Why do we need atheist monuments?

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Why do we need
atheist monuments? Well, we don’t need atheists monuments, but the reason
this question is brought up is because in Florida there was a Christian group that put
a giant Ten Commandments monument right in front of
a city courthouse. And, you know, a group called American Atheists
sued over that, because how can, you know, a County Courthouse,
a government property, be promoting religion
this way? And normally they would
win that sort of battle, but in order to kind of
avoid everything, I think there was some controversy where the Christian
group wouldn’t take the monument off the property and I don’t know how they
can get away with that. But the lawsuit ended up settling and
the compromise that they all made was that it would– The whole courthouse grounds have become kind of a free-for-all.
Any group could put up a monument if they wanted to,
not just Christians. And I think
the idea is that only Christians
would be so bold as to put a monument
on city property. Well, American Atheists had
a donor who was willing to pay to put one of their monuments
up there. So they did. So, they put up
a bench with a lot of quotations by famous atheists and by
our founding fathers about church-state separation. And again, is that
monument necessary? No. I think even American Atheists
would tell you: “Hey, if you don’t want to put that monument
on property, we will remove our bench.” But the principle of the issue is that,
“Look, if religion is– if some religion is gonna take claim
to the city property, well then atheists have
a right to be there, too, and we’re gonna make you feel
really awkward about it. That’s the same thing that happens with, like,
nativity scenes. If you put a nativity scene in front
of a City Hall, well, it would be great if you just removed it,
because, why are you promoting Christianity? But, if you’re gonna
leave it up there, the only legal way
to do that is to allow other religious
symbols and, you know, presentations on that property, too.
So, you see a lot of atheists fighting to put, you know,
the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s scenes on that city property. And a lot of cities have had to put up, you know,
Jewish, or Hindu, or Muslims sort of displays in response. So again, none of this is saying
atheist monuments are necessary. They’re not and I think most atheists
would be perfectly fine if City properties didn’t have any religious or atheist,
you know, displays on them. But, if Christians
are gonna make this play to claim city ground and
claim taxpayer-funded grounds, well then as atheists we’re gonna– we’re gonna
fight back, we’re gonna respond in kind. And again, just keep in mind, atheists
are not asking for anything that the Christian groups
are not already doing. So, when people ask like, “Well, do we really need
that atheist monument there?” or “Oh, that’s a silly idea,” tell that to the Christian groups
that put this these monuments on there and then let’s have
a conversation. My name is Hemant Mehta.
I write at FriendlyAtheist.com and hope to see your
questions in the comments.

 

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