Atheists sue Florida County to remove...

Atheists sue Florida County to remove Ten Commandments monument

There are 193 comments on the The Raw Story story from May 28, 2012, titled Atheists sue Florida County to remove Ten Commandments monument. In it, The Raw Story reports that:

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.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Raw Story.

Jan Tetstone

Gainesville, FL

#21 Jun 30, 2012
The Constitution protects the rights of citizens to observe the faith of their choosing. While Thomas Jefferson did say something about people worshiping or not worshiping any number of gods, the First Amendment only prevents the Federal Government from becoming a theocratic body, or making any law that abridges the observation of any faith. That’s why we call it “Freedom of Religion”, by the way.
Jan Tetstone

Gainesville, FL

#22 Jun 30, 2012
states' rights
states' rights, in U.S. history, doctrine based on the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which state:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bil...
You might want to check your copy of the US Constitution, again.
Where does it say that individuals in the State of Florida cannot place a monument reflecting their [not the government's]religious belief or their lack of religious belief on Public property in the State of Florida?
Anonymous

Gatesville, TX

#23 Jul 2, 2012
Rob D wrote:
You Christians are idiots, plain and simple...
Lack of tolerance is what will be the downfall of any nation or individual. For all your hatred and bitterness against people who say they are Christians, how many have made such a statement about atheists (i.e. all atheists are idiots...), or even people of any other faith or belief? Consider the attitude of the person or persons who are speaking, and ask yourself why these people can be nice when bombarded with such hatred. And when you get ready to fight something, you may want to consider whether it's worth fighting about or for in the first place.
Rob D

Apopka, FL

#24 Jul 2, 2012
What a laugh....it's the minorities who protect the rights of all American, NOT the majority.

Maybe it's the majority that need to learn how 'patriotism' really works; how the the little people have to fight tooth and nail to keep the so-called 'patriotic majority' from stepping on them.

Ask any vet who fought and died for this country, and they will tell you it was to protect the rights of the minorities, and to give them a voice in this government, so they couldn't be run over by people who think like you do.

And, the last time I checked, ALL American were subject to the laws of the U.S. Constitution; being a citizen of Bradford County doesn't exempt you from the law.

Yeah, we don't need to believe in superstitious mumbo-jumbo of talking donkeys and guys who supposedly walked on water...we believe in REALITY and SCIENCE (you know, the stuff that gives you the ability to post here), and we KNOW this is the only life you will ever have, and not another in some make-believe heaven land.

If you knew anything about this country, you would know it was NOT founded on religious principles; it was founded DESPITE them, by many men who WERE Athiests, Diests, and non-religious. They saw the dangers of government-sponsored and organized religion, and sought to eliminate the problems inherit in a theocracy.

Whether you know it or not, this country has never been, nor will ever be, a religious nation...you can't lose what you never had.

Know this, too...your "Ten" will be gone, just like that stupid cross on the old water tower...it might take a while, but we WILL win this battle, and you Christian WILL lose.

God Damn America!
jan tetstone

Gainesville, FL

#25 Jul 3, 2012
Strange that any atheist would feel threatened by a cross and a god they claim does not exist.

Red alert! In this life I am an American. I do not push my religious belief on anyone. The placement of the Ten Commandment monument by Americans whose religious beliefs are apparently the opposite of your own is not unconstitutional.

You appear to see Americans in two groups: atheist and Christians.

Then you use vets as an example to push your agenda. The majority of veterans are of the Christian faith. They have long fought under the American colors for the rights of all men to Life, Liberty, and Justice.

Those "vets who fought and died" are those you and your atheist group have attacked, just as you and your group stripped the rights of Christian State troopers to have crosses placed in their memory on state highways.

I feel sorry for anyone who uses the memory of American Christian and atheist heroes to further their apparent self-centered agenda.

You now have moved something bigger than any religious sect. There is a class you have tried hard to leave out of your[the atheist's] war on the Christian belief : NOW you must include us,the Americans who Forefathers and ancestors carved this nation from nothing with their blood, sweat and tears. RIGHT STILL MAKES RIGHT WHETHER ONE IS IN THE MINORITY OR MAJORITY.
Rob D

Apopka, FL

#26 Jul 3, 2012
Except..you're NOT right, and never will be. YOU WILL LOSE THIS FIGHT OVER "TEN"....mark my words. A lie is STILL a lie, be it 1 year, or 2000 years, old.

