Atheists sue Florida County to remove Ten Commandments monument

May 28, 2012 Full story: The Raw Story 194

A group of atheists is suing Bradford County, Florida because they say a 6-ton granite monument of the Ten Commandments has no place on the courthouse lawn.

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Shea Joy

Lynchburg, VA

#1 May 28, 2012
Shame on the Bradford County Commissioners for wasting taxpayer money and impinging on the rights of Bradford County citizens. You have serious jobs to do, and praying in a county ceremony and the erection of a monument featuring the 10 commandments is clearly unconstitutional.
Jan Tetstone

Earleton, FL

#2 May 31, 2012
Shame on busy body atheist who have nothing better to do than push there anti god beliefs on the rest of us. You might want to check your info.
I live in Bradford County Florida and I am proud of all the County Commissioners.
Anonymous

United States

#3 May 31, 2012
This country was founded on Christian-based faith. It is sad that people are criticized and challenged for trying to remain true to the original spirit of the United States of America. Christians allow people of other faiths the freedom of believing what they want to believe. Why not show them the same courtesy and let them stand for what they believe in? Personally, I wouldn't want to be a part of any group with so little tolerance of people who differ with them.
sum guy

Seattle, WA

#4 Jun 1, 2012
Anonymous wrote:
This country was founded on Christian-based faith..
That is simply not true. While many of our founding fathers were christians, many of them were not. Furthermore, an organization formed to "form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,[note 1] promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" does not require any gods as no god is required for any of the listed terms.
Using public resources to promote any religion is unconstitutional, illegal, and wrong. It should be removed an placed in a more appropriate place, such as a church for example.
Jan Tetstone

Earleton, FL

#5 Jun 2, 2012
On May 3, 2012, on the “National Day of Prayer”, a Ten Commandments memorial was unveiled at the Bradford County Courthouse in Starke, Florida. The large, granite monument is clearly displayed on government property for all visitors to see.
In response, American Atheists along with other Floridian Freethought groups are organizing a demonstration in opposition to this 6-ton religious etching remaining on government property. Separation of church/state supporters will be meeting on May 19th, 2012 from 11 AM until about 2 PM at the Bradford County Courthouse.
On Friday, May 25, 2012 American Atheists, a national atheist civil rights and first amendment public policy organization dedicated to the total separation of church and state, filed a complaint against Bradford County, Florida for placement of a large Ten Commandments monument on the courthouse lawn. The suit was filed in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida; Jacksonville division.

Bradford County Florida belongs to the people here. It is funny to say the least that the atheists picked the son of a known drunk to use to push their agenda. And that that person's family member had the nerve to write a letter to the local paper as if she had no real knowledge of what is going on.

The atheists and the anti-god fanatics who seek to use our laws to have any monument that mentions God removed from public property apparently know little or nothing about the part that Christianity played in the building of the United States of America. Their apparent confusion about the constitutionality of the acknowledgments of God in (and on) public buildings would learn much from educating themselves on real American history.
Jan Tetstone

Earleton, FL

#6 Jun 2, 2012
On April 12, 1779, President George Washington wrote:
The Honorable the Congress having recommended it to the United States to set apart Thursday the 6th. day og May next to be observed as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, to acknowledge the gracious interpositions of Providence; to deprecate deserved punishment for our Sins and Ingratitude, to unitedly implore the Protection of Heaven; Success to our Arms and the Arms of our Ally: The Commander in Chief enjoins a religious observance of said day and directs the chaplains to prepare discourses proper for the occasion; strictly foebiding all recreations and unnecessary labor....
[The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745–1799: Volume 29, September 1, 1786 – June 19, 1788]

On March 30, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation expressing the idea "that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins", and designated the day of April 30, 1863 as a day of "national humiliation, fasting and prayer" in the hope that God would respond by restoring "our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace". He went on to say, "...it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord."
[Expanded from the version sent by the US Senate: Journal of the Senate, March 2, 1863 A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 – 1875, The Library of Congress] http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/linco...
Jan Tetstone

Earleton, FL

#7 Jun 2, 2012
Their[atheists'] apparent confusion about the constitutionality of the acknowledgments of God in (and on) public buildings would diminish if they would educate themselves on real American history.

correction to my post.
Jan Tetstone

Earleton, FL

#8 Jun 2, 2012
WHAT NEXT??

