Atheist Monument or Christian Protest Monument

If you remember, last year American Atheists sued Bradford County Florida to have the 10 Commandments monument removed from the courthouse. They lost that fight, but are now erecting a “Monument to Atheism” at the very same courthouse.

Check out this clip from a Fox & Friends segment entitled “Fight for Faith:”

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First off, I want to point out that Tucker Carlson could not be more wrong with the erroneous statement that atheism is a “species of religion.” Maybe he’s right, if my lack of playing golf can be defined as me playing “a species of sports.”

Second, I believe the Fox commentators raise some legitimate questions. Is it hypocritical to sue to have a religious monument removed upon the principle of separation of church and state, and then turnaround and erect your own when you’re defeated?  Is Father Jonathan correct when he says the monument is not “an atheist monument, but rather a Christian protest monument?” I’m of two minds here. I agree wholeheartedly with American Atheist President David Silverman who says atheists are often treated as “second-class citizens.” And I’m confident the monument, made possible by a grant from Todd Stiefel of The Stiefel Freethought Foundation, will be beautiful. However, for us to increase the acceptance of atheists, we must begin to frame our fight offensively rather than defensively. Perhaps this is a step in the right direction. Maybe not.

Finally, I want to point out that regardless of where you stand in this fight, we should all question the motivation behind Carlson’s words: “I have a feeling that bench will be a magnet for graffiti. Just a guess.”

If you want to attend the dedication of the monument, sign up at this Facebook page. I may try to attend

What do you think?

Brother Richard

  • Kaoru Negisa

    “First off, I want to point out that Tucker Carlson could not be more wrong with the erroneous statement that atheism is a ‘species of religion.’”

    Let’s be fair. Tucker Carlson could not be more wrong about most things. He has a website dedicated to being wrong about things. It’s sort of his schtick.

    “Is it hypocritical to sue to have a religious monument removed upon the
    principle of separation of church and state, and then turnaround and
    erect your own when you’re defeated?”

    This is a good question, and I think it deals with how we approach our legal system. The courts interpret law, so we must accept that law as interpreted or work to change it. American Atheists said this monument was illegal, the courts said otherwise. Since the authority to make that decision rests with the courts, not AA, then AA is simply taking advantage of something that was determined to be legal. It’s really the only way that AA can demonstrate the consequences of this sort of attempt to dodge separation issues: by taking the courts and law making bodies at their word and putting up something that will annoy them. It’s very little different from the placing of atheist texts in Georgia state parks, including the implied suggestion that good Christians should deface or destroy them.

    • BroRichard

      Good points Kaoru. I tend to agree, but just thought it should be noted that true success begins when we take action in ways that are not only reactionary.

      • Kaoru Negisa

        You are absolutely right, and that is a tough thing to do, especially from a movement that thus far has been largely defensive. For all of the claims of atheists being aggressive, it is shockingly rare that we perform the first action in a controversy.

  • Guest

    I think….. I respect Silverman and am beyond grateful that he fights the good fight. I do wish also, that the team was a bit more proactive offensively. Maybe by finding ways to do great things in the name of atheism first, rather than seemingly always defensively knee-jerking to, “fine than we’re gonna do that, too!”

  • Kerry

    This is an interesting question, and I tend to side with Kaoru Negisa. I would not see it as a protest, although I can fully understand why the other side would put it in those terms. I also agree that we must be more vigilant and on the offensive, looking for the kinds of sweeping legislation or ideas that propel the movement forward with truth and integrity.

    I was just thinking about the situation with the high school commencement student in Sc , I believe, that tore up his speech at the last moment and led the audience in The Lord’s Prayer. His 15 minutes of fame came because our side made such a huge deal about it. Had the teachers led the audience in such a prayer, then outrage would have been justified, but this is a kid who by his hard work in scholastics, earned him a spot on the stage. Give him his 8 minute talk, and that would be the end of it. No one would know and the speech like all others form that stage over the last 50 years, will be soon forgotten.

    The problem is this; we come across as mean spirited and intolerant, and that is not who we are nor who we desire to be. And, let’s be real…this was SC and 90% of the audience believes as this kid, so why press the point. Give him his say.

    I can fight with the best of them. I memorized much of “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” at one point in my life, so as to prepare for battle. What I do not want to do now is to be the same kind of bull headed fighting fundamentalist for my new team. There are areas we all agree. Only by reasoned and measured debate will we give to others the courage necessary to stand up and walk out on the their mythical beliefs.

  • vincent findley

    Now see how easy this was. Just as the 6 words after the comma say “or prohibit the free exercise thereof”, that’s all that this was. So instead of clogging the court system and spending thousands of dollars, just excercise your factions right to that portion of the amendment.

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