Christians Should Welcome Atheist Monument

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In Florida, a group of atheists have put up their own monument near a public display of the 10 commandments, and they say they have plans for more monuments across the United States.

I tend to be turned off by people who get militant about their religious beliefs, be they atheist or Christian or otherwise. But in general, I support the right of free citizens to make public displays like this. And given how often Christians complain – rightly, in most instances – that there’s a war on their right to express their religious beliefs in the public square, they ought to welcome this monument.

Christians should have taken this opportunity to teach atheists a lesson by tolerating the crap out of their monument.

Sadly, it seems they squandered the opportunity:

STARKE, Fla. — A group of atheists unveiled a monument to their nonbelief in God on Saturday to sit alongside a granite slab that lists the Ten Commandments in front of the Bradford County courthouse.

As a small group of protesters blasted Christian country music and waved “Honk for Jesus” signs, the atheists celebrated what they believe is the first atheist monument allowed on government property in the United States. …

About 200 people attended the unveiling. Most were supportive, though there were protesters, including a group from Florida League of the South that had signs that said “Yankees Go Home.”

“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.”

It seems to me that you cannot support your own right to express your religious beliefs in public while simultaneously protesting others expressing their beliefs.

I hope more atheist groups in the nation go this route, choosing to compete with Christianity and other religions in the public square instead of trying to abolish it. A free society is when we’re all allowed to express our beliefs, not when one group is silenced by another.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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