American Atheists Unveils Godless Monument in Front of Florida Courthouse… and Announces Many More!

Today marked the big unveiling of a public monument to atheism (a nonument?) in front of the Bradford County Courthouse in northern Florida.

And it came with a big twist.

In case you need a refresher, here’s the backstory:

In May of 2012, Community Men’s Fellowship (a Christian group) gave the city of Bradford County, Florida the “gift” of a $22,000 Ten Commandments monument to put outside the county courthouse:

At the time, American Atheists and plaintiff Daniel Cooney filed a lawsuit against the county. County officials were ready to take down the monument… but the Community Men’s Fellowship refused to remove it. In fact, God told them not to:

… Community Men’s Fellowship wrote back: “We have prayerfully considered your request and have determined that we will not comply with the County’s order.”

So they broke the law, but had no intention of fixing the situation.

So what could the city do? They could have hired people to lug that giant thing away (though I don’t know why they should’ve had to pay for that) or they could’ve sued the Christian group (again, who would pay for it?)… after weighing their options, and having a meeting with both sides, city officials decided to make the courthouse area a free-for-all. Anyone who wanted a monument would be allowed to have one.

Fine, said American Atheists. We’ll call your bluff and put up our own monument!

And with the help of a $6,000 grant from the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, that’s what AA unveiled today — a 1,500-pound granite bench engraved with quotations from Thomas Jefferson, [AA founder] Madalyn Murray O’Hair, Benjamin Franklin, and others, as well as a list of the deadly consequence for breaking any of the Ten Commandments:

So here’s the new monument from blueprint to base to the big reveal:

(via Cyd Hoskinson – WJCT)

(via Gamma Atheist)

(via Dave Muscato – American Atheists)

Protesters are in attendance, too, with Confederate flag and “Christian Nation” signs (via Carl Hitchens):

(via @fieryskulldiary)

A crowd forms for the unveiling:

(via Gamma Atheist)

(via Gamma Atheist)

(via Gamma Atheist)

(via Gamma Atheist)

AA President Dave Silverman sits on the bench (via @AmericanAtheist)

… and apparently Creationist Eric Hovind jumped on the bench, possibly damaging it by breaking the seals:

***UPDATE: AA’s Amanda Knief says on Twitter that Hovind is not to blame:


That’s confirmed by news sources as well.

Eric Hovind stands on the bench (via @WondieBee)

(via @mxoom)

The quotations on the monument include:

“An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty banished, war eliminated.” — Madalyn Murray O’Hair

“… the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion…” — Treaty of Tripoli

“Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.” — Thomas Jefferson

“It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service [writing the Constitution] had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of Heaven.” — John Adams

“When religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, ’tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.” — Benjamin Franklin

Immediately after the big reveal, AA President Dave Silverman announced that this was only the first of 50 similar monuments going up throughout the nation, wherever they are needed. According to an announcement from the organization:

We plan to work with local groups to install a total of FIFTY monuments on government properties nationwide in places where religious monuments currently stand. An anonymous donor is making this possible.

Remember: In an ideal world, atheist monuments like this one wouldn’t have to be here. It’s not like American Atheists was pushing to have it installed. It was only when the Courthouse granted special access to a Christian group that AA knew they couldn’t let them get away with it. Same with the rest of the nation.

If the Christians take down their monuments, the atheists will, too.

But until then, might as well make Christians feel *really* uncomfortable about the fact that their actions are paving the way for pro-atheist monuments to go up across the country.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • unclemike

    Note to protestors: “The South” isn’t actually a nation. At all.

    • Justin Curtright

      You forget, these people still think this is 1863, not 2013.

    • C Peterson

      Unfortunately for the rest of the country. The things that would be possible without that great anchor always dragging us down!

      • aaron2a

        Thats kinda like saying we would be good without those damm inner city kids. Kinda really hypocritical when you think about you bashing their anti other people in the same nation attitude when your doing the same. They are people that through the circumstances of their child hood have become this way. To act high and mighty because your circumstances were different just shows ignorance on how you truly became who you are.

        • C Peterson

          Not at all. The problem of inner city kids seems rationally fixable. Indeed, without the anchor of the South, the problem might be considerably less today.

          The problem with the South is that it seems to have crossed a threshold of idiocy, dogmatism, and political psychosis that may be nearly impossible to recover from. Unless we abandon the idea of semi-autonomous states and become a unified nation, there may be no repair.

          • Michael W Busch

            You have just wrongly stereotyped about 100 million people. Don’t do that.

            • C Peterson

              The stereotype is accurate. That doesn’t mean it describes everyone in the South. But it describes the South well enough to be useful.

              • Michael W Busch

                No, it isn’t at all useful.

                By ignoring all of the diversity of the population in a place, you dismiss most of the ways that social problems can be fixed and also many of the ways that they are caused. For an example of what you’re ignoring: Florida currently is about average in its rate of irreligion as compared to other US states (just about the same as Connecticut and Wisconsin).

                And blanket stereotyping also contributes to xenophobia, which is bad.

          • Mark

            While others address social policy, I will try to give you an education about the role of government, both federal and state.

            The federal government, as outlined in the constitution in Article I, Section 8, has only a small set of enumerated powers. These powers are specifically delineated, and to add any more through the amendment process is rather difficult. This is by design, and the rationale for this can be seen when one studies the mindset of the framers of the constitution. They understood, and indeed feared, what an unrestricted centralized authoritarian government was capable of. Ultimately, it led to a lack of representation, and later, full-blown tyranny.

            Because centralized government tends towards authoritarianism, the states are given ‘Reserved Rights’. The Tenth Amendment is a good summation of what this means:
            “The powers not delegated to the United States
            by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved
            to the states respectively, or to the people.”
            As you can see, the federal government, by design, has only a limited numbers of powers, and all others are left to the states. This is to ensure that:
            a) Federal power is clearly outlined and restricted
            b)The majority of powers are delegated among the states and among the people.
            Representation doesn’t mean simply calling your congressman occasionally and voting, it is supposed to mean you quite literally hold more governmental power than the federal government.

            Unfortunately, the states have been losing more and more power over the last ~80 years. Since the new deal, the federal government has grown more and more ubiquitous, expanding grossly beyond its enumerated powers, while the rightful amendment process is nearly always ignored. As the states rights are unjustly confiscated by the federal government, so too go the powers and protections of the American citizen.

            To simply disenfranchise states of their Reserved Powers out of hand is really a disservice to yourself and all American citizens. The more centralized government becomes, the more authoritarian and tyrannical it becomes. There is a direct correlation that can be seen if one studies the rise and fall of past nations and empires.

            I would strongly recommend that you read ‘The Federalist Papers’ and ‘The Anti-Federalist papers’. It may help you better understand exactly what it is you are arguing for when you say something like “Unless we abandon the idea of semi-autonomous states and become a unified nation, there may be no repair.”

            Good Luck!

            • C Peterson

              Thank you for expressing your view on the role of government. My view is different. I believe that most of our problems result from the unfortunate compromise that created semi-autonomous states. I don’t believe in states rights, but in a single, federal government. I don’t believe that centralized government leads to authoritarianism.

              • 3lemenope

                Reality doesn’t care what you believe.

                • C Peterson

                  Reality doesn’t care what you believe.

                  That is certainly true for physical reality. But reality has other meanings that are very relevant to us. What we believe certainly influences reality: social reality, political reality, economic reality.

                • 3lemenope

                  What we collectively agree to believe influences those things (and not nearly as much as you might think). What one person idly speculates on those topics affects pretty much nothing.

              • rwlawoffice

                “I don’t believe that centralized government leads to authoritarianism.”

                If you believe this then you have ignored every example throughout history where this has occurred.

                • C Peterson

                  I look all around the world at countries with centralized governments that are not totalitarian, run more efficiently than the U.S., and have resulted in healthier, happier societies.

                  Non-centralized governments are the exception. There have hardly been enough throughout history to draw any conclusions at all.

                  It would be more accurate to simply say that governments frequently drift towards authoritarianism, but nothing makes me think that some law of nature requires that to happen in every case.

              • michaelCfromSC

                You haven’t learned many lessons from history then, have you? We reject your consolidated Empire.

                • C Peterson

                  We reject your consolidated Empire.

                  Is that the royal “we”? You and the turd in your pocket?

            • WoodyTanaka

              Mark, your ideology is interesting, but it overlooks the fact that
              the delegated powers are exceedingly broadly drawn and the inclusion of
              the supremacy and necessary and proper clauses (and the case law which
              has sketched the outline of those provisions) demonstrates that what was
              actually enacted was not a structurally weak central government, but
              was really one where the central government was given virtually
              unlimited powers in the context of a republican system in a number of
              very broadly enumerated areas.

              Those what WANT to
              see a limited government are free to try to persuade their fellow
              citizens that that is what the government should adopt, but the notion
              that the document precludes an expansive, powerful central government if
              the people want such a thing (and they clearly do, as they’ve been
              voting for such governments, through their reps, for going on 100 years,
              at least) is simply partisan fantasizing.

              • 3lemenope

                This is simply incorrect. The Necessary and Proper clause applies to the aforementioned delegated powers, not in general. If it applied in general, there would be no need for the list. The Supremacy clause only means that the Constitution (and treaties) are the final, most basic law to which all other laws must concord. The enumerated powers were narrowly drawn, to the point where, for example, while the Constitution does provide for the minting of coins, this was not sufficiently broad to allow a Bank of the United States (see the arguments from 1790-1830).

                • WoodyTanaka

                  No, you are incorrect. While there are small, narrow areas where the Federal Government is forbidden to address, they are relatively small compared to those areas where the Federal Government is permitted to go. And in those areas, it is given almost unlimited power that the states have no ability to trump (thus the importance of the Supremacy clause in this discussion.) Look at Wickard v. Filburn, for pete’s sakes, to see what the Necessary and Proper clause does for the government. The notion that the enumerated powers is some narrow list is simply small-government-advocates’ myth-making. And, indeed, in those areas where there is a preclusion, the enumerated powers are broad enough (especially the powers to tax and spend revenue) that the government can do indirectly what it can’t do directly.

                  Sorry, but the notion that the constitution tightly restricts the Federal Government’s power is — along with the notion that the intent of the Founders is important — one of the biggest fallacies about the Constitution.

                • 3lemenope

                  Wickard was a two-step intended to preserve the New Deal, and it was overturned in parts by Lopez and Morrison, and the last gasp was nearly gutted by Sebelius, saved only by Roberts’ rather cockamamie Tax theory. Even looking at Wickard itself, the ruling only says that the N&P clause applies to the Interstate Commerce Clause, and then ruled that Interstate commerce could be interpreted so broadly as to include all commerce. This reasoning was relied upon in Raich, and following that ruling it’s a good bet to believe that Wickard’s time is up or near up, as that conflict will be intensified by the Colorado and Washington initiatives, and that ratchet only goes one way. There is a reason why a lame-duck president with no prior shyness about cracking down on MMJ would stay hands off here, and it ain’t because he suddenly had a change of heart.

                  The notion that the enumerated powers is some narrow list is simply small-government-advocates’ myth-making.

                  It’s not myth-making if that actually was the intent, as it very clearly was (from the Federalist papers and the BoR debates). There was a strenuous argument against including the BoR for this very reason; enumeration in the law is always assumed to be exhaustive, and so they were leery of enumerating rights (hence the 9th and 10th amendments; to prevent lateral disparagement of rights and to explicitly note that the list is not exhaustive).

                  Sorry, but the notion that the constitution tightly restricts the Federal Government’s power is — along with the notion that the intent of the Founders is important — one of the biggest fallacies about the Constitution.

                  The intent of the founders is important. It isn’t, by any means, dispositive-in-itself, the way originalists want to use it, but it matters. It matters because the judiciary branch needs a non-arbitrary standard of values so that they don’t have to substitute their individual own (which would render the precedental system into garbage).

                • WoodyTanaka

                  Wickard was simply an example of the fact that coupling the necessary and proper clause to any enumerated power (which are themselves very expansive) posits a grant of enormous power and that the notion that the constitution is drafted with strict limitations on Federal power, in favor of state power, is nonsensical.

                  And Robert’s tax theory is only cockamamie when you assume the limited-federal-government paradigm. When you dispose of that myth, you see, again, that there are very broad grants of power, so broad, in fact, that they often overlap or nearly do so, so that if a piece of legislation doesn’t fall within one of the (broadly drawn) powers, it will fall within one of the others.

                  It is myth-making because the issue isn’t what they intended, but what they actually put into the document. And relying on the Federalist Papers is rather silly. They were a sales job; essays aimed at telling people what to think about the Constitution, not about what the authors intended, let alone what they actually put in there. One would be as silly to rely on a food company’s advertising to judge the quality of the ingredients. (“No, it’s not a processed chemical mess, it says so here on the advertisement that it’s creamy goodness in a jar…”)

                  And, indeed, the fact that there was a call for a Bill of Rights demonstrates that they knew that what this Constitution was was not a limited grant of power to a central government, they already lived under one of those; they knew what it looked like and this wasn’t it.

                  And your reliance on intent is interesting legal theory, but it by no means conclusive nor, in my opinion, very persuasive. First of all, there is no way to read one’s intent, because you can’t discount the possibility that they are not honest about their intents. (How many of these people passing the anti-evolution laws claim that their intent is to promote critical thinking?? They’re lying.) Second, their intent isn’t binding law; their text is. If they intended to pass an exception to a statute, for example, but did not do so, and there is no constitutional problem with it as written, one cannot rely on the intent. Third, intent is only loosely related to the question at issue. If it as absolute fact that, in all sincerity, every legislator and the President who enacted the Sherman Anti-Trust Act did so with the sole and only purpose of thereby somehow establishing an impermissible endorsement of religion, that intent would be meaningless to the Constitutionality of the Act.

                  While intent may have limited value when it comes to providing, on a very gross scale, clarifications as to meaning in otherwise unclear verbiage, anything more than that is more troublesome than clarifying.

                  And relying on a nebulous “intent” standard is an arbitrary standard of value. There is no reason why the bigotries and prejudices of long dead legislators should be in any way binding today.

                • 3lemenope

                  Roberts’ Tax theory is cockamamie because it is. The whole legal establishment watched the Sebelius decision with rapt attention, and guess how many of them predicted correctly that Roberts’ approach was the one that would be taken.

                  Zero.

                  How many even thought it on the outside of plausible?

                  Zero.

                  This is across the political spectrum, mind you.

                  And no other justice joined it. The other four votes in support were under a CC+NP theory, as were the four votes against.

                • WoodyTanaka

                  “The whole legal establishment watched the Sebelius decision with rapt attention, and guess how many of them predicted correctly that Roberts’ approach was the one that would be taken.”

                  “Zero.”

                  This tells us a lot about the “legal establishment” and nothing more. Perhaps if they weren’t constantly told about this supposed “limited powers” they would be better prognosticators.

                  “And no other justice joined it.”

                  You don’t know what you’re talking about. Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan joined in section III-C of Roberts’ opinion, where he explained that the provision can be upheld as a tax. Those four also would uphold it under the Commerce Clause and Necessary and Proper. Five justices supported the tax theory.

                • 3lemenope

                  You don’t know what you’re talking about. Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan joined in section III-C of Roberts’ opinion, where he explained that the provision can be upheld as a tax. Those four also would uphold it under the Commerce Clause and Necessary and Proper. Five justices supported the tax theory.

                  No, you are correct, my mistake on that point. When you read Ginsberg’s concurrence it is hard to regard the liberals’ joining the tax argument as anything other than a fig leaf, but they did join that segment of the opinion. I suppose if they didn’t we’d have faced a Bakke situation where no ratio decidendi would command a majority.

                  The foregoing points stand, though. And given that a bedrock of law is its predictability, it doesn’t say so much about “the state of the legal establishment” so much as how completely off-the-rails the court went in torturing reasoning to reach a preferred conclusion.

                • WoodyTanaka

                  “When you read Ginsberg’s concurrence it is hard to regard the liberals’ joining the tax argument as anything other than a fig leaf,… I suppose if they didn’t we’d have faced a Bakke situation where no ratio decidendi would command a majority.”

                  I think you are reading your own preconceptions into the concurrence. Since the four had joined in Roberts’ opinion regarding the tax issue, I see no reason why the concurrence would spend any time on it. But it is aimed at the things they disagreed with, the Commerce Clause issue and the Medicare expansion issue. With the tax issue resolved, it is right and proper to go after the conservatives’ continued Jihad against the proper breadth of the Commerce Clause.

                  “And given that a bedrock of law is its predictability, it doesn’t say so much about “the state of the legal establishment” so much as how completely off-the-rails the court went in torturing reasoning to reach a
                  preferred conclusion.”

                  I completely disagree. As I said before, the fact that people were blindsided simply demonstrates that they weren’t paying attention. When the solicitor’s brief discussed the issue in terms of the provision being also viable under the tax power, then the legal establishment is on notice. It fails to consider the merits of that argument — instead of knee-jerk recitations about non-existent limitations on the Federal Government — at its own peril.

        • Tara Beth

          Thank you for this response. Always amazing that people like C Peterson are quick to paint an entire region with broad brush while not seeing their hypocrisy.

          • C Peterson

            The problem is, the region is being correctly represented. The ignorance and stupidity of the majority is not being overcome by the rational minority. A handful of southern states is substantially responsible for a disproportionate share of all the country’s problems.

            • HeyItsThatGuy

              C Peterson, I was born in Arkansas and have been a resident for 20 of my 29 years. You are way more bigoted and hypocritical than any southerner I have ever met. The true problems are oafs like you, on both sides. Can’t see how wrong you really are. Blinded by your own ignorance.

              • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                I live in Texas. I’ve lived here for 19 of my 28 years. I agree with C Peterson; a disproportionate number of the nation’s problems emanate from or are worse in the South. The South has higher poverty rates, higher infant mortality, worse safety nets, worse education, higher levels of environmental degradation, a disproportionate percentage of Tea Party Congresspeople, higher levels of racism and misogyny, and higher levels of religiosity. The South, as a whole, consistently votes against strengthening the social safety net. The South, as a whole, takes more federal money than it puts in.

                The South, as a whole, is full of idiots, and I say this as someone who lives there.

                • 3lemenope

                  That being said, do you agree with C Peterson that you and all the other people you know from the region should be written off as not worth saving, whose problems are too daunting to tackle and who are just a big burden to us all anyway?

                • C Peterson

                  Where did I suggest that anybody in the South should be written off as “not worth saving”?

                  What I said is that the South is socially, politically, and educationally backward, and that (because of the way our political system is constructed) this is dragging the rest of the country backwards.

                  What I said is that once a particular subculture tips far enough into credulity and ignorance, it is very difficult to move it back.

                  Quite the opposite of writing it (not “them”) off, I said that finding a way to fix the South was critical to fixing the country.

                • 3lemenope

                  Considering that you know (or ought to) damn well that our system of government isn’t going anywhere, they cash out as exactly the same thing. If only I could change the fundamental organizational principle of the US government, the problems it faces will be different. Is that all?

                  Meanwhile, since changing the gravitational constant of the universe to move one piddly moon with our tractor beam is out of the range of our powers, “The problem [that will remain] with the South is that it seems to have crossed a threshold of idiocy, dogmatism, and political psychosis that may be nearly impossible to recover from.”

                  So, short of starting a second American Revolution, you’ve written them off.

                • C Peterson

                  Considering that you know (or ought to) damn well that our system of government isn’t going anywhere, they cash out as exactly the same thing.

                  You are the one drawing the conclusion, not me.

                  What I said is that our governmental system is what makes it extremely difficult to fix the broken South. How that equates to “writing off” people living in the South escapes me.

                  My point is that the South must be fixed if the United States is to survive in anything like the way most of us probably want to see it. I just don’t know how to implement that fix. There are politically possible approaches- difficult but not impossible- such as mandated federal education standards and federally funded education, and court driven shifts away from states rights in certain areas.

                  The last thing I’m doing is writing off the South or its citizens. The very idea makes no sense, given its political influence. It’s like “writing off” your cancer just because you don’t like what it’s doing to you. Impossible.

                • 3lemenope

                  So what exactly are you talking about when you say that the South has “crossed a threshold of idiocy, dogmatism, and political psychosis”? The fundamental thing about thresholds is they demarcate the crossing from one status or location into another. So, what threshold was crossed? What changed because it was?

                  When you talk about “the things that would be possible” if only we didn’t have the “anchor” of the South weighing us down, you don’t mean it? You made a distinction between inner city problems and the problems of the South, explicitly saying the former are rationally fixable and implying strongly that the latter are not.

                • C Peterson

                  Inner city problems are, in principle, easy to fix. They are economically rooted, and can be economically fixed. Reduce the economic disparity, assure that basic needs are met, and it is very arguable that most inner city problems will go away. However, a major impediment to this sort of solution comes from the extreme conservatism of the South, combined with the disproportionate influence the Senatorial system gives to the South.

                  The problem with fixing the South is that the political autonomy of the states makes federal intervention very difficult, while the high level of poor education and lack of critical thinking is part of a positive feedback loop. The politicians elected in the South continue to chip away at what’s left of education, producing an ever more ignorant and dogmatic electorate, producing ever worse politicians. That’s a very difficult cycle to break.

                • cipher

                  Peterson didn’t say it – but I’m saying it. “The South is a Christian nation”? Fine – help the handful of people with functioning brain stems to relocate, and let the inbred morons go their own way.

                  Red states take more in services from the federal government than they pay back in taxes. We’ll see how long they’ll last.

                • 3lemenope

                  First off, Texas, Arkansas, and Georgia are net contributors to the federal pot (Texas and Arkansas being quite generous contributors at that). Much of the differential in fed dollars is accounted for by military bases and installations, which are concentrated in the coastal south. Remove those, and the numbers become substantially more equitable (and the numbers for states like Rhode Island instantly become much less impressive). The West is where you’ll see the truly horrific levels of sponging; the Dakotas, Montana, Alaska, Hawaii, Arizona, and New Mexico.

                  Even still, Texas, Florida, and Virginia would do just fine. Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and South Caolina probably wouldn’t. Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky are a crapshoot. The vast majority of the population of the South reside in those first three states, and given the relative sizes of the economies of those states, I’d doubt they’d notice much of a difference at all.

                • cipher
                • 3lemenope

                  The Slate article uses the old 2004 Tax Foundation numbers, and the BI article cites no sources. At least in 2007, the IRS numbers looked a bit different.

                  Of course, the irony above all of this is that no state is a “net contributor” to the Federal kitty because we deficit spend like gangbusters. Given federal outlays, it is not possible for *any* state’s population to give more in federal taxes to the fed than the number of dollars spent on each citizen of that state per capita; it’s just that most dollars so spent are not directed back to any state in particular (stuff like paying down the debt interest) and so don’t show up as goodies from the fed.

                  Also, farm subsidies and military spending make up quite a bit of the difference in spending levels between the South/Mid-West and the West/North-East/Mid-Atlantic, and last I checked, people from those latter regions do in fact enjoy having affordable food and a secure homeland. So, citizens in those states are indeed buying something for their money; it just happens that they reside in a state other than that where the product is produced.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  No, that I do not, but I also don’t think that’s what he said. I read it as wistful “if the South didn’t exist, the rest of the US would be way better off, but since they do exist, we work with what we have”.

                • C Peterson

                  I read it as wistful “if the South didn’t exist, the rest of the US would be way better off, but since they do exist, we work with what we have”.

                  Quite so. I’m glad some folks prefer the more likely interpretation, as opposed to deliberately seeking out the most extreme way of viewing my comments.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  I’ve said similar things enough times to figure that’s what you meant :/

                • em

                  I’m from New Orleans. I’ve lived here most of my life. When Hurricane Katrina hit I was attending LSU and my family and one of my roommate’s family had to move into the apartment I shared with 3 other girls. We made it work. My community has always had the attitude of “we’ll make it work”. We watched on the news our neighborhoods drowning and cried when we weren’t allowed back because it wasn’t safe yet. And I listened to people, mostly people not from the “South”, talk about how we should be written off, we were “stupid for living there”. Basically a large portion of my country was saying we should be left for dead. I’ve lived in New Orleans most of my life, a Southern city, and never in my life had I experienced such bigotry, such small-minded hatred for humanity. We are a community who help each other. A community who gave a fire truck to New York after 911, and raised money after Hurricane Sandy hit. I’m just so tired of hearing that my culture and community doesn’t matter and this country would be better off without us. I guarantee that no New Orleanian I know would say that about another city/state, its rude and not in our nature.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  I donated to the efforts to help New Orleans. Wishing that the South weren’t in such a shambles doesn’t mean writing off the people who live there. it means giving it more help, actually, to bring it up to the standards of the rest of the country and, hopefully, bring everyone up to even higher living standards. It does mean that it’s perfectly legitimate for those who do not live in the South to wish that the South wasn’t an anchor to the rest of the country, though.

                  I would never say people are stupid for living in the South, nor that they shouldn’t live there. Note my location, after all. I haven’t noticed any community help, “we’ll make it work” ethos bigger here than anywhere else. Churches help their own and turn a blind eye to other problems. They actively preach against more effective solutions than personal charity, in fact! The culture and community in NOLA is rich in culture, musical and linguistic and gastronomic; it’s also poor in housing, education, highly corrupt, and segregated. Poverty rates were high, crimes rates were high. I understand loving the city you live in and the community you’re part of, but I don’t understand turning a blind eye to your problems. The South shouldn’t be written off because it has huge potential, but that potential can only be realized if people realize there are gigantic problems first.

                • C Peterson

                  I also contributed to Katrina relief. And I heard very little in the way of suggestions that the people there should be written off. Any such viewpoint was certainly coming only from a tiny fraction of Americans.

                  That isn’t the same as looking at the New Orleans problem in perspective. There was a good case to be made for abandoning much of the city after it was destroyed. Rationally, it isn’t built in a sustainable place, and- especially with global climate change- it is going to be destroyed again, probably within the next decades, and probably with even greater loss of life and property.

                  There are places in country where natural disasters recur, and people just keep rebuilding. That doesn’t strike me as wise.

                • DavidMHart

                  I read the words “if the South didn’t exist…” and immediately I mentally finished the sentence Voltaire fashion “…it would be necessary to invent it” :-)

                • michaelCfromSC

                  Please go back to wherever you are actually from. Southerners do not need or want you around.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  I moved to Texas when I was 9. I consider Texas “where I’m from” at this point. Southerners desperately need people like me around, whether they like it or not, because I am the future; rational, egalitarian, scientifically literate, environmentalist, and willing to fight for those in need.*

                  So much for that vaunted Southern hospitality, huh? From someone who knows what it really means, bless your heart.

                  *Not literally fight, of course, but legally- protests, laws, sit-ins, letters, voting, running for office, working for non-profits, etc.

              • C Peterson

                You are confusing the accurate representation of states like Arkansas as socially and intellectually backward with the inaccurate suggestion that this must apply to every resident of those states.

                The only way we can fix a problem (and the southern states represent a huge problem) is to accurately and honestly identify that problem.

    • SeekerLancer

      It’s cute/horrific that they think their Confederate flags stand for anything more than bigotry.

      • WallofSleep

        I don’t care that much if someone is a racist. Hell, I encourage them to be as vocal as they can about it. Better to have the cockroaches out in the sun than plotting in the shadows.

        But here’s what I don’t get about racists who fly the Confederate flag, or the Nazi flag/Swastika even. These are the symbols of nations that were enemies of the USA. Nations that were actively at war with the USA. Nations that no longer exist.

        What kind of loser would fly the flag of a dead nation? Ah, never mind, I just answered my own question.

        • Blind

          First, totally agree with your statement about racist language. I like my racists where I can see em.

          I would like to expand on your flag statement though. It’s one thing to fly the flag of a dead nation, its one thing to fly one that was in opposition to your own country. It’s a completely different thing to have over reaching patriotism for your own country while flying it’s enemies flags at the same time. Being born into a country doesn’t mean you have to support the whole thing, and despite the fact that I’m as far from the south as you could possibly be, I am aware that the Con. flag has a completely different meaning to a northern American than it does to a southern. But to have a ‘if you don’t like one particular thing about my country you can GEEET OOOUT!’ mentality while at the same time supporting a failed state that seceded because it wasn’t happy with the nation it came from is the highest level of humiliating hypocrisy.

          • Rastafaustian

            I guess they don’t like the Constitution of the United States of America, and they want to GEEET OOOUT!

        • SeekerLancer

          I don’t disagree with you. I like when people make it easier for me to know when I shouldn’t associate with them.

          And yes, it is ironic that these people who would probably label themselves patriots fly a flag of open rebellion.

      • Jon

        Actually, though you associate the Confederate flags with bigotry, they used to stand for THE CONFEDERACY. Not everybody in favor of a confederate nation with strong state powers and a weak central government is for slavery, racism, and is a believer.

        • Michael W Busch

          In which case, you could use a symbol that is not associated with slavery and racism.

          • Blind

            As a Canadian, I had to learn the ‘international’ version of the American civil war. Sorry to tell ya, but Americans over play the significance of the emancipation proclamation to give progressive values to old wars. The abolitionists were racist as hell and didn’t like, trust or accept black people, they wanted to ship them to Africa where it was understood they’d devolve into savages and never be seen again. The northern union used freedom as an incentive for slaves to volunteer for the army. If it was the north’s intention to free them after the war, (it probably wasn’t) that would’ve been a pretty dirty trick don’t you think? My country never had legalized slavery in the first place, and there is a magical line going down the 49th parallel dividing one group of people from another. Do you think racism cares about that line? Slavery was an economical tactic played on both sides, and it’s abolition was mostly just a gimmick, and you still have a startling amount of black people in chains in 2013.

            • Michael W Busch

              Much of what you have said is true, except with the abolition of slavery being “mostly just a gimmick” – the detailed causes and effects of abolition were quite complicated. For example: slavery was made illegal in much of the US long before the Civil War. And while the US criminal justice system is incredibly racist in terms of prison sentences, which contributes to many serious social problems, that isn’t the same thing as slavery.

              But it isn’t what I was addressing in my comment. The Confederate flag is a symbol that is associated with racism and slavery. The details of the history are not as relevant as that association is. If you want to advocate for a weak US federal government and strong state governments, and not have that association – along with the associations with secession, insurrection, and civil war – you should use a different symbol.

            • Dinlge

              This man speaks the truth.

            • Jebus

              Here is an even better fun fact than your history: when the US entered the 2nd World War, they did so with segregated battalions. So they fought racism and genocide with ‘separated but equal’ troops.

              • Mackinz

                Yes, Jebus, such a thing still occurred in the 1940′s. Even though we had the about a hundred years between us and the Civil War, we had still not fought the “civil war” which came to pass after WWII.

                America has it’s history of institutionalized racism, and it still has it to this day. The only way to minimize it is to teach the future generations about the misdeeds of the older generations and try to get them to understand that this nation should not care about the color of your skin, your religious beliefs, or even your sexual orientation.

                We’re getting there. We may not be there, yet, but we’re only human.

                • Ali

                  Wars tend to linger much longer than the fight. The American Revolution didn’t end until…. after the Cold War (only saying this time because of Britain’s lack of help in keeping South Vietnam alive)? Even if it wasn’t at the end of the Cold War, the end of WWII and the UN… Britain’s lack of desire to return the endless favors it owed to the US by letting Brazil (a mainly pro Axis country who only joined the Allies under US request) join the UN (UK and Russia said it would just be a satellite state for the US and therefore barred entry, despite being perfectly ok with letting their own satellite states join. Plus the US kinda promised Brazil entry for helping, therefore only hurting their relationship at the benefit of UK and Russia).

                  Kinda sad, huh? It seems the UK is still a little bitter over the Revolution. It appears them getting over 1 million Americans (overall, not in any specified fight) killed has apparently meant nothing to them (Revolution, Quasi War [UK refused to end the Jay Treaty that France didn't like and America wanted to end], Civil War [large funder and arms supplier], WWI [Zimmerman note was sent to US via UK and led to US going into WWI, and had US done nothing, Mexico would likely still have done no invasion]…just to name a few)

                • Trawl

                  Happily reading the comments when this bizarre post caught my eye. UK still bitter? Which part is bitter? Is Cornwall pissed off but Surrey couldn’t care less? I’m English and bitter that France took back Calais…odd, looks like a troll

            • Ali

              The UK didn’t abolish slavery until the war in Jamaica, and even with that, the atrocities in Kenya, events in the 1950′s showed that the UK was no less innocent than the Americans in terms of racial prejudice. Reading some memoirs from Jamaicans who fought in WWII who met Americans… it appears strongly that the Northerners (and Hawaiians, who had a Japanese descended military bracket of its own, roughly equal in size to the Korean one in the US military) were sadly very silent and chose to stand at the sidelines and watch. It disturbs me… that the UK knew how racist the south was, and yet still decided to send so many of its black troops to the south to be trained by the Americans. Even in the memoirs… some admitted only to sending them because they were black and knew it would likely cause a violent annoyance to the southern Americans.

              Canada never had slavery, sure. But if I went to Canada and said I was from Texas, how many Canadians would turn their backs on me? My own friends from Texas who visited Canada felt your own open racial prejudice against them. Whomever said Canadians are nice, or at least better behaved than Americans, have obviously never been to both Canada and America…

              As for the Civil War, the states that made up the Confederates (also, Iroquois Confederacy [from American Revolution] anyone?) only waged war because they wanted the entire US to practice slavery (as well as finally recognize their desires to conquer the entire continent…). The UK and France easily makes up 2/3 of their income in the war. They already tried to take Canada in the War of 1812, and had they won would likely revive the attack…

              It’s so sad, isn’t it? UK and France didn’t give in the slightest any fuck about Canada or Canadians. They just both wanted the Union to die… even if it meant loosing everything else in the process. I’m at least glad Canadians weren’t that stupid and mostly helped the Union (23,000-100, right?)

              • fojap

                Canada did have slavery.

            • fojap
            • fojap

              My ex-husband’s ancestor, Olivier le Tardif was the owner (it’s weird using that word) of Olivier le Jeune. While living in Canada I recall watching a documentary on Blacks in Canada. While quite obviously the situation wasn’t anything near as bad as it was in the United States, it wasn’t exactly a bed of roses either.

            • Zoidberg 1201

              You’re right. I’m not American and not fond of telling others what to do, but, Americans would do well to research their country’s use of prison labour and realise, that given the huge racial disparity of the prison population, that slavery is alive and well in America.

        • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

          Isn’t this the same Confederacy that had enshrined in their Constitution the right to own slaves? I’m speaking specifically of Article I Section 9(4): “No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.”

        • Donalbain

          You might as well say that not everyone who flies the Nazi flag is in favour of killing Jews.

          “Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition.”

          The Confederate States of America existed for the purpose of allowing human beings to own other human beings. If you fly that flag, that is what you are supporting.

          • TCC

            In case anyone has any qualms with Donalbain’s quote, that’s from a famous speech by Alexander Stephens (VP of the Confederacy) often called the Cornerstone speech because of this line.

          • Summed up a bit

            Broad generalizations like make people seem ignorant.

            Also its a known fact that not everyone in nazi germany was a nazi, hell, most of the grunts in the wermacht had no idea what was going on in regards to the holocaust. It was only the SS regiments that were very strict on nazi ideals and recruiting from the nazi party.

            • Donalbain

              Doesn’t matter. If you wave a Nazi flag you are identifying as a Nazi. If you wave a confederate flag you are identifying with racists.

