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Jul 01 2013

Atheist monument unveiled in Florida

athiests2n-2-web

Many years ago I delivered flowers for a local for a florist Austin who lived across the street from my family in Austin. One day the delivery was marked Madalyn Murray O’Hair: The flowers were blackish roses and there was a smarmy card attached which, as I recall, included the promise “We will pray for you.” I didn’t know who she was at the time. My born again sister/coworker eagerly gave me the pejorative version.

We haven’t come much further since then when it comes to public perception, which is why this site and you guys are so important. But maybe the tide is beginning to turn. The American Atheists have unveiled a monument to non belief which provides a counter point to those popular among Christians.

NYDailyNews — After a cover was taken off the 1,500-pound granite bench Saturday, people rushed to have their pictures taken on it. The bench has quotes from Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the founder of American Atheists. It also has a list of Old Testament punishments for violating the Ten Commandments, including death and stoning.

Naturally, those who scream oppression the loudest when their idols are challenged in the public square are bothered by this free expression on behalf of millions of Americans:

“We reject outsiders coming to Florida — especially from outside what we refer to as the Bible Belt — and trying to remake us in their own image,” said Michael Tubbs, state chairman of the Florida League of the South. “We do feel like it’s a stick in the eye to the Christian people of Florida to have these outsiders come down here with their money and their leadership and promote their outside values here.” …
At one point someone in a car driving by tossed a toilet seat and a roll of toilet paper at the crowd. Neither struck anyone. At another point, Eric Hovind, 35, of Pensacola jumped atop the peak of the monument and shouted his thanks to the atheists for giving him a platform to declare Jesus is real.

9 comments

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  1. 1
    raven

    1. How long before it is vandalized? I’m guessing sooner rather than later. It’s a xian thing.

    2. I do hope they have a video camera on it. It will make a great Youtube video and advertisement for the religion of peace and tolerance.

    3. I do hope they kept the plans and have some spares. I will certainly donate some money for the replacement. Or replacements.

    It was quite clever to make it out of granite. It makes it harder to vandalize and a lot of xians could use the exercise.

  2. 2
    raven

    At one point someone in a car driving by tossed a toilet seat and a roll of toilet paper at the crowd. Neither struck anyone.

    Oh.

    Well, that was quick.

    It was unveiled and within a few hours, it’s already started.

    We should have a contest to guess the first vandalism. I’m going for within a month.

  3. 3
    Trebuchet

    We should have a contest to guess the first vandalism. I’m going for within a month.

    A month? I’d be surprised if it has n’t happened already.

    Meanwhile Eric Hovind’s daddy Kent is still in prison for tax evasion. Because conservative Christians are SO patriotic! (He was convicted under the Bush administration, by the way.)

  4. 4
    boygenius

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for installing the monument. I have no problem with the design incorporating functionality, i.e. a bench.

    Does it have to be so butt-rippin’ ugly?

    Atheistic and aesthetic are not antonymic.

  5. 5
    Marcus Ranum

    Wow, if it’s really offensive maybe now they’ll understand how annoying their religious imposition is on atheists? Naah.

  6. 6
    howardpeirce

    Maybe it’s a generational thing (I turn 50 next month), but Madelyn Murray O’Hair seems really problematic to me as an Atheist role model. I was only a kid when I first heard of her (but already moving away from religion), and she seemed linked to all this skeevy crap, especially from her “compound” in South Texas (was it in Matamoros?). So I’m kind of reluctant to embrace her contributions. Or maybe it’s a class thing, and I need to examine my privilege? Or maybe I took in too much pre-Internet MSM propaganda?

    I really like Dave Silverman and today’s AA, but I subconsciously lump O’Hair in with people like Vacula and Hitchens under the taxon “Atheists We Might Be Better Off Without.”

  7. 7
    teele

    “We do feel like it’s a stick in the eye to the Christian people of Florida to have these outsiders come down here with their money and their leadership and promote their outside values here.”

    So, Mr. Tubbs is saying that Florida Christians are poor and lacking in leadership skills? Perhaps if they quit throwing their spare cash at people like Mr. Tubbs, who constantly exhort them to be followers rather than leaders, they might improve their plight. If some of these poor Florida Christians suggested to Mr. Tubbs that he find honest, productive work rather than continue to leech off of them, it could be a first step to honing some leadership skills of their own, and they could certainly put their money to better use.

    Although to be fair, by voluntarily funding the hundreds of thousands of fundamentalist preachers and their endless array of tax-exempt organizations, the evangelicals are keeping a lot of con men out of general circulation, and a lot of lazy jerks off the welfare rolls.

  8. 8
    Pierce R. Butler

    The dedication drew about 200 supporters, despite rain all morning (which cleared when the ceremony began).

    The League of the South guys revealed their true colors, literally, by carrying a set of Confederate flags. On the other hand, they didn’t make a lot of noise, and peacefully marched away once the event began. (However, a small group of other protesters, waving “Honk for Jesus” signs, played lousy christo-pop music from a pickup’s stereo across the street loudly enough to be a nuisance across four busy lanes of traffic – the local cops had them turn it down a few times, but let them rip once the dedication was over.)

    Generally unreported: the seat of the bench fits into a slot on the side of the pillar which carries the various inscribed quotes. Final assembly had been completed not long before the dedication, so the adhesive bonding seat and pillar had not set when the tarp came off and people started sitting down. After the first few dozen butts hit the granite, the pieces went a few inches out of alignment and the whole thing had to be sealed off with traffic cones and police tape until the installer returned to fix it. Make of that what allegories or omens you choose, oh ye of little-to-no faith!

    The Gainesville Sun ran a nice piece on the event (including a set of photos and Silverman’s announcement that an anonymous donor had offered to underwrite ~50 more such monuments around the US).

  9. 9
    Ehthel Dennis

    as Louis said I am inspired that a person able to get paid $8300 in a few weeks on the internet. did you look at this webpage http://www.Green37.com

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