American Atheists Group Reveals an Atheist Monument in Florida Near the Ten Commandments

Dave Silverman on Atheist Monument
American Atheists president Dave Silverman sits on the Atheist Monument (via @AmericanAtheist)

The American Atheist group recently revealed its own atheist monument in same area as the Ten Commandment monument they tried to have removed last year. The group made the decision to erect their own monument in the same area, after losing their final court battle to have the nearby Ten Commandment monument removed, claiming it should not be placed on governmental property. In essences the court ruled the area in front of the Bradford County Courthouse, where both of the monuments now reside, is a speech-free zone. American Atheist president, David Silverman stated "We're not going to let them do it without a counterpoint," and the group's counterpoint came in the form of a 1,500-pound atheist monument, that doubles as a bench.

Belief Equality

Source: Friendly Atheist

An estimated 200 people showed up in this small town, in the heart of Bradford County, for the unveiling of the monument, with most of the crowd being supporters of the American Atheist group. However, the day did not go off without a hitch, as a small group of protesters stood nearby holding signs encouraging drivers to "Honk for Jesus," and blaring some southern Christian music. Some of the protesters were from the Florida League of the South, who were holding signs with the words, "Yankees go Home." These signs depicted the feelings of many of the protesters on the street that day, who were not happy about an out-of-state group placing anything in their community. However, the year-old court ruling that led the way for the 10 Commandment monument to become a permanent fixture in the courthouse lawn, prevents the protesters from effectively doing anything to remove the newly erected atheist monument.

Eric Hovind | Creation Today

Eric Hovind of Creation Today climbed the monument to preach the Bible. (via @WondieBee)

Supporters of the group could be seen throughout the day taking pictures with the monument. Silverman stated that "Atheists are about the real and the physical," which is why they chose a monument that would highlight their beliefs and be functional at the same time. The monument has a bench attached to the side allowing passersby to sit down and rest. The top of the monument famous quotes from John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and American Atheist founder, Madalyn Murray O'Hair are engraved along the sides. Perhaps the most controversial part of the monument is the list of punishments that were given for various Ten Commandment violations, including stoning and death.

Punishments for Breaking the 10 Commandments

Silverman believes that this is the first atheist monument in the country that has been place on governmental land. He says that his fight is not personal, but rather a fight for freedom for all American, not just Christians. He states "It is an attack, but it's an attack on Christian privilege, not an attack on Christians themselves." He also encourages citizens from other religious groups to embrace their freedom and place their own monument in front of the courthouse. For the most part, things remained peaceful throughout the day; however one car passing by threw a toilet seat along with a roll of toilet paper out of the window towards the crowd. Fortunately, it did not hit anyone, and for the rest of the day the protesters remained persistent, but peaceful.

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