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Warren Mayor Compares Atheists to Nazis, KKK

Jim Fouts, the mayor of Warren, Michigan, which is currently being sued because he refuses to allow a reason station along with a Christian prayer station at city hall, responded to that lawsuit by comparing atheists to Nazis and the KKK.

“Once the government opens public space for use by private groups, it cannot pick and choose who can use the space based on the content of their message or whether public officials agree with that message,” said Dan Korobkin, ACLU of Michigan deputy legal director, adding “The city cannot allow speech supportive of religion and reject speech supportive of atheism.”

Fouts told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Marshall’s “reason station” would be diametrically opposed to prayer.

“The city has certain values that I don’t believe are in general agreement with having an atheist station, nor in general agreement with having a Nazi station or Ku Klux Klan station,” Fouts said. “I cannot accept or will not allow a group that is disparaging of another group to have a station here.”…

The city doesn’t endorse the “prayer station,” but has allowed religious groups to set up tables in the atrium for several years, according to Fouts.

“They don’t walk up to people,” Fouts said. “They are just there if someone wishes to seek solace or guidance from them. The atheist station does not serve that purpose. It will not contribute to community values or helping an individual out.”

I’m glad he recognizes that prayer is diametrically opposed to reason, but having a reason station is not disparaging of a prayer station. If someone has problems they want to talk about, one group offers to pray for them and the other offers to help you think through them logically. I bet the second one works better. Fouts, as always, is using ad hoc rationalizations for the outcome he wants.

Comments

  1. Michael Heath says

    Jim Fouts:

    I cannot accept or will not allow a group that is disparaging of another group to have a station here. . .

    Psychological projection, a characteristic of authoritarian Christians, as illustrated by Jim Fouts himself in the very same statement:

    [Warren, MI] has certain values that I don’t believe are in general agreement with having an atheist station, nor in general agreement with having a Nazi station or Ku Klux Klan station.

    They just can’t help themselves.

  2. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    A comparison that, when you think about it, puts atheists in a really good light.

    Because really, whilst the KK and Nazis have quite a lot in common the gap betwixt them and atheists is megaparsecs wide. One o’these things ain’t like the other two ..

  3. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Where did that extra K go to?

    Also neither Klansmen notr nazis can spell – one speaks german the other don’t know where a letter ‘c’ goes.

    Not that I can talk spellig and grandma wise!

  4. raven says

    LOL. Jim Founts is just digging his hole deeper. The atheists should send him a thank you card, and a new shovel.

    I’m waiting for the Wiccan station. And the Pagan station.

  5. Doug Little says

    Why does he think that the Atheist station would operate any differently to the prayer stations in terms of approaching people? Clutching at straws comes to mind.

    The city doesn’t endorse the “prayer station,” but has allowed religious groups to set up tables in the atrium for several years, according to Fouts.

    Isn’t the mere fact that they allow them to setup the tables an endorsement?

  6. says

    Back in the day, my parents bought me an Atheistation for my birthday. Worst game console ever. It made the Nintendo Jaincube look good, and that one only had games about not stepping on bugs.

  7. alanb says

    I’m waiting for the Wiccan station. And the Pagan station.

    Yes, Lord, it is a slippery slope. First atheists and then Klansmen, pagans and Nazis. The town is being overrun by evil. What’s next – PFLAG for God’s sake?

  8. D. C. Sessions says

    Clutching at straws comes to mind.

    Getting to be a handful what with the pearls and all.

  9. iknklast says

    having a reason station is not disparaging of a prayer station

    And even if it was, the atheists still have the constitutional right. There is nothing in the constitution that illegalizes speech that disparages prayer (or anything else, unless you count treason, which is a trifle beyond disparaging!). We don’t need to justify our speech by pointing out that it doesn’t insult theists; we need to justify our speech by pointing out that we have the same right to speak.

  10. anubisprime says

    I cannot accept or will not allow a group that is disparaging of another group to have a station here.

    My irony meter has exploded again, they are really challenged these little sunbeams, so much so they are a parody of themselves.

  11. Artor says

    *Ahem* Calling Lucien Greaves to the Warren City Hall! The rotunda is open to religious displays! Something tasteful please, with horns no longer than 12″.

  12. beezlebubby says

    The real irony here is that Fouts is ignoring the Christian roots of both the KKK and the Nazi Party. Idiot.

  13. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Well, that’s just fine, because their prayer station is diametrically opposed to my reason, and their Christianity is an affront to my morals. Does that mean the prayer station has to go now?
    /serious snark

  14. Sastra says

    “I cannot accept or will not allow a group that is disparaging of another group to have a station here.”…

    I’ve noticed something interesting. Many spiritual and religious people seem to operate under the blithe assumption that they’re not “disparaging” any group or individual … as long as they’re not specifically spelling out what they’re really saying. Implications are socially invisible when it comes to religion.

    “Only Jesus saves” is not disparaging anyone. It’s positive, happy, unimpeachable. No insult in that. “All Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, pagans, atheists are going to be damned to hell,” however, is too explicit. You can say the first sentence and anyone who hears and addresses the underlying message in the second one is just looking for a fight. They’re inserting a negative meaning which simply isn’t there.

    Because hey, that’s not what they said.

  15. Michael Heath says

    To rif on sastra’s very fine point:

    Hell-believing Christians remain in deep denial regarding the moral implications of a god who promises unimaginable suffering for all eternity to humans. So, “Jesus saves”, from what exactly? Who is this infinitely evil entity Jesus is saving us from again? Oh that’s right, Jesus himself.

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