The atheist believe that their monument serves as a counter to the religious Ten Commandments monument that it is sitting next to. Previously the Atheists sued to try to have the Ten Commandments slab taken from the courthouse. When that failed it came up during mediation on the case that the group could have its own monument if they so wished. So that is exactly what they did.
On the day of the unveiling of the monument a few small group of high minded and enlightened "believers" decided to voice their disapproval. They did this in several ingenious ways.
First they blasted Christian country music in hopes of stopping the proceedings.
When that failed to deter the Atheists the righteous group then took to waving "Honk for Jesus" signs at them.
Later another good Samaritan driving by in a car tossed a toilet seat and a roll of toilet paper at the crowd. Brilliant… Even I can grasp the subtle symbolism in that.
At another point a self proclaimed creationist preacher named Eric Hovind, 35, of Pensacola jumped on top of the monument and shouted his thanks to the atheists for giving him a platform to declare Jesus is real. He stepped down after about a minute.
There was even a a group from the Florida League of the South that had signs that declaring "Yankees Go Home" while they held Confederate flags.
Michael Tubbs, state chairman of the aforementioned Florida League of the South said "We reject outsiders coming to Florida – especially from outside what we refer to as the Bible Belt – and trying to remake us in their own image. We do feel like it's a stick in the eye to the Christian people of Florida to have these outsiders come down here with their money and their leadership and promote their outside values here."
Rick Wingrove, the director of a Washington D.C.-area office of American Atheists. "We protest their events, they protest our events. As long as everybody is cordial and let people speak... We're fine with them being here."
In an interesting note the 1,500-pound granite bench has quotes from Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the founder of American Atheists and also includes a list of Old Testament punishments for violating the Ten Commandments, including death by stoning... Maybe with a giant granite slab?
About 200 people attended the unveiling.
Here are a few pictures of the anti-Atheist protestors doing their thing...