Georgia School to Remove Bible Verses From Monument

Remember a couple weeks ago when the American Humanist Association sent a letter to a Georgia school about a monument the school had at the football field with Bible verses on it that the players all touched on their way to the field? The school board voted to remove or cover those verses on the monument.

The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center applauds the Madison County School Board in Danielsville, Georgia, for deciding to modify a sculpture located at the Madison High School football stadium that prominently displays biblical references and Christian scripture.

“No public school should be promoting the majority religion,” said David Niose, legal director of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “We are pleased that the school board has decided to respect the constitutional separation of church and state and the rights of religious and nonreligious minorities.”

On September 25, the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter to the Madison County School Board about the monument on behalf of a concerned citizen. The letter stated that the monument’s prominent inclusion of biblical scripture, combined with the high school’s logo, sent the message that the school district endorses religion, specifically Christianity, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The sculpture, which was highly visible and incorporated into the pre-game activities of the school’s football team, included religious language and Christian biblical references, such as quotations from Romans 8:31 and Philippians 4:13.

Yesterday evening, the school board voted unanimously to remove or cover the biblical references on the sculpture, according to reports. However, not all attendees at the meeting were pleased with the decision. One individual was quoted by reporters as saying, “It seems as if these groups are here as haters…to remove God from [our society], which means they are the antichrist by definition.”

Don’t be surprised if this isn’t the end of the matter, though. What often happens in these situations is that the locals get all fired up over it and inundate the school board with complaints, prompting them to reverse their decision. And often a Christian right legal group will come in and offer to represent them for free if a lawsuit is filed, which helps them do it.

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

    OH GREAT!!! THERE GOES THE SEASON!!! THANKS ALOT ATHIESTS!!! NOW GOD WONT KNOW WHICH TEAM TO LEAD TO VICTORY!!!

  • John Pieret

    If they just try to cover it up, what ever they use will be ripped off again. There was a similar case of a plaque on the side of a school building with a religious inscription that, IIRC, they tried to cover with tape that was repeatedly torn off.

    The kids have learned their lesson well to hate the Constitution.

  • peterh

    I doubt those kids have learned much about (or against) the Constitution, but rather they have learned from their parents to wrap themselves in the mantle of victimhood.

  • http://mostlyrational.net tacitus

    A relevant, non-spam comment of mine just got stuck in moderation, apparently.

  • Kevin Kehres

    But why would atheists protest this? After all, atheism only means “lack of belief in gods”. It doesn’t necessarily include protesting against an unConstitutional act by a public school system in promotion of Christianity.

    /demented fuckwittery from dictionary atheists

  • eric

    @2: well, if the school board is sincere, I would suggest some nice copper or brass plate with alternate writing screwed into the marble. That would look a lot nicer, be a lot more weather resistant , and be harder to remove compared to tape. They could even just put plates consistently across all the inscriptions (with the legal inscriptions being copied into the new plate), so that you can’t tell the originals from the replacements.

    But I’m guessing they aren’t that sincere.

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

    Oh, relevant, non-spam comment of mine,

    Gone forever. You should have seen it, divine!

     

    Oh, relevant, non-spam comment of mine,

    Lost to moderation, with it my heart, mine!

  • Trebuchet

    Maybe they could cover it with the text of the 2nd amendment. That’d keep the wingnuts happy!

  • John Pieret

    Maybe they could cover it with the text of the 2nd amendment. That’d keep the wingnuts happy!

    As long as you leave out the “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state” bit out.

  • had3

    I am the antichrist,

    I am the antichrist,

    Cu cu ka chew…

  • my2cents

    @ 5 “But why would atheists protest this?”

    Well it wasn’t “demented fuckwittery from dictionary atheists” it was the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

  • my2cents

    Always nice to see a win in the name of separation of church and state.

  • abb3w

    I also seem to have a couple relevant comments stuck in moderation; apparently, including even a single link now can trigger this.

    Without links — coverage from further sources indicates the district has already reached (and possibly passed) the “locals get all fired up over it and inundate the school board with complaints” stage. There was a large crowd present at the open part of the board meeting, and several speakers in favor. Remarkably, the district’s lawyer was on hand and informed the board and audience of the constraints from current constitutional case law — and while the board needed almost two hours in closed session, they voted for this course unanimously. The crowd dispersed disconsolate; there may be electoral repercussions, but the board as currently composed isn’t going to be swayed.

  • freemage

    Don’t be surprised if this isn’t the end of the matter, though. What often happens in these situations is that the locals get all fired up over it and inundate the school board with complaints, prompting them to reverse their decision. And often a Christian right legal group will come in and offer to represent them for free if a lawsuit is filed, which helps them do it.

    What needs to happen when the Christian legal group comes forward is to have someone on hand to ask them, “And when–not if, but when you lose, will you also indemnify the District for all resulting damages, including our sides’ legal fees, if the judge orders such?” When they say no to that, THEN you can turn to the audience and make it very clear that their taxes will be going up.

  • Sastra

    Don’t be surprised if this isn’t the end of the matter, though. What often happens in these situations is that the locals get all fired up over it and inundate the school board with complaints, prompting them to reverse their decision.

    I would like to suggest that secular groups put together a crack team of Straw-Man Atheists, to go to school boards and city halls where such situations are firing up the locals and get them fired off in a different direction.

    They can mill around outside wearing atheist shirts and loudly wailing to each other “Oh gosh, I sure hope they try to reverse the decision legally and don’t do what we REALLY fear: prayer! Yes indeed, if they start praying — and worse, if they start placing religious signs and statues on their own lawns — then we are really screwed! Oh, we DO hope they stick with trying to use the law and don’t fight us with their most horrible weapons of all — personally expressed piety on private property! That’s our worst nightmare! If they do, we are doomed. Doomed, I tell you, doomed!”

    Yes, I know. But maybe some of us can take one for the team.