Tucker, Priest: Atheist Monument an Unnecessary Insult

The American Atheists monument in Bradford County, Florida will be unveiled on June 29 and the wingnuts are up in arms about it. The terminally smarmy Tucker Carlson, guest hosting on Fox News, brought Catholic priest Jonathan Morris on the show so they could be outraged about it together.

Carlson starts out by saying, “Sure it’s legal, the question is, is it necessary?” But why is that a relevant question at all? He doesn’t ask if the Ten Commandments monument at the same courthouse is necessary. The answer, of course, is that it isn’t. But that only seems to matter for the atheist monument. He then says:

“I thought atheists — and atheism, of course, is a species of religion — were against religious monuments on public property, and here they are putting a religious monument on public property.”

First of all, atheism is not a species of religion. There are no beliefs, no creeds, no doctrines, no priests or ministers. It’s not a religion. Secondly, American Atheists have made clear that they would rather there be no monuments there at all. But if only the Christian monument is allowed, that sends a clear message of government endorsement. If it’s going to be there, it at least needs to be an open forum.

Father Morris then said:

“You’re right, I believe, Tucker, that it’s silly. Why do we have a Ten Commandments there at a federal courthouse? Because of the tradition of law and justice and truth being based also on religious revelation, revelation of what God’s will is for us and how we should behave.”

All nonsense, of course. 7.5 of the 10 commandments would be unconstitutional if made into law in this country (7.5 because the prohibition on lying is allowed in some cases but not in most). The idea that it is the basis for our laws is absurd. Every single society, Christian or otherwise, forbids stealing and murdering. No society could exist without those rules. And that would be true if the Ten Commandments, or religion as a whole, had never existed. Morris continued:

So the sad thing, in my opinion, is rather than just respecting different people’s opinions, this is not what we can call an atheist monument, but rather a Christian protest monument, They are protesting the fact that the Ten Commandments are there. I don’t find it respectful, I think it’s disrespectful.”

Funny how that “respect other people’s opinions” thing only ever seems to apply to Christian opinions. Christian privilege for the win.


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  • matty1

    From the Wingnut Dictionary


    (1) When directed towards Christians – total and utter adoration and refusal to countenance even the idea the criticism might be possible.

    (2) When directed towards non Christians – not engaging in active violence against these evil monsters for the time being, while reserving the right to do so in future.

  • raven

    The American Atheists monument in Bradford County, Florida will be unveiled on June 29 ..

    And vandalized shortly afterwards.

  • lofgren

    This is another reason that the atheist monument was so poorly done. Aside from its hideousness, it actually IS disrespectful. Of course nothing could satisfy these twits, but it would be helpful if we could at least claim the moral high ground instead of putting up a monument that makes us all look like a bunch of contrarian children. If AA was going to put up a monument in protest, they should have gone whole-hog and put up a statue of Batman or something. If they were going to take the monument seriously, they should have done a lot better.

  • raven

    Because of the tradition of law and justice and truth being based also on religious revelation, revelation of what God’s will is for us and how we should behave.”

    Actually our legal system is based on English common law with some influences from ancient Roman law.

    What it isn’t is based on the bible. Anyone following biblical law today would be doing multiple life sentences in prison. Warren Jeffs tried it and got life + 20 years.

  • matty1

    I should have added to clarify the above


    (1) When arguing for privilege on the grounds of being a huge majority – anyone who is not actively in favour of mass murder since morals come from Jebus dontchaknow

    (2) When arguing that you are a persecuted minority – only members in good standing of the Reformed Baptist Church (Reformation of 1919) Upper Toefuck Congregation (right side seats only).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1159674804 robertbaden

    The Ten Suggestions is Jewish law anyways. Different set applies for non jews.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Wow, I just got through complaining about how ugly, ungainly and incoherent AA’s monument is, and now we have criticism of said monument that’s even more ugly, ungainly and incoherent.

  • Draken

    Correction: most societies forbid murder within the tribe. Murder and rape of those outside the clique is generally endorsed or even encouraged.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Draken “Correction: most societies forbid murder within the tribe. Murder and rape of those outside the clique is generally endorsed or even encouraged.”

    Really? Hurray! /me runs across border

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1360322113 aaronbaker

    I mean, who do those atheists think they are? Christians?

  • shadowwalkyr

    Ah, yes. The age-old “we dish it out all day, every day; how dare you suggest we take it even once?” argument. It’s practically a religion all by itself and Bill O’Reilly is its prophet.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Look, in America Christianity is the default, and since it’s the default the civilized thing is to let Christians have exclusive, uncriticized, access and control. That’s just common sense.*


    And the same goes for “white”, “of western European [English] descent”, “heterosexual”, and “male”.


    p.s. “This video is private”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001345954729 Gwynnyd

    @ Raven #4

    Actually our legal system is based on English common law with some influences from ancient Roman law.

