fighting in the mountains of Europe. The Judge will allow the Knights of Columbus to re-apply for another 10-year permit.
Judge Christensen ruled that a reasonable observer would not deduce that the government sanctions Christianity over atheism (or other religions).
The Wisconsin-based atheist group Freedom From Religion wanted to have it removed, arguing that it was being sanctioned by the Forest Service.
The Freedom From Religion group was shocked by the ruling.
Atheist groups like this are going crazy over monuments like the Jesus statue because of what is called "offended observer" standing. It is an issue that is pending in ACLU vs. Deweese. Any observer can simply file a complaint against government religious displays because he or she is offended.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has used offended observer to challenge memorial crosses, nativity scenes, and Ten Commandments displays across America.