Atheists' 'hate' sign blasted in lawsuit

A political candidate in this week's primary election for the office of comptroller in Illinois has filed a lawsuit against the state charging it officially expressed "hate" and "hostility" toward Christianity and other religions by allowing atheists to post a sign in a state building at Christmas.

The sign, posted by the Freedom from Religion Foundation, said:

At the time of the winter solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is just a myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.

The sign was placed in the Illinois capitol building, through which GOP comptroller candidate William J. Kelly, a cable television executive, was required to travel for his responsibilities as a candidate.

Read more here: wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=123565

At least there was one fellow with the courage to do something about it.

I don't see it as a 'hate' sign, per se. To me, its more of an opinion about religions, and nothing less than expression of those opinions. The merits of the statement can be argued and debated, but, just because the statement may offend some, doesn't make it 'hate speech'.

[quote="Mr_Skeptic, post:3, topic:185464"]
I don't see it as a 'hate' sign, per se. To me, its more of an opinion about religions, and nothing less than expression of those opinions. The merits of the statement can be argued and debated, but, just because the statement may offend some, doesn't make it 'hate speech'.

[/quote]

"Hate" is such a strong word. Hostility seems more fitting. It seems quite hostile towards all people of faith to say religion "hardens the heart and enslaves the mind". Since the sign was posted at a state capital, it may be indeed a violation of the constitution.

Well, compared to what religion has been dishing out to non-believers for centuries, (and getting away with), the sign is quite tame. To complain about this type of speech is like a street thug who calls the police when his victims fight back.

[quote="Mr_Skeptic, post:3, topic:185464"]
I don't see it as a 'hate' sign, per se. To me, its more of an opinion about religions, and nothing less than expression of those opinions. The merits of the statement can be argued and debated, but, just because the statement may offend some, doesn't make it 'hate speech'.

[/quote]

Have you been to any atheist sites? These people believe every word. Religion is evil. However, they have substituted belief in God/gods with belief in man. In my view, a far more dangerous position.

Peace,
Ed

sure, nothing is wrong with that
but if it is a sign on a state building that says, “God does exist,” i bet you’d be up in arms :confused:

[quote="edwest2, post:6, topic:185464"]
Have you been to any atheist sites? These people believe every word. Religion is evil. However, they have substituted belief in God/gods with belief in man. In my view, a far more dangerous position.

Peace,
Ed

[/quote]

Well, like I stated before, if religion gives someone a peaceful heart and a meaningful life, then they have every right to it.

I hate labels. People tend to lump everyone together in groups. In that state of mind, it's so easy to pick up that big, broad brush and make sweeping generalizations about people, just because of labels.

Whether or not this sign should have been posted in a government building, I hardly think it qualifies as 'hate.' It looks like a legitimate response with practically reversed language that you might see on a poster encouraging some religion.

Eamon

Not in the least. And, there’s no ‘ifs’ about it. I see multitudes of religious message billboards. I’ve seen them everywhere and for most of my life.

I guess it boils down to the fact that religion has been so accustomed to publicly espousing their viewpoints, they are a little bent out of shape with the recent phenomenon of a contrary view being publicly presented. For centuries, people dared not express their non-belief in public for fear of being ostracized from the community, imprisoned, tortured, or put to death.

Freedom of speech applies to all views equally, not just the religious. Once people grasp and appreciate that concept, there will be a lot less bleating and whining about contrary views being expressed in the public forum.

Personally, I think that religion has great potential to harden hearts and enslave minds. You may agree or disagree with that. We can have discussions and debates about that. I could be 180 degrees wrong about it. Nevertheless, I have every right to express that view, and you should respect that right, as I do yours.

[quote="Mr_Skeptic, post:8, topic:185464"]
Well, like I stated before, if religion gives someone a peaceful heart and a meaningful life, then they have every right to it.

I hate labels. People tend to lump everyone together in groups. In that state of mind, it's so easy to pick up that big, broad brush and make sweeping generalizations about people, just because of labels.

[/quote]

Ah, but most people tend to group with like-minded people. And human beings, being social, do that all the time even if there is no agreed upon label or name for their group. Big, broad brushes are picked up all the time: "The majority of people believe [fill in the blank]. And most of the time, it's true.

Peace,
Ed

Let the skeptics say what they will. It does not matter.

[quote="edwest2, post:11, topic:185464"]
Ah, but most people tend to group with like-minded people. And human beings, being social, do that all the time even if there is no agreed upon label or name for their group. Big, broad brushes are picked up all the time: "The majority of people believe [fill in the blank]. And most of the time, it's true.

Peace,
Ed

[/quote]

I was never a big fan of groupthink.

In that case, the same goes for Buddhists, Agnostics, and Theists. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Or, are you saying that special treatment needs to be applied to skeptics? If so, why?

Then again, perhaps I don’t understand what you’re saying.

What I was saying is that even if the skeptics are allowed to place their signs on state buildings, my practice of the dhamma will not cease.

It will if the state sanctions statements against religion on state buildings. If any group wishes to hire a billboard to make statements they are free to do so, but to use a state building for such a statement is a violation of the rights of the people.

[quote="Della, post:16, topic:185464"]
It will if the state sanctions statements against religion on state buildings. If any group wishes to hire a billboard to make statements they are free to do so, but to use a state building for such a statement is a violation of the rights of the people.

[/quote]

A random poster on a state building does not implement persecution of dhamma practice.

I understand. Do whatever you feel is right. You have every right to it.

All I’m saying is, the 1st Amendment protects the rights of all points of view to be allowed to be expressed in the public square, not just the most popular. Else, we might as well abolish the 1st Amendment. I don’t think anyone really wants that…(unless they are Nazis or the Taliban).

It’s a red flag and a warning. The Jews of Germany never thought the German’s high culture would stoop to persecution, but it happened. If we aren’t vigilant to guard our rights others will feel free to rob us of them.

Well, I am conflicted. I am a part of a religious minority. So, I understand if other religious minorities feel that the majority has special favors. Likewise, as the above poster argued, it could start out as mere hostility to religion and then become outright persecution of religion.

It's important that we let religious minorities express their views while also allowing for all religions to freely practice. Moderation is the key.

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