Atheist Activist Group Demanding Florida City to Remove Bible From City Hall Chambers

Bible II pdPINELLAS PARK, Fla. — A nationally-recognized atheist activist group is demanding that officials with a Florida city remove a 40-year-old Bible from city hall chambers.

The Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently sent a letter to officials in Pinellas Park, Florida on behalf of local businessman Randy Heine, who states that the Bible makes him feel uncomfortable when he attends city meetings.

“The Bible must go. It doesn’t belong in a government meeting,” he told Fox13 Tampa Bay. “Every time I speak, it makes me feel awkward.”

According to reports, the Bible was presented to the city in 1975 by the local Kiwanis club and has rested on a desk in the chambers for nearly 40 years since.

Government Relations Administrator Tim Caddell said that local residents have not expressed any grievances about the Bible in the decades that have passed.

“We’ve not had complaints from residents, from people who participated,” he told Bay News9. “We have complaints from groups who come in looking to find something wrong.”

However, FFRF says that the Bible serves as a government endorsement of Christianity, and asserts that such a suggestion is unconstitutional.

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“It’s on display, and that certainly is improper. It shows an endorsement of the Bible as a holy book over other holy books,” Co-founder Annie Laurie Gaylor told reporters. “How would the people of Pinellas Park feel if it was a Quran?”

Therefore, the organization sent a letter to city officials, contending that the Bible must be removed.

“Not only is the city council sending a message of endorsement for Christianity over other religions and nonreligion,” it read, “but display of this King James Bible sends a message of endorsement of one particular Christian sect over all others.”

The letter also takes issues with inserts that are included with city utility bills, which advertise for church events, as well as prayers that precede city hall meetings.

FFRF has sent letters to Pinellas Park in the past, which have heretofore been ignored. However, a review of the correspondence is said to be underway this week.

Reaction to the matter has been mixed.

“I love the Freedom From Religion Foundation! … Help pull this country out of the insanity of superstitious beliefs,” one commenter wrote. “Magical thinking will not improve the human condition.”

“[T]here is nothing about separation of Church and State in the Constitution. The 1st Amendment simply says that the government (federal) will not declare any religion the religion of [the] State. This was due to what England did by making the Church of England the official religion of the country,” another stated. “Religious freedom means you are free to worship and display your worship. You are not supposed to worship behind closed doors!”

FOX 13 News

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  • Mark

    Waa, waa, waa another religious bigot crying over spilled milk. I feel uncomfortable with Jesus, the Bible, Christianity so I demamd my community get on their knees to sacrifice their religious freedom so I can feel comfortable in a public meeting. The absolute true definition of a selfish, religious bigot.

    • C.P. Steinmetz

      I think you meant to say: ‘The absolute true definition of a selfish, religious bigot is the person who insists that government agencies display their religious book.’

      • Mark

        Not at all!!!!!

        Ok smartalec, you can NOT display any religious book on YOUR desk, get the point?

  • Servant

    FFRF, the “uncomfortable” man in this article, will all learn some day that Jesus Christ is as real as their disbelief. How sad they may have to be taught a very permanent lesson when Jesus returns to rule this corrupted planet. I hope the Bible in question remains where it has been in spite of immature threats by non-believers, and may Almighty God forgive their arrogance and ignorance.

  • Amarachukwu Florence Nnamani

    Why do the heathen rage against the LORD and His annointed?. Can a man fight His maker?. Huuuum!, i just pray it won’t be late before these realise that they are playing with FIRE by hating thier creator.

  • God is going to cause this nation to be wiped from this world like excrement from a boot.

  • P kirby

    The only good thing about the way the devil is trying to take out the Bible is that we get to see he is mad. His time is very short. Romans 8:28. Jesus has all power in heaven and in earth. The devil is a liar.God word will never return void. Praise the Lord!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • C.P. Steinmetz

    “You are not supposed to worship behind closed doors!”

    • C.P. Steinmetz

      Jesus – pray – closet – hypocrites?