The BBC Must Acknowledge Us…

“A man’s ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” – Albert Einstein

Hardeep Singh Kohli

Radio 2’s Hardeep Singh Kohli journeys to three of the most exciting cities in the UK, Cardiff, Leicester and Glasgow. In doing so he tells the story of faith in Britain today.

Share your experience. What does your religious faith mean to you? How has it influenced your life and continues to do so? We’d like to hear how important your faith is to you. Email, including pictures and audio, to:

The BBC have done it again.  They have successfully managed to effectively ignore the fact that not everybody in this country has a religious faith.  If it were not bad enough that we are inundated by media reports of damning comments from religious leaders against atheists and secularism and complaints about being marginalised, we are faced with yet another census which asks biased and leading questions, but now a supposedly non-biased and publicly funded (by way of a compulsory license fee) media organisation, is now refraining to acknowledge the humanist, agnostic, and atheistic members of the population AND their contribution to society.

“While atheism is merely the absence of belief, humanism is a positive attitude to the world, centred on human experience, thought, and hopes.”

In their site, atheism is portrayed as being a wholly negative and individualist outlook, citing an example of why people become atheists is that it’s merely a symptom of damaging culture ‘so someone raised in Communist China is likely to have no belief in God because the education system and culture make being an atheist the natural thing to do.‘  It IS a ‘natural thing to do‘.  We are all born atheists with common sense while religious belief is an entirely learned part of any culture.  If anything is arbitrary, it is the imposition of stifling and oppressive ideas on young minds; there is nothing innate about it.  I have already sent my message to the BBC regarding their map:

“You haven’t included Humanism or atheism in your ‘Faith Map’! Please do so! Please stop pretending we are non-existent and not worth listening to. Please stop assuming that because we lack belief in a god, that we lack an interest in the outside world, compassion or morals. Religion does not own morality or decency. It’s time we were acknowledged, rather than dismissed as an eccentric minority.”

The BBC does have an atheism page (even though atheism is NOT a set religion or belief system) hidden deep within their Religion section.   Humanism and secularism do not feature on its list but are instead ‘relegated’ into being merely types of atheism. If they are to include these ism in their religion site then they should have a place on the map.  If they will not be then the BBC should acknowledge that they are NOT religions, and do so publicly, and then move Atheism from out of its Religion pages and into a non-religious one.  The BBC cannot have things both ways.  This is aside from the fact that while many atheists are also both humanists and secularists, so are people of other faiths. More disturbing is that Mormonism and the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been listed even though they strictly count as dangerous cults.  The BBC list of Religions consists of

According to the BBC ‘most’ atheists will concede there are some good things about religion, such as:

  • Religious art and music (Nothing to do with commissioned work then, no?)
  • Religious charities and good works (do NOT and will never atone for or negate more than a millennia of violence, persecution or bloodshed in its name that continues to this day.)
  • Much religious wisdom and scripture (Um, where?)
  • Human fellowship and togetherness (which is exclusive to those of the same faith and beliefs.  Others are to be converted, avoided or (in the case of Islam) eliminated from the earth)