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Christian Group Believes Atheists Have Right to Post Monument at Florida Courthouse
Christian Post ^ | 06/03/2013 | Michael Gryboski

Posted on 06/03/2013 10:21:29 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

A member of a Christian organization that posted a Decalogue outside a Florida courthouse said an atheist group posting a monument in the same location has the right to do so.

American Atheists will soon be posting what is believed to be the United States' first atheist monument on public property outside of the Bradford County Courthouse later this month.

Ken Weaver, member of the Starke, Fla.-based group Community Men's Fellowship, told The Christian Post about how he feels regarding the atheist monument bench.

"Simply put, while we do not agree with the 'faith' of the American Atheists that disregards the existence of God, we do believe in their right to freely express their beliefs," said Weaver. "As long as their display meets the requirements of our county ordinance, they have the same freedoms of expression as those of any other citizen or group."

In October 2011, Bradford County established a "Free Speech Forum" outside of its courthouse so that various private groups could place monuments at their own expense.

Community Men's Fellowship posted a six-ton granite monument of the Ten Commandments at the Forum sans any aid from the county government, financial or otherwise.

Weaver of CMF told CP that the large Decalogue was placed at the forum because of its historical and religious significance.

"It is our belief that the teachings of the Bible, both Old Testament and New, and including the Ten Commandments were without dispute, instrumental in establishing the foundational laws, principles and values of our nation," said Weaver.

"The placing of the monument as a part of the display of historically significant expressions in our courthouse mall, was an significant expression of our faith and our pride in and gratefulness for our nation."

Last year, Americans Atheists sued Bradford County over the display, arguing that it was an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion.

In late March, CMF, AA, and Bradford County reached a settlement in which the secular group could erect their own monument, which would be at their expense and in accordance with the monument guidelines.

In an earlier interview with The Christian Post, American Atheists Public Relations Director Dave Muscato described the planned monument.

"The monument is a 1,500-pound granite bench with quotes from Madalyn Murray O'Hair, an excerpt from the Treaty of Tripoli signed by President John Adams, and quotes from founders Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson," said Muscato.

"It also includes a 10-point list that parallels the Ten Commandments monument, specifying the Biblical punishment prescribed for violating each commandment, with Biblical citations. Several of the punishments are simply execution."

When asked by CP how he responded to CMF's display being seen as unconstitutional, Weaver responded that the Decalogue was protected by the freedom of speech and religion.

"Our Constitution guarantees both the freedom from a government imposed faith (the Establishment Clause) and the freedom to express individual faith without prohibition (the Free Exercise Clause). In addition we also have the freedom of speech," said Weaver.

"In recent years many groups have attempted to delete the freedom of expression and speech from our society without considering the entirety of the intentions of the amendment(s) to our Constitution. This monument is simply an expression of our freedoms to both speak and express our faith."


TOPICS: Evangelical Christian; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics; Skeptics/Seekers
KEYWORDS: atheist; florida; monument; publicsquare

1 posted on 06/03/2013 10:21:29 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

So, to what, and for what reason, do atheists erect a monument?

If they so hate religion, if they so disbelieve in God, why would they want to emulate the commemorative activities of the religious?

This makes them not only look silly, but stupid. At best, they could be considered spiteful and cynical.

What a pack of losers.


2 posted on 06/03/2013 10:25:38 AM PDT by Westbrook (Children do not divide your love, they multiply it.)
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To: SeekAndFind

A monument over what you DON’T believe in? Really?


3 posted on 06/03/2013 10:26:16 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: SeekAndFind

Will they put up the 0 (zero) Commandments?


4 posted on 06/03/2013 10:26:41 AM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: SeekAndFind

So does this mean that every other religious opinion also has the right to put up a monument? Does that include the Satanists, and the Pastafarians who worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

And what does the county do when there are so many monuments that there’s no more space for new ones?


5 posted on 06/03/2013 10:31:59 AM PDT by Eagle Forgotten
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To: SeekAndFind
The perfect image for a monument from those who believe in nothing:


6 posted on 06/03/2013 10:33:05 AM PDT by Pollster1 ("Shall not be infringed" is unambiguous.)
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To: Eagle Forgotten

As is usually the case, everybody doesn’t necessarily feel the need to erect a monument ~


7 posted on 06/03/2013 10:33:37 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Westbrook

Atheism or more accurately anti-theism, is in fact a religion with its own prophets & sacred writings. It’s amazing how much energy antitheists expend on trashing That which they say doesn’t even exist.

