Wooden Sign Featuring Old Testament Verse Comes Down from Michigan Park After Atheists Point Out That It’s Illegal December 15, 2014

Wooden Sign Featuring Old Testament Verse Comes Down from Michigan Park After Atheists Point Out That It’s Illegal

If you were to walk into Hager Park in Jenison, Michigan sometime in the past 50 years, you might have seen this sign near the picnic shelter:

The sign [was] erected in the late 1960s by the Ottawa County Road Commission… The wording on the sign was a verse from the Bible, Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.”

That’s… not right. Why is a government park promoting Christianity?

The Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists, which is also fighting a hydraulic cross in the city of Grand Haven, wrote a letter to Ottawa County officials demanding that the sign come down:

This biblical passage, from the Old Testament (King James version), serves no secular purpose, endorses and promotes Judeo-Christianity over other religions, and demonstrates excessive government engagement with religion. The sign violates the constitutional rights of Ottawa County residents and other taxpayers and park users who do not subscribe to the Judeo-Christian faith.

The 10 members of the Parks Commission were asked for advice on what to do and the majority said the activists were correct. The sign had to come down.

Of course, online commenters are flipping out because those damn, dirty atheists ruined their illegal tradition. I’m sure they’d feel the same way if the sign featured a verse from the Koran…

One guy even started an online petition to get the sign back up. Because he doesn’t understand how laws work.

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