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Death Threats and other signs of Christian love

American Atheists caused a bit of a stir by putting up billboards criticizing religion up in Charlotte, NC, where the DNC convention is going to be held.

But there is good news for hateful bigots who use their religion to bludgeon other people with fear and loathing: all of the death threats and hate speech have worked.  Out of fear for safety, the billboard company and the American Atheists have both agreed that the billboards need to be taken down immediately.

“No subject, no idea should be above scrutiny—and this includes religion in all forms,” Ms. Knief said. “We are saddened that by choosing to express our rights as atheists through questioning the religious beliefs of the men who want to be our president that our fellow citizens have responded with vitriol, threats, and hate speech against our staff, volunteers, and Adams Outdoor Advertising.”

Teresa MacBain, American Atheists’ Public Relations Director said, “It saddens me to think that our country is not a safe place for all people to publicly question religious belief. How can we grow as a nation when such censorship exists from our own citizens?”

I really hope that the American Atheists are in touch with the FBI, because this is incredibly uncool.  Even though I’m very disappointed that they have caved to the pressure of the threats, having been on the receiving end of death and rape threats, I can’t say that I blame them.  It just makes me angry.

These Christian assholes who claim moral superiority to the rest of the world and especially to atheists get so upset when someone questions their religious beliefs in public that they freak out and threaten to kill them.  Are you ready for the best part?  This is what the billboard said:

Christianity: Sadistic God, Useless Savior… Promotes hate, calls it love

I think it should be slightly amended:

Christianity: Sadistic followers promote hate, call it love

 

Comments

  1. Rory says

    Cethis, you must be mistaken. It’s terrorism when Muslims do it. When Christians do it, it’s free religious expression, which is unforgivably infringed upon by uppity people asking questions about Christian privilege.

  2. says

    This is incredibly disappointing, yet not unexpected. And I’ll be honest, the billboards weren’t that great. They were way too scattershot. That being said, it’s a shame that those sending the death threats will never understand the irony of having proven one of them to be absolutely correct.

    …again. It’s not like there’s a dearth of examples of this kind of shit happening.

  3. baal says

    Wow, I’m amazed they got them up in the first place and glad they tried. For just 10 words, they really punched a ton of xtian buttons (must be by design). It sucks that they got such a high level of credible threats but as this is a county of laws and the first amendment, I can only hope the xtian terrorists get prosecuted.

  4. smrnda says

    Given all the yammering about how religion is being driven from the public square, it seems more like atheist is being pushed out of the public square. How many Christian billboards get taken down because of this sort of behavior?

  5. astro says

    Taking it down was right unfortunately. Adams Outdoor Advertising although supercool for taking the as clients couldn’t be asked to bear up under threats. Yeah, get the FBI on those assholes

  6. Die Anyway says

    Shoot the messenger. Oh yeah, that’s nice.
    It just reminds me one more time that half the people are below the mean in intelligence. And we have to deal with them.

  7. CT says

    I want to ‘like’ this on facebook but I’d probably get death threats. so, consider this ‘liked’.

  8. CT says

    Just to give you an idea of what constitutes a ‘good’ billboard here, on Billy Graham Parkway (yes, there is such a road) there is a billboard that has “Don’t believe the liberal media” as it’s message.

  9. says

    Believe me, I know the feeling. We have plenty of those signs up and down the Ronald Reagan Turnpike (yes, we have that). Threats of eternal punishment and guilt trips seem to be perfectly ok, but pointing out inconsistency and inhuman messages are somehow worthy of death threats. It’s a sick, sad way of approaching the world.

  10. carpenterman says

    “Promotes hate, calls it love.”
    Nothing gets people angrier than telling them an ugly truth about themselves.

  11. leslie says

    Oh come on. You all are saying you don’t see this as a publicity stunt? What better way for the atheist community to get recognition during the presidential elections than to cause some controversy by saying they are being threatened which will translate into “being discriminated against?” Bloggers will eat shit like that up. You all are so big on evidence, yet swallow this so easily. This is an old tactic and no one is going to take the bait. AA is a joke, it always has been, except to its members.

  12. says

    I’m just wondering what level of death threats could possibly be bad enough that even AA would be willing to back down over it. I’ve never heard of them giving up *any* campaign over backlash before, and I’m sure this isn’t the first time they’ve received threats, or even serious threats. I assume the difference must have something to do with the billboard company itself being targeted in a way that the owners/employees couldn’t handle, and it being deemed unfair to drag them into this mess.