Here in the South your typical village atheist either demands noise ordinance enforcement against the ringing of Sunday church bells or else demands that churches located in municipalities lose their exemption from paying city or county property taxes.


8 posted on 06/03/2013 10:49:36 AM PDT by elcid1970 ("The Second Amendment is more important than Islam.")
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To: SeekAndFind
"This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it."

- Thomas Jefferson to William Roscoe, 27 December 1820

"One of the amendments to the Constitution... expressly declares that 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,' thereby guarding in the same sentence and under the same words, the freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press; insomuch that whatever violates either throws down the sanctuary which covers the others." --Thomas Jefferson: Draft Kentucky Resolutions, 1798. ME 17:382

"The rights [to religious freedom] are of the natural rights of mankind, and... if any act shall be... passed to repeal [an act granting those rights] or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right." --Thomas Jefferson: Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779. (*) ME 2:303, Papers 2:546


9 posted on 06/03/2013 11:06:50 AM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: SeekAndFind
In October 2011, Bradford County established a "Free Speech Forum" outside of its courthouse so that various private groups could place monuments at their own expense.

There's the problem.
Bradford County did not establish anything. Some self-important idiot or idiots employed at Bradford County (through election or otherwise) took it upon themselves to change tradition and common sense.

These folks are so open minded, that their brains fall out.

People get what they deserve; what they tolerate.

10 posted on 06/03/2013 11:40:06 AM PDT by publius911 (Look for the Union label, then buy something else.)
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To: SeekAndFind
There is a big difference between someone erecting a statue to commemorate their beliefs, and someone erecting something to disrespect others beliefs.

If the Atheists want to erect a statue to non belief, it would be six foot of nothing and they have that everywhere they go.

Atheism is not the denial of God, but the denial of others faith. How do you deny what you do not believe exists?

11 posted on 06/03/2013 11:51:54 AM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: Eagle Forgotten
And what does the county do when there are so many monuments that there’s no more space for new ones?

Watch the Country burn to the ground for its worship of Idols.

12 posted on 06/03/2013 11:53:16 AM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: Westbrook

theists erect monuments to share Divine word
atheist erect monuments to ridicule Divinity

what a sour bunch of happy campers

“In Madalyn Murry O’Hair We Trust”
(anyone got a jackhammer?)


13 posted on 06/03/2013 12:37:26 PM PDT by silverleaf (Age Takes a Toll: Please Have Exact Change)
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To: Eagle Forgotten

“And what does the county do when there are so many monuments that there’s no more space for new ones?”

Whatever the county wants to do that doesn’t violate federal/state/local constitutions/laws/ordinances and the people are willing to put up with. If I was a citizen of that county I would favor doing away with them all and put one up that says: “The citizens of this county believe in liberty and freedom and we try to get along by treating one another with human dignity and respect”


14 posted on 06/03/2013 1:03:18 PM PDT by Let_It_Be_So (Once you see the Truth, you cannot "unsee" it, no matter how hard you may try.)
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To: SeekAndFind
A member of a Christian organization that posted a Decalogue outside a Florida courthouse said an atheist group posting a monument in the same location has the right to do so.

Yeah. So?

"The monument is a 1,500-pound granite bench with quotes from Madalyn Murray O'Hair, an excerpt from the Treaty of Tripoli signed by President John Adams, and quotes from founders Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson," said Muscato.

Ayn Rand would be more interesting. Much more amusement potential.

15 posted on 06/03/2013 7:35:18 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("You keep using that verse, but I do not think it means what you think it means." --I. Montoya)
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To: SeekAndFind
"It also includes a 10-point list that parallels the Ten Commandments monument, specifying the Biblical punishment prescribed for violating each commandment, with Biblical citations. Several of the punishments are simply execution."

How many American Christians show any sort of sabbatical observance?

16 posted on 06/03/2013 7:37:02 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("You keep using that verse, but I do not think it means what you think it means." --I. Montoya)
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To: Let_It_Be_So
If I was a citizen of that county I would favor doing away with them all and put one up that says: “The citizens of this county believe in liberty and freedom and we try to get along by treating one another with human dignity and respect”

I would contribute to the cost of your monument.
17 posted on 06/04/2013 9:39:02 PM PDT by Eagle Forgotten
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