            • Bdole

              “not everyone in nazi germany was a nazi, hell, most of the grunts in the wermacht had no idea what was going on in regards to the holocaust”

              That’s a known fact, but not really relevant. Anyone who displays a swastika, NOW, knows exactly what it stood for, and can fairly be assumed to stand for the same.

              This is like the apologists who say “jihad” can also mean “internal struggle” or some such whitewash.

              Symbols and words mean something. To use them and then deny that you’re identifying with their meaning is hypocrisy.

        • SeekerLancer

          Show me then how the people here were using the flag to protest a strong central government.

          Don’t take me for a fool. I know the Civil War was more complex than the issue of slavery, but the modern use of the Confederate flag is overwhelmingly to forward bigoted ideals, not political ones.

        • Gus Snarp

          No, just treason.

    • DougI

      What’s next, are you going to tell them they can’t marry their brother’s daughters? It’s biblical man! And the South is a Christian nation as written in the Constitution……of the Confederacy.

    • Jonas Green

      Dear South: you did lose The Civil War – just sayin.

      • michaelCfromSC

        Many nations have lost wars before and managed to regain their independence. We will do the same. The US Empire is a dying society. Detroit is your future.

        • smrnda

          And yeah, the south has just a booming scene. High poverty, low levels of education, high teen pregnancy, scientific illiteracy. . If the south gained independence, it would just be in order to instate some sort of Christian shariah.

        • RobMcCune

          The states that are dragging the U.S. down are mostly in the south. If you get your wish it will be optimistic to say your future is SC (40th in education, 41st in poverty) once you lose out on constitutional protections, civil rights, and federal funding.

    • Gus Snarp

      Not only that, but the other sign says “If you don’t like our Christian culture, go back home!”

      This is fracking Florida we’re talking about! What percentage of the population of the state do they think was born there? What percentage had parents born there? Both are pretty low numbers. If you want to live in Florida and rail at people you disagree with that they should go back home because they’re not real Floridians, then you’d damn well better be a Seminole. Or at least try living without air conditioning. That would be my rule: you don’t get to tell people in Florida to go home if you haven’t made it through a summer without air conditioning.

      Or everyone whose parents weren’t born there could go home and we could all stop visiting. I wonder how they’ll feel when the entire state’s economy dries up?

      Bad enough to claim this crap from Georgia, but to claim it from Florida is the definition of hypocrisy.

    • michaelCfromSC

      Actually we are a real ethnic/cultural nation, unlike the USA which is a motley assortment of people from all over the planet who have nothing in common except that they are taxed by Washington, DC.

      • smrnda

        Yeah, because a commitment to a political system based on a notion of people having rights is a terrible way to unify a nation. It should all be based on tribalism.

      • unclemike

        If you stretch the meaning of “nation” that far, doesn’t every single self-identified group in a certain specified region count?

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    Ah, yes, the Confederate flag, symbol of treason and slavery. But at least they’re Xian.

    • Ron Onker Thacker

      That’s an interesting take on history you have there.

      • TCC

        Yes, it’s called “history.” You know, facts and stuff.

      • ShoeUnited

        Seceding from the Union is treason. And there were slaves.

        • Ron Onker Thacker

          In modern times, yes. At that time, being closer to the minds of the Founders, they sought a peaceful secession instead of bloody revolution. Which, I will point out, was considered by all to be the natural right of the oppressed.

          To wit, the words of James Madison, the man who is responsible for a great majority of our current Constitution (Note, this is in response to a message from the esteemed Daniel Webster of whom you can find some very interesting stories.):

          “I return my thanks for the copy of your late very powerful Speech in the Senate of the United S. It crushes “nullification” and must hasten the abandonment of “Secession”. But this dodges the blow by confounding the claim to secede at will, with the right of seceding from intolerable oppression. The former answers itself, being a violation, without cause, of a faith solemnly pledged. The latter is another name only for revolution, about which there is no theoretic controversy.”

          Ironic as it may be that the oppressed were also oppressors in this scenario.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            The peaceful secession that included firing the opening shots of the war? That peaceful secession?

            EDIT: Also, the “right of secession” totally was not considered a right of the oppressed. It was a controversial topic; some argued yes, some argued no, but it was by no means settled.

            • Ron Onker Thacker

              You misunderstood me, I did not say that Secession was the right of the oppressed. As the quote indicates, Revolution was the right of the Oppressed. Secession was thrown out of the Constitution, in part because it was a given that if oppression came to the land again, then they would revolt as was their natural right.

              First shots of the war were fired in Arlington, at the Courthouse. That’s a little bit of trivia, Mrs. Lincoln saw the confederate flag flying and sent a troop of soldiers to “Strike the flag”, it did not go well for them.

              The first military action of the Civil War was when Major Anderson took Fort Sumter because it was the more defensible structure and gave him command of the waters locally. That was the first aggressive action. Rather than retire peacefully from the field and head back north, he dug in and assumed an easily defensible position but not one that was easily supplied, as The Star of the West found out when they attempted to supply Ft. Sumter.

              After having taken the fort, he created the scenario where the hotheads in South Carolina felt they had to do something about him. And indeed they did as he had a fort sitting astride access to Charleston.

              So who’s to blame? The bug in your house, or you for killing it?

              • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                Wait, are you really arguing that the US shouldn’t put or station soldiers at fortifications throughout the country?

                I don’t understand your bug analogy in the slightest. Was Ft. Sumter the bug? Or was the Confederacy the bug? Or the South Carolina legislature that stirred up secessionist feeling? Ft. Sumter was a federal fort, so of course it had federal soldiers in it. The first aggressive action of the war was when South Carolina opened fire on the military of their lawfully elected government, not when the federal government sent soldiers in time of peace to man a federal fortification.

                Nice try on rewriting history, though.

                • Ron Onker Thacker

                  Anderson switched forts, on his own initiative after the secession had been declared. His action provoked hostile reaction from the local garrison. Not a rewrite, simple cause and effect.

                  Anderson was the bug who put himself, and his men, in harms way. His reason for doing so was probably justifiable from the northern point of view, however from the southern point of view he made an aggressive move.

                  First Shots Fired is a passion plea. The first moves of a war are not announced with the firing of a bullet.

                  Anderson was not at Sumter, he moved to Sumter and secured the fort which was unmanned because Ft. Moultrie where he was stationed was completely indefensible.

                  After having done so, Northern AND Southern legislature went apeshit, to use the scientific term. The North could not decide if Anderson was brilliant or an absolute fool for provoking a military response.

                  In the end, he did get a response, and Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard fired on the fort for 34 hours, or so history has it. Anderson didn’t have enough ammunition to defend the fort, and ended up surrendering. THe only people harmed during the course of this battle were the crew of The Star of the West who attempted to provide supplies to the fort. A foolish maneuver by an unarmed merchantman in the face of a well set up and sighted in artillery force.

                  Sadly, I am not re-writing history. For the most part, I’m just pointing out actual history…you know, before it got massaged to hell and gone and became meaningless. I’m sure most people still think everyone died at Sumter.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  First Shots Fired is a valid point for start of a war. Formal declaration of war is another one. If we went solely by skirmishes, clashes, or incidents of violence, one could argue the Civil War started just after the American Revolution ended. Or in Kansas and Nebraska in 1850. Or at Pottawotamie Creek in 1856. Or at Harper’s Ferry in 1859.

                  Anderson’s move may have been provocative, but it did not start the war. The war started when, as I said, South Carolinan militiamen opened fire on the military of their lawfully elected government. The war starting was almost certainly inevitable, as the North had pretty much declared that secession was going to be treated as rebellion and treason, but the time at which it started and who technically started it is not up for debate.

            • Ron Onker Thacker

              This drives the point though, there was a LOT more going on than just slavery. As someone with a deep love of American History, primarily the American Founding and Revolution, the majority of statements that I come across with regards to either the AWI or the ACW are highly apologist on the latter and blatantly ignorant on the former.

              Wars don’t happen over singular reasons. WW I, WW II, Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, The Crusades, The French-Indian, Spanish-American, and so on, each had a multitude of causes.
              Yes, you can probably boil them all down to “Money” or “Power” but to drive a people to war, you have to have something that every subgroup can get involved in to be motivated to war.

              We are, by and large, a very stupid animal, but we’re not THAT stupid.

              • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                No, there really wasn’t. I, too, have a deep love of American history, but I don’t blind myself to the absolutely awful history we have.

                The Civil War is one of the least complicated wars in its causes. States rights … to own slaves. Differing economic systems … built on slavery or wage-workers. Power differentials between northern and southern states … based on the 3/5 rule which was about slavery. Arguments about Western expansion … based on whether new states would be free or slave. Almost every single secession statement explicitly mentioned slavery as the foremost reason for seceding, the CSA constitution banned the abolition of slavery, the VP of the CSA made a speech declaring slavery and racial inequality the cornerstone of the new nation, etc. The evidence is just overwhelming that the Civil War was, at its root, entirely about slavery.

                • Ron Onker Thacker

                  I agree, we do have some perfectly horrible history, and atrocious reasons for doing the things that we’ve done. Hell, we’ve got the same crap going on today. Gerrymandering of states electoral divisions, hyper-christianizing of our government with the rise of the Moral Majority and the descendant groups from them…

                  I’m just saying that Slavery, while a big part of it, was not the whole of it.

                  The South had a lower voter count and feared being overridden in Congress and having Northern views impressed upon them.

                  The South was also dealing with the fact that the North was attempting to force transhipment of textiles out of Northern ports instead of it leaving the ports of Savannah and Charleston. The reason? Simple, money. The South was making money hand over fist shipping directly to Europe. The North wanted in on it.

                  All in all though, the North could not live without the South, however the reverse was not necessarily true. The north needed the agriculture of the South to feed itself. Especially important with the ongoing population boom in the North at the time.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Other way around, good sir. The South needed the North for manufactured goods and food. The South grew cash crops like cotton and tobacco, not food crops. There’s a reason the South starved when its railroad lines were cut, but the North was sad because it lost cotton and money (not foodstuffs). Losing cotton was a big deal, don’t get me wrong, but it’s necessary for a different necessity (clothing) than food.

      • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

        Historically, a person or group of people who take up arms against their democratically-elected government are traitors.

        Flags are symbols.

        The Confederate States Constitution had the right to own slaves enshrined in the text, specifically Article I Section 9(4): “No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.” Ergo, slavery.

        And, finally, a majority of Southerners are Xian (and were during the Civil War and used the bible to sanction slavery because the bible explicitly allowed it).

        Combining these facts, my comment “Ah, yes, the Confederate flag, symbol of treason and slavery. But at least they’re Xian.” seems more than appropriate and completely historical.

        • Ron Onker Thacker

          My point, for which I seem to have acquired a number of internet downvotes, is that you are applying a narrow definition to something that was of far grander consequence.

          But for simplicity’s fine sake, lets just cast your response in a different light.

          “Historically, a person or group of people who take up arms against their democratically-elected government are traitors.

          Flags are symbols.

          The United States Constitution had the right to own slaves enshrined in the text, specifically in Article 1, Section 9, Congress is limited, expressly from prohibiting the “Importation” of slaves, before 1808. Ergo, slavery.

          And, finally, a majority of Americans are Xian (and were during the Revolutionary War and used the bible to sanction slavery because the bible explicitly allowed it).

          Combining these facts, my comment “Ah, yes, the American flag, symbol of treason and slavery. But at least they’re Xian.” seems more than appropriate and completely historical.”

          • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

            You are full of crap.

            First, the colonies were not given any of the rights of representation other English citizens had, they had no representatives in Parliament, their governors were appointed by the crown, and their rebellion was not against a democratically-elected government, specifically a government that allowed them no vote, but against those who imposed laws upon them.

            The South, by contrast, had representation in Congress, had full voting right and more, yet still chose to commit treason.

            Second, the importation of slaves is not the same as the right to own slaves, so your dishonest attempt to color them in the same light has failed. In fact, where in the US Constitution does it explicitly state citizens have a right to own slaves? Yet it’s present in the Confederate Constitution. Importation =/= right to own, not in any set of the word.

            Third, the Revolutionary War wasn’t about protecting the peculiar institution, it was about fighting a government that allowed the colonies no say in how they were governed. The South had a say, they had ample representation, yet still chose to commit treason.

            Your simple comparison is epic in it’s failure, my friend. Try again.

    • joseph66

      That’s dishonest. The south used to believe in the right for a state to separate from the Union (confederation). So, in many aspect, they were MORE democratic.

      Slavery would disappear later anyway, as in European nations.

      • TCC

        Oh boy. First, the alleged right of a state to separate from the Union is called (no surprise to people with a knowledge of history) secession. The South called itself the Confederacy to signify that they were a group of allied states. Second, nothing about the ability to secede makes a government more or less democratic; that’s just a non sequitur. Finally, it is not a certain thing that slavery would have just died out on its own; the Southern economy was much more dependent on slavery than any of the European nations that abolished it much earlier.

        • joseph66

          > [Second, nothing about the ability to secede makes a government more or less democratic; that's just a non sequitur.]

          Democracy includes the authonomy of the individual, and if individuals from a region decide to separate as a new state, they must have that right. It’s something so stupid called freedom.

          Also, slavery disappeared in Europe… but nominally. It really disappeared later. They same would hapenned in the south, at is happenned in many other countries, thank’s to techonogy.

          • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

            “Democracy includes the authonomy of the individual, and if individuals from a region decide to separate as a new state, they must have that right.”

            Bnllsh!t. “Autonomy of the individual” only extends so far as equal treatment under the law in a democracy. It doesn’t extend to treasonous acts.

            “It’s something so stupid called freedom.”

            No, freedom does not mean you are free to, say, commit murder or rape or … treason. An armed insurrection against a democratically-elected government is treason.

            It’s something so stupid called C-R-I-M-E.

            “Also, slavery disappeared in Europe… but nominally. It really disappeared later. They same would hapenned in the south, at is happenned in many other countries, thank’s to techonogy.”

            Contrary evidence present to continue the right to own slaves exists in the Confederate States Constitution.

          • http://confessionsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com/ YankeeCynic

            Slavery disappeared from Europe, depending on how you define it (I.E. are you counting slaves in Europe proper, the colonies, and do you consider serfs to be slaves) due to a complex set of sociopolitical and economic pressures. Those pressures did NOT exist in the antebellum south. In fact the system of the day afforded comparative economic advantage to the south, which didn’t exactly bode well for the prospect of universal emancipation.

            And all of these arguments are really just flimsy attempts to explain away the obvious: arguing that treason in the name of preserving people of a different skin color as property was something acceptable.

      • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

        No, you’re the one being dishonest.

        The South treasonously rebelled against the democratically-elected government. Treason is not “MORE democratic,” it’s treason.

        “Slavery would have disappeared later” is completely false because the Confederate States Constitution had the right to own slaves enshrined in the text, specifically Article I Section 9(4): “No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.”

        Facts just ain’t on your side.

      • http://confessionsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com/ YankeeCynic

        “The South” was never a nation. It had no legal right to leave the United States, and remained a legal part of the same.

        A better term for it would have been an insurrection led by reactionary elements of the aristocracy who sought to maintain their property (I.E. slaves) and by connection their privileged position within southern society. To do so used violent, thug-like tactics to intimidate the electorate. That’s one of the major reasons the insurgents had to detail more and more units to the south’s interior to maintain order as the Union Army moved in to liberate the southern states, since more and more localities sought to resist Confederate occupation.

        An interesting shadow of that would be the so-called Twenty Negro Law “passed” by the insurgents during that period which made it possible for males from large estates to avoid military service.

        To paint the southern states as “more democratic” is plaintively absurd. And that’s even ignoring the fact that you’re talking about a place that had millions of people who were completely disenfranchised and sold as property. And to claim that slavery was on the out is also ridiculous, considering the huge economic advantage slavery afforded its practitioners. A single bale of cotton could easily pay for a single year’s worth of expenses for a single slave; it afforded massive advantages to the estates held by the aristocracy.

      • Donalbain

        No. It wouldnt. Indeed, the Confederate constitution made it ILLEGAL to pass any laws banning slavery.

  • http://www.pinkraygun.com/ Lisa

    I love the sign reading, “If you don’t like our Christian culture, go back home.” I am home. I was born here. Where am I supposed to go?

    • C Peterson

      You know, home. Iran. North Korea. Afghanistan.

    • Persephone

      They want you to not exist, but since it has become unacceptable for people like them to publicly utter that eliminationist sentiment, they have to obscure their meaning. Substitute “die” for “go back home” when you read phrases like this, and their meaning will be more plain.

      • JET

        And straight to hell, where you will be at home with your compatriots.

    • michaelCfromSC

      You would be better off in Massachusetts where people share your anti-Christian view of the world.

      • smrnda

        It’s a much nicer place too. All these secular, liberal areas are sure a lot better to live in than the religious, conservative ones.

      • RobMcCune

        Even in the most liberal states most people are christian.

      • Derrik Pates

        Secular does not mean “anti-Christian”, no matter how much you want them to be synonyms.

  • C Peterson

    We need signs that say “If you don’t like our secular nation, go home”.

    • Persephone

      We definitely do not. While it’s fun to play “sauce for the goose,” the slogans that invoke “don’t like (belief), get out of my country” are eliminationist. We’re supposed to be better than that.

      • C Peterson

        Of course. Just trying to emphasize the irony. I’m afraid it would be lost on the intended audience, though.

        • Persephone

          It would be lost on the placard-wavers, I fear. I think they would regard a “If you don’t like our secular nation, go home” counter-placard with a sort of blank gaze, like a dog who had been shown a card trick.* They might recognize the individual words, but as a sentence it would just not find the appropriate receptors in their brain to cling to.

