Atheists donate books to parks
by Jeff Martin, Associated Press
May 21, 2013 12:11 AM | 1019 views | 11 11 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ATLANTA — A national atheist group said Monday that it will donate its literature for use in cabins and lodges in Georgia’s state parks after the governor’s recent decision to allow Bibles there.

David Silverman, president of the Cranford, N.J.-based American Atheists organization, said his group is just waiting for an answer from the state on what the best procedure is to donate several books, including one titled “Why I Am An Atheist.”

“We expect fair treatment, we anticipate fair treatment and we look forward to fair treatment,” Silverman said. “If the state is going to put Bibles in the cabins, they must allow alternate points of view — all alternative points of view without taking sides.”

But it was not at all clear Monday whether the atheist literature would find a place in the cabins alongside the Protestant Bibles.

Asked if the state would allow it, Brian Robinson, a spokesman for Gov. Nathan Deal, would only say that the governor’s office is working on regulations governing the distribution of materials with the Department of Natural Resources and the Attorney General’s Office. Silverman says he’s expecting the state’s decision to take no longer than it did for Deal to order the Bibles’ return.

“There are lots and lots of atheists in Georgia, and there are lots of atheists who visit Georgia,” Silverman said.

One of those atheists, Ed Buckner, was not happy last month when he discovered nine Gideon Bibles in the cabin he had rented with his family at Amicalola Falls State Park in north Georgia. When he complained, park managers removed the Bibles while they sought a legal decision from the Attorney General’s Office.

The AG determined the state was on firm legal ground because it hadn’t paid for the books. That prompted Deal last week to order the Bibles returned to the cabins at Amicalola and other state parks. In announcing the decision, the governor said any religious group was welcome to donate literature.

Silverman’s group responded soon afterward.

“We appreciate the governor’s invitation to place atheist books in the cabins and look forward to providing visitors with the opportunity to learn more about atheism when they visit Georgia’s beautiful state parks,” Managing Director Amanda Knief said.
Comments
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EM Buckner
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May 21, 2013
Some of these folks--and thousands more, posting comments all over America about this--are genuinely missing the point. No one--NO ONE--is trying to keep Christians or any other park users from bringing in and reading whatever they want. What I want--and all of you ought to want it, too--is to choose my reading materials and texts without big brother government's help. --Ed B.
@southhumanist
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May 23, 2013
Well done and I completely agree! The state is not a hotel chain, it's by definition, a public tax funded entity. The logical conclusion of Nathan Deal's original policy are lodge rooms as mini-libraries (not the worst of outcomes but not at all the point).
Lib in Cobb
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May 21, 2013
@Say What: It all depends on what one's interpretation of "lots and lots" may be.

I am atheist and there are more atheists than I thought in GA, due to the bible belt location. We atheists do realize that we are drastically out numbered, but that's fine with us. I don't socialize with very many christians because I find that they will eventually give me the "jesus/salvation pitch" and frankly I am not interested. More of my non atheist friends are Jews, usually Jews don't attempt to convince me that I am a sinner. It seems Jews have more respect for my belief system than christians.
Say what?
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May 21, 2013
There are lots and lots of atheists in Georgia,

Silverman said.....Looks like he needs to look at a bit o data before opening his mouth
Bob1984
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May 21, 2013
Yeah... Because everyone knows there's no atheists in Georgia. There's also no Jews or Muslims.
crowd source library
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May 21, 2013
Effectively, state park cabins shall become crowd sourced libraries. I guess it's always good to have more books in Georgia, but where shall we camp when our rental cabins are full of books?
Lib in Cobb
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May 21, 2013
A fair approach to the problem.
Kennesaw Resident
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May 29, 2013
Indeed.
1legup
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May 21, 2013
I just wonder how Mr Buckner is going to feel, IF he has any human affections, when he meets his family in the life here after, and oh, yes there is one, and he has to explain to them all why he lead with himself to hell--how sad.
Too funny
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May 21, 2013
What's sad is your sick yet childish belief that an Iron age Hebrew war god is vindictive enough to send his supposed creations to eternal torment.
Lib in Cobb
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May 21, 2013
ileg: We atheists don't believe in "life here after", no there is none and no hell either. The amazing factor about those who follow one of the world's 4600 religions is, all you have to do is believe "IT" happened the way "IT" was written. Being an atheist, I have never been able to wrap my brain around the idea of "IT" or "HIM". If religion gives you comfort, I am happy for you. If you believe you are going to see your grand parents, parents or your favorite dog "Fluffy" at some point, that's perfect for you. It's not perfect for me.

I do wish that people would stop knocking on my door with the idea of saving me. I am not drowning.
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