This gives new meaning to the expression, “hard to believe.”
Atheists unveiled the nation’s first public monument to secularism outside a county courthouse in Florida last week — a 1,500-pound gray granite bench engraved with quotations extolling the separation of church and state.
The group American Atheists said it had decided to put up its own monument only after failing to force Bradford County to remove the six-ton statue of the Ten Commandments that a Christian group had put up nearby. —NYTimes
I suppose offering human beings a surface on which they can plop their asses and fart on wise quotations is as respectable and effective as building large vertical statues of religious figures and the Ten Commandments for birds to rest, roost, and drop runny turds. What impact this has on separation of church and state is less clear.
On the positive side, at $6,000 a pop, the group’s plan to build 50 of these benches promises to put some money into the pockets of artists and sculptors. Atheism as a financial engine. Artists for Atheism!
And look: it’s just beginning!
The atheists’ monument-building campaign is a new tactic in a long-running battle over the boundary between church and state. Having failed to persuade the courts that it is unconstitutional for a private organization to put up Christian monuments on government property, the atheists figured they should get in the game.
But building monuments to atheism from sea to shining sea is not really their goal. They figure that once atheists join the fray, every other group under the sun will demand the same privilege — including some that Christians might find objectionable, like pagans and Satanists. In the end, the atheists hope, local governments and school boards will decide that it is simpler to say no to everyone.
I can see it now — Pantheists, Scientologists, Church of All Worlds, Yahweh, Thee Temple of Psychick Youth, Church of the Sub-Genius, all scraping together a few bucks and petitioning Parks and Rec for space in the Village Green for their testimonial structures. Can the Elves, Gomes, Leprechauns, Little Men’s Chowder and Marching Society be far behind?
And imagine what some of these proposed religious relics would look like! How about a large toilet seat? Or a pair of ceramic nostrils? Maybe a statue of Zippy the Pinhead? Is there any doubt there are worshippers who make a fetish of these icons?
About the only one everybody would agree on as appropriate to the relationship between religion and government is a dollar sign.
Come, let us worship together.