Remember New York State Sen. Andrew Lanza, who flipped his lid over the American Atheists billboard in Times Square recently? Well he’s now amended that press release he sent out twice, though he keeps that ridiculous Nazi comparison. Apparently he still stands by that one. And now he’s appended one of the most ridiculous not-pologies you’ll ever see:
“I have, for the second time, amended the content of this statement. I’ve done so based upon conversations which I have had with callers describing themselves as atheists. They have expressed concern, based upon misinterpretation, that my original statement can be taken as offensive to atheists based upon their beliefs. This is not only the furthest thing from the truth, it is completely contrary to what I have intended to accomplish with my stand. My opposition to the sign has nothing to do with the beliefs of atheists, it has to do with the belief of many that it is hurtful and hateful toward people of faith at precisely the time they are celebrating what they believe. While our constitution protects such unkind statements, so does it protect my right to denounce them. I extend my apologies to those atheists who might have been offended, even if that is by virtue of misunderstanding. I simply believe that it is wrong to do nothing in the face of hatred. I defend the right not to believe as strongly as the right to have faith. I firmly believe, however, that neither should be used to demean the other. What we need is good will toward each other, and I hope this debate and my position has helped people focus upon that.”
Oh yes, of course. He apologizes if you were offended because you totally misinterpreted his words to be offensive to atheists. I mean, what could possibly be offensive about saying that putting up a billboard expressing your views is what led to Nazi persecution? What could possibly be offensive about saying that atheists “don’t believe in decency, civility and kindness to fellow human kind either”? What could possibly be offensive about saying that “people who do not believe in God are hateful and malicious”? What could possibly be offensive about demanding that American Atheists lose their 501(c)(3) status for being so “hateful and malicious”? You were offended by that? You’re obviously misinterpreting him!
Keep digging, Senator. You’re almost there.