    I really hope this is being investigated properly, and that those who made the threats will be caught and prosecuted. And, dammit, I really want to know what happened here. But I guess probably the details are being kept quiet to protect those who were threatened from being targeted even further?

  13. Anonymous Atheist says

    Yes, AA said the problem is the billboard company employees being threatened, and they wouldn’t have backed down if only AA were threatened, as it is constantly and repeatedly, billboards or no billboards.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/08/23/american-atheists-latest-billboards-taken-down-following-threats/

    When I asked AA Vice President Kathleen Johnson for further comment, she explained that wasn’t anti-atheist discrimination on the part of the billboard company:

    “… the billboard company elected to take them down because of the threats that they received directly. If it was just us receiving the threats, the billboard would have stayed up.”

  14. says

    Thanks for the link, Anonymous Atheist. I think they did the right thing in acting to protect the billboard company, and it sounds like the company was actually pretty decent about it too.

    I’m sort of blase about prominent atheists getting death threats at this point (at least, I will be unless and until I become prominent enough that it happens to me :P), but it’s really shocking that even non-atheist third parties who just happened to take their money to perform a service are now getting dragged into the mix. It reminds me of the thing where Islamic extremists target not just authors who say things they don’t like, but also publishers and bookstores who have the temerity to put their words out.

    These Christian extremists are getting worse and worse. I really, really hope the assholes who made the threats are caught and made an example of by the legal system.

  15. Crudely Wrott says

    I’m imagining a billboard

    A beautiful and tranquil scene, maybe looking out over an ocean or a mountain range. Perhaps a garden. The sky is full of colored clouds and crepuscular rays, maybe after the fashion of Maxwell Parrish. In the foreground, sitting comfortably side by side, are a child and a dog. Or a man and a dog. Or two dogs and a woman. Doesn’t really matter.

    The legend reads, “Oh, my dog. What a wonderful world.”

    Below them, in a simple and legible font, is the contact information for the sponsoring atheist organization.

    Who could justify tearing that down and still look their neighbors in the eye?

    *yes, I know; many could be so brutish and insensitive but still, picture it. so calm and lovely and peaceful*

  16. anubisprime says

    Yeah it seems to be classic symptoms of deep gut wrenching fear on behalf of xians…that know their story is a tatty ragbag of fairy story and childish ignorance and by itself cannot stand up to the rational questions and certainly know their delusion cannot defend itself no matter how powerful and all knowing they boast their fiction is.
    They doubt their own god and that terrifies them, so maybe they should just, you know, help Yahweh out a tad.
    Because they have not a functioning brain between them rational discourse, debate or compromise is not on their radar.
    They are frightened by the unknown, they lash out, the xian way!

    So they know they are on the back foot and they respond in the way that all xians have for 2000 years,
    they threaten physical violence, they like shedding the blood of their enemies, it is what xians do, smite the unbeliever!
    It is the reaction of playground bullies that do not get their way, and they feel uneasy because the sands seem to be shifting under their feet.

    It means Atheism is on their radar in a very prominent and scary way and they are shitting themselves, it means atheism is gaining the position of a threat to their very own delusions, they can counter it no other way.
    Atheism is growing in frequency, and they cannot do anything about it.
    It is pleasing that finally they have realized that point…now the fun will really kick off!

    Scared fundies seem to be resorting to barbarism, viciousness, threat and ignorance of the bronze ages…and by so doing leave themselves wide open to the world of secular justice.

  17. CT says

    I don’t know anything about the investigation but I can tell you that the local news stations think it’s one big joke. Not once in the piece last night did the reporter mention the death threats. Instead she spent the entire piece doing what they’ve been doing all along, asking people on the street what they think about atheists having a billboard. Like anyone around here would say anything good about it without facing serious consequences from work, family and friends. Hell if they asked me, I’d tell them some blithering platitude. I have kids and I don’t need them attacked this school year, thnx. Although my oldest thinks it’s his own personal quest to piss off as many xtians as possible which I’m proud of but it scares the ever loving shit out of me too.

  18. Crudely Wrott says

    I hear you, CT. I’ve been living in Godsboro for just shy of a year. The news and the attitudes in this part of the country are so dispiriting. Even while most everyone seems to be steeped in “the spirit”.

    I’m about to stop trying to figure out why this doesn’t compute. Perhaps I’ll move north.

  19. jamessweet says

    Are you sure the death threats were coming from theists, rather than simply from graphics artists?

    Okay, I kid. Ugly ineffective billboards or no, it’s shameful they were terrorized into taking them down.

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