In Starke, Florida this past weekend an event of some note took place.
What may very well be the first atheist monument on public grounds was unveiled in a “free speech zone” at the Bradford County Courthouse.
American Atheists, a New Jersey based group, had sued to have a monument to the Ten Commandments removed from the county courthouse grounds, but during mediation over the suit the atheist group was told that it too could place a monument in the free speech zone.
The group took quickly to the idea because in the words of the President of American Atheists, “This is one of the tricks that Christians have used, because they go up and call it a free-speech zone and then they’re unopposed. They get their government legitimization because nobody else calls their bluff and puts something in.”
However, the words of Community Men’s Fellowship, the group that paid to have the monument to the Ten Commandments erected, seems to paint a different picture — one that shows that Christians are not being dishonest when they speak of freedom of religion in the public arena.
“We want you all to remember that this issue was won on the basis of this being a free speech issue, so don’t be alarmed when the American Atheists want to erect their own sign or monument. It’s their right. As for us, we will continue to honor the Lord and that’s what matters.”
Even more telling may be the words that the atheists have chosen to place upon their monument, as they used quotes from Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Madalyn Murray O’Hair. Of that elite group, only Murray O’Hair was actually an atheist.
It seems odd that for the first monument to such a cause, the group would select quotes from three devout Deists, all who favored Christianity. (Look here for Franklin’s beliefs, Adams and Jefferson’s) Perhaps the problem is that atheists and atheism in general has not offered that much to the world by way of freedom; perhaps the problem is that everywhere that atheism has conquered, it has also enslaved.
The placement of this monument marks an important moment in our nation’s history. Will the secular left use this monument as a rallying point for further spreading their godless immorality, or can we use its unveiling for good? What we must not do is give in to the philosophies of the left that seek to drive us out of the “town square”. Christians must have a voice in the public discourse.
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