According to various news sources, the Freedom From Religion Foundation based in Wisconsin is seeking to place a monument on the Arkansas Capitol grounds that would read at least in part,
“There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no Heaven or Hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds. Freedom depends on freethinkers. Keep state and church separate.”
If the wording of the proposed monument sounds familiar, that’s because it is very similar to a sign the group tried to force a city in Michigan to display in 2012.
At that time, the group was trying to combat Christmas decorations the City of Warren had displayed. The proposed sign read,
“At this season of THE WINTER SOLSTICE may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world, Religion is but Myth and superstition that hardens hearts And enslaves minds.”
The sign was rejected by local officials who found it inconsistent with the Christmas decorations the city displayed. The group sued the city, but lost when the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled there was no need to place an anti-religion sign alongside a Nativity scene and other Christmas decorations.
This latest move by the Freedom From Religion Foundation appears to be an attempt to counter the proposed Ten Commandments Monument the Arkansas Legislature authorized for display on the State Capitol grounds earlier this year. If the Sixth Circuit court ruling is any indicator, however, it seems unlikely the State of Arkansas can be forced to put up an anti-religion display without legislative approval.