Replicas of the Liberty Bell Owned by US State Governments

In 1950, the United States Department of the Treasury assisted by several private companies selected Paccard Foundry in Annecy-le-Vieux, France, to cast 55 full-sized replicas of the Liberty Bell. The bells were shipped as gifts to states and territories of the United States and the District of Columbia to be displayed and rung on patriotic occasions. This was part of a savings bond drive held from May 15 to July 4, 1950 with the slogan "Save for Your Independence." The table below shows the most recent known location of each state and territory replica Liberty Bell.

Biblical and religious quotations, including the Ten Commandments, adorn nearly every significant building and monument in our nation's capital, inscribed and enshrined there as the natural public conversation of America's leaders in every generation. Indeed, the role of faith, family and freedom in American history is inscribed on monuments that stand on public property throughout Washington, D.C.

The words of Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, carved in granite, thunder from inside the Memorial that bears his name, praying that the "mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away" but recalling that "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."
At the topmost point of the Washington Monument, inscribed on the aluminum tip of the capstone, is the Latin phrase Laus Deo -- "Praise be to God." Along the stairway to that height are 190 carved tributes donated by states, cities, individuals, associations, and foreign governments. The blocks resound with quotations from Scripture -- "Holiness to the Lord" (Exodus 28), "Search the Scriptures" (John 5:39), "The memory of the just is blessed" (Proverbs 10:7)-- and such invocations as, "May Heaven to this Union continue its Benefice."

The National Archives building in Washington is more emblematic of this nation's desire to preserve its history as the key to a secure future. Carved in stone adjacent to the entrance of the Archives are the words "What is past is prologue," appropriately introducing the original parchment of the United States Constitution inside. Inlaid at the Archives' entrance is a bronze medallion of the Ten Commandments, surrounded by four winged figures representing Legislation, Justice, History, and War and Defense, a testament to the Archives' architects' bold witness to the centrality of biblical truth to the American experience.

New England statesman and orator Daniel Webster was voted by the United States Senate in the 1980s as one of the five greatest senators ever to serve in that chamber. In 1851, when the new House and Senate wings of the Capitol were begun, Webster gave a speech that was deposited in the cornerstone. Its final words are these:

If, therefore, it shall hereafter be the will of God that this structure should fall from the base, that its foundations be upturned, and this deposit brought to the eyes of men, be it then known, that on this day the Union of the United States of America stands firm, that their constitution still exists unimpaired, and with all of its original usefulness and glory, growing every day stronger and stronger in the affection of the great body of the American people, and attracting more and more the admiration of the world. And all here assembled, whether belonging to public life or to private life, with hearts devotedly thankful to Almighty God for the preservation of the liberty and happiness of the country, unite in sincere and fervent prayers that this deposit, and the walls and arches, the domes and towers, the columns and the entablatures, now to be erected over it, may endure forever.

Arlington Cemetery, where lay the remains of generations who kept the pledges of life, fortune, and sacred honor to keep our nation free. Each hour the guard is changed at the tomb where rests "in honored glory an American soldier known but to God."
jessica w

Live Oak, FL

#9 Jun 6, 2012
all you want is attention when u guys were out there infront of the court house u stuttered n had no clue what you were talking about god saved me n until u see first hand what he can do you will always will be angry and money hungry get over it you dont even live here!
scott

United States

#10 Jun 26, 2012
tell the a --holes 2 get a life,we have more inportant things 2 worrie about if i ever see one ill spit or may b piss on them, keep out of my way, i dont do well with scum bags,crawl back in the hole u came out of
Rob D

Apopka, FL

#11 Jun 29, 2012
You Christians are idiots, plain and simple, and don't know SQUAT about the founding or history of this country. I live in Starke, I am a proud Athiest, and I want that 6-ton piece of offending crap OFF my tax-payed government property, and I will support ANY lawsuit or legislature to have it REMOVED.

It CLEARLY violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, and if you simpletons would study U.S. history just a little, you might understand this (although I doubt it, because you're too busy trying to ram your idiotic, stone-age beliefs down everyone's throats).

