7/8/13, No. 73
Jacksonville News with Violent Crawley: Golden Calf to go up at Bradford County courthouse — For the first time, a monument dedicated to the golden calf will sit alongside the Ten Commandments and the Atheists Monument on public property.
The site of this breakthrough is the Bradford County Courthouse in Starke, Florida. A judge Friday agreed with the lawyers for The False Idols Society that no legal justification exists for denying the group the right to add its statue to the ones put up by Christians and atheists.
The most recent battle over religious displays on government land played out as a compromise in Starke between the atheists, who successfully petitioned the court to have their monument erected, and Christian supporters of a longer standing Bible monument. The Biblical monument pays tribute to the Ten Commandments of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and the atheists’ one displays quotes from John Adams and Thomas Jefferson about the separation of church and state.
Jonas Abernathy, spokesperson for the False Idols Society, stated in an email that his group’s statue only makes explicit what is already implicit. “In their hearts, most Americans don’t care about religion — one way or the other. Most just want to become rich so they can buy the latest technology, expensive cars, luxury homes, and have long vacations in exotic places. Our statue represents their point of view.”
Gordon Smith, Sheriff of Starke, announced that worship services at the new statue would be prohibited. “We’re not taking a side here,” he told News 4 Jax. “It’s just that some people believe worshiping other gods is punishable by death via stoning from your neighbors. Now, how would THAT make us look if someone filmed it and it went viral?”