My dad is a Vietnam Vet, fought Communism, and is an Athiest; my grandfather is a WW2 vet, and also an Athiest...he fought Hitler and the Nazis, to keep this country free and to stop the same kind of thinking that you people promote: Of one superior belief over another...so don't talk to me about using vets as leverage; I HAVE provenance.

Is your faith so weak that you have to have a stone reminder of it? That you have to force it one everyone who doesn't believe in it? What give YOU the right to do that? What makes you Christians so superior?

What if I place a phone call to the local Muslim community, and ask them to place THEIR Islamic religious symbols at the courthouse...is that going to be OK with you people? How about the Star of David for the Jews, or a statue of Buddha? Come on, now...if you people are all about "fairness", then that should be OK, shouldn't it? Doesn't your Jesus say you should be fair to everyone, even us lowly Athiests?

You can argue all you want about this, and call me names and feel pity for me, and even waste your time and breath to 'pray' for me, if you like...the fact is, Ten WILL be removed, one way or another.

Even if I (or someone else) has to step up the pace and place a call to the ACLU, and file a complaint of our civil liberties being infringed on by Bradford County, we will...and we will see justice done, fairness triumph, and the Constitutional law upheld in Bradford County, despite what your kind of people may want.
Jan Tetstone

Gainesville, FL

#27 Jul 3, 2012
Interesting, individual American citizens placed the monument on public property and some in the atheist movement want to strip them of their constitutional right to do so.

"Government doesn't have constitutional rights. Citizens have constitutional rights."

-EllanBeth Wachs-Vice President of Atheists of FL activist http://atheistsofflorida.org/
Jan Tetstone

Gainesville, FL

#28 Jul 3, 2012
As far as ACLU go for it. I believe that my constitutional rights are just as important as yours. In fact, as a citizen I have the same right to sue atheist of Florida.....for threatening American citizens ....as the atheist have to sue private citizens here in Bradford county Florida.
Anonymous

Gatesville, TX

#29 Jul 3, 2012
Rob D wrote:
Except..you're NOT right, and never will be. YOU WILL LOSE THIS FIGHT OVER "TEN"....mark my words. A lie is STILL a lie, be it 1 year, or 2000 years, old...You can argue all you want about this, and call me names and feel pity for me, and even waste your time and breath to 'pray' for me, if you like....
I would rather live my life believing there is a God and die to find there is none, than to live my life believing there is no God and die to find there is one there after all.

No, Rob D, I won't argue with you, call you names, feel pity for you, or waste my time and breath to pray for you. You have the freedom to make you own choices. By the same token, don't try to force your atheism on all those other people you refer to. I hope it brings you happiness to be such a hater.
Jan Tetstone

Gainesville, FL

#31 Jul 3, 2012
Planted atop a remote hill in the middle of California's Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base rests two 13-foot crosses.

Originally erected back in 2003 by seven Marines grieving over lives lost in the war on terror, this site originally established for reflection has now become grounds for controversy.

“It's not a religious spot at all, it's a place for the Marines to grieve and to grow to let go of their burdens of what they had in their soul, so they can go back down that hill and back into battle and put their own lives on the line,” says Marine widow Karen Mendoza.

Her husband Ray was one of those original seven who climbed the hill that day, three of whom have since been killed in action, including Ray.

“It's a symbol of sacrifice regardless of what you think, pray, like or don't like,” says Karen.

Over time the site has become a bit more permanent. A wildfire destroyed the original cross a few years back, so Marines and widows carried these two new versions up the hill.

Now two symbols are at the end of a brutal 3,000-foot hike that begins at an area of the base called Camp Horno and ends at the top of a ridge line that overlooks vast openness in one direction and the glistening Pacific Ocean in the other.

Here the crosses are blanketed in symbols of valor, sorrow and festivity. You'll see Purple Heart medals, pictures, books, messages, mementos from deployments around the globe and even a bottle or can of the fallen's favorite liquor...all left in remembrance.

While those symbols are at times heartbreaking, the rocks are what overcome your thoughts and have taken over the site. Each one has been carried and left here by a Marine, sailor, soldier, airman, widow or child.

Some are in excess of 50 pounds. Some are inscribed. Others look as they have just been freshly torn from the Pendleton ground. All are left as a symbol of the burden it takes to carry one of these rocks on such a brutal hike and the burden it takes to serve and ultimately give a life for your country.