          No religious argument of this kind has much chance at converting the other side in one shot. The ones who are sufficiently motivated to heed a call to arms and come to the protest with their signs and flags are the most ardent. But the bystanders, on the other hand, that’s a good intended audience and the one who can be swayed. Ask around at an atheist or freethinkers con and see how many people were slowly shown the value of rational thought over time, not from hearing one slogan fired right at them one time, but from many exposures to the non-religious point of view. We need to craft our message for them. Matching eliminationism for eliminationism won’t win the bystanders, it will just make us look equally savage.

          At this point I have rambled too long and am writing to see myself write, and not so much to you. Apologies. =D

          (* Thanks go to Bill Hicks for this turn of phrase.)

      • Kodie

        I’d say, if you don’t like our secular nation, tough shit!

    • Jordan

      How ’bout:

      “…or to your church, it is a free country after all!”

      or some much more witty play off their signs.

      • axelbeingcivil

        How about “I respect your right to your beliefs, please respect mine” or “This is a secular country, let’s all stay here”?

    • Terry Firma

      Fuckin’ A.

    • WingedBeast

      I know it’s rather wordy…
      “If you want to live in a Nation based off of Christian values, you are invited to go found one. If you want to live in America, however, enjoy your religion without government endorsement.”

  • Rain

    It looks like the Lord is providing some flood waters because him/her doesn’t like the protesters. I’ll take that as a sign of approval.

  • Regina Carol Moore

    Two points – “The South is a Christian Nation”. “The South” is not a nation at all, you loon. And my second point – When is the Flying Spaghetti Monster monument going up and WHERE CAN I DONATE SEVERAL HUNDRED DOLLARS TO THAT???

    • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

      So should it be the FSM himself, or maybe a pirate?

      • Regina Carol Moore

        Personally, I’d prefer the FSM himself. But I don’t want to be in charge, so I have no problem letting whoever organized it decide. I’m more of a hands-off sort of gal.

  • Beth

    ‘The south is a christian nation’ I don’t geography

    • Persephone

      I speak ignorant insular retrograde, so please allow me to help. By “The South” they mean “The Confederate States of America,” the defeated rebel states that attempted to secede from the United States of America. The word “nation” in the usage above can be thought of as a sort of extra-strong sort of tribe. As you can see, they are mixing a geopolitical term and a sociological one, so the statement is not even internally consistent.

      This is to be expected, because as right-wing authoritarians, they are adept at holding individual ideologies which are contradictory, and have no issue at all with using one when it is convenient, and the other when it is convenient, and seeing no hypocrisy at all. They compartmentalize their minds into little ideas which are no more well-thought-out than sound bites, meant to be regurgitated when the appropriate cue is heard.

      • Persephone

        >> The word “nation” in the usage above can be thought of as a sort of extra-strong sort of tribe.

        Damn it, this is why I’m supposed to proofread. I used “sort” twice. Sorry everyone.

      • JET

        See Texas. Where “Thou shalt not kill” has a fine print clause which specifically exempts capital punishment and anyone who remotely appears to be contemplating setting a foot on your property.

        • Persephone

          And then when this is pointed out to them, suddenly every Texan is a Biblical effing scholar. “Oh, in the Hebrew translation, the word meant ‘murder,’ not ‘kill,’ so there’s an allowance for justified blah blah blah. . .”

          Sure thing, killer. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

          • blackwolf

            Well, even the original Hebrew text contained no statements about people who would be imprisoned on questionable charges and verdicts, who might be executed after decades and go to the chair as an innocent person.

            • Persephone

              Yeah. If someone asked me “Hey Persephone, which state should be killing people?” Texas sure as hell would not be at the top of my list. The callous disregard for human life on display in their criminal justice system is appalling in ways that I can barely put into words.

    • joseph66

      A nation is not a political division, but a culture. That’s the reason there are indigenous nations in the United STates.

      • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

        But I thought they weren’t civilized, so they shouldn’t count? Or are they mostly Christian, as you say, so they count after all? You’re all over the place with your assumptions.

        • joseph66

          They still being more civilized than atheist revolutionaries like, Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro, and Mao

          • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

            Yep, you have to be Christian, like Hitler, or you’ll surely become a dictator.

            • joseph66

              Historians and facts don’t agree with you. :-P

              > “The dogma of Christianity gets worn away before the advances of science. Religion will have to make more and more concessions. Gradually the myths crumble. All that’s left is to prove that in nature there is no frontier between the organic and the inorganic. When understanding of
              the universe has become widespread, when the majority of men know that the stars are not sources of light but worlds, perhaps inhabited worlds like ours, then the Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity.”

              — Adolf Hitler, from Hitler’s Table Talk (1941-1944)

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Adolf_Hitler#Hitler.27s_Table_Talk

              He was a closet “pagan-deist-positivist”, and outside he was “theistic”… as honest as most atheists here.

              Stalin and Pol Pot were worst anyway.

              • http://confessionsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com/ YankeeCynic

                Did Hitler, Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot use atheism as a justification for their actions, or did they just happen to be coincidentally atheists.

                Contrast that with the southern insurgency. Let’s take a paragraph from Texas’ Declaration of Succession:

                “In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color– a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.”

                Hmmmmmmm….

                • Dasphule

                  Hitler was not an atheist. He was a christian… devoutly so.

                • http://confessionsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com/ YankeeCynic

                  I was more arguing from a hypothetical point to articulate the fact that even if he was his violence wasn’t aimed towards a specifically atheistic end. I should have been more clear about that.

                • michaelCfromSC

                  You clearly have not read very much history. He expressed a little sympathy for the Catholics’ organization but he was not at all a devout Christian. Please study more history before you impose your views upon us.

          • Michael W Busch

            You are wrong to equate atheism with Marxist-Leninist atheism and authoritarianism. They are not the same thing.

            • joseph66

              They are not the same, but Marxism includes atheism and uses it to oppress, so religion is not the only way to opress people, so new atheists are wrong when thinking that the world without religion would be better.

              • C.L. Honeycutt

                “Poison gas is not the only way to murder people, so new atheists are wrong when thinking that the world without poison gas would be better.”

                See the problem with your argument?

              • Michael W Busch

                Religion is not the only way to oppress people. But it has the unique property of giving supernatural sanction to oppression and holding it as above challenge. That hurts people.

                A world without religion would not necessarily be better than the world is now, but religion does not help and often harms.

      • Michael W Busch

        Nation is an over-loaded term. Here, it refers specifically to political divisions – nation states. A culture is something else entirely (e.g. I am part of a culture of astronomers. It spans several dozen nations).

        There are sovereign native American nations that have special legal relationships with the United States in a partial attempt to compensate for all of the history of oppression.

  • http://atheistlutheran.blogspot.com/ MargueriteF

    I was born in the south– specifically, Virginia. I’m an atheist. How exactly should I “go back home”? Does it ever occur to the “Christian nation” people that we atheists actually do live here, too?

    • Brian Westley

      No. No, it doesn’t.

  • Bdole

    “Protesters are in attendance, too, with Confederate flag[sic] and “Christian Nation” signs”

    Yes! Please, more of THIS! You dumbass, inbred hillbillies! MORE MORE MORE. Let the whole country see exactly what you’re made of, you atavistic, retrograde wretches.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

      That was my first thought: associate the Ten Commandments monuments with a recognizable symbol of white supremacist movements.

    • Gordon Duffy

      Seems they forgot to pretend the monuments (and pledge, and god on the money) are “ceremonial deism.

    • Michael W Busch

      Dumbasses, maybe. Inbred and hillbillies, no.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Floridians are mainly rednecks. Read a book. A book about the difference between hick tribes. :P

      • Gus Snarp

        Those whose families were there before the Civil War call themselves crackers, supposedly for the sound of the whips favored by Florida cowboys. Many later immigrants have taken on that label, entirely undeserved, as well.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Well SURE if you’re going to go all sub-tribe on me :P

          Geez, I haven’t seen “cracker” used since living in Marietta, Georgia thirty years ago*. We had them there also, but I technically didn’t qualify because my parents were from NC and WV. I’m not sure why Georgians would use that appellation, though.

          *Well, except for dimwits claiming that saying “cracker” is like saying “nigger”. I see those slime several times a week.

          • Gus Snarp

            I think there are actually two entirely different uses of the word cracker, or at least that the original Florida one has expanded to become a general pejorative for southerners in general.

            But I was just visiting the folks in Florida and they’ve got billboards up selling “authentic Cracker cabins” and I had to explain the reference to my wife, so it was on my mind already.

          • Gus Snarp

            Holy cow, NPR just had something very related and interesting on the etymology of “cracker”: http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/07/01/197644761/word-watch-on-crackers

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    The local would-be theocrats seem to have reduced their estimate of the size of their “Christian nation.” We can watch the progression on future signs as they steadily lose ground to reality:

    America is a Christian nation.
    The South is a Christian nation.
    Florida is a Christian nation.
    Bradford County is a Christian nation.
    This courtyard is a Christian nation.
    My home is a Christian nation.

    Yeah, I think you finally got it right.

    • Persephone

      While the particularly poor who live in trailers are an easy target for mockery, in my experience in red state hell, it’s not been the trailer-park poor who are the most vocal about this sort of thing. It’s the almost-middle-class, the first-level supervisors in factories, the barely-white collar county and city clerks, and so on. They have just enough money to have the freedom and energy to devote some of their time fucking over people who they do not like. The desperately poor are trying hard just not to drown, and only bring others down in the way that a drowning victim will inadvertently kill their rescuer by attempting to use them as a buoy.

      Instead of “my trailer is a Christian nation,” I would conclude with “my cheaply-assembled single-family suburban house is a Christian nation.”

      • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

        You have a good point. I should not mock those who are impoverished materially, but those who by their own willful, dedicated ignorance are impoverished intellectually. I have edited it to “My home is a Christian nation.”

        • Persephone

          I am jealous of your ability to edit your posts. I can’t find the appropriate button. I think it’s because I post as “guest.”

          I agree with you, that those who deliberately turn their backs on thinking are to be scorned.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            I think you have to link your account to facebook or twitter or something. Or maybe you can just have an actual disqus account.

          • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

            Linking yourself to facebook or twitter profiles allows for edits, I think. I just have a straight up disqus account. It was free and they don’t send a buttload of emails so if you comment often it might be for you. :)

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Yah, you can’t edit unless you have a DISQUS account or are linked to an outside account, and DISQUS accounts are buggy as hell. Better to create a new Facebook, Twitter or Gmail account (if you want to maintain some anonymity) and use it here. Plus it keeps slimy people from easily copying your name and pretending to be you when making comments.

    • joseph66

      Actually, Chrsitianity inspired many laws for freedom for the USA.

      The quotes from two or three famous americans mean nothing… I can also quote some of them quoting the Bible!

      • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

        Just as your bible quotes mean nothing.

      • TCC

        Quoting the Bible doesn’t exactly prove anything. I quote the Bible with moderate frequency, and I don’t believe a word of it.

        • joseph66

          To quote the Bible is not to prove anything, but to learn from the good and bad its characters did.

          • TCC

            There’s a literary part of me that agrees, but the sense in which I have learned anything from the Bible is so mundane that I could say more about what I’ve learned from the books The Fault in Our Stars or Looking for Alaska or even the His Dark Materials trilogy. And when you look at the statements made more broadly by the people you reference, it seems pretty clear that they didn’t take the lessons you wanted from the Bible, either.

      • Michael W Busch

        Christianity inspired many laws for freedom for the USA.

        No, it didn’t – except in the sense that the founders of the US government recognized the importance of a secular government to avoid religious groups using the government to oppress one another.

        • joseph66

          Actually, the intention of secularism was to keep government Out of church.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Actual documented history refutes you. You should read it sometime.

          • Michael W Busch

            That was one half of the intention. The other half was to keep religion out of government, because otherwise you get one religious group using the government to oppress others (the case of the Danbury Baptists is one example of this).

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              Congregationalists being the the group doing the alleged oppressing.

      • Jon

        Actually, maybe the morals of Christianity existed before Christianity.

      • http://bit.ly/glUAR7 Calladus

        Christians inspired many laws for freedom. Other Christians did not. Of the two groups doing this, the second group could find better biblical quotes to support their point of view.

        Christians are ethical in spite of their bible, not because of it.

        • joseph66

          As Christians, we have to love Hod and others as ourselves, so yes, we are ethical because the bible.

          Maybe you don’t need it to be ethical, but only for that what you consider ethical.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Does Jesus love when you snidely malign someone like that?

          • http://bit.ly/glUAR7 Calladus

            So yes, you pick and choose those parts of the bible that ask you to be nice.

            Or maybe you just don’t read the bad parts of it, like the parts that say atheists and gays and people who support them are “worthy of death”?

          • TCC

            Kneel before Hod!

      • SGreen

        I quote Douglas Adams but it doesn’t mean that in my heart I truly believe the answer to life the universe and everything is 42. And morality is separate from religion so christianity did not inspire any of those laws.

      • Bdole

        “Chrsitianity inspired many laws for freedom”

        In exactly the same sense that viruses have spurred the development of vaccines.

  • dewNOTbelieve

    Native Americans weren’t Christian. The Christians invaded this country from places like England, Germany and Italy. Shouldn’t it be the Christians who “go back home”?

    • Jane McQueen

      No, we have our own religious nutters in the UK, we don’t want even crazier ones thank you

      • Michael W Busch

        They’re not crazy. They’re just wrong, ignorant, and products of a culture in which certain horribly mistaken ideas are not allowed to be questioned.

        I understand and agree with not wanting to have more in the neighborhood, though.

        • Carmelita Spats

          My cuss-of-a-neighbor also challenges the descriptor “crazy”. He likes to holler (while tucking in his muscle shirt way way way into high-waisted denim shorts, black-tube-socks-in-white-tennis-shoes), “I ain’t crazy. I’m just drunkern’ ten Indians.” I keep tellin’ him not to
          talk like that unless he wants me to make him eat nails and shit screws. Truth be told, they’s all crazier than an acre of snakes, two sandwiches short of a picnic and as confused as a cow on Astroturf. Praise Jesus.

      • islandbrewer

        Given that the UK is mostly responsible for the religious nutters coming to America in the first place, I think they have a particular responsibility for taking them back, thank you.

    • joseph66

      Most Native Americans accepted Christianity, which is not a race, dear ignorant,

      • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

        After being converted from their ‘heathen’ ways by missionaries, which almost single handedly destroyed the native American civilization.

        • joseph66

          “…almost single handedly destroyed the native American civilization.”

          They had no civilization yet (as southern native americans), and gold rush distroyed them, not religion.

          Thanks to missionaries we know some indigenous people even existed on the United States!

          • TCC

            They had no civilization yet

            Stick a fork in this troll; s/he’s done.

            • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

              Seriously.

            • joseph66

              Most north americal people were hunter-gatherer, not civilizations.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:America_1000_BCE.png

              • TCC

                Two things:
                1. I don’t believe the Europeans traveled to the Americas circa 1000BCE.
                2. I wonder what a similar map of Europe would look like at around 1000BCE.

              • Michael W Busch

                You do not appear to understand the meaning of the word “civilization”.

            • WallofSleep

              “Stick a fork in this troll…”

              And it’s not even a good one. Just coming with hilariously childish talking points that have been handily debunked a million times over a long time ago. It’s not even worth the effort.

          • Michael W Busch

            They had no civilization yet

            The Iroquois, the Lakota, the Mississippians, and every single other native American group disproves your bullshit.

            gold rush distroyed them, not religion.

            Many things are responsible for the destruction of native American cultures – small pox, religion, war, theft, and others. Religion did not help, and often was destructive (for example, one of the main reasons only a handful of Mayan codices are preserved is because the Spanish priests ordered all that could be found to be burned).

          • |ili|ll|llil|i|

            1. Columbus meets Native Americans

            2. Columbus calls them Indians. He thinks he’s in India.

            3. joseph66 tries to pretend missionaries served a purpose.

      • TCC

        And dewNOTbelieve never made that claim. Please lock your knee in the correct alignment before reading.

        • joseph66

          No, he just said dishonest new atheist bullshit.

          • TCC

            Do you dispute that Christianity was imported from Europe, not native to the Americas?

            • joseph66

              Christianity was imported from the middle east in the first place.

              • TCC

                That sound you just heard was the sound of my point going over your head.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Jesus that was a dumb thing to say.

      • islandbrewer

        And most Jews and Muslims in Spain in the 15th century accepted Christianity, too! All thanks to the loving message and Christian witness of Torquemada. Ah, the love of Jesus and a good branding iron works miracles.

  • Susana Paço

    So great of them to show their real faces with the confederate flag……next they will scream “The south (sigh) is a white nation!”

    (sad day when a foreigner knows more about american history than them)

    • Susana Paço

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-ztA4UABjA It’s David and Goliath! Deja-vu all over again XD

      • James Nimmons

        that is painful to watch.. esp the woman totally misusing her cameraphone..Vertical Phone Syndrome is real folks!

        • John Karpf

          They always tell us to repent for our sins, but since a sin is an affront to god and since god doesn’t exist, there is no such thing as sin and nothing to repent.

      • AmbivalentCynic

        Sye is up to his old tricks again. That ‘ol rascal.

    • joseph66

      The south was not so bad. In fact, they believed in the authonomy of states.

      Slavery were about to disappear later, anyway.

      • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

        Yeah? It wasn’t so bad? Surely you must have been there.

      • Michael W Busch

        The south was not so bad.

        The culture of the Confederacy was profoundly racist. That is bad. The culture of the Union was also racist, but not so dangerously so.

        And no, you can’t say “slavery was about to disappear later, anyway” – history is too chaotic to make that statement with confidence. And even if it were, that does nothing to justify endorsing slavery – that’s like saying “you can kill people now, because you’ll stop killing people later”. It is irrelevant.

      • Tom

        Oh, I see – it’s OK not to abolish slavery right now, you know, because it’s fucking evil and harmful, since it’ll be obsolete in a while anyway and just waiting for that means you don’t have to take a moral position on it and can continue to benefit from it as long as you can. You’re a real piece of work, joseph66.

