(Washington, D.C., Oct. 15, 2014)—The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center applauds the Madison County School Board in Danielsville, Georgia, for deciding to modify a sculpture located at the Madison High School football stadium that prominently displays biblical references and Christian scripture.
“No public school should be promoting the majority religion,” said David Niose, legal director of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “We are pleased that the school board has decided to respect the constitutional separation of church and state and the rights of religious and nonreligious minorities.”
On September 25, the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter to the Madison County School Board about the monument on behalf of a concerned citizen. The letter stated that the monument’s prominent inclusion of biblical scripture, combined with the high school’s logo, sent the message that the school district endorses religion, specifically Christianity, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The sculpture, which was highly visible and incorporated into the pre-game activities of the school’s football team, included religious language and Christian biblical references, such as quotations from Romans 8:31 and Philippians 4:13.
Yesterday evening, the school board voted unanimously to remove or cover the biblical references on the sculpture, according to reports. However, not all attendees at the meeting were pleased with the decision. One individual was quoted by reporters as saying, “It seems as if these groups are here as haters…to remove God from [our society], which means they are the antichrist by definition.”
A copy of the letter sent by the Appignani Humanist Legal Center can be viewed here. The Freedom from Religion Foundation also sent a letter, which can be viewed here.
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other non-religious Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.
Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.