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Group wants atheist books placed with Bibles in Georgia state parks

ATLANTA — A national atheist group said it plans to donate enough books on its views to be placed in all Georgia state park cabins after the state’s governor said Bibles should remain at the vacation properties despite an atheist’s recent complaint.

But Ed Buckner, the atheist who objected after finding nine Bibles in the state-run lodge he was renting, said on Tuesday he is skeptical that Georgia can find a practical way to allow literature from all groups to be equally represented.

“The right answer, and it’s the one I asked for from the very beginning, is to keep all types of religious books and literature out of state park cabins,” said Buckner, an author and former president of the nonprofit group American Atheists. “I don’t know where you draw the line or how you draw the line.”

After Buckner complained last month, Georgia officials temporarily removed the Gideons Bibles from state-run lodges and cabins. Governor Nathan Deal ordered them returned last week, saying he did not believe “that a Bible in a bedside table drawer constitutes a state establishment of religion.”

The governor said any religious group was free to donate literature.

In response, the American Atheists said they would donate popular atheist books, including “Why I Am An Atheist” by Madalyn Murray O’Hair, “god is not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, and “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins.

“American Atheists does not believe the State of Georgia should be placing Bibles or atheist books in state park cabins; however, if the state is going to allow such distribution, we will happily provide our materials,” the group’s current president, David Silverman, said in a statement.

Whether those books will be placed in state lodges was not clear. Gov. Deal’s spokesman Brian Robinson said on Tuesday the state is in the process of writing regulations on donated literature.

“We’ve not been in communication with any outside groups,” Robinson said.

In response, Gideons spokesman Malcolm Arvin said: “We believe that the Bible is the truth and their literature is not. The truth speaks for itself.”

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a case that delves into the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantee of separation of church and state. Two residents of Greece, N.Y., said the town endorsed Christianity by allowing members of the public, who were mostly Christian clergy, to open meetings with a prayer.

Buckner, 67, of Atlanta, said he will not file a lawsuit against Georgia on similar constitutional grounds if the state can develop a policy that treats all groups equally.

But he said there would be many practical and political challenges to creating an all-inclusive policy.

“I think they’ve opened up a can of worms, and they’re going to have a tough time putting all the worms back in,” said Buckner.

Comments

ScubaGolfJim 1 year, 3 months ago

Nice to hear the Govnut subtly suggest that people do something to the atheist books to be put into the state hotel rooms and cabins. That's okay. I'll just burn the buybulls and put them back in the rooms. Write on them "Here's your burning bush!"

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cratergs 1 year, 3 months ago

More than likely the atheist books will be what gets burned. Funny how a group that doesn't believe in a supreme being spends a lot of effort attacking the supreme being.

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KaosinAlbany 1 year, 3 months ago

No, it is to take a stand that what the Governor did was a wrong move. Everyone needs to be treated equally no matter their religion or non-religion. That is the point.

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Yolocaust 1 year, 3 months ago

It would fit in pretty well with the Christian track record. Look up the Library of Alexandria.

I'm wondering what your response would be if they were attempting to put Qurans in these buildings. I'm pretty sure you would fight against that without thinking that you were actually fighting their god and would find those who claim that you know their god is real and that’s why you’re fighting against him, to be absurd. I would be with you in that fight which is why you should be with us in this one.

Whenever considering making a special exception for your personal religion, take a moment and insert a different religion in its place and see how that makes you feel.

We don’t want to see atheist books, Islamic books, or Christian books in these buildings, that’s the point American Atheists is making.

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Yolocaust 1 year, 3 months ago

It would fit in pretty well with the Christian track record. Look up the Library of Alexandria.

I'm wondering what your response would be if they were attempting to put Qurans in these buildings. I'm pretty sure you would fight against that without thinking that you were actually fighting their god and would find those who claim that you know their god is real and that’s why you’re fighting against him, to be absurd. I would be with you in that fight which is why you should be with us in this one.

Whenever considering making a special exception for your personal religion, take a moment and insert a different religion in its place and see how that makes you feel.

We don’t want to see atheist books, Islamic books, or Christian books in these buildings, that’s the point American Atheists is making.

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ScubaGolfJim 1 year, 3 months ago

Funny how you can't comprehend the difference between "attacking (a) supreme being" and attacking the forcing of that imaginary "supreme being" into your life every day by people that would be called "delusional" by normal standards. (What?)

Example: Why is it that a certain group of people think that someone claiming a "supreme being" had told them something is mental only when that something was something like "drown your kids in the bath tub/" Did your "supreme being" not tell people to kill their kids in your book of fables? So why would you think that he would be any different now? Your "supreme being" wiped out entire civilizations. What's three kids? Right? Oh the hypocrisy of the religious!