      • Donalbain

        No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.

  • Lori F

    The 10 commends could have been removed with a jackhammer and some sledge hammers too.
    or cover the engraving over with some spackle and a courthouse map on a metal plaque.

  • Karl R

    It’s a wonderful touch that opposition is lead by hillbilly knuckle-draggers. I
    only wish I could be there to show my support in person.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Can we get those quotes in text?

    Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.
    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

    It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven
    -John Adams

    (http://www.constitution.org/jadams/ja1_pre.htm)

    When a Religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and, when it cannot support itself, and God does not take care to support, so that its Professors are oblig’d to call for the help of the Civil Power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one
    -Benjamin Franklin

    An Atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that deed must be done instead of prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanished, war eliminated.
    - Madalyn Murray O’Hair

    … the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tripoli

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      I have now included the quotations’ text in the post!

  • nadnavillus

    I wonder how long it will be before this monument is defaced….. the clock starts now.

    • Persephone

      I’d be astonished if it has not already happened.

      • Castilliano

        Please, please, somebody watch over this with a camera for the next few days. Bring a friend, some good books, snacks, et al, and park down the street.
        You’ll be a Youtube hero (a.k.a. villain) after the inevitable aggression.

    • Michael W Busch

      Does Eric Hovind jumping up and down on it, as mentioned in the article, count?

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Nah, that’s practically a Christening.

        Dude looks like Gollum having a fit over how someone else eats a fish.

      • Tom

        Can anyone tell me why he did that? I mean, was he trying to make some kind of point, or does he just crave attention?

        • Derrik Pates

          Because he, much like his father, is crazy? Does there really need to be another reason?

  • CanadianNihilist

    I see American Atheist get a lot of flack on this forum, sometimes for ugly signs and sometimes for being dicks. But they have the balls to take the movement to where a lot of people would be afraid to go e.g. The south, and I applaud them for it.

    We need an in your face movement so the Xians don’t forget that they can’t just do whatever they want.

    • James Nimmons

      you sound like a believer who is pretending that we all talk and think like what you just said.. lol if youre expecting someone to Nod and agree youre mistaken. the only dicks are the town board and the christians for planting their ten commandments on property owned by everyone as if everyone wre practicing that religion…not cool.

      • NickDB

        I actually agree with Canadian Nihilst

        This applies here I think

        ““In England, if you commit a crime, the police don’t
        have a gun and you don’t have a gun. If you commit a crime, the police
        will say “Stop, or I’ll say stop again.””. – Robbin Williams

        There is only so much being nice does, whilst I would love to live in a world where asking nicely gets stuff done, we don’t. Sometimes you have to get in someone’s face to get them to stop doing something.

        The religious aren’t going to stop doing what they’re doing if you just make them cups of tea and give them cookies.

    • NickDB

      Agree

      /Nod

  • onamission5

    I read the word ‘FIFTY’ in that last quoted paragraph as “fixed it for you” before I realized, not an acronym, leftover T.

    It applies anyway. ;) FIFY monuments. LOL.

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

      See now my internet travels would have had me thinking it was a misplaced “I” in there. The common acronym I know is FTFY or “fixed that for you”. No real point to this comment, just found that difference in shorthand interesting.

  • Varen Raymond

    OOO OOO. Can we get: flying spaghetti monster, Jedi-ism, Paganism, and a statue of Xenu up there as well? If we surround them with enough things that make them uncomfortable, they really would move. Seriously.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      I still want a statue of Kali, dancing in her naked glory over a corpse.

      What? It’s a religious symbol, too. The only reason I wouldn’t support this outside of dreams is I wouldn’t want to offend any Hindus, and I honestly don’t know enough about Hinduism to know if a statue installed for pretty much the sole purpose of pissing people off would do that.

      • randomfactor

        A Lingam would be better. Hat tip to Digital Cuttlefish.

  • Ron Onker Thacker

    I find it amusing that anyone in Florida is considered part of the South to begin with. These particular Floridians suck at history and geography apparently.

    • Persephone

      It’s northern Florida, which may as well be the old South. Culturally they are the same people as their neighbors only two county lines to the north in Georgia.

      • Ron Onker Thacker

        As a Georgian, no, not really. We don’t consider them Southern..

        That being said, stupidity doesn’t really care about geographic boundaries. They’re historically revised version of the South and the reasons behind the civil war are just as stupid as any others I suppose.

        • Persephone

          I agree with you. It’s not about strict geography. It’s tribalism.

        • Gus Snarp

          Not that being southern is anything to be proud of, nor to say that Florida isn’t now a state of immigrants from other states and nations, a microcosm of America herself, but if the barometer of being part of “the South”, is having been part of the treasonous, slave owning confederacy, then Florida passes with flying colors. Without them, the Civil War would have been over in half the time as the Confederacy would have starved.

          You will also find that basically all of Florida except the coasts is dominated by ignorant Christian conservatives with more than their share of racists just as much as the rest of the south.

    • DavidMHart

      As it happens, Colin Woodard’s interesting book American Nations, which deals with the history of the USA in terms of 11 distinct cultural regions whose boundaries have almost nothing to do with state or country boundaries, puts the northern half of Florida in the ‘nation’ he is calling the Deep South, but the southern half of Florida isn’t even included any of his ‘nations’, being a largely Cuban/Hispanic region that has little culturally in common with other areas (and which he doesn’t have time to go into in the book). Well worth a read, by the way.

      • Ron Onker Thacker

        I have added it to my list, thanks!

        I’ve always considered that you’ve left the South when you crossed the border, most Georgians that I know consider it to end there as well. In spite of the fact that I know that Northern and Southern Florida are completely different demographic landscapes that divide persists in my mind.

        Again though, thanks, I’ll check out the book it sounds very interesting.

  • Jasper

    Vandalism in 3, 2, 1…

    • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

      And counter-vandalism to the ten commandments monument in 6, 5, 4,….

    • DavidMHart

      Well, maybe. But let’s not gleefully anticipate it. We can leave the martyrbation to the pious, I say :-)

  • http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-los-angeles/hugh-kramer Hugh Kramer

    Sadly, the people who believe that America (or at least the South) is a Christian nation” have no idea what real religious freedom is all about – so I’m thinking of starting a pool for how long it will be before one of them vandalizes the new atheist monument; one day? two? three? Place your bets. Winner gets his/her pessimism reinforced.

  • rwlawoffice

    As a Christian, I see no problem with this monument. If having atheists put up their monuments protects the right of Christians to have theirs in the public square then bring them on. In the marketplace of ideas, I am confident in the Gospel.

    • Michael W Busch

      There is no right to have religious monuments installed “in the public square” – that right is restricted to private property and to places that are open forums that do not imply government endorsement of any religion or of irreligion.

      The initial law here was that the courtyard was not an open forum – the Ten Commandments monument was illegal to install when it was put in. The courthouse changed the rules in an attempt to avoid prolonging the mess. That attempt did not succeed. They should have just fined Community Men’s Fellowship the cost of removing their monument and been done with it.

      In the marketplace of ideas, I am confident in the Gospel.

      Your confidence is misplaced. As has been explained to you at length. Success in the “marketplace of ideas” is not measured by popularity. It is measured by accuracy. And the various Christian gospels (all of the dozens of them) are all incredibly wrong.

    • sk3ptik0n

      Are you? Apparently many disagree because they know that information is the best antidote against bigotry and ignorance. Many Christians are already very close to the fence these days and it takes very little to make them take a look to the other side. Look at what the Internet has done to religion. For every “active” Christian there are 10 atheists ready to engage.
      Monuments like this one cannot help but foster doubt in at least some people.
      Strategically I see it as a non starter for the Christians. But I appreciate your attitude. Clearly you are not the audience for this monument, but many others are.

    • Geoff Boulton

      Quick, somebody call child services. There’s a guy here who thinks stoning his kids to death if they curse him is a good idea. Just kidding, I’m sure he’s not THAT confident in the Gospel.

      • Rwlawoffice

        The Gospel is love and grace. No stoning involved.

        • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

          You sure about that? …

          • rwlawoffice

            Absolutely. Read the New Testament and you will see that this is the message of the Gospel.

            • Rain

              I would have thought unbelievers are fools, demons cause diseases, the kingdom is imminent any day soon and everyone is gonna die, and an angel jumps out of the sky and troubles the waters of Bethesda and one lucky winner who jumps in the water first gets healed. Maybe I didn’t read the whole thing. Maybe I was cherry-picking.

              P.S. Nice move ignoring the entire old testament by ungraciously taking advantage of the commenter’s simple mistake. Way to pounce. *high five*, O ungracious one. So very clever.

            • Rain

              P.P.S. Re: The whole burning in hell forever bit. Okay that’s a minor detail for sure, but yeah the love and grace is just so freaking amazing about it. But yes it is but a mere inconvenience for an unbeliever. Don’t forget to bring the suntan oil though!

            • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

              So what about all of the examples everyone else just gave you about stoning in the Bible? Why did you just tell me to read the bible, when all around you people are telling you what it really does say and you ignore it?Like every other Christian. If you actually looked at the ugliness that is your religion, you’d join us secular humanists in doing good on this earth for the sole sake of improving the world instead of some reward after death.

        • Michael W Busch

          The Old Testament law orders people to be stoned for many different things. The New Testament in some places says that all of the Old Testament laws should be followed (Matthew 5:17-18), including stoning (Matthew 15:4-7), and in others says that it should not be. In other words: the Gospel is not “love and grace” – it is self-contradicting and contains many bad things. A list of some: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/cruelty/long.html

          • rwlawoffice

            Your understanding of Matthew 15:4-7 is incorrect. Nowhere in this passage does Jesus condone stoning. The fulfillment of the old testament laws was done by Jesus. We are now operating under grace.

            • Michael W Busch

              Your understanding of Matthew 15:4-7 is incorrect.

              Jesus quotes the earlier commandments as saying people who curse their parents should die, and does so approvingly – and more importantly, elsewhere he says that all of the Old Testament laws should be followed.

              That still elsewhere in the text he says otherwise is essential to my point: the Gospel is self-contradicting and contains many things that are bad.

              We are now operating under grace.

              That statement is meaningless.

        • Anna

          No stoning, just eternal torture for people who happen to believe the wrong thing? Not seeing how that’s any better. At least with stoning, once you’re dead, you’re dead.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            But you have a choice!

        • Geoff Boulton

          Numbers 15:32 And the LORD said unto Moses, the man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded.

          quite clearly the gospel does involve stoning.

        • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

          What about shebears killing 42 children when some of them made fun of a prophet?

          Poor bears. Bet god didn’t reward them. They should have gotten something cool, like super-intelligence or a green lantern ring or ready cash.

          But those shebears got jack divided by sh!t!

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Gosh you’re tough.

    • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

      Confident in something that has no evidence for it whatsoever? Good luck with that….

  • Jordan

    “If the Christians take down their monuments, the atheists will, too.”

    Is this the actual position of American Atheists? While they very well could take them down:

    1) Would they in actuality? As these are expensive, I can only imagine they are expensive to move and store as well; would they take a combative stance and leave them up until all religious monuments are removed in the state/county/country?

    2) Should they? They are not professing/advocating any religion in violation of the Establishment Clause. In fact, they are simply educating the public about how this country rose to power in a secular fashion.

    • Michael W Busch

      Re. your #2: The government endorsing irreligion is a violation of the Establishment Clause just as its endorsing religion in general or any religion in particular would be. So irreligious monuments in public places that aren’t specifically open forums would be a problem.

    • James Nimmons

      with the ten laws from that old book..you know the one? the history/sciencebook written by bronze age sheepherders? that one..totally secular

  • Terry Firma

    I like the demonstrative act of installing our “own” monument. However … the typography is damn, damn ugly. I’m a proud atheist, but the movement’s widespread blindness to design, including choice of typeface, kerning, and other facets of readability and attractiveness, does grate. If Dave Silverman would like to get in touch, I can refer him to a couple of talented designers/typographers, and I’ll even help pay their fee. Serious offer.

    • Amor DeCosmos

      Hemant doesn’t understand why graphic design is important…

    • Brian

      And here i thought i was the only one who though this bench was ugly. And yes, im all for the bench itself, and the concept/reasoning behind it…but come on now…they couldve done a way better job in the design department. Make that thing a bench AND a work of art.

  • Tom

    I feel it is significant that ours was made into a bench off to one side so you can sit on it, and theirs is built dead-centre in front of a row of benches so you can only sit and look at it. A small point, I guess, but symbolically compelling. Theirs is the focal point of the area, practically screaming “look at me;” ours just seems to be there if anybody needs it, from the look of those pictures. Whoever designed that thing is a genius; a tastefully carved stone bench just isn’t threatening, it’s inviting.

  • Rain

    a 1,500-pound granite bench

    Sounds relaxing! I’m sure plenty of folks will be doing their lunch breaks on the atheist granite bench.

    • sk3ptik0n

      I think they tried suspending a block of marble over the entrance instead, but it proved impractical. The triggering mechanism was unable to tell the difference between nutjobs and regular people. So they went for the bench.

  • CorneliusVanShill

    Is that Sye Bruggencate trying to ambush people who aren’t familiar with Presuppositionalism??

    • CorneliusVanShill

      That was in response to Susana’s post.

      • Michael Fulford

        Yeah it was, I tried to warn people about him and Eric in the crowd.

  • sk3ptik0n

    Has anyone trained a camera (with night vision) to this monument? There is no doubt that either some christian activist or just a bunch of drunken good old boys will deface it at some point. It would be nice to find out who.
    Cameras are pretty cheap compared to having to restore the bench. Where to place it would be a problem but it would safeguard both monuments. Maybe there is already a camera trained on the area, but I see problems retrieving the video from the authorities when needed considering that the vandal may very well be someone’s relative.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Once I would have said that it being at a courthouse grants it security, but I was beaten up literally on the front steps of a police station by people trying to kidnap my little nephew because he was a potential witness against them. No one saw it, and all the cameras were pointing the wrong way.

      • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

        Yet another failure of the justice system. Police don’t protect people, they only respond after the fact to make reports.

    • Kodie

      I think vandalism would not be the worst thing that could happen to it. Even though it’s our bench, it’s still just a bench. What it isn’t is a temporary billboard or ad in a subway station that just takes its beatings with no affair. It is on government property, which means they will have to investigate and decide what to do with their free speech yard – blame the atheists for provoking local citizens to the point where they deface and break property? Will it seem like too much trouble to accommodate atheists because of their original shitty ruling in which Christians were accommodated? Will all of it seem like too much trouble and they should never have accepted or installed the Christian monument in the first place? I see nothing but wheels in motion whether this bench is left alone as its right to be there, or if something should happen to it.

      Let it be known that atheists went the legal route and appealed to the courthouse for the monument and it is allowed to be there, and didn’t instead vandalize the other monument once it appeared, nor once it was established that it wouldn’t be removed. Let it be known that Christians can’t handle sharing and resort to criminal measures. Their monument didn’t go anywhere, and if something happens that causes its removal, such as any wrong-headed criminal suspected heavily to be of Christian persuasion, breaking those commandments on the property where they stand, breaking the law not just on public property, but an arena of law and adjudication, the courthouse will not put them to death, but maybe they’ll think on it and just remove both of the monuments.

  • axelbeingcivil

    I like the idea. I hate the anger in the message. The whole “a hospital instead of a church” thing is literally there for no other reason than to flip the bird to the religious.

    • David Kopp

      And the 10 Commandments are there to what to the non-religious… ?

      • axelbeingcivil

        Setting aside that it’s presumptuous that they erected it merely to flip off the non-Christians, not because they think it’s an effective moral code, that doesn’t mean I agree with them, nor does it mean we have to sink to their depths.

        The response to an affront should be rising above it and responding in a way you would want someone else to respond. If you find the idea of the religious erecting icons as insults and mockeries to the non-religious to be upsetting, then why the hell would you go and do it right back except to satisfy a pathetic urge for vengeance?

        If you get a chance to put your beliefs on public property, if you get a chance to set yourself before the world and say “This is what I think is good!”, why in the world would you ever want one of those beliefs you put proudly on display to be giving the middle finger to everyone else?

        • David Kopp

          Honestly? I think it’s a scorched-earth campaign. Atheists there have tried all the normal legal, sane, discussion channels. None of them have worked. If your only recourse is to stoke the fire, may as well do it good.

          • axelbeingcivil

            I think you and I are of different minds on this and, while I disagree, I understand why you feel the way you do and can respect that history has shown that both views have had their successes and their failures. Let’s hope that this helps some people consider their views for the better, at least.

  • imjustasteph

    Does anyone have more information about the possible damage? And/or video of Hovind acting out?

  • MD

    This is awesome! It’s a very nice bench, indeed.

  • the moother

    Is it just me or does 300k spent on granite to piss off christians really money that could be better spent building schools in africa?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      While that would be nice, the donor wanted the money used for this purpose, so AA will roll with it. It’s a good question to ask the donor, though, if we ever figure out who it is.

      • the moother

        In the end it’s probably cheaper than litigation… and if we don’t litigate, lawyers might starve!

        • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

          Not really seeing a lot of problems with your scenario….

    • C Peterson

      Is it just me or is 300k spent on granite to piss off christians really money that could be better spent building schools in Africa?

      Arguably not. The money isn’t being spent to piss off Christians just for the sake of pissing off Christians. The money represents a long term investment in changing public opinion, in making people understand secularism. A populace that actually gets that concept is probably going to make better political decisions, and is probably going to create a more successful, prosperous society. And in the long run, that’s going to benefit poor parts of the world much more than a single, quite small cash infusion to build a few schools (which wouldn’t have much of a future without continued funding, in any case).

      Money gets allocated according to the wishes and needs of the allocators. It is seldom useful to compare two completely different, equally worthy goals. It’s like those who complain about spending money for space exploration while there are still starving children. Apples and oranges.

