Florida court gives atheists right to monument next to commandments

A Florida judge ruled that a privately funded monument of the 10 Commandments could indeed stay in front of a Stark County courthouse, and, if proponents of separation of state and church disagreed, they could install their own monument.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with David Silverman, president of American Atheists who went to Florida for the unveiling of the first of about 50 atheist monuments to come with will provide a counterpoint to these monuments around the country, to discuss the story.


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Atheist billboard sparks debate on issues of bible, slavery and race

African-Americans have charged that the country’s leading civil rights organization for atheists is tone-deaf in terms of its messaging about Pennsylvania’s “year of the Bible.” American Atheists erected a billboard quoting the bible verse “Slaves obey your masters!” depicting an enslaved man with a barbed metal collar around his neck.

A number of African Americans say the campaign was ill-advised and illustrates the disconnect between the organization and people of color. American Atheists counters that the ad was intended to provoke and to show that the bible does promote racist ideals and that viewers’ anger is misplaced.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with AJ Johnson, development director of American Atheists, and Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson, author of “Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars,” to discuss the campaign.


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Atheist: Catholics Deserve More Than Age as Excuse for Pope’s Resignation

It’s been a week since Pope Benedict XVI announced his retirement and with the shock gone, he has returned to several routine traditions, including a week-long spiritual retreat this week in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

Despite this normal routine for the Pope, his early retirement is anything but normal and many questions, including on the Catholic child sex abuse scandals, remain for Benedict, who will be stepping down on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. GMT.

To discuss his resignation and more, host Jamila Bey spoke with American Atheist President David Silverman, who says Catholics of the world should demand that the truth come out as to why the pope resigned.


‘War on Christmas’ Returns

On this Christmas Eve, SPAR with Jamila Bey examines the “War on Christmas.”

Host Jamila Bey spoke with David Silverman, president of American Atheists, and Tom Flynn, executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, to talk about the historical meaning of Christmas and why telling people you aren’t going to deck any halls will get you branded Grinch-like, Scrooge or worse.

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New Atheist Billboard Campaign Targets Religious Beliefs of Presidential Candidates

WASHINGTON — The American Atheists organization has launched a new billboard campaign going after the religious beliefs of the presidential candidates and hopes to create some revealing interfaith dialogue.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with David Silverman, president of the American Atheists, Inc., to discuss the billboard campaign and what kind of reaction Silverman hopes to get from the Republican and Democratic national conventions.