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.
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.