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Skeptimedia is a commentary on mass media treatment of issues concerning science, the paranormal, and the supernatural.

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Atheists in foxholes, gods on benches

26 Feb 2010. A military veteran received permission from the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors to have words from a poem he composed during the 1991 Gulf War inscribed on a bench at the El Dorado County Veterans Monument. His poem reads like a prayer:

God I've tasted your heaven through freedom and fought through the pain of these wars and wondered if somehow the something I've given could somehow have been something more.

The veteran, Thomas Soike, donated $3,500 for the bench as a monument to honor his father and brother who were also veterans. Soike said he was told that the county counsel's office advised eliminating the references to God and heaven. The county counsel's office said the issue was whether such messages should be allowed on benches that are on county-owned property.

Another veteran, John Garon, said: "Taxpayers shouldn't be asked to support a monument that is basically a prayer."

I wonder how the board of supervisors will vote when an atheist veteran wants the following inscription on a bench he donates to the county:

In the foxhole bullets flew by
I saw my buddies die and die
Never once did I ask why
of some invisible guy in the sky.

El Dorado county is just east of Sacramento, California, where ten billboards with atheist messages have recently appeared.

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