  • WallofSleep

    “But until then, might as well make Christians feel *really*
    uncomfortable about the fact that their actions are paving the way for
    pro-atheist monuments to go up across the country.”

    Mmmm… tastes so sweet.

  • http://www.RandallReynoldsDesign.com/ Randall Reynolds

    Amazing!!

  • Jennifer

    My hubs and I and a couple of friends went down there today and were really impressed with how well it went, although there were a handful of Christians across the street with crappy gospel music cranked up to try and drown out the speakers. The funniest part was that one of the signs they were holding up said “Hook for Jesus” and another simply said “Jeses”, so I can only guess spellcheck is considered sinful by some Christians, or that sacred prostitution is making a comeback? When we got back, I did a quick search on the group that was displaying the rebel flags (Florida League of the South) and found their Facebook page, which included this steaming pile of…loveliness:

    “3:00 PM. Just got back from Starke, FL.

    I
    want to thank Chairman Greg Wilson and the North Central Florida Chapter
    for identifying today’s event as something worthy of the League’s
    attention.

    We had Florida League men and women from Archer, Gainesville, Belleview, Tallahassee and Jacksonville in attendance.

    Unlike the Atheists, we stood in the rain before our God and our kinsmen without benefit
    of tents, rain jackets or umbrellas to oppose the pagan, antichrist
    ideology of the Secular Humanists as they dedicated their stone bench in
    opposition to the nearby 10 Commandments monument.

    We
    displayed our signs and our flags and did verbal combat with the
    Atheists. I’m proud to say that all of our people conducted themselves
    professionally and held their ground well in every debate and
    discussion I was witness to. The high caliber and Christian conviction
    of Florida League members was a blessing to our state and our
    organization in this battle.

    Many of us wore our red shirts,
    some with “Florida League of the South” emblazoned upon them. These and
    our flags generated many conversations that gave us a chance to sharpen
    our speaking skills with both the Atheists and other Christians who had
    come to view the spectacle.

    We were interviewed by the AP and
    a Gainesville paper. I’m counting on them editing our words and the
    video in an attempt to make us and our cause look foolish to the rest of
    the Amurikan Empire. Such is the way of the enemy and to be expected.

    It felt good to be there today representing our faith and our state
    against the out of state funding and leadership originating in
    socialist, Progressive Blue States. Our opposition was quite the
    collection of flaming sodomites, drooling irreverent college students,
    self-righteous know-it-alls who knew nothing and various hues of
    non-Southerners.

    Pictures will follow as they become available. There may be a few news articles popping up on the event as well.”

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      HOOK for Jesus? Holy shit that’s funny. Thank you.

    • Kodie

      It seems they did not get the message. Just because a lot of people in the area are Christian does not mean that everyone is, and the government represents ALL of them, not just some of them or even most of them. My favorite part was how they forgot to bring umbrellas, so they spin it to make themselves out to be martyrs besides for braving the rain unsheltered. Their assessment of the people in favor of the bench (among some other chosen language)… “various hues“? Just a hateful spiteful bitter group of people they are!

      • Jennifer

        The thing is, they were standing under an overhang off to the side where they had put their flags up, so I dunno why they’d make such a statement. The crazy do indeed run deep!

  • randomfactor

    Just my personal opinion, but I’d leave off the ten commandments penalty part. I guess it was intended as a direct reply to the earlier monstrosity, but I think it detracts from the message that NO religious markers are appropriate, not just Christian ones.

    • Tel

      The Ten Commandments outside a courthouse implies that they are good laws of the land. Listing the punishments for breaking them shows that they are not good and just and something anyone wants.

  • randomfactor

    Wait a minute. Hovind BROKE THE SEAL?

    Has the man NEVER watched a horror movie in his life? Who KNOWS what he’s unwittingly unleashed!

  • anniewhoo

    I just returned from Starke. It was really a wonderful event. The protesters with the placards above were very quiet (and very few). I don’t think they interacted with anyone unless atheists went up to initiate conversations. There were also some protestors across the street from the courthouse. They were blaring their Christian country music during the speeches, and had their children holding signs that said things like “Jesus loves you.” For those of you who are familiar with rural Florida, it couldn’t have gotten any better than this.

    The speakers were all great. The themes of their speeches varied, which made each one special. I’m really bad at estimating crowds, but I would guess maybe 150-200 people were there. I’ll be interested to hear a more official estimate.

  • Addiradle

    We could use a monument like that in Utah…

  • Drew M.

    Now it needs a big statue of Shiva on the other side!

    • Anna

      Pity the Hindus and other religious minorities probably don’t want to attract negative attention from all those God-fearing Southern Christians, because that’s exactly what we need. If they’re going to put up Christian monuments, then Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim ones need to be right alongside them.

  • Amy Marie

    Further note to the South…we are southern atheists…morons!! Red, white & blue in VA and an atheist! We are effing home!

  • DougI

    League of the South, a hate group. How appropriate that they’d be supporting the Christian monument. One nation was indeed founded as a Christian nation, the Confederacy. Thankfully those anti-American traitorous rebels were defeated.

    http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups/league-of-the-south#.Uc9uVNiICSo

    $22k for a monument. That’s a whole lot more than a lot of Southerners make in a year. A whole lot of good could have been done with that money but they put it towards self-promotion and advertisement.

  • winds

    I was thrilled that this monument was erected to counteract these religious monuments going up around the country–religious people keep trying to push their beliefs into the laws that govern us–there’s nothing scarier and more extreme than this. It’s about time we’re hearing the voices of reason and resistance. May this movement grow and continue.

  • Kodie

    I don’t even know what they were protesting. Their monument didn’t go anywhere.

    • TheLump

      They were protesting the rights of others to express beliefs other than theirs.

  • Lishka

    The courthouse in Pocatello Idaho needs one right next to the 10 commandments instead of a sad attempt at a freedom of religion disclaimer

  • Michael Fulford

    I actually spoke with some of the folks there, asked them where I’m supposed to go, being as I’m from the area. He was a bit flabbergasted, not believing I was born in Florida, Pensacola specifically.

    The best part is they really embarrassed the other Christians that showed up who didn’t want to be associated with the racist bastards.

    More disappointing, one of the protestors across the street blaring music so’s to drown us out, was a pregnant young woman, younger than I am. I went over to offer her a chair and, while I could see that she appreciated it, her mother ran me off. Not right, that.

  • http://www.AtheistRepublic.com/ Armin

    If someone tries to vandalize this, let them. It only give atheism more media attention.

  • dan

    im an atheist/ agnostic…personally i think the athiest monuments are idiotic and juvanile…im content to let the religious cling to thier symbols, flags and stone monuments…personally im just just not compelled to enshrine into stone a bunch of quotes i can read anywhere on the internet…and i think little of those who faign outrage or take offense for something they claim to have no belief in…it makes me wonder if they are truely athiests or is it a case of ” im angry at religion and god because im a malcontent, and so im going pretend like i dont really believe, and build a stone monument to athiesm just to annoy people” sigh…grow up.

    • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

      If no one fights against religion then they think they run the show.

      • Tyler

        It sends a message when this kind of monument ((the xtian one) stands prominently on government property. It gives a false impression of relevance and legitimacy. People are less likely to break the law if they are in an environment that seems more orderly (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/322/5908/1681.short). We subconsciously take cues from our environment, that’s why churches and religious groups create showy monuments and buildings, I think the atheist monument will do a lot to influence the impression on certain people who go there.

    • Kodie

      How come when this was originally posted, it said the author was rwlawoffice? In my inbox, it said “dan” but when I followed it, it definitely said rwlawoffice. Sock puppet?

      • WallofSleep

        I’ve noticed this several times here, certain commenters showing the wrong nics. I think it’s a bug in the patheos blog system, or perhaps disqus.

        Refresh the page and it should fix that.

        • Anna

          That’s happened to me, too. In any case, I’d bet anything Dan isn’t the same person as Robert W. Robert knows how to capitalize and spell words correctly!

          • Kodie

            He does, but liar for Jesus, “dan” doesn’t. I apologize for jumping to conclusions. Disqus gave me a hard time yesterday morning not keeping me logged in. It usually works for me. Anyway, I wouldn’t know if names were switched unless I recognized one of them and they had said something that doesn’t sound like them at all.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        It happens when disqus auto-loads comments while the page is open. Sometimes you’ll see a whole bunch of very different comments attributed to the same person. As Wall says, refresh clear it.

      • Bdole

        That’s happened to me, too. It’s a bug in Disqus, I guess.

    • DavidMHart

      “is it a case of ” im angry at religion and god because im a malcontent, and so im going pretend like i dont really believe”

      I call shenanigans. I don’t think you really are an atheist/agnostic. If you were, you’d realise that the ‘people who call themselves atheists because they’re angry at a god or gods’ trope is nonsensical. If you are angry at a god, you by definition believe that it exists (otherwise why would you be angry at it?) and therefore by definition cannot be an atheist.

      And if you can’t understand why atheists would prefer to live in a world where no one puts up sectarian monuments on public property, but as long as one dominant group is doing it, you feel the need to do it as well because otherwise you would be acquiescing in a situation where the government is being seen to endorse the majoritarian religion, then I contend that you haven’t really thought very hard about these thing.

  • joseph66

    If atheism is a lack of belief, then it’s represented by no monument!

    • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

      Atheists have many beliefs you dumb troll. God, in any form, is just not one of them. You are also an atheist: you don’t believe in any of the thousands of Gods worshiped by humans, except one.

      • joseph66

        [You are also an atheist: you don't believe in any of the thousands of Gods worshiped by humans, except one.]

        I’m an atheist in the same way I’m single because I have only a wife.

        • Michael W Busch

          That is not an accurate analogy. Cyrus’ point is this: you do not believe in any of a million other gods. We don’t believe in the god you believe in for the same reason.

        • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

          So you do believe in Zeus, Odin, Krishna and the 10,000+ other gods from humanity’s past and present?

          I thought being Xian meant you had to eschew (be atheist towards) all other gods.

          Thanks for clearing that up. See you at the sacrifice to the Olympic gods on Sunday. Don’t forget your offering.

          • joseph66

            Most Gods are personifications of nature, so yes, they exist… But not as God.

            The sun was a god in Egypt, does that mean thet the sun doesnt exist? No, but it should not be worshiped.

            Only the Creator of all things merits worship.

            • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

              Look around you. See your house, with the tv, computer, a/c, toilets and kitchen? Did god create those? Did god build the empire State building, the golden gate Bridge, or the great Wall of China? Everything you see around you was created by man, including that ancient book you’re so fond of. So man created even God. Worship mankind if you truly want to worship the creator of all things.

            • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

              “Most Gods are personifications of nature, so yes, they exist…But not as God.”

              Bnllsh!t. Science put paid to the any “personifications.” Lightning has been adequately explained by science, it’s not as a result of Thor throwing his magic hammer. Apollo doesn’t ride his sun chariot over the sky, the Sun is actually a ball of flaming hydrogen.

              Because of the advances of science to explain these “personifications of nature,” all of these gods do not exist except in the fevered imaginations of their believers.

              What makes you think that your god is so special? Where is there any evidence that your god actually exists?

              “The sun was a god in Egypt, does that mean thet the sun doesnt exist?”

              No, the Sun exists. But just because the Egyptians believed that the Sun had supernatural powers, doesn’t mean that it did.

              Just because you believe in your god, doesn’t mean it exists.

              “No, but it should not be worshiped.”

              Why should anyone worship any god, much less yours? What is the criteria to determine if anything should be worshipped, much less any rational reason to worship?

              “Only the Creator of all things merits worship.”

              You know, for a guy who talks a lot, you sure don’t provide any evidence to back up your wild assertions that this “Creator of all things” 1) is in existence, 2) it is the creator of all things, and 3) it deserves worship.

              So simple: give us your best evidence for your god.

              Because I don’t believe you any more than you believe in Zeus or Odin.

      • joseph66

        Atheism itself is the lack of belief. It’s irrelevant if many atheists have other beliefs or not. So, now it’s a belief? Ok, very convenient.

        • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

          You’re right. Atheism is the lack of belief. We don’t believe in God, we don’t believe in democracy. We don’t believe in gravity. If someone tells me it’s Sunday, i don’t believe them. Because I lack belief. You’re arguments are awesome.

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

          Could you for once get off the script and make an original statement that hasn’t been addressed at least ten million times before or is that just too hard for your pea sized intellect. I mean really, does every single one of you wingnutter xians read the same book of illogical arguments?

          Or am I just asking too much?

    • TCC

      Atheism is a lack of belief in gods, yes. Your second statement doesn’t follow.

  • joseph66

    You could use that money to pay a hospital, instead a provocative monument.

    • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

      6,000 bucks wouldn’t build much of a hospital. It might pay one person’s medical bills.

      • joseph66

        So, why not pay a medical bill? It’s a little hypocritical message.

        • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

          Why didn’t the Christians pay  medical bills with the 22,000 dollarsthat they wasted illegally building a monument to their beliefs on county property?

          • joseph66

            Well, they don’t have the moral obligation for something they didn’t say on a monument.

      • Billy Bob

        It probably wouldn’t even do that

    • Michael W Busch

      Direct that complaint to the person who funded it.

      And the point of the monument is to be provocative and to try and fix a social problem. Saying “don’t be provocative” is just a way of saying “shut up”. It’s a silencing tactic, not an argument.

      • joseph66

        The irony is that atheists complain when a religious nut is provocative, and then they generalize all Christians… But then atheists justify their provocation doing the same they criticize.

        That’s my point.

        • Michael W Busch

          Your point is nonsensical and irrelevant here.

          Atheist don’t usually complain when religious people are provocative. They complain when religious people attempt to force their wrong beliefs on others, or do bad things for the sake of their beliefs. Not the same thing.

          And there is no “generalizing to all Christians” happening in this case. The immediate complaint is directed specifically at Community Men’s Fellowship and to a lesser extent at the city government – for using government property to promote one particular religion. Hence the protest, and the announcement of plans for similar cases. And again, the AA monument will be taken down if and when the Ten Commandments one is.

    • Gus Snarp

      The Ten Commandments monument cost more, and accomplishes less. At least the bench educates people about things they don’t know.

  • joseph66

    ‘I don’t like what you do, so I’ll do the same”

    Very rational

    • Michael W Busch

      Actually, in this case it is. It forces the person doing something bad (using public property to promote religion) to recognize the problem with what they’re doing. And, as noted above, the plan is to remove the monument if and when the other one comes down.

  • joseph66

    Actually, 10 commandments (from Noha’s laws) were designed for all people, but Jewish laws (most from Leviticus and Deuteronomy) came from Jewish culture and governments.

    Of course, you can be dishonest about theology if you just want to gain.

    • TCC

      Who/what are you responding to?

      • joseph66

        To the “new” atheist community and the monument’s message… they both are almost the same thing when they debate, anyway.

        • TCC

          That doesn’t actually answer my question. The “‘new’ atheist community” isn’t a monolithic thing, and I’m not sure what part of the monument you’re referring to. Could you perhaps be more specific?

          • joseph66

            I’m refering to those who feel negatively identified with my comment, like those who use the Bible dishonestly out of context.

            • Kodie

              You mean Christians?

              • joseph66

                No, they don’t need to gain a debate to be happy as atehists.

                • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

                  Then why are you the one arguing with atheists on an ATHIEST blog?

            • TCC

              So in other words, you’re arguing with shadows? Your comments make no sense without a broader context, and you aren’t giving one, which means that no one should listen to your nonsensical ramblings.

            • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

              Your god must suck pretty badly if he can’t stop people from making fun of, and quoting out of context, his inspired and specially-written, uber-holy, murder, slavery and rape-filled book.

            • NickDB

              What Christians?

    • Michael W Busch

      You are being dishonest about theology.

      There are only 7 Noahide laws in Judaism, and while the Talmud claims that they were given by God as rules for all of humanity, that is a relatively recent innovation as compared to the origins of Judaism and to the origin of the Noahide laws themselves. The Noahide laws were assigned to the character of Noah sometime around the 5th century BCE, after the Mesopotamian flood myth was added to Jewish tradition thanks to the Babylonian exiles. The Talmud was only compiled in the first few centuries CE.

      It also happens that 3 of the Noahide laws are indefensible (there is no grounds for prohibitions on idolatry or blasphemy, and “prohibition of sexual immorality” as defined in old Jewish laws bears little resemblance to actual good sexual ethics). And only 5 of the Noahide laws are included in the 10 Commandments.

      And of the remaining 4 Noahide laws, none are unique to or originated with Judaism.

  • joseph66

    The creator of this monument has a video on Youtube!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUZMxeWybGY

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    The Blaze ran this story and Christians are starting to use this excuse more and more. It makes me laugh.

    Baerlin

    Jun. 29, 2013 at 8:44pm

    I, as a follower of Christ, do not understand the hate coming from atheists towards us and not towards jews. The ten commandments are basically their laws and not ours. This has been miss understood since forever. We have been saved by grace and therefore are not bound by the law. Atheists have this all wrong. They have their hate completely misdirected. They need to focus on the jews if they see themselves threatened by the ten commandments. I am in no way advocating any hate against any one group. I have both jewish and messianic friends. Or why do they not attack muslims? This seems like such a constant one sided battle. Either you against the idea of God completely and wish to have all places of worship in society abolished or your inconsistency and hypocrisy once again shines bright.

    • WallofSleep

      Miss Understood, who for all intensive purposes was a considered a nice young lady, had supposably committed a rather vile act. Irregardless of what one may have thought of her, it would seem she has transformed into a whole nother woman. Whilst having an other wise pleasant conversation with a rebutable male suiter, all of the sudden she viscusly stabbed him.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        *whimper* Why must you do that to my poor brain without any warning?