As he overlooks the solemn site recently, retired Marine Colonel Nick Marano tells us,“This wasn’t intended to be a religious memorial, it was just intended to be able to provide a fitting and a dignified memorial to their fallen comrades and frankly controversy was the very last thing on their minds.”

Marano tells me no one would complain if, for example, someone decided to put up a Buddhist shrine,“No one would complain at all, and I bet if we poked around, we’d probably find something like that here…I mean you can see a very side variety of items have been used, everything from a bottle of Jack Daniels to a Purple Heart and everything in between. I think most Americans are very fair-minded and see this memorial, frankly, for what it is,” says the Colonel as he overlooks the site.

He continues:“These two memorials have been sitting out here largely unknown outside of a very small group of Marines and family here at Camp Pendleton. The view that you can even see them from is very restricted, certainly you can’t see it from the public freeway or any of the highly trafficked public roads and even aboard Camp Pendleton it’s a very narrow viewing angle that you have of these crosses and this site.”

But the area has become controversial and more known after a newspaper report last fall detailed the location and posted a picture. In response, several groups filed complaints with Marines arguing the site violated the Constitutional mandate of separation of church and state, including the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers or MAAF. They want the crosses moved to a church on private land and flags or some other symbol used instead to mark the site.
Jan Tetstone

Gainesville, FL

#32 Jul 3, 2012
"This Christian crosses need to go to a private Christian instillation and we need to stick to things that honor everyone equally and maintain neutrality towards government," says association president Jason Torpy.

For 10 years, the crosses have stood on the hill without complaint, but the MAAF says if they don't come down soon, it will file a lawsuit and possibly hold protests outside the Marine base gates. Torpy says the original Marines, while good intentioned, overstepped their bounds by building a shrine without approval or notice from the Corps.

"These Marines were abusing were abusing their access to the installation when they went on to it and starting building things," says Torpy.

Back in 2003, Pastor Scott Radestki climbed the hill as part of the original seven. He's frustrated the debate has come to this and says, "those individuals who have poured out their life, poured out their hope, left those rock stones in mementos at the top of the hill to honor their fallen comrades and to get rid of the burdens and the sadness and frustration so that they can free themselves and make clear decisions and continue to serve in our military focused."

He continues: "I think that is an excellent place to dump it...on top of that hill. And there's a freedom there, there's a hope there, and that's what makes me upset, is that somebody would try to take that away."

U.S. Marine Gunnar Vincens says he's divided on whether the crosses should be taken down. As an atheist in the Marines, he has no objections to a war memorial on the ridge above Camp Horno,“but it is religious in nature and commanders should not bring up marines who may not have the same Christian religious beliefs.”

MAAF and their supporters believe the crosses should be taken down because they're located on federal land and then replaced with something more appropriate in their view, like a flag, eagle, or globe and anchor. Colonel Marano says Marines and others who continue to come here to reflect will be sorry to see them go.

The commandant of the Marines is expected to rule on the cross controversy any day.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/12/marines-...
Jan Tetstone

Gainesville, FL

#33 Jul 3, 2012
Now the atheist have decided to lodge their attacks on private citizens in the state of Florida.

There is a difference in lodging a legal fight to keep government out of religion and attacking American citizens because one does not share their religious belief. Public property is just that it belongs to the American public. No one has denied any citizen the right to buy and place the monument of their choice at the Bradford county courthouse ... or on any other public grounds ...equal rights means just that equal rights.

Sorry, being in a minority does not guarantee any American citizen more rights than his or her fellow Americans.
Jan Tetstone

Gainesville, FL

#34 Jul 3, 2012
A cross is at the center of another church and state controversy in Rhode Island.

Earlier this year, Jessica Ahlquist, 16, successfully sued to remove a school prayer banner from her high school in Cranston, R.I.

Now, an atheist group called Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has written a letter to Leo Fontaine, mayor of Woonsocket, R.I., stating that a cross in the parking lot of the town's fire department is "unlawful" and requesting that the town remove it.

http://media2.wpri.com/_local/pdf_files/2012_ ...

According to the Daily Caller, the letter also asked that a memorial angel and firefighter's prayer be removed from the department's website.

The offending monument was unveiled in 1921 in memory of William Jolicoeur, a member of the American Expeditionary Forces who was killed in France during World War I, the Woonsocket Call explains. The monument was later rededicated in May 1952 to honor three brothers killed in World War II. The original monument was dedicated by French Field Marshall Ferdinand Foch, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, who came to Woonsocket at the end of World War 1.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/26/rhod ...
Jan Tetstone

Gainesville, FL

#35 Jul 3, 2012
Science and atheism do not trump the right that every American has to follow his or her own conscious in matters pertaining religion. That means no one has the right to interfere in another's right to freely exercise his/her religion.


