Atheist monuments deserve to be vandalized, apparently

David Silverman’s American Atheist organization sued Bradford County in Florida after a ten commandments monument was placed on public property in violation of the 1st amendment. As a result of the suit, the atheists are allowed to place their own monument. It will be a bench containing a few sentences about what atheists believe, and will be dedicated next month.

Conservative commentator Tucker Carlson shrugged it off, said it was there to taunt Christians, and predicted almost happily it would be vandalized. Because, you know, how dare anyone else exercise their 1st amendment rights. r-ATHEIST-MONUMENT-large570

I mean, they’re just atheists. Who cares?

Can you imagine if he had said the same thing about Christians putting a monument up? It would be the “War on Christians” all over again. Apparently, a war on non-believers is perfectly fine.

I asked David Silverman (who happens to be a good friend) what he thought of this, and here’s what he said:

Just as the Governor of Georgia went out of his way to say he “couldn’t guarantee the safety” of atheist books legally placed alongside Bibles in public cottages, the commentators who laugh at the future vandalism are not only supporting such vandalism, but actually instigating it.

Religion wants nothing more than superiority – it hates equality. In Florida, as in Georgia and at the World Trade Center, atheists are demanding nothing but the equality guaranteed to us by the constitution. Religion views equality as an attack on itself, and facing the threat of equality, may resort to violence and vandalism, yet again. Yes, it’s pathetic. No, it won’t stop us. It will just reveal more of religion’s unseemly underbelly for all to see.

What we need are brave religious people to prove Silverman wrong — I want to see religious leaders decrying anyone who would dare to vandalize the monument. I want to see clerics welcoming non-believers as fellow Americans with just different views. I know there are some very nice and open-minded religious folks out there, because some are my friends.

But I’m not holding my breath waiting for the religious leaders to do the right thing.

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13 thoughts on “Atheist monuments deserve to be vandalized, apparently

  1. Jesus would definitely vandalize something that wasn’t an idol to himself wouldn’t he? But he preached against idolatry so maybe not.

    These people aren’t Christians, just hatefilled bigots.

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  2. A real christian wouldnt have bothered. The person who did this obviously has personal issues with Atheism that they will need to deal with. And while there are some “religious” people who want, or need superiority I would like to point out that I have seen and experienced the same misplaced fervor applied by Athiest to those who hold onto a faith (not just Christianity).

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  3. I expect it to be vandalized. I expect the vandal to be a member of a christian church. I also expect the vandal to have no knowledge of other religions and very little knowledge of the Christian bible. I don’t expect the vandal to be a follower of Jesus Christ. I am absolutely offended, but not at all surprised by the opinion a monument to a religion other than christianity is an insult, taunt or vandal-bait for Christians.

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  4. Lets stop blaming religion as a whole. It’s certain religious sects. I’m a long term atheist, and I get annoyed when people say these wholesale things. Not to disparage your friend, but this is one of the things that has ALWAYS annoyed me about American Atheist Organization.

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  5. You are mistaken, Jeff. Christian doctorine is NOT disdainful of those outside the faith. Look at those ten commandments. The first three concern God; the next seven concern how you should treat your fellow man (meaning all people).

    Jesus says – and therefore real Christians believe – that “God so loved the world”, NOT just believers. And how did Jesus himself sum up the ten commandments? “He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as you love yourself.’” (Luke 10:27), which Jesus took from Leviticus 19:18 and Deuteronomy 6:5. And what about the account of the Good Samaritan, which Jesus gave immediately after that as an example of who was a neighbor?

    Jesus tells us that no one can know the Father except through him. And he is very straightforward about saying there is no salvation except through him. But Jesus also teaches – and so do his disciples – that God loves everyone and wants everyone to be saved. That ALL people are to be treated with love and understanding and forgiveness. That as believers we are to live in peace with our neighbors as we faithfully and gladly serve the Lord and our fellow man.

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  6. “Lets stop blaming religion as a whole. It’s certain religious sects. I’m a long term atheist, and I get annoyed when people say these wholesale things. ”
    I agree that we shouldn’t blame all religious people for the vandalism. However, I think all religions (Okay, just the one’s I’m familiar with) stand indicted for their shameless advocacy of superstitious bullshit above rational thought and scientific fact. That said, I realize religions is a real comfort to some people. Who probably aren’t capable of rational thought.

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    • “That said, I realize religions is a real comfort to some people. Who probably aren’t capable of rational thought.”

      You understand that you just classified some 90% of the world as “probably [not] capable of rational thought”, right, Steve? That sounds kind of wholesale to me; the type of statement that smacks of prejudice. I don’t know who your role models are, but with a belief like that, they certainly can’t include any US President. And as virtually every composer of classical music prior to the 20th Century followed religious beliefs of some sort at some level, you’ll need to excuse them. (Especially J.S. Bach, who was a Lutheran organist his entire adult life and dedicated ALL his work to the glory of God. There’s NO WAY he was capable of rational thought, right?) Wow… there’s a nearly endless list there.

      Don’t mix up intelligence with conviction of faith in a deity, Steve. Even science has said that’s incorrect. There are millions – billions – of rational, thinking people who contribute to science, music, the arts, education, business, and the advancement of humankind who believe in and trust God or some deity. And there are many atheists – though not as many – who are rational, thinking people.

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      • There is a reason, however, why religious belief falls the more scientifically advanced and rational a culture becomes. Sure, in the time of Bach, when people thought diseases could be cured by bloodletting and had no understanding of electricity (for instance) it makes more sense that they would be believers — most were.

        But look at Europe, Japan, Australia, and more and more younger people in the US who are rejecting religion.

        The argument that a majority believe and therefore it’s rational to believe doesn’t quite make it. A majority used to believe the world was flat and only 6000 years old, too.

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      • Steve’s comment was not about whether religious thought was rational, but rather that anyone religious could think rationally.

        And a belief in God and creation does not cancel out the ability to be scientifically minded. A Christian who studies science (obviously I can’t say “Christian scientist” *heh*) does not argue the realities of the universe. God is a God of order. That means there is order in the universe. There is no scientific field where belief in God will hinder them as a scientist. The theory of evolution is considered a fact, true, but it can be proven no more than the existence of God can be proven. There are pointers, indications, evidence open to interpretation for both. That the science community has declared cross-species evolution a fact is as much an act of faith as believing in the creation. (Whereas intra-species evolution, sometimes called “micro evolution” is a proven scientific fact and all scientists, Christian or otherwise, know it to be true.) Astronomy? A scientist who is a Christian can look at the red-shifts and calculate how many hundreds, thousands, or millions of light years a star or other celestial body is from Earth. They can read the same data and come to the same conclusions, including the age of the universe. But the Christian can also believe, “God created this universe and made it to his choosing” and not see the inconsistency. And in the vast majority of sciences, having faith or not having faith in God makes no difference, except possibly in those sciences where the value of human life is involved. There, I believe, the advantage goes to the scientist who trusts and knows that our God is a loving God, and that he loves all humans.

        As for the rationality of the culture… that can be debated. We’ve moved forward in technology and education, no doubt. But we’ve given up so many things, too. And we as a human race have certainly rationalized the killings of tens of millions of people in just the last century in wars where our technology has given incredible abilities in slaughtering our fellow man. Moving forward? Probably. Moving upward? Questionable.

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