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ScubaGolfJim 1 year, 3 months ago

Funny how you can't tell the difference between "attacking (a) supreme being" and attacking the shoving of that "supreme being" into your life every day by people that would, in normal circumstances, be labeled as delusional.

Funny how a certain group of people believes that an individual that claims to have "been spoken to by" or "received a message from" a "supreme being" is a mental case only when the "message" was something like "drown your children in the bath tub." Which really makes the person "mental?" The fact that she claims to have received a message from a "supreme being" or the content of the message? If you claim the content... didn't your "supreme being" order people to kill their children in your book of fables? Didn't your "supreme being" supposedly wipe out entire civilizations? So that message is different how?

"My boy's life was saved because god was looking out for us" when the shark bit off half of his leg. So why didn't your god prevent the shark attack in the first place? Oh yeah... because "the lawd work in mysterus ways." I guess occasionally making little babies suffer great pain that drugs can't control is because your "lovin' gawd" is again working his mysterious ways. Oh the hypocrisy of the religious!

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Sister_Ruby_Two 1 year, 3 months ago

There appears to be an echo in here.

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erudite 1 year, 3 months ago

Freedoms of religion and speech are not appreciated here. I have been moderated because I fired back at a comment about my mother.

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Shinedownfan 1 year, 3 months ago

You wished death on a fellow commenter, erudite. You cussed at commenters too. You need to be moderated.

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erudite 1 year, 3 months ago

So she has free speech to insult my mother but I dont' to insult her back? True wit, you.

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Shinedownfan 1 year, 3 months ago

I have been moderated since Sept. or Oct. for a picture I posted, and I refuse to appologize in order to get off the moderator list. I'm hoping some day they will realize I am harmless.

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erudite 1 year, 3 months ago

So she has free speech to insult my mother but I don't to insult her back? True wit, you.

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Sister_Ruby_Two 1 year, 3 months ago

It was just the traditional "yo mamma" joke. Don't be so sensitive.

Everybody loves a good "yo mamma" joke, except hardcore commies, rabid O'Bamaphiles, and lobotomy candidates.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 3 months ago

You wouldn't have this problem if you moderated yourself.

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VSU 1 year, 3 months ago

If you are being moderated shows that the herald didn't appreciate your freedom of speech Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! They should have stuck a sock in your dirty mouth a long time ago.

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VSU 1 year, 3 months ago

I don't know, but I get a laugh with you talking with a sock in your dirty mouth.

How does that sock taste?....Mghjjfjfjfdkdfnvdkvhjnievl Ha! Ha! Ha!

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Shinedownfan 1 year, 3 months ago

Oh, come on VSU, you dont have to be that way...

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VSU 1 year, 3 months ago

I know, but sometime you gotta have some fun. I don't think it was fair that they moderated you just for posting one picture. They could have just simply deleted it and be done with it. I've read a lot of your posts and none have been vulgar, so the herald should have given you the benefit of the doubt.

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Shinedownfan 1 year, 3 months ago

I'm not moderated anymore as of today!!! Yay! Now maybe I can change my sunset picture.

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VSU 1 year, 3 months ago

What did you do, get on your hands and knees and beg for forgiveness and a second chance?

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Shinedownfan 1 year, 3 months ago

nope, just commented above ... "Shinedownfan 5 hours, 2 minutes ago I have been moderated since Sept. or Oct. for a picture I posted, and I refuse to appologize in order to get off the moderator list. I'm hoping some day they will realize I am harmless." and they took pity on me. :)

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VSU 1 year, 3 months ago

Seemed to have worked. I guess the moderator took exception to you showing them up by reposting that picture they deleted that Sister Ruby posted. Congrats for being taken off the moderator list.

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AnotherMom 1 year, 3 months ago

A book on atheism should be simple & cheap to make - it would be a book with blank pages. How difficult is it to say you believe in nothing. If someone chooses to not believe in God, that is their perogative. What I don't understand is why it bothers them so much that other people do believe in God and why does having a book in a drawer offend them so much? I have been told by liberals and those who have alternative beliefs that if I don't like it I don't have to look at whatever it is that offends me or listen to whatever offends me. Why doesn't that philosophy apply to them?

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erudite 1 year, 3 months ago

Will you pay taxes to include a Qu'ran and a Book of Mormon and the Talmud or any other holy texts? How about an Orthodox Christian Bible?

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erudite 1 year, 3 months ago

Atheism is not about believing in nothing; it is literally without a god (a= without, theo=god.) They believe in lots of things just like theists do.

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bubbavet 1 year, 3 months ago

Wheather you believe in God or not, you will find out for sure when you die.then it will be I told you so. You should have listened.

