Governor Deal: Atheists can put books in state park rooms

12:02 PM, May 22, 2013   |    comments
Cabin at Red Top Mountain State Park
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ATLANTA (AP) -- Gov. Nathan Deal says he believes in the right of atheist groups to donate literature for use in cabins and lodges in Georgia's state parks just as Bibles are allowed.

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Deal said Tuesday "if somebody doesn't want to read the Gideon Bibles, they don't have to take it out of the drawer. If there is some atheist literature, they don't have to read it."

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He added he wasn't sure of the response from visitors, saying "If they want to put it there, I can't guarantee its safety."

American Atheists says it plans to donate several books including "Why I Am An Atheist."

Park managers initially removed Bibles after receiving a citizen complaint. The state attorney general later advised it was OK since the Bibles weren't paid for by the state.

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