Bible Sparks Legal Battle Between Georgia and AtheistTerohan Nula May 16, 2013 0 COMMENTS
A battle is brewing over Georgia, as the governor said on Wednesday that copies of the Bible should be allowed to be placed in the bedside table drawers of state-owned vacation properties after an atheist’s objection led to the book’s removal.
Author and former president of a group called American Atheists Ed Buckner says he complained to state officials last month after finding nine Gideon Bibles in the three-bedroom, state-owned lodge he was renting in North Georgia.
Gideons International is a Nashville, Tennessee-based evangelical Christian group. It says it has distributed nearly two billion Bibles worldwide since the group was established over a century ago.
The 67-year-old Buckner who hails from Atlanta said that the state of Georgia was violating the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which prohibits the state from establishing a religion. A complaint by Buckner field last April led to the removal of the Bibles by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Republican Governor Nathan Deal, however, thought otherwise. After consulting with the state’s attorney general, the governor ordered that the books be returned.
“The attorney general and I agree that the state is on firm legal footing as we move to return the Bibles to the rooms,” the governor said in a statement.