    • WallofSleep

      And actually, that one is not too far off the mark. The laws of the old testament only apply to those bound by the covenant (Jews), they do not apply to Gentiles (all non-Jews). I only wish more christians would accept that. Yet clearly, that is not what the commenter you quoted intended to get across.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        When Jews put up religious monuments on public property I’ll think about protesting Judaism.

      • Derrik Pates

        When someone points out how ridiculous they are, then “well, it’s the Jews’ holy book, not ours”. But they still happily use it when it’s convenient to them. Clearly consistency is not their strong suit.

    • WallofSleep

      And I’ll add further that the fact that this story was covered at the Blaze would certainly explain the appearance of this terribly ignorant, stupid troll.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

        Want to torture yourself, go read the rest of the comments. Christians can spew a lot of hate, some even spew death threats.

        • WallofSleep

          No need. I wandered the world of wingnuttia for quite some time, having once been a wingnut myself for a few years.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

            “I wandered the world of wingnuttia”

            I am so stealing that.

    • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

      Their laws apply to us and not them?! Christians are free to lie, steal and murder then? Wtf?

  • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

    There’s a guy who’s trying to build a perfect nation of Christians with laws based on the ten commandments. What’s his name? Coni?… Maybe the protesters could go there and join him! They’d love it there!

  • Mike

    It will be soo much fun to trample over all of them once all of my plans come to full swing.

  • shack95

    Who can I send a check off too?

  • Eric Lai

    While I like the monument, the colors need to be contrasted better and the monument itself needs to be more durable. Other than that, this is great!

  • Nicholas Gerard

    how do I donate to this cause?

  • Rowdy

    What if everyone did just put up their own displays and our nation became a display of how we can all live together?

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      During elections, does every median and roadside get covered with a bazillion ugly plastic signs screaming at you to vote for this that or the other candidate?

  • Fanraeth

    Someone should start a Kickstarter to get a statue of the Daedric Prince Sheogorath installed there.

    • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

      If I prayed to it, would it give me a quest with Wabbajack as the reward?

      • Fanraeth

        Either that or cheese.

  • CoboWowbo

    Just out of curiosity, I went to the SPLC website to see if the Florida “League of the South” was listed as a hate group. Sure enough, it is:

    http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/hate-map#s=FL

  • JJ

    Man, atheists need to grow up and get a life. First of all, they are selfish pigs…they weren’t the ones who built the first hospitals. As I recollect correctly, many hospitals were built honoring the Christian faith, including St. Jude’s, St. Luke’s, and one close by to me in Florida: Florida Hospital Celebration Health.

    • TCC

      Okay, first, you’re commenting on an atheist blog, so stop referring to us as if we’re not reading what you write. Have the courage at least to write “you are selfish pigs.” Second, Christians weren’t the first ones to build hospitals; that honor goes to the Egyptians and Greeks. Third, the fact that atheists haven’t built hospitals doesn’t make us “selfish pigs,” especially when you consider that 1) atheists have not had much financial or political clout until fairly recently and 2) atheists, as secularists, generally think that secular – not atheist – institutions are preferable.

      And that’s far more consideration than your comment deserved, so I await your display of gratitude at my magnanimity.

      • JJ

        Did I say that the first hospitals to be built were built by Christians??? Stop twisting my words around. The Egyptians were the worst doctors in the world, thinking that the heart was more important than the brain. Your argument is ridden with fallacies. Don’t think your the only ones who care about helping others in this world…Christians have been doing this far longer than you guys have.

        • TCC

          What would be the point of saying that atheists didn’t build the first hospitals? When did we ever claim that we did? Why does that even matter? (You’re the one, for instance, that decided to bring the Egyptians’ medical acumen into the discussion, which I frankly don’t give a shit about.) Your argument is nonsensical.

          If you’d like to continue with your self-righteous ranting, go ahead, but keep in mind two things: 1) no one here will think any better of you for it and 2) you’re violating your own sacred text.

          • JJ

            Because it says on the monument that atheists care about building hospitals. This may be true, but what’s the point of saying that??? You tell me. I think there is more to it than just stating “good” deeds.

            • TCC

              The quote is:

              An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church.

              In other words, atheists value hospitals over churches. This is an almost trivially obvious statement. Why are you obsessing over it?

              • JJ

                Again, I’ll repeat: what’s the point in saying that? You attempt to glorify yourself and belittle the Christian. And why Christians? Why not Muslims, Jews, or Hindus? They believe there’s a God, so why not hate on them too?

                • TCC

                  What’s the point in saying that? Uh, how about the fact that it’s true? And I would daresay that “church” is essentially a shorthand for “place of religious worship.” I would esteem a hospital to be of more value than a church, temple, synagogue, mosque, worship center, or any other place of religious worship. Does that make you feel any less singled out now so that you’ll bleeding shut up about this point?

                • JJ

                  True, a hospital does have value, but if you look at it in the long-run, I would say a church is more important. When the man who’s suffering from internal bleeding and is about to die accepts Jesus Christ into his life, don’t you think then that it’s better to be in a “place of worship” instead of a tight-knitted, stuffy hospital? Physical health is meaningless when comparing to spiritual health. Physical suffering is merely temporary in this lifetime. Spiritual suffering, however, is eternal. I pray you will see the truth; I’m not trying to be some “bigot” here talking nonsense. I am a human being just like you. It’s just really hard trying to convince you guys, since you’re so entrenched in your opinions.

                • TCC

                  If you want to convince me, show me the actual evidence for your god. I grant you that such is difficult, as there is none.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  See, that doesn’t make you a bigot at all.

                  It just makes you factually wrong. That incorrectness, that being wrong, then leads to awful situations like telling people their suffering today doesn’t matter because it’ll be worth it in the afterlife. Really? That bullshit convinces women to stay with their abusers, people to avoid medical treatment for themselves and their children and so die horrible deaths, people to put up with and accept rampant poverty. If nothing in this world matters, why make it better? Churches demotivate people from actively working to improve their lives and the lives of others with this ideology. That, to me, is extraordinarily immoral.

                  To use your example, wouldn’t it be better for a man who’s suffering from internal bleeding and about to die to be in a hospital, where he can get blood transfusions and rushed into emergency surgery to find and stop the bleeding? Accepting Jesus in a church means he dies; rejecting Jesus in a hospital means he lives. Choosing death over life like that is just awful and is exactly the attitude M.M. O’Hare condemned.

          • JJ

            Whoa, calm down there, no need to use bad words now!

            • TCC

              Oh noes, bad words! The fainting couch is over there right next to the clutching pearls.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              Your hypocrisy must make Jesus so proud of you.

              • JJ

                And your unbelief earns you a ticket straight to Hell. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD! :)

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          You’re parsing words in order to be *technically* correct, but not truthful. You’re being dishonest for Jesus. Does He appreciate that you’re lying for Him?

          • JJ

            What am I lying about?

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              I’ll repeat myself: You’re parsing words to be “technically” correct while intentionally twisting the spirit of what you yourself originally wrote. You’re switching up your argument from post to post to (you think) win points. It’s dishonest. You’re a liar. And you think Jesus loves it.

              • JJ

                Because posts contain different arguments, duh???

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      When people who happen to not believe in any gods do things for humanity, they tend to not dedicate their action to no gods. Perhaps if Christians were less interested in the overhead of grandstanding, we’d have fewer silly pieces of granite, and more action.

      This bench is an unfortunate reminder of the fact that sometimes the only alternative to being a doormat is putting up your own silly granite.

      • JJ

        Yeah, that explains why Christians are going out to third-world countries and risking their lives to convert others to the Christian faith. We try to spread the faith, but it seems you people just don’t understand (how sad). And what do you people do? Sit around and complain that Christians are “better” than you? First of all, that’s not what TRUE Christians do. TRUE Christians display God’s love to everyone, regardless of what he or she believes. They are humble servants of the LORD. You people just live a narrow-minded existentialist belief, and have no hope whatsoever at the coming day when you see death right at your door. I pray for you, man, that you will open your eyes and see the truth: there is a God, and there so much proof for it.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          If yours is an example of TRUE Christian love, then for you I reserve my seldom used response.

          Fuck off.

          • JJ

            And I shall turn the other cheek.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              Poor little raging liar.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Meanwhile you have so little love and hope that you’re libeling strangers online to make yourself feel better. So much for your love of Jesus.

    • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

      Insane and unconnected argument. And incredibly judgemental and hostile. You seem unbalanced sir. I recommend that you visit one of the hospitals you mentioned.

      • JJ

        Thanks for calling me sir, I appreciate your respect! I recommend you go to church on Sundays.

        • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

          Which one? Catholic? Protestant? Buddhist? Baptist? Evangelical? I’ve tried them all. All are equally meaningless. Although Buddhist services were my favorite. Very relaxing, and no bad music.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          The Sabbath is Saturday. Why do you hate God?

          • JJ

            Why don’t you believe in God? And obviously, you know nothing. Jews believe the Sabbath is Saturday.

    • SpaceChief

      MY, aren’t you just the absolute moron.

      Please see the links in my response to weasel word Fortenberry above showing how those who carry the Christian flag in Congress repeatedly voted to deny healthcare to even chronically sick kids long before Obamacare. You guys are so gracious!

      Who found the first commercially viable lighting method? Edison, an atheist. Who successfully demonstrated the first viable transistor, enabling the practical dissemination of information via radio to the far flung impoverished, reliable, lightweight avionics that helped reveal those impoverished to those of us who can help, satellites that forewarn of disaster etc. etc.? Three atheists/non-theists. Ditto for the underpinnings of the Internet and later, the Web (the Web and the Internet are NOT one and the same – the former exists on the latter).

      Those who led the development of nuclear power, for better or worse? Non-theists and atheists.

      Again – 500 years on the continent and you’ve shown your dedication to Christ’s word by ensuring we still have massive poverty and millions living with hunger, here in the United States. And you call atheists PIGS?

      Your type insist that if everyone just had a job, they’d have insurance. Not only is that a wholly un-Christian tenet, it’s not even remotely true.

      Watch Out! Your ass is about to engulf your head – ooooh – too late!

      Evidently, you missed Lloyd Blankfein’s proclamation that he was ‘doing God’s work’ as Goldman Sachs tanked the economies of several nations and contributed heavily to our perils here.

      Indeed one of the three – it was either Bardeen or Brattain – that co-invented the viable transistor noted the greatest joy was knowing how he was enabling the education of even the poorest in the world.

      Compare that to Blankfein’s remark, moron.

      • JJ

        Yeah, so when those “great” people, who accomplished “great” achievements in their lives died, where did all that success go? Yeah, really worth being famous in this lifetime, only to risk it all and go to hell afterwards! Politics are meaningless. Please look at the road ahead of you, and stop focusing on the here and now. There are so many other accomplishments have made over the years, and you are just too blind to see them. Those “Christians” you speak of aren’t TRUE Christians, they’re fake. And speaking of poverty, have you checked third world countries yet? Grow up, stop complaining, you’re living in America, the best country in the world, for Pete’s sake! There is going to poverty in this world (and suffering too) because of sin. This world is cursed (not to mention that it’s controlled by the devil, who is also controlling you guys).

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          And in this post you shifted your argument when it was clear you were losing, then tried to change the subject, and lastly, just to make things ultra special, you pretended to know what only God knows. See you in Hell for that last one, I guess, loser.

          • JJ

            What are you even talking about? Read the bible, and you’ll see that I get what I know from it! Clear that I was losing…mm hm sure. When did I “switch” my argument. Specify, please, humor me. I’ve just been refuting whatever you have thrown me. Yeah, “you guess.” Funny, did you say that deliberately because you’re an atheist? That’s sad, you don’t even know where your going after death…lol. It must be hard being an atheist before he or she dies…I can’t imagine NOT knowing that there is a God. Seriously, though, what do you have to lose if you believe in God? If I was you, I’d rather believe in God just in case I don’t end up somewhere I don’t want to be. Ever thought of that possibility before? You people always argue based on logic and reasoning. Well, so am I – think about it thoroughly before you speak.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              Hell is surly made up of people telling you about this great argument they’re sure you’ve never heard of before called “Pascal’s Wager”.

            • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

              What makes you think anything happens after you die? The Bible? Ok, now prove the Bible’s validity. PROBLEM! You cannot. It’s unfalsifiable. Although many things in the Bible have been proven wrong, the message itself cannot be disproven. Christians always have some explanation. But the burden of proof is on those who make unfalsifiable claims, not those who dispute them. That’s Russels Teapot. Flying Spaghetti Monsterism also proves this point. And you also used the ‘no true scotsman’ fallacy earlier too. All of your arguments are old and have been thoroughly debunked. Type your arguments into Google and see that I’m right. If you actually debated and learned from the other side instead of being entrenched in your position you might learn something.

              • JJ

                That’s why you live by FAITH. There is your SOLUTION! Just curious, what does “unfalsifiable” mean? I don’t even think that’s a word…please use english correctly.

                Type into Google “why God exists,” and you’ll realize that all your arguments were debunked in the bible. Your arguments are nonsensical. It’s based upon perspective who’s “right” and who’s “wrong.”

                • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

                  I’ve explained what it means for a theory to be falsifiable. Don’t accuse me of misusing English just because you have a limited vocabulary. You clearly have little education in such matters, as evidenced by your second paragraph, where you use the bible to prove god. The god that the bible told you about. Circular reasoning. Fallacy. I told you with the very first comment that you had to prove the bible with some source outside itself for it to be valid. But the bible cannot be proven, as it is mythology. Watch the video, I submitted it as evidence to that claim. You have yet to provide any evidence at all.

              • Guest

                Yeah, please humor me: tell me what has been “proven wrong” in the bible. And what the heck is “russels teapot” “spaghetti monster.” What’s next, are you going to use the “unicorn rainbow” attack on me?

                • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer
                • Guest

                  I love it…some gay doctor (who has a phd) is going to lecture me on how the gospel is a myth…

                  Well, I’ll tell you something: you’ve got some believing to do!

                • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

                  Way to keep being ignorant. It’s a very facinating lecture on the structure of the bible, how each book has been specifically laid out according to a pattern to convey a certain message. You might have learned something.

                • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

                  If a whole hour lecture is too much for you, here’s one brief point made in the video.

                  http://department.monm.edu/classics/courses/clas230/mythdocuments/heropattern/

                  See how jesus has so many of these traits shared by other mythical heroes? If all of the rest of them are myths, why is jesus real?

                • RobMcCune

                  So wait are you dismissing the video because you’re anti-intellectual or because you’re anti-gay?

                • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

                  Worst. Argument. Ever.

                • JJ

                  First of all, I don’t believe in a “Flying Spaghetti Monster.” We are talking about the Creator of all things here, show some respect! Maybe that’s who you look up to, since you really have no God to worship. And the funny thing is, you atheists would rather believe in something so ridiculous as that than accept the truth that is right before your eyes. And I am not talking about some dumb old teapot floating in the middle of space: I am talking about the god who made that teapot, placed the stars in the sky and the planets where they should be, and created us from the life of his breath. Please don’t compare the Christian faith to that of a mere theory that attempts to disprove everything about God. Believe me, there is way more evidence that there is a God than claiming that there was a teapot in space. You’re comparing apples to oranges here. Quite frankly, Russel was an idiot for stating this. People didn’t just randomly make up the idea that God exists. What would be the point in trying to make up such things? The things recorded in the bible contains HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS that are entirely factual. Again, another one of your “excuses” to prove that there is no god. But like you said before, you can neither “prove nor disprove” that God exists, so really, you should stop debunking Christianity and live up to your motto.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  All we ask is you prove it. It shouldn’t be so hard, should it? If there’s a God that created the universe and intervenes in it, there’s surely some physical signs to show “laws of physics temporarily bent; miracle happened here”. Or at least some statistical data showing that people who believed in a certain deity were better off for reasons we couldn’t otherwise explain- miraculous healing, wealth, perfect number of children (determined by each individual/couple), no divorces, etc.

                  It would also be great if you’d tell us why a book that has many falsehoods, but a few historically interesting passages that are mostly accurate, should be considered perfect.

                  Remember that the questions “is there a deity” and “is Christianity true” are very different. Even were I not an atheist, I would still not be a Christian, because while I could theoretically see myself believing in a deity of some sort, the idea of believing in a three-in-one, all-loving, all-powerful God who invented Hell and sends people there because they don’t believe he sacrificed himself to force himself to forgive us for one woman listening to a talking snake and eating a magical fruit sends me into peals of incredulous laughter.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  The things recorded in the bible contains HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS that are entirely factual.

                  Shouting doesn’t make the historical parts of historical fiction any more meaningful.

                  But like you said before, you can neither “prove nor disprove” that God exists, so really, you should stop debunking Christianity and live up to your motto.

                  Why are you posting on an atheist blog again?

                • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

                  Still missing the point JJ. Your beliefs aren’t FALSIFIABLE. There is nothing that could prove your belief untrue. Just like you said, you cannot prove or disprove god exists. Just as you cannot disprove a flying spaghetti monster created the world after binge drinking or that a teapot is flying around in space. Belief is irrelevant, you cannot disprove them. The original point again: THE BURDEN OF PROOF IS ON THOSE WHO MAKE UNFALSIFIABLE CLAIMS, LIKE YOURS THAT YOUR ‘GOD’ CREATED ALL THINGS! This is basic philosophy of science.

                  If the bible said “everything in this book is wrong if X is shown”, then X could be investigated and verified. That would make it falsifiable, as the claim could be proven wrong in theory, even it it is true. The theory of gravitation makes specific predictions about the rate of falling objects. If you dropped an object and it fell at a different rate than gravity predicted, than it would prove our theory of gravity to be false and it would need to be revised to explain the observations. That has yet to occur, therefore we accept the current theory of gravity.