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rock 1 year, 3 months ago

Why do we let a few malcontents cause so much trouble. One, ONE!, person complained about the bible in state cabins and an uproar was created. If this sh47 bag does not believe he should not read or be concerned that I read the bible. I do not believe in atheists, I find their literature comical and at time upsetting, but I do not buy and I do not read it. WE as the Christian masses need to stand up to these POS and file OUR complaints with ACLU and other groups and make them defend our rights as well. Until we do this we will get attacked because it is the BS that gets the news. Stand-up for God, Stand-up for Public Prayer, Stand-up for what you believe and make our legislatures realize we are a LOUD, PROUD MAJORITY tired of the BS brought upon by a few, whose sole aim is to just create trouble.

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Sister_Ruby_Two 1 year, 3 months ago

If you believe in "nothing" then I guess your book would be somewhat similar to a blank diary. I think people would appreciate having a blank diary/journal in their rooms so that they could write little ditties like "Thank you God for creating such a beautiful world for us to enjoy" and horrible, hateful things like that which others could read and be incited to violence. Great logic, huh?

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chinaberry25 1 year, 3 months ago

We do not pay taxes to have those Bibles placed there. If all the other religions want to pay for them, I have no grievance with them being placed there. But I will tell you, I have had many Christians approach me on TV, real life, but I have never had an atheist try to witness to me. Why?? Somewhere in the past I read, if man does not have a god, then he will invent one. But all said and done, how has Islam and Christianity lasted all these years? Explain that. You cannot be a scientist or a mathematician and not believe in God.

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Thurman 1 year, 3 months ago

It appears that people are using the Herald as a means of venting personal vendettas. That is not the purpose of the "comments" section of each news article. As far as allowing ANY religious group to furnish printed literature proclaiming their beliefs--that's fine with me as long as Georgia tax monies are not used in any way for this. I do/have/will continue to rent cabins at Georgia State Parks and it will not bother me at all if there are several books/pamphlets on religions other than my Christian beliefs. I do not have to view them.

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agirl_25 1 year, 3 months ago

Best post so far- do not view them. I don't get all bent out of shape when I stay in a hotel that has a bible in the nightstand.

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Abytaxpayer 1 year, 3 months ago

Is it just me or are the Atheist acting like a group of HoMophobes? You may not believe in something someone else does but is your belief so weak that the site of a mere book might turn you religious. Most Homophoes do not like gays but they know just being near one will not turn them gay. You have no respect for someone else views so just how do you DEMAND respect for your view?

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Ihope4albany 1 year, 3 months ago

Wow our Gov. takes a stand on Bibles in state run organization, but when it comes to taking a stand our county schools systems in our state still condoning segregated proms, he's hands off.

I hope that some of those Bibles can make their way to those county schools systems still condoning segregated proms by way of letting parents and students sponsor the proms.

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Abytaxpayer 1 year, 3 months ago

@Ihope at just what point are you going to STOP playing the victim????? Funny how You keep claiming to be a victim when the Governor allows a self-supported group do something YOU do not agree with. But you see no racism hiding behind “Black Congressional Caucasus” “Black Mayors Conference” or “Historically Black Colleges”. Then you cry it is only because of “Stolen Wages” that you are where you are today. At what point will you accept your victimization is self-inflected and not because someone does not want to socialize with you not because of the color of your skin BUT because of yourself hate and self-described victimization. A little more self-refection would serve you and your followers far better than claiming as a victim you are owed the destruction on “The Rich White Male”. You are the one who has set you and your follower’s standards so low. Where were you demanding black students work harder instead you demanded standards be lowered for your “special” group. Where were you demanding “Historically Black Colleges” use higher standards for students instead of making a “college education” more accessible with easier requirements. Where were you demanding an end to teen pregnancy that does more to keep kids trapped in poverty? Where were you demanding more parent involvement with their children to provide them guidance to stay out of a life of crime and gangs? WHERE WERE YOU. TOO BUSY BLAMING HISTORY AND THE “WHITE MALE SOCIETY” TO EVEN RELIZE YOU WERE STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR OWN HOUSE AS IT BURNS TO THE GROUND. You are the best example of what is wrong with Albany. Instead of trying to improve Albany and WORK together you are intent on playing “Blame another group (who you will not describe by gender and race) but you then describe (everyone else practically who don't happen to be males and white). You are the one that “IS ABOUT HOW RACE IS USED AS A SCAPEGOAT” Race is your excuse and not the reason you are who you are today.

BTW I grew up picking cotton and my parents Loved me enough to beat my butt when I even thought of doing something wrong. I have no problem helping the Helpless I just have no patients with people who will not even try before they blame someone else for their failure to get up and try.

Hope the monitors don’t choke on this since you allowed Ihope to rant on race!

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