For Immediate Release
(Trenton, FL, June 3, 2015)—The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter today to the Office of the County Administrator in Trenton, Florida, concerning a Ten Commandments monument being considered by the Gilchrist County Commissioners.
The letter was sent after concerns were raised by community residents who oppose the religious display on public land and its sponsorship of Christianity. According to the Gilchrist County Journal, Commissioner Kendrick Thomas expressed support for the monument because “it’s time for Christians to take a stand for what they believe in.” The letter asserts that this endorsement of Christianity over all other religions, and religion over nonreligion, is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
“This proposed Ten Commandments monument is a deliberate promotion of religion, and the Constitution protects citizens from this kind of government-sponsored religious favoritism,” said David Niose, legal director of the American Humanist Association.
“No one should feel like an outsider in their own community, but Ten Commandments displays and other religious monuments on government land make nontheists and religious minorities feel marginalized and unwelcome,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.
The letter demands that the County Commissioners not move forward with plans for the Ten Commandments monument and refrain from establishing religious displays on public property.
A copy of the letter can be viewed here.
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other non-religious Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.
Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.