The Atheist in America have now crossed that line.
Jan Tetstone

Gainesville, FL

#36 Jul 4, 2012
I might add: so have the Humanist.
Jan Tetstone

Gainesville, FL

#37 Jul 4, 2012
Jan Tetstone wrote:
A cross is at the center of another church and state controversy in Rhode Island.
Earlier this year, Jessica Ahlquist, 16, successfully sued to remove a school prayer banner from her high school in Cranston, R.I.
Now, an atheist group called Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has written a letter to Leo Fontaine, mayor of Woonsocket, R.I., stating that a cross in the parking lot of the town's fire department is "unlawful" and requesting that the town remove it.
http://media2.wpri.com/_local/pdf_files/2012_ ...
According to the Daily Caller, the letter also asked that a memorial angel and firefighter's prayer be removed from the department's website.
The offending monument was unveiled in 1921 in memory of William Jolicoeur, a member of the American Expeditionary Forces who was killed in France during World War I, the Woonsocket Call explains. The monument was later rededicated in May 1952 to honor three brothers killed in World War II. The original monument was dedicated by French Field Marshall Ferdinand Foch, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, who came to Woonsocket at the end of World War 1.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/26/rhod ...
This link works!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/26/rhod...
Rob D

Apopka, FL

#38 Jul 7, 2012
Blah, blah, blah....all I hear is noise, and lots of posts about things that have no bearing on the issue of Ten being on the tax-payed, public property in Bradford County, and how it's against the law...plain and simple.

I noticed you never answered my question:

WOULD IT BE ALRIGHT FOR OTHER RELIGIONS TO HAVE THEIR SYMBOLS ON THE COURTHOUSE PROPERTY?

Yes, or No?(and, I know you won't answer this question, thereby proving my point).

If "Yes", then I have some Muslim friends I will call, and inform them it would be in their best interests to petition the County to allow them to put their monument right next to Ten.

If "No", then you have proven that you and your kind are, in fact, ignorant bigots.

Also, if Bradford County denies their request, then I would suggest that they sue Bradford County for infringing in their "religious rights", at which time I'm sure Ten will be removed....hmm, sounds a bit hypocritical, huh?

Anonymous (if, that in fact is your real name * rolleyes*)...you are obviously dumber than you type. NOT ONCE, in this whole thread, have I tried to convince you to deny your faith, say you aren't allowed to pray to your god, or 'force' Atheism on you...I've tried to make you understand that YOU don't have the right in this country to force your beliefs on others, or promote them PUBLICLY over other religions...you have COMPLETELY missed the point.

As far as being a 'hater'; you don't know me, so don't presume to judge me ("judge not, lest ye be judged"....hmmmm, sound familiar?) I probably give more money to charity (and do volunteer work) in one year than you have in 10...so, don't talk to me about having morals or being a 'hater', unless you know who I really am.
Rob D

Apopka, FL

#39 Jul 7, 2012
And, the last time I checked, Athiests don't go door-to-door, trying to proselytize people by handing out tracts and offering invites to church...purely a Christian recruitment device.

Sounds a bit like infringement on MY rights to be left alone (and also constitutes trespassing on my property, to boot).
jan tetstone

Williston, FL

#40 Jul 7, 2012
This is the United States of America.

Great idea you have. Because as an American, I have no problem with any monument setting next to a monument of the Ten Comandments. I don't even mind the atheist placing a monument their. May I suggest the Atheist monument display a concret monument with a picture of the atheists' non-religion hat that was approved in Austria: a spaghetti strainer as religious headgear.

http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-07-1...

As for your muslim friends. Since I do have friends who practice the Muslim religion. I have some understanding of that faith[religion]....and would have no problem with a muslim monument setting next to the Ten Commandment... This is the United States....until any person[American] is denied the right to place a monument on public property...It is no infringement on any one's religious or non-religious rights.

The Ten Commandment monument was placed on plublic property by a group of Bradford County Citizens....not the government.

It is sad that the atheist and humanist think that playing one religion against another will help their non-religious beliefs.

Looking foreward to seeing the American version of the spaghetti strainer enshrined in concret.

have a good day.
Jan Tetstone

Williston, FL

#41 Jul 7, 2012
concret= concrete

sorry, about that.

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