Jason Torpy, President of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF) alerted me to a shocking comment that was submitted to his website:
I’m a little different than most Christians. I believe in protecting Christians and Christ’s scriptures. I have a radar for people like the slime of Justin Griffith. The only way to fight slime like Justin is to show the narcisist for what he is. Include his childhood history. His parental rearing. His never being taught the Bible or at the least Integrity.
Like I said. I’m a little different than most Christians. I’M COMING FOR YOU. BELIEVE ME YOU WON’T ESCAPE.
YOU’VE LOST YOUR SOUL. IT’LL BE PAINFUL
God Bless your soul in spite of me. God bless your family in spite of me.
You’re doomed forever.
Hot Springs, AR
What a creepy twist to the standard death threat. Just what is he talking about with regards to digging up my childhood history? He might find I:
- was enrolled in Christian daycare
- went to public schools where I argued with science teachers against evolution
- attended various churches
- acted in a play about C.S. Lewis “Shadowlands”
- lived at various houses such as 3601 Sailmaker Ln. – Plano, Texas
- my old phone number was 214-235-1080 (my dad told me I would forget it as soon as I moved, so I ‘proved him wrong’)
- my mother’s old license plate was PWK15G (I remembered ‘Puke 15 grams’)
Here is a childhood picture of me:
I still don’t see how any of this helps him carry out his act of terrorism. Which is basically what we are talking about: religiously motivated violence against a U.S. soldier. I have specific training for dealing with armed religious fanatics, it’s kind of my job. At the very least, this is the threat of a hate crime.
“I believe in protecting Christians…”
This person apparently perceives me as a threat to Christians. I’m not a threat. In fact, I just attended a bible study conducted by one of my Catholic soldiers. I helped him prepare for it, and he did a fantastic job. I asked questions that were relevant topically, but not to debunk per se – rather because the subject matter is interesting. For instance, he was proposing a question to protestants: “Why do you accept the authority of the Catholic church for the canonical New Testament, but not the Old Testament?” He was referring to the ‘missing’ books in the ‘protestant Bible’. It was a compelling argument, and well received by the non-Catholic attendees. I only piped up to explain the nuances of this soldier’s point to another soldier.
It may be hard to believe to outsiders, but I’m well-liked by my religious peers. They appreciate my enthusiasm, and the fact that as I demand respect, I give it. All of my unit’s chaplains love me, and I consider them allies – friends even. Even the chaplain that prompted me to coin the phrase “There are no chaplains in foxholes” likes me. Countless devout Christians that I work with have gone out of their way to mention their intention to attend the Rock Beyond Belief festival in March.
Jason Torpy said this about the incident:
Threats like this are a common reality for atheist activists. We assume the best when someone says, “I’m Christian,” but threats like this are a daily reminder that Christianity is a subjective concept that has driven people to violence for millennia.