Atheist: Georgia Gov. Endorses Hooliganism
The dispute between Georgia atheist Ed Buckner and Georga Gov. Nathan Deal continues to heat up.
Buckner, chairman of the Atlanta Freethought Society’s (AFS) Activism Task Force and former president of American Atheists, had tried to get Bibles removed from state park lodges and cabins. State parks began to comply with his request.
Deal insisted the Bibles be returned to the state-owned cabins and lodge rooms, and controversy has swirled ever since.
The AFS announced this week it will contribute AFS-published books to Georgia State Parks lodgings. This is in direct response to the invitation by Deal to all groups to contribute materials, since he refused to remove Bibles from the cabins and lodges.
Now the governor has acted, according to Buckner in a statement, even more irresponsibly, publicly declaring that “If there is some atheist literature in state park cabins, visitors don’t have to read it. If they want to put it there, I can’t guarantee its safety.”
Buckner noted, “This is a tacit endorsement, unbecoming to the chief executive of our state, of hooliganism and vandalism by Georgia Christians. Gov. Deal has a clear constitutional duty to offer reasonable protection for any property accepted for use in state park cabins, regardless of whether that property consists of Gideons Bibles or atheist books. The Georgians I know — Christians as well as atheists — are responsible citizens who can decide what to read or not, but who would not childishly try to defeat ideas by destroying books.”
Buckner called on Deal to withdraw his comments.