Non-believers in Bradford County, Florida, will likely rejoice when a new, 1,500-pound granite bench that has atheist quotes and statements from the nation’s Founding Fathers on it is unveiled next month. The monument will mark the first time that government property has hosted such a prominent symbol for non-theists.
American Atheists, a non-profit devoted to the separation of church and state and to advancing secular values, is responsible for creating and erecting the monument, which will be unveiled on June 29, Raw Story reports.
“Please come join American Atheists for the dedication of the ‘First Ever’ monument to atheism at the Bradford County courthouse square,” a Facebook event invitation for the atheist monument reads. “This monument is being place[d] to compliment the ten commandments monument [that] is already there.”
The decision to place the symbol on government land comes after a court battle over the presence of the Ten Commandments at the Bradford County Courthouse. American Atheists sued last year after a Christian group paid to have the faith-based symbol displayed; now, non-believers, following a settlement with the county, will have a monument of their own.
Naturally — and in an overt effort to counterbalance Christian symbolism — the nation’s first atheist monument on public property will sit adjacent to the Ten Commandments display, creating an intriguing juxtaposition. The Stiefel Freethought Foundation, founded by millionaire businessman Todd Stiefel, provided a grant for the monument (read TheBlaze’s profile on the atheist leader).
“We have maintained from the beginning that the Ten Commandments doesn’t belong on government property,” American Atheists president David Silverman said in a press 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.”
So, next month, America will be graced with her first atheist monument. What do you think about the development? If the Ten Commandments are allowed, is it only fair to permit an atheist monument as well? Let us know in the comments section.
(H/T: Raw Story)
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