Monument to atheism

The new monument to atheism outside Bradford County Courthouse, Florida(Photo: Facebook/Christopher Miller)

Atheists believe that "hospitals should be built instead of a church" and that "a deed must be done instead of a prayer".  

That's according to the inscription on a new monument to atheism that has been erected outside a Florida courthouse.

It is the first such monument to atheism outside an American courthouse and the group behind it, American Atheists, has expressed an interest in erecting more across the US wherever religious displays are to be found on government property, The Christian Post reports.

"It is our preference that the religious monuments in these places be removed," Dave Muscato, of American Atheists, told The Christian Post. 

"It's our position that religious monuments do not belong on government property.  However, if we are unable to get them removed, we are willing to settle for installing our own monuments adjacent to them.  

"Equality is an all-or-nothing concept.  Either no one may place monuments on government policy or anyone can put a monument." 

The 1,500 pound monument to atheism was erected outside the Bradford County Courthouse in front of a crowd of around 300 people.  

The inscription is a quote from Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the late founder of American Atheists.

It states: "An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church.  An atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said.  An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death.  He wants disease conquered, poverty banished, war eliminated." 

The monument was erected on Saturday after American Atheists filed suit against Bradford County over a monument displaying the Ten Commandments that was placed outside the courthouse by local Christian group, the Community Men's Fellowship.

In the settlement, the fellowship's monument was allowed to stay on the condition that American Atheists were allowed to put up their own monument.