Arkansas Society of Freethinkers Wins Lawsuit!

Back in December, the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers sued Secretary of State Charlie Daniels “after he refused to grant permission for the group to put up its display, dubbed the Box of Knowledge.” Daniels denied the box despite allowing Christmas decorations.

This was the box in question:

20091215freethinkers

Well, the two sides have finally settled and the atheists have come out winners!

In the settlement, the state agrees to a constitutional violation, says it will provide equal access to the Freethinkers in the future and says it will pay more than $25,000 in attorney fees to the ACLU cooperating attorneys who brought the case.

$25,800 to be exact.

Hats off to the Arkansas group for fighting the good fight.

I hope citizens of Arkansas think twice before re-electing a man who so willingly ignores the Constitution. I don’t know if Daniels has to pay the fine out of his own pocket or if the state pays it through taxpayer money. If it’s the latter, though, I’d be all the more pissed off if I lived there.

(via Skeptic Money)

  • bigjohn756

    COLOSSAL WIN!!

  • http://yetanotheratheist.net Yet Another Atheist

    Epic win. We’re winning on most fronts it seems (Texas BOE being a notable example of a loss), and it’s good news.

  • td

    suh-weet !

  • William

    How long before the militant Jeezo’s show their peaceful nature by vandalizing this thing?

  • Mike Wolfe

    I spy Albert Einstein on that box – they’d better not be dishonestly claiming him among their own. I bet the are though.

  • Rob

    Westboro Baptist just read this and they’re packing up their “God hates XXXXX” signs to go start a fight so they can sue them too. All kidding aside, it is nice to see logic and intelligence win out once and a while.

  • bigjohn756

    Oh, sure, you had to mention Texas didn’t you? And, here, I had managed to go all day without thinking about SBOE idiots here in Texas:p

  • littlejohn

    That thing won’t last a week.
    BTW, shouldn’t Charlie Daniels be playing a fiddle somewhere?

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com Anna

    Mike, why would it be dishonest to claim Einstein?

    It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.

    He self-identified as agnostic, not atheist, but he can certainly be legitimately claimed as a freethinker.

  • Vas

    All right, I know it’s not cool to feed trolls but…

    Go ahead Mike Wolfe, here is your big chance to make your Einstein claim and bring your supporting evidence to the table… go ahead we’ll wait.

    While you are at it lets just see if your, “they’d better not” has any teeth. “They’d better not” or what exactly, huh Mr. big in the pants… or what?

    And as long as I’m feeding trolls, I’ve read quite a bit of what Einstein had to say on the subject and it seems I have come to a different conclusion than you have. Therefore I propose that your use of the word “dishonestly” is without merit and wrongly characterizes those with differing opinions as contemptuous. As such I now propose that you sir are a cad.
    V

  • http://www.seculartranshumanist.com Joseph

    Are those bus ads sponsored by Dunkin Donuts or something?

  • Love

    This is awesome :) Even though it reminds me of an outhouse, lol…

  • Sarah

    What sweet timing since I just read this: Cuccinelli OKs balanced holiday religious displays What a perfect way to get Knowledge boxes on display this coming holiday season in Virginia!

  • keystothekid

    FINALLY! My state does something worthwhile and I’m moving out in 7 days! Still an epic win!

  • dsdquilts
  • dsdquilts

    The box was on the south side of the Capital lawn about 15 feet from the Nativity scene. It was much bigger than an outhouse. On one side that is not visable in the picture was a display of books related to free thinking and evolution. Dawkins, Gould, Ayn Rand, George Carlin and many others. The day I visited the display (on a cold, windy day) there were about five people looking at the free thinker display and none looking at the Nativity. This was quite a big step for central Arkansas.

  • «bønez_brigade»

    I saw said box in said state last December. It’s quite an enlightening display. Hopefully it survives the religi-vandals.

  • Vas

    “Go ahead Mike Wolfe, here is your big chance to make your Einstein claim and bring your supporting evidence to the table… go ahead we’ll wait.”

    Looks at watch… *Blink, blink*
    Oh don’t worry Mike, we still have time to wait. If you can find no real evidence feel free to invent some from whole cloth as we are quite used to that, we’ve seen it before. …

    Looks at watch again *Blink,Blink*
    Earth to Mike…
    Maybe he is busy buying wolf shirts,

    http://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Three-Wolf-Short-Sleeve/dp/B002HJ377A

    Because they are magical like his beliefs.
    (with the wolf shirt bait in place, V sprinkles some “Corry’s slug and troll death” around the thread).

    V

  • Karl

    “I don’t know if Daniels has to pay the fine out of his own pocket or if the state pays it through taxpayer money. If it’s the latter, though, I’d be all the more pissed off if I lived there.”

    I’ll bet that the citizens will be more mad at the Freethinkers than at Daniels for having to pay for this.

  • Anonymous

    Congrats especially for the ACLU recouping their costs. Well done.

  • Alex

    99% sure the payments for attorney fees will come from the state coffers. Usually if the action leading to a lawsuit was done by an elected official in their official capacity, then it’s covered by the State. Granted, there’s a good argument to be made that violating the Constitution isn’t part of a Secretary of State’s job, so the citizens of Arkansas could sue the state on that basis and make Daniels pay the fees out of his own pocket.

  • moises

    how can i joined?or i will build my own chapter…pls help me


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