Atheists sue Florida County to remove Ten Commandments monument

By David Edwards
Monday, May 28, 2012 10:49 EDT
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Christians pray for Ten Commandments monument in Bradford County, Florida (WTSP)
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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.

American Atheists Communications Director Blair Scott told Raw Story that the monument made the members of his organization in Bradford County into “second-class citizens.”

“Being made a second-class citizen is an incredibly hurtful and harmful thing to do to anybody in this country,” he explained.

According to the lawsuit (PDF), which was filed in United States District Court on Friday, the 5-foot tall statue is inscribed with the Ten Commandments, a religious text from the Bible, and no other historical or documents from other faiths are on display.

The $22,000 monument was donated by businessman Joe Anderson and unveiled on May 3. American Atheists organized a protest on May 19, but county officials have refused to remove the stucture.

Scott said that his organization was aware of at least four Florida county courthouses that were displaying the 5-foot tall statues donated by Anderson.

“We go to court because they would rather fight for theocracy than uphold the Constitution that they took an oath to uphold,” Scott explained.

A federal judge recently ordered Dixie County to remove an identical monument from their county courthouse. That county has appealed the ruling.

“I don’t know why they are appealing. I don’t know who is whispering in their ear that they are going to win. They’re not,” he insisted. “They are going to lose.”

“There is no secular purpose for the Ten Commandments at all.”

Watch this video from WCJB, broadcast May 22, 2012.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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