Pinellas Park, FL, has a bible that sits on a dais in its city council chambers. This bothers Randy Heine a very great deal.
The Bible must go. It doesn’t belong in a government meeting. Every time I speak, it makes me feel awkward.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has taken up the cause.
Not only is the city council sending a message of endorsement for Christianity over other religions and nonreligion [a letter of theirs to the city council asserts], but display of this King James Bible sends a message of endorsement of one particular Christian sect over all others.
Of course it does no such thing, no more than the ubiquitous references to God in our government documents and on our currency and…does any such thing, nor does our Congress and our Supreme Court opening sessions with prayer does any such thing.
FFRF attorney Andrew Seidel complained that he has written four letters to Pinellas Park, and
They’ve just refused to even deign to answer our issues, so I think that says something about their mindset.
A mindset with which I heartily agree: gangs like FFRF aren’t worth the trouble of answering, except in court to swat down their plaints.
Also, Americans Atheists Inc is bellyaching because there’s a Ten Commandments monument outside the capitol building in Oklahoma City. In part, their complaint asserts
While at the state Capitol, ([individual plaintiff Aimee] Breeze) is confronted by the Ten Commandments display, which she views as hurtful and exclusive and therefore avoids the area of the display while at the Capitol[.]
Nah. There’s no push to require Breeze to believe or to think or to behave in a particular way. There’s no endorsement of any religion. The only exclusion going on here is Breeze’s exclusion of others’ beliefs.
In fact, the Constitution is not silent on government’s role in matters of religion:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….
Both of those clauses apply, not just one convenient to anti-religionists. And they mean that, in a political arena, anti-religionists don’t get to infringe free exercise, either, morally, if not strictly legally.
Of course there’s also no pressure emanating from a Bible or a Ten Commandments monument pushing members of other religious faiths, or atheists, to believe—or not—in a particular way. Unless there’s something emanating from the Bible or the monument because they’re real.
These anti-religionists know this full well.