TCTI: Too Crazy To Ignore
Dave Ross
AP: cb5791a8-e830-42a7-856b-f7b5518e87f6
Daniel Cooney unveils an atheist monument during a ceremony Saturday, May 29, 2013, at the Bradford County Courthouse in Starke, Flora. His lawsuit resulted in the monument being placed alongside an existing monument for the Bible's Ten Commandments. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Will Dickey)

Another group ... comes out

Typically atheists try to get monuments removed from government property. Like Daniel Cooney, who tried to get the Ten Commandments monument removed from the grounds of the Bradford County courthouse in Starke, Florida.

"That's not a place for us to express our differences. That's a place for, if anything, us to express our commonalities," said Cooney.

But the county refused to remove the monument. At which point David Silverman, president of American Atheists got involved.

"It's a matter of - if you can put religion there, we can put atheism there," explained Silverman.

Finally, he and Bradford County, and Daniel Cooney, came to an agreement: instead of removing the Ten Commandments, American Atheists could put up their own monument - to atheism. And so over the weekend, they did.

It's the nation's first atheist monument on government property.

It declares atheists believe that a hospital should be built instead of a church, and that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. It states that the government of the USA is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion. And it lists the punishments for the Ten Commandments - such as stoning adulterers.

David Cooney, the man who got this all started, told FirstCoastNews.com he was surprised to find there were so many atheists in town.

"This is their 'coming out.'"

Now that they have come out - what next? Atheists can already vote, they can legally marry. There's really only one thing they can't do: get elected. The only self-professed atheist ever to serve in Congress appears to have been California's Pete Stark, who lost his seat last year. Although, Thomas Jefferson did make some pretty serious deletions from his personal Bible, but that's a whole different discussion.

Dave Ross, KIRO Radio Morning News Anchor
Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.
Top Stories

  • 'Still Brutal'
    All lanes of I-5 have reopened, but the damage is done after a rollover crash

  • Songs & Spectacle
    Here are the big concerts coming to the Puget Sound this season

  • The Joker
    Kevin Pierre-Louis soaks up a Seahawks education and brings a sense of humor with him
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.