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Atheist Monument Stokes Controversy, Calls Of Hypocrisy

Atheist Monument Stokes Controversy, Calls Of Hypocrisy

An atheist monument in Florida has angered some religious groups and led to calls that the group putting up the monument is hypocritical.

The new atheist monument was unveiled this weekend at a Florida courthouse, part of a settlement to end a lawsuit about a Ten Commandments monument at the Starke, Florida, court.

The group American Atheists originally sued to have the Ten Commandments monument removed, citing the separation of church and state. A mediator instead suggested the atheists could erect their own monument, and they chose one that features a bench and quotes from various American founders about church-state separation.

The monument also contained passages from the Bible about the harsh punishments Christians are supposed to follow for violating the Ten Commandments.

The only real life opposition for the monument came from the Florida League of the South. A small group of protesters blasted Christian country music and waved “Honk for Jesus” signs.

“We reject outsiders coming to Florida — especially from outside what we refer to as the Bible Belt — and trying to remake us in their own image,” said Michael Tubbs, state chairman of the Florida League of the South. “We do feel like it’s a stick in the eye to the Christian people of Florida to have these outsiders come down here with their money and their leadership and promote their outside values here.”

But despite the light protests, many Christian writers have spoken against the monument and attacked the motives of American Athiests and its founder, David Silverman.

They accuse him of using the monument not as a way to express an atheist ideal or assert the group’s equal rights under the law, but instead to criticize Christians. Even Silverman’s public statements seem contentious, noting that atheists are about “the real and the physical.”

“When you look at this monument, the first thing you will notice is that it has a function. Atheists are about the real and the physical, so we selected to place this monument in the form of a bench,” Silverman said.

Others note that Silverman himself was opposed to the idea of allowing a religious viewpoint to be presented in a public space. While he and other atheists may argue that atheism is a lack of religion, the atheist monument does seem to espouse a specific viewpoint.

Do you think there is anything wrong with an atheist monument, or is it fair that they be allowed to express their viewpoint equally?

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Comments

20 Responses to “Atheist Monument Stokes Controversy, Calls Of Hypocrisy”

  1. Pat Hines

    The foreign monument is an affront to southerners and our culture. It will be removed eventually.

  2. Samuel Walter

    The South is not a sovereign nation. That matter was settled with the Civil War. As such, you are subject to the same laws and protects as the rest of Americans. The Ten Commandments should not have been allowed to be displayed, and I see this monument as a protest of sorts, as well as an honest representation of the secular foundation of our country. Especially in "the South", Christians often mistake their personal religious heritage for national culture. You're Christian, that's fine. But your rights to be Christian end when you move beyond yourself and begin imposing your absurd beliefs on the rest of society. This isn't your country. It never was. And it never will be. You are dinosaurs on your last legs. The last of a dying breed. Good riddance.

  3. Anonymous

    It's their country just as much as it's yours if they're citizens. Dang, for a libertarian you sure a ignorant.

  4. Eric Meadows

    Of course the so-called atheists have a right to place a monument as do the Christians. The atheists however decided to only place that on public grounds after the rights of the Christians were upheld in court. So basically the leftists threw a hissy fit and put the monument up as more of a thumbing their noses than at honoring their non-belief.

  5. Eric Meadows

    1) The South was and is a sovereign nation 2) There never was a so-called "civil war" in the uS 3) You see yourself as a subject. Typical liberal…

  6. James Johnson

    This article is wrong when it says "The only real life opposition for the monument came from the Florida League of the South." They stood on the sidelines holding flags while two outspoken Christians, Sye Ten Bruggencate (from Canada) and Eric Hovind (son of convicted felon Kent Hovind) stood on the monument and made fools of themselves at the height of the celebration. A group of fundamentalist Christians played terrible music from across the street and waved signs at passing motorists. The Florida League of the South pretty much just stood there by themselves all day trying to hand out literature that no one wanted.

  7. Theo Cyrene

    Actually, Toni Ensley, it's truly impossible to be a Christian. Being an atheist is easy.

  8. Pj Crepeau

    Nathan:
    If the atheists hurt your widdle Chwistian feewings, you can always cry to mommy.

    Or, if you prefer, to Invisible Sky Daddy.

  9. Randy Burns

    I don't care what the Florida League or whatever said, but I do think that it's kind of hypocritical to criticize Christianity like that when your group turns around and does shit like this. There's a difference between a monument of the Ten Commandments and a Monument that's basically only there to attack the religious.

    This action was motivated by jealousy and anger more than rationality or any sense of right/wrong.