Keep your damn religious icons in you homes and on your church grounds, and OFF the government property I pay taxes to support.
Jan Tetstone

Trenton, FL

#12 Jun 29, 2012
I live in Bradford County. And I personally think it is a shame that anyone could call themselves an American while dishonoring the founders of this great nation. The monument is hurting nothing. Just like the cross put up to honor dead highway patrolmen wasn't hurting nothing; just like the cross that had been on the Starke water tower for decades did hurt anyone...... Atheist are a minority.... and it is a shame that the majority have to bow down to their every whim.
Jan Tetstone

Trenton, FL

#13 Jun 29, 2012
"inalienable right to worship Almighty God " Florida 1838 Constitution
Constitution of 1838:

__________

CONSTITUTION,

or

FORM OF GOVERNMENT,

for the

PEOPLE OF FLORIDA.

__________

We, the People of the Territory of Florida, by our Delegates in Convention, assembled at the City of St. Joseph, on Monday the 3d day of December, A.D. 1838, and of the Independence of the United States the sixty-third year, having and claiming the right of admission into the Union, as one of the United States of America, consistent with the principles of the Federal Constitution, and by virtue of the Treaty of Amity, Settlement, and Limits between the United States of America and the King of Spain, ceding the Provinces of East and West Florida to the United States; in order to secure to ourselves and our posterity the enjoyment of all the rights of life, liberty, and property, and the pursuit of happiness, do mutually agree, each with the other, to form ourselves into a Free and Independent State, by the name of the State of Florida.

ARTICLE I.

Declaration of Rights.

That the great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established, we declare:

Section 1. That all freemen, when they form a social compact, are equal; and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property and reputation; and of pursuing their own happiness.

Section 2. That all political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and established for their benefit; and, therefore, they have, at all times, an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter or abolish their form of government, in such manner as they may deem expedient.

Section 3. That all men have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience; and that no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious establishment, or mode of worship in this State.

Read the 1838 Florida Constitution here: http://www.law.fsu.edu/crc/conhist/1838con.ht...
Jan Tetstone

Trenton, FL

#14 Jun 29, 2012
Section 3. That all men have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience; and that no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious establishment, or mode of worship in this State.
Show me where the monument, which was put there by private citizens,in anyway affects the rights of any atheist to display his/her own monument on public property..... I wouldn't have a problem walking passed an atheist's monument on private or public property. The majority of the taxes dollars come from religious American.
Jan Tetstone

Trenton, FL

#15 Jun 29, 2012
"being grateful to Almighty God " 1968 Florida Constitution

CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA


As Revised in 1968.

__________


PREAMBLE

We, the people of the State of Florida, being grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, in order to secure its benefits, perfect our government, insure domestic tranquility, maintain public order, and guarantee equal civi l and political rights to all, do ordain and establish this constitution.

__________


ARTICLE I

DECLARATION OF RIGHTS


Section 1. Political Power. All political power is inherent in the people. The enunciation herein of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or impair others retained by the people.

Section 2. Basic Rights. All natural persons are equal before the law and have inalienable rights, among which are the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty, to pursue happiness, to be rewarded for industry, and to acquire, po ssess and protect property; except that the ownership, inheritance, disposition and possession of real property by aliens ineligible for citizenship may be regulated or prohibited by law. No person shall be deprived of any right because of race or religi on.

Section 3. Religious Freedom. There shall be no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting or penalizing the free exercise thereof. Religious freedom shall not justify practices inconsistent with public morals, peace or safety. No revenue of the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.

http://www.law.fsu.edu/crc/conhist/1968con.ht...
Jan Tetstone

Trenton, FL

#16 Jun 29, 2012
“In God We Trust” on United States currency

The legislation placing “In God We Trust” on national currency

July 11, 1955
On this date, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law H.R. 619, a bill that required that the inscription “In God We Trust” appear on all paper and coin currency. Representative Charles E. Bennett of Florida introduced the resolution in the House where it won fast backing from the Committee on Banking and Currency and support from like-minded Members such as Herman Eberharter of Pennsylvania and Oren Harris of Arkansas.“Nothing can be more certain than that our country was founded in a spiritual atmosphere and with a firm trust in God,” Bennett proclaimed on the House Floor.“While the sentiment of trust in God is universal and timeless, these particular four words ‘In God We Trust’ are indigenous to our country.”

