A monument at a Georgia high school has sparked controversy after atheist and humanist groups claim it violates the Constitution’s separation of church and state.
Football players at Madison County High School in Danielsville have a tradition of touching the granite statue on their way out to the field and believe it is a sign of good luck, reports Fox News. But the statue is being called “unconstitutional” by The Freedom from Religion Foundation and the American Humanist Association because it reportedly features two biblical inscriptions. Alongside the phrase “Home of the Red Raiders,” two Bible versus appear: “If God be for us who can be against us?” from Roman 8:31 and “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” from Philippians 4:13.
Both groups have written letters to the county demanding it either “remove the monument immediately” or “remove the religious references.” If neither one of those options can be executed right away, the groups suggest covering the statue, reports WXIA.
Not everyone in the rural community is happy about the protest.
“If someone doesn’t believe in God, then why should it matter? What if they believe in a different God than you do?” Christin Mitchell told MyFoxAtlanta.com. “I mean that’s just their belief, but if people do believe in God, they should be able to put his name out there.”
But AHA legal director David Noise said the group received a complaint from a county resident so this is a very real concern to some people. “It was a colossal lapse of judgment to allow the monument as part of the public school environment,” Noise said. “It sends a clear message that the school favors Christianity, despite the fact that it is a public school that must welcome all students.”
The school board is scheduled to meet about the matter on the second Tuesday of October, at which point residents will have a chance to voice their concerns.
Photo Credit: The Madison County Journal, Fox News