                  I look around, and everything “I” see was created by man. The streets, the buildings, the cars, the space station, the internet, even the trees and grass were grown from seeds by man and planted in place where I see them now. “God” didn’t create anything, worship humans if you really want to worship the creator of all things. Me, I think worship conveys a level of submission that degrades mankind. Nothing should be made sacred, except perhaps the planet we live on. And by that I only mean that we should do everything we can to take care of it, not that we should consider it sacred in the way theists usually interpret the word.

                  As for why the bible was written and why it contains certain historical events, watch that video. IT EXPLAINS IT.

            • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

              Oh, and the “what do you have to lose” argument is pascal’s wager. One more fallacious argument you’ve made. Been debunked over and over. Get off the script.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager

      • JJ

        Thank you! :)

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      The first recorded hospitals were built in India. The idea crept West over centuries, along with many others that were taken up by Jesus.

  • roger

    I think it was a good idea that they put 10 more Old Testament scriptures on one side of the monument, and 3 quotes from our founding fathers that that actually support belief in God (they have misunderstood their meaning in quickly trying to use them as “prooftexts”). Too bad there wasn’t room for Romans 1:18 – 32.

  • Name

    To those of you that consider the South ignorant, stupid uncultured people, there is people who live in the South who are educated and/or cultured. I was raised in Florida, but spent almost 10 years living in Michigan. I found just as many racist, uneduated and/or uncultered people there as in the South. Have you ever also considered the number of people who have retired to Florida from the North. Are you also saying they are stupid and racist since they now live in the South. I am not racist, I work, I pay my taxes, I live in a trailer (a beautiful doublewide as nice as any house) and do not receive any goverment assistance. This same thing can be said of my friends and family. So think before you decide to classify all who live in a region into one category.

  • Cunning Linguist

    Americans need to be a LOT more tolerant. They have just as much right to put up this monument as did the Christians have in putting up theirs. If you think intolerance is a good thing, take a close look at Islam. Sometimes I think we’re heading in that direction.

    • Cunning Linguist

      I forgot to point out that I think atheists can be every bit as intolerant as religious folks. Look at all the lawsuits they have filed. Lets ALL chill out!

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        It’s called “not being a doormat”

  • Tat Wadjet

    The display by the christians lends me to believe THIS is how they would like every other religion (or lack thereof) to act every time a new moment to christianity is put in….? Am I missing the message? ;) Atheists are american too. I am an atheist american. I have a rich multi-generational american family history which started with immigrants from canada. Unless you are a native american, your roots are in immigrants just like the rest of us. “This is a _____(christian) country, if you don’t like it, GTFO”? SHAMEFUL! I didn’t realize these were the words on the statue of liberty. These things that are foundational for our freedom, the christians want to strip away from us. My only question is WHY?
    ***Pssst. The statue of liberty actually says:
    “Give me your tired, your poor
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    • Derrik Pates

      They often don’t think we qualify as Americans, and certainly not patriotic Americans, because we don’t display blind allegiance to an invisible, supernatural father figure. And they don’t think all religions should act like they do – they think there shouldn’t even *be* other religions. Because they believe they’re right, and everyone else is wrong.

  • BillFortenberry

    It’s interesting to note that the quote on the monument from John Adams is unfinished.
    Here is the quote with its proper contextual conclusion:

    “It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service
    had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration
    of Heaven … it can no longer be called in question, whether authority
    in magistrates and obedience of citizens can be grounded on reason,
    morality, and the Christian religion.”

    As for the Treaty of Tripoli, the phrase quoted was not an actual part
    of the treaty. It wasn’t even written by an American and was never
    legally binding on our nation. I document the source of this phrase in
    my book “Hidden Facts of the Founding Era,” and the chapter on the
    Treaty of Tripoli is available for free at this link: http://christian76.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/The-Treaty-of-Tripoli.pdf

    • SpaceChief

      RE – Treaty of Tripoli – it was enrolled as law having been passed by unanimous vote with the text found here at the Library of Congress http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsp&fileName=002/llsp002.db&recNum=24

      It was translated by one of our duly appointed emissaries, and presented to Congress as depicted. It is therefore Irrelevant how the evolution of the final text occurred – the vote was unanimous and the treaty was approved by John Adams, the president at that time.

      Typical weaselling by a piggish Christian who fails to appreciate the Constitution in its whole.

      Oh – by the way, Christianity has been on the continent for 500 hundred plus years, we still have poverty and violence – helluva religion you have there.

      • BillFortenberry

        You are very much mistaken in you conception of the Treaty of Tripoli. I have addressed all of your claims in the link posted above, and I think that you will find my arguments to be very enlightening even if you disagree with my conclusion.

        • SpaceChief

          YOU are very much mistaken if you think anyone with half a brain will read anything that cites David Barton as a source. I’ll rely on my OWN BRAIN, the ACTUAL FINAL document and the predicates of Adams own words which reflect many of Paine’s & Franklin’s with regards to the proper place (none) of religious context in the decisions of government.

          You apologists never know when to admit you’re utterly full of shit.

          BTW – still haven’t heard your LAME excuse for the utter failure of the religion you want to cram down the throats of those who do not believe the same.

          Remember when the Southern Baptist idea of a great hang-out was a lynching?

          Remember when breaking fingers was a great way to convert native American kids to Christianity?

          Remember when Christians killed each other in the streets of Philadelphia over which prayers to say in PUBLIC schools?

          • BillFortenberry

            I actually believe Barton to be very much mistaken in his view of the Treaty of Tripoli. If you would be so kind as to compare my conclusion with his, you would find that the two are wholly incompatible.

            As for Franklin, I think that you would benefit from reading my analysis of his religious views which are presented in the article at this link: http://www.increasinglearning.com/franklin-conversion.html

    • SpaceChief

      Now regarding YOUR BUTCHERY – your pathetic attempt to discolor the abridged quote from Adams.

      You left some IMPORTANT STUFF out (typical weasellry)

      “Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the
      globe, are a great point gained in favour of the rights of mankind. The
      experiment is made, and has completely succeeded: it can no longer be called in question, whether authority in magistrates, and obedience of citizens, can be grounded on reason, morality, and the Christian religion, without the monkery of priests, or the knavery of politicians. As the writer was personally acquainted with most of the gentlemen in each of the states, who had the principal share in the first draughts, the following letters were really written to lay before the gentleman to whom they are addressed, a specimen of that kind of reading and reasoning which produced the American constitutions.

      DO YOU really think we are all as stupid as you seem to suggest? How insulting, you weasel.

      For a thorough destruction of religious context, I give this link to the ENTIRE piece, which is semi-lengthy – but leaving NO DOUBT as to Adams’ intent.

      http://www.constitution.org/jadams/ja1_pre.htm

      You guys are so PRO-LIFE you vote for those repeatedly voted to deny healthcare to the chronically sick kids of this country thru (bet Christ would have LOVED that). http://1.usa.gov/PLrvpF & http://1.usa.gov/T93Vdj (for starters) When would Christ say – ‘be greedy twits, to hell with the sick and poor’?

      Let’s not forget your heroes also decided to GIVE away our own troops body armor, resulting in the needless deaths (by Pentagon estimates) of over 1300 of them.

      http://fxn.ws/OMYgWj & http://nyti.ms/Mz8gh5

      You’re all such sorry hypocrites. From THIS veterans point of view – you’re worse than that – you’re vile effing pigs.

      • BillFortenberry

        Let me suggest a better link to the full context of the quote from John Adams. Here is the statement in the 1851 edition of The Works of John Adams: http://books.google.com/books?id=a2QSAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA292

        Adams’ statement is indeed very lengthy, and I am glad that you have taken the time to read all of it. There are statements made within his argument that seem to denigrate the Christian religion, but those claims were actually made in opposition to just a few particular sects of Christianity which Adams viewed as being corrupt forms of that religion. This can be seen in the full conclusion of his argument which appears at the bottom of pg 293 of the above link. In spite of this, there is no way to avoid the fact that Adams concluded his statement by saying that the government of America was grounded on the Christian religion.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Trying to promote yourself on someone else’s blog without permission is churlish.

      Also, you’re a lying conspiracy theorist. I pity you.

      • BillFortenberry

        That’s very interesting. Would you mind pointing out exactly what I have said that you think is a lie?

  • jazzy justin

    This monument isn’t athiest. It’s a protest to the christian dogma and influence of the church that permeates our government during the onset of a progressive era. Perhaps it’s just an affect of existing within a predominantly christian culture that these Atheist’s can’t help themselves but to reflect Christianity – while in fact it calls to mind the chapter of Paul.

    • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

      Just because you only hang out with other Christians doesn’t mean this is a ‘predominantly Christian’ culture.

    • SpaceChief

      Atheists do not reflect Christianity.
      You’re a tad mistaken if the things you call ‘good morals’ were even commenced by Christianity, indeed the works of many that preceded Christ spoke frequently of those desirable traits/behaviors. One of our great patriots, Thomas Paine cites many of them in ‘Age of Reason’ (yeah, I know, that’s like rat poison to Christians).

      But even without those works, any person who applies logic to their thinking can easily deduce that which must be fair and just as opposed to that which clearly cannot be. To also deduct that those things are also essential to stable society and the very survival of mankind into perpetuity. No, one needn’t read the confused authors of the Bible to get their compass.

  • Kevin B

    Atheist will build monuments. Christians will build monuments. Birds will shit on both of them.

    • Pat Hines

      You’re anti-southern, since that’s the case why did you support the waste of time and effort to place a monument in the south that will only disappear in a few months?/

      • hiernonymous

        “You’re anti-southern”

        Eh? What’d he say that was “anti-southern?”

        “…will only disappear in a few months?”

        Looks pretty strong. I don’t think hot air or cheap wine will hurt it.

  • Ghost

    I believe the combined IQ of those individuals protesting may be equivalent to that of a potato. Disregard that, potatoes have been known to power alarm clocks.

  • misfit

    http://12angrymen.wordpress.com/2007/05/01/the-true-meaning-of-the-confederate-flag/
    For all of those to read, who thinks the “Confederate Flag” is nothing but a symbolism of racism. Personally, I could careless if you fly it or not. But you need history supporting you on why you love or hate it and no one on here seems to have it. HISTORY people HISTORY. It took a little while to find a website that actually recounted history instead of opinion. So please read and educate…both sides, the ones against and the ones for it.

    • Nathan Longhofer

      The North didn’t go to war to end slavery, but the south definately seceded to protect it. Here’s some history for you:
      http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/04/the-civil-war-isnt-tragic/237888/

      The modern “confederate” flag (actually IIRC a rectangular version of the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia) has been flown by racists and non-racists alike, but the racists definitely consider it a symbol of southern white pride, a reminder of their former exalted position, and a signal to non-whites of their contempt. I might regard the swastika a beautiful Buddhist symbol of eternity, but I’m not getting one tattooed on my arm any time soon. The context of our words and actions is larger than our intentions.

  • Rennyrij

    When anyone feels they have to jump up and scream, with or without epithets, to drown out the opposition, they’ve already lost the battle – they’ve shown they have no argument, but only a loud voice, fueled by Fear. Someone wisely said, “The only thing we have to fear, is Fear, itself.” Fear is what gets in the way of our getting along. We need to learn to Trust, and to be Trust Worthy. And to realize that generally we all want the same thing – the necessities of life – food, clothing, shelter, work, transportation, a family and a supportive community, and freedom to be who we are and to believe as we feel is right, so long as the expression of that freedom doesn’t infringe on our neighbor’s freedom. How can anyone find fault with that?

  • TK

    Why would you want the Christian Monuments removed? They should not be forcibly removed like they have been in certain cities/states. Atheists and other religions should all have free access to putting up their own monuments. It is freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.
    I do feel that the Christians who protested this monument are in the wrong, but there are ignorant people in every group.

    • Nathan Longhofer

      In this case it is outside a courthouse. If I may speak for my secular brothers and sisters, what we object to is the implication that the laws on the rock outside are the basis for the laws in the books inside.

    • Michael W Busch

      It is freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

      That is not a meaningful statement. Freedom of religion includes there being no government endorsement of religion and no government endorsement of irreligion.

      • TK

        The removal of religious monuments can easily been construed as an endorsement of irreligion. There is a big difference between freedom or religion and freedom from religion. All groups should be equally allowed to proclaim their beliefs, and anything the promotes morality should be allowed in this situation. Silencing those you disagree with will never be an reasonable way of promoting your beliefs. Its time to embrace equality, not try to remove something from someone else.

        • Michael W Busch

          The removal of religious monuments can easily been construed as an endorsement of irreligion.

          No. Not when the monuments are on public property occupied by government offices – their presence is endorsing a religion, their removal is simply not endorsing a religion and does not constitute endorsing irreligion. Secular != irreligious.

          As the Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly.

          Your stating otherwise is dishonest.

          Silencing those you disagree with will never be an reasonable way of promoting your beliefs.

          Saying “you can’t use the government to promote your religion” is not silencing. And you cannot sensibly claim that Christian beliefs are being silenced in current American society.

          Tangential: as has been explained repeatedly by others, the Ten Commandments don’t “promote morality”. 8 of them are illegal, and while the remaining 2 (don’t kill and don’t steal) and elements of 2 of the others (don’t bear false witness, and don’t commit adultery) are generally good ideas, they are far older insights than Christianity or Judaism.

          • TK

            Who said I was Christian? Who said I support any religion? What I am saying is this: allowing all groups to be represented, both for certain religions or against all religion, creates a much better atmosphere for equality to thrive. I agree that a courthouse only allowing a Christian monument and not others promotes a religion. However, if everyone is allowed to be represented, as long as they do not use the space to attack other groups, this is only endorsing freedom of religion and thought.

            • Michael W Busch

              Who said I was Christian?

              I didn’t.

  • Gus Snarp

    I like it. It’s a little uglier than I imagined, but I still like it, and I especially love the plan to build more. This is fantastic. As is anything that gets Hovind literally hopping mad.

  • Dan

    “Remember: In an ideal world, atheist monuments like this one wouldn’t have to be here. It’s not like American Atheists was pushing to have it installed. It was only when the Courthouse granted special access to a Christian group that AA knew they couldn’t let them get away with it. Same with the rest of the nation.

    If the Christians take down their monuments, the atheists will, too.

    But until then, might as well make Christians feel *really* uncomfortable about the fact that their actions are paving the way for pro-atheist monuments to go up across the country.”
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Da

    Amazing how much the above quotation from the narrative resembles the logic of kindergartners squabbling on the playground.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Please Google XKCD #774.

      Actually, it resembles adults explaining a point through illustration to those who either don’t or refuse to understand words alone.

  • Frank

    Our local ‘news’ outlet in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada has an editorial on the issue, we could use some help commenting! Unfortunately comments are moderated first. http://www.630ched.com/Blogs/BobLaytonsBlog/BlogEntry.aspx?BlogEntryID=10562928

  • Sko Hayes

    I love the bench, love the idea. Good going, guys!

  • Brook Garrison

    Is it just me or does putting an Atheist type message (in this case a bench/monument with quotes form the bible) help to legitimize this belief system of philosophy? I mean really, do people challenge the existence of Leprechauns? Do you see my point? The very fact that you give effort or discussions to such tomfoolery helps to promote or give credence to this belief system or philosophy. So be my guess to keep up the fight and challenge the false assumption of the existence of Leprechauns. In the end you look like a fool talking to know one but yourself.

  • Jason Vaughan

    it comes with a little bench who could not love it. besides is not the ten commandments like a graven image and whatnot along with all the crosses and little fish symbols? If you were truly Christian you couldn’t go to church anywhere without breaking the first commandment, oh yeah and Jesus said pray in you’re closet that’s as close to god as any church it doesn’t matter, but most Christians don’t listen to Christ they listen to there pastor . turn the other cheek as the atheist slap yo ass .

  • munkeee

    This is a monument to how ignorant Athiests can be about Christianity…. maybe Christians should make an addition to the monument with Jesus Christ’s additions that surpass Mosaic Law, especially “Love thy enemy”, “turn the other cheek”, and give the Athiests a little lesson on the New Testament?

    Also, can you imagine those Athiests really standing up for their beliefs and making a monument criticizing Islam? Not going to happen.

    I don’t have a problem with Athiests, just the ignorant ones who are just as loud and ill-informed as the Fundamentalist Christians screaming abuse at women entering abortion clinics.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      maybe Christians should make an addition to the monument with Jesus Christ’s additions

      Well, why don’t you?

      Also, can you imagine those Athiests really standing up for their beliefs and making a monument criticizing Islam?

      Nope, never.

      • munkeee

        I’m Canadian, I don’t think a Florida courthouse would let a non-citizen do that kind of thing.

        That’s good to see some Athiests not just hiding behind the internet. I don’t think it’s a very effective campaign though. It still shows how much they just don’t seem to want to learn about the actual religion they’re criticizing. Most current Christian believers have entertained the thought that their God is make-believe at some point in their lives, but came out stronger in their theist beliefs afterwards after careful study of the scripture and history. That includes those of us who believe in evolution.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Perhaps you could learn more about what “most current atheists” are like as well. AA are considered the aggressive fringe among atheists. You’ll find plenty of atheists who get annoyed at them and think they should be ‘gentler’. They don’t represent all atheists.

          A great many American (and Canadian) atheists used to be Christians of various flavors. We’re not ignorant to the variety of positions Christians hold. Some of those positions just affect our lives more negatively, and hence get more attention.

          I try to take the position that while I should respect other people, that doesn’t mean me or my rights need be a doormat, and AA is pretty good at making noise when atheists are walked on.

          I think the bench does that. A courthouse is not the entity that should be telling me to bow to a god.

  • Star

    If they want to be Atheists that’s fine. This kinda comes off as some childish attack..namely for the fact that the only religion they focus on is Christianity and not religion as a whole. Kinda a surprise they would make a monument though. Since they don’t believe something unless they see it/no real symbol for Atheism. What’s ironic is that they are sorta treating Atheism as a religion, or so it seems.


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