Florida Group’s Proposal to Put Atheist Monument Outside Levy County Courthouse Gets Rejected by Local Officials

Two weeks ago, I posted about how the Williston Atheists (in Florida) wanted to erect a pro-atheist monument outside the Levy County Courthouse where a Ten Commandments monument currently resides (see image below):

The group was modeling its efforts after what American Atheists did outside the Bradford County Courthouse in northern Florida last summer:

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

The Levy County Commissioners held a board meeting last night where this proposal was discussed and they were joined by many local residents arguing against the monument as well as members of the atheist community:

Organizer of the Williston Atheist group Ray Sparrow says, “The majority of citizens in the community are deeply religious — I understand that, but there are also citizens of this community who are not religious. They choose to be represented in a public forum that is available to all citizens so we choose to be represented too.”

Makes a lot of sense… but unfortunately, the board voted unanimously to reject the atheists’ proposal:

County Coordinator, Fred Moody explains, “the vote was unanimous to deny the application at this time and that was based on the fact that the application in the opinion of our board was not complete, it did not meet all of the guidelines.”

Williston Atheists say the claim by commissioners that the application is incomplete is,” being used as an excuse to deny it and to placate the majority religious community that opposes it.”

They didn’t specify what was wrong with the application. But according to the group’s Meetup page, this was a foregone conclusion before the meeting even started:

Reasons for denial were idiotic and the staff outline of those was NOT given to us in a timely manner in order to allow us to address them properly. When we arrived at the hearing, Ray was called up front by the Clerk who THEN gave him a copy of their reasons. Too little too late, ya think?

No word yet on whether the group will try again.

(Thanks to Brian for the link)

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.


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