Skip to main content

No God Allowed in City Park, Atheists Say


Share This article

An atheist group is demanding Oil City, Pennsylvania, remove a bench from a war memorial set up by two veterans.
The reason is one specific word on the bench that was spoken by the state's founder William Penn.  

That word is "God."

Penn's quote reads: "Men who aren't governed by God, will be governed by tyrants."   

Liberty Counsel is volunteering to defend Oil City for free if its city council decides to keep the bench.

The group's attorney, Mat Staver, told CBN News:

"What you have is a monument dedicated to our soldiers who have fallen and the VFW put up this monument.   There's two benches there and one of the benches has a quote from William Penn as a tribute to him as the founder of Pennsylvania.   He was a Quaker, he was a pacifist, and like the people who wrote the Declaration of Independence, he believed our rights come from God.  So the quote from William Penn says 'if we won't be governed by God, then we will be governed by tyrants.'   That quote is what caused the ire of the American Atheists organization to file a complaint against these individuals, saying you have to remove God because that's a violation of the Constitution.  That's ridiculous.   That's certainly rewriting history, to do so…to take a quote from the founder of Pennsylvania and to literally excise out the word 'God.'"

The American Atheists Legal Center insists that a bench in a city park with the word "God" on it violates the so-called separation of church and state.   

The Liberty Council says the atheist group is just wrong and everything about the memorial is completely constitutional.

Share This article