American Atheists files suit in Bradford Co. monument case
The civil rights and First Amendment defenders officially filed a lawsuit against Bradford County, FL for their erection of a Ten Commandments monument in front of their courthouse.
According to the official press release
from American Atheists, the suit was filed Thursday in the United States District Court in Jacksonville, claiming the monument violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments by showing preference for the Judeo-Christian religions above any other religion or non-religious affiliation.
Florida Director for American Atheists, Bridget Gaudette, stated in the release:
“Bradford County is devaluing our Constitution by putting up this display. The Establishment Clause prohibits preference by the U.S. government of one religion over another. The Ten Commandments monument shows preference to the Judeo-Christian religions and dismisses other religious and non-religious philosophies and beliefs.”
Ken Loukinen, Director of State Operations for AA stated that “what we need is a 6-ton granite monument of the U.S. Constitution to serve as a reminder that we are all Americans and should be treated equally: without bias."
AA president David Silverman reiterated the existence of the separation of church and state and the importance of equality by saying, "Equality is an all-or-nothing prospect. The government is not allowed to sponsor one religious position and ignore all others. Even Christians have to obey the law."
The lawsuit comes in the wake of a protest by a handful of atheists
held on May 19. Dixie County, FL also lost their battle
to keep an exact replica of the monument in front of the Bradford County Courthouse in 2006.