Furthermore, Bennett invoked the cold war struggle in arguing for the measure.“In these days when imperialistic and materialistic communism seeks to attack and destroy freedom, we should continually look for ways to strengthen the foundations of our freedom,” he said. Adding “In God We Trust” to currency, Bennett believed, would “serve as a constant reminder” that the nation’s political and economic fortunes were tied to its spiritual faith.

The inscription had appeared on most U.S. coins since the Civil War, when Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase first urged its use. Until passage of the 1955 law, however,“In God We Trust” had not appeared on paper currency and, from time to time, had not been inscribed on certain classes of coins. Bennett’s measure sailed through the House, passing on an unrecorded voice vote. The Senate approved the measure less than three weeks later. The first dollar bills bearing the inscription entered circulation in 1957, shortly after “In God We Trust” also had been made the official national motto by an act of Congress.

Office of the Clerk, http://artandhistory.house.gov/highlights.asp... ,(6/3/2012).
Jan Tetstone

Trenton, FL

#17 Jun 29, 2012
PREAMBLE To Florida's Constitution



We, the people of the State of Florida, being grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, in order to secure its benefits, perfect our government, insure domestic tranquility, maintain public order, and guarantee equal civi l and political rights to all, do ordain and establish this constitution.

Jan Tetstone

Trenton, FL

#18 Jun 29, 2012
Yes....let us not forget the State of Florida Seal:
15.03 State seal.—
(1) The great seal of the state shall be of the size of the American silver dollar, having in the center thereof a view of the sun’s rays over a highland in the distance, a sabal palmetto palm tree, a steamboat on water, and an Indian female scattering flowers in the foreground, encircled by the words “Great Seal of the State of Florida: In God We Trust.”
(2)(a) The Department of State shall be the custodian of the great seal of the state.
(b) The great seal of this state shall also be the seal of the Department of State, and the department may certify under said seal, copies of any statute, law, resolution, record, paper, letter or document, by law placed in its custody, keeping and care, and such certified copy shall have the same force and effect in evidence, as the original would have.
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm...

Florida law recognizes the free religious exercise of all her citizens. While some atheist accuse those who placed the ten commandment monument on public property, of trying to ram religion down their throats---it is obvious that this is a case of non religious Americans trying to push their religious preference on the majority.
Rob D

Apopka, FL

#19 Jun 30, 2012
NONE of all that crap you posted has ANYTHING to do with the defiance of U.S. Constitution law, which is as the heart of the so-called 'monument' debate...the constitution of Florida being SECONDARY AND SUBJUGATE to the U.S. Constitution.

Try reading THIS:

ARTICLE 1: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion....

The "Establishment Clause" was intended to prevent any governmental endorsement or support of religion.

While some might intuitively read this to mean that the clause was meant to preclude endorsement or support of some particular religion, it is important to note that the clause also prohibits the endorsement of religion generally over non-religion.

As the Court noted in 1947,“A large proportion of the early settlers of this country came here from Europe to escape the bondage of laws which compelled them to support and attend government-favored churches.” Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1, 8 (1947).

The Court went on to emphasize that “no one group throughout the Colonies can rightly be given entire credit for having aroused the sentiment that culminated in adoption of the Bill of Rights' provisions embracing religious liberty,” and that the principles were as apt at the time of the Court’s decision as they had been when the First Amendment was originally passed in 1792.

And Christians are not "bowing down" to the whim of Athiests...WE are being protected from them and their rampant proselytism, just as are the Jews, Muslims, Buddhists,and anyone else who doesn't believe in your 'so-called' holy hippie vagrant from 2000 years ago.

The law is here to protect the MINORITY from the whims of the MAJORITY...if you want that kind of government, move to China.
Jan Tetstone

Trenton, FL

#20 Jun 30, 2012
Try reading this: It wasn't Congress who placed the Ten Commandment Monument on public property at the Bradford County Courthouse it was American citizens.

The minority need a lesson in real Patriotism. It is apparent they have no respect for the majority who support the rights of every American.

Protected....lol You are people who believe in nothing and ,in my opinion,are trying to turn this nation into an atheist nation.... Never happen...not in my life time.

God Bless America!

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