Starke Florida mañana! Atheist monument at courthouse next to 10cmdnts... (history)

http://hernandotoday.com/he/list/hernando-columns/a-right-for-the-r...

In this month alone, an atheist monument stirred controversy in Florida, an atheist applicant for citizenship was instructed to join a church and a congressional committee nixed atheist chaplains.

Let's start with the first-ever atheist monument, a 1,500-pound bench erected alongside a Ten Commandments monument in front of the Bradford County Courthouse in Starke, Florida.
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But many members of Congress have yet to learn this First Amendment lesson.

Last week, the House Armed Services Committee voted down an amendment to the defense bill that would have authorized atheist and humanist chaplains in the military.

Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist chaplains serve in all branches of the military.

But a majority of the members of the Armed Services Committee apparently believe that the non-religious don't have the same needs as the religious for counseling, support and community.

These and many other clashes involving atheists fighting for equal treatment could be avoided if government officials understood that religious liberty isn't just for the religious.

As guaranteed by the First Amendment, religious liberty is built on a simple, but profound, principle: A right for one is a right for all.

Charles C. Haynes is director of the Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum.

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