The American Humanist Association, which hates all religion with much fire and brimstone, has found a small, rural community to threaten to sue into submission.
The group and a similar outfit — the Freedom From Religion Foundation — have set its litigious sights on the Madison County School District in the bucolic town of Danielsville, Ga. (pop. 457).
The religious-loathing organizations are demanding that school officials remove a new monument at Madison County High School because it is engraved with two New Testament verses: Romans 8:31 (“If God is for us, who can be against us?”) and Philippians 4:13 (“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”).
The granite monument, which also contains a King Arthur-esque sword in the center, sits inside the Madison County High football stadium. Before home games on Friday nights this fall, players have been running by the monument and touching it as they run onto the field.
For the record, the new ritual has worked fairly well; the Madison County High Red Raiders are 2-1 at home this fall.
The American Humanist Association doesn’t like the monument one bit, though. In an angry letter to school officials, the group charged that the monument violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.
“Numerous cases make clear that public schools are prohibited from taking a position, or even appearing to take a position, on religious belief,” attorney Monica Miller said in a press release sent to The Daily Caller.
“This letter serves as an official notice of the unconstitutional activity and demands that the school district remove the monument immediately or at a minimum, remove the religious references from the monument,” she wrote in the letter to school district officials.
Locals in Madison County aren’t happy about the legal threat.
“If someone doesn’t believe in God, then why should it matter?” asked resident Christin Mitchell, according to Atlanta Fox affiliate WAGA. “What if they believe in a different god than you do? I mean that’s just their belief, but if people do believe in God, they should be able to put his name out there.”
A local resident whose identity has not been disclosed donated the monument to the school district as part of a larger set of improvements to the high school football stadium.
A “concerned citizen” informed the American Humanist Association about the monument, the group claims.
“We have discussed the situation with our attorneys and are in the process of responding to the entities and forming a plan to deal with the situation,” school district superintendent Allen McCannon said, according to the Madison Journal.
The local school board has a scheduled meeting next month during which local residents will be able to sound off about the monument melee.
The American Humanist Association was last in the news earlier this month when it launched a national campaign to inspire Americans to refuse to say the entire Pledge of Allegiance everywhere, all the time until Congress officially removes the famous phrase “under God” from the patriotic, 31-word oath because, the atheist outfit argues, the two words discriminate against the rights of Americans who are not religious. (RELATED: Atheist Group Now Wants Everybody To Sit Out The Pledge Of Allegiance)
The campaign has included advertisements at bus stops in a couple of places, Washington, D.C. and New York City. There are also YouTube video ads.