    Oh nonsense. I was once assured, by a minister with an advanced degree in “Youth Ministry” from some Christian college, that the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings had no law until the Romans came with the Bible and they were so impressed with the account of a trial by the Sanhedrin that they there and then adopted jury trials for themselves. So it IS *Biblical!!!1!!! See?

    When I tried, gently, to explain the basis of Anglo-Saxon law to him and that it did not include that, he got all snippy about my degree not being as important as his “advanced” degree in Youth Ministry so obviously I didn’t know what I was talking about and I needed to do some more Bible reading. Sigh.

  • Artor

    You described Tucker as “terminally smarmy.” Does that mean he will soon die of his smarminess? I’d like to watch the final stages of that process. For medical research, you know.

  • dingojack

    Gwynnyd – did you explain, at least, that Vikings and Saxons came to England (since both groups* are largely came to only England) after the Romans had left?!?



    * Some places had one or the other, but not both.

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    I thought there more than 2.5 that are not actually laws.

    1) No other gods than Bible-monster

    2) No graven images (except, apparently, paintings of blond, blue-eyed Jesus done by dimwitted 4 year olds)

    3) Picking up sticks on Sunday (or Saturday?) is verboten

    Plus not lying in court, or about blowjobs during depositions — if you’re a Democrat.

    But as Carlin noted, killing is negotiable. As are rape and molesting kids, both of which didn’t even make the top-10 list of the allegedly smartest being in the history of ever.

  • dingojack

    fifth ‘then there’s this asshole’ dentist –

    Ah yes, but laying down layers of pigment in a clear base isn’t cutting into or sculpting, is it?

    :) Dingo

  • Chiroptera

    raven, #4: Actually our legal system is based on English common law with some influences from ancient Roman law.

    And my understanding is that a big chunk of the common law derives from the ancient legal practices of the pagan Anglo-Saxons.

  • rx7ward

    “Atheist monument is more American than Ten Commandments”


  • gmacs

    Aside from its hideousness, it actually IS disrespectful.

    Atheist bullshit to go next to the Christian bullshit. In fairness, we now need Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist*, Maichaean, Druidic, Norse, Daoist, Shintoist, Northwestern American Native, Mayan, Inuit, Peruvian, various African Animistic, various North American Animistic, Wiccan, Mazdaist (Zoroastrian), Bedouin, Voodoo, New Age, Scientologist, and may other forms of religious bullshit.

    I’m sure they have space for all that bullshit.

  • gmacs

    Sorry, I forgot the footnote.

    *Technically Buddhists are atheists, as they do not consider the Buddha to be a god.

  • baal

    Buddhists have a certain amount of supernaturalism though, even if they don’t get with a deity.

    Since when is ‘necessary’ the relevant question (since xtians are talking I suppose but geez).

  • Freedonian

    As an ex-catholic, I do not understand why a priest would support the anti-catholic version of the commandments that the dominionists use, which seems to be the case here, according to the Christian Post.


    Anti-catholic sentiment is still quite strong in certain groups.


  • Pierce R. Butler

    Pay attention, “Father” (can I call you Daddy-O?) Jonathan Morris – both monuments adorn the local county courthouse; the nearest federal courthouse is in the next county south.

    As my previous comment on the earlier atheist-monument thread was posted late at night as the thread was losing energy, and doubtless seen by few, I’d like to repost a relevant portion:

    a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/31/atheist-monument-starke-florida_n_3368319.html”>Huffpo writeup, w/ pix

    Meetup page

    … the tone reaches a level of confrontationalism that even our pugnacious host may question. From that Huffpo piece:

    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 dedication begins at noon; from 2 pm on, American Atheists hosts a pool party (yes, kids invited) & meetup at the Days Inn two blocks away until 6 pm. Attendees will include AA brass, local plaintiff Daniel Cooney & sons, Teresa MacBain, walking controversy EllenBeth Wachs, and various other Fla infidel leaders. Also, probably, me.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Oops, sorry ’bout that blooper link @ # 24; ’twas s’pozetabe –

    Huffpo writeup, w/ pix

  • kantalope

    If I send them a Jedi statue – they have to put it up right? Or a bunch of gnomes with profundities? The mind boggles.

    At least the AA monument also works as a chair but I wish they had gone whole-chair with it: maybe a stone replica of Archie Bunker’s chair.