Fla. student groups support FFRF in protest of bible verse inscription

Two student groups at the University of Florida, Gator Freethought and Humanists on Campus, recently sent a letter to University President W. Kent Fuchs in support of the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s objection to a bible verse inscribed on a new building on campus.

New business school building Heavener Hall has a bible verse on an archway reading, “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your god. Micah 6:8.”

FFRF, a national state/church watchdog, sent its letter of complaint on April 13, calling the inscription a violation of the First Amendment and asking the university to remove it.

“We, as students and staff of the University of Florida, feel that the quote promotes Judeo-Christian beliefs over all other beliefs on campus, and that this alienates members of the University of Florida community, such as ourselves, who do not hold the same beliefs and encourages discrimination against ourselves and other individuals of different faiths, creeds, and beliefs,” the student groups wrote in a letter dated April 23.

The organizations, who have about 45 active members between them, requested the verse be replaced with “a more secular, encompassing inscription.”

“It’s wonderful to see students standing up for their rights and taking an active interest in upholding the Constitution,” said FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel.

“Religious bible verses belong at a sectarian college, but have no place at a public university, supported by all taxpayers. Public institutions should send a message of inclusion to all students, regardless of religion — or irreligion,” added FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.

The university told FFRF on April 15 that it was reviewing the complaint. FFRF has more than 22,000 nonreligious members in the United States, including more than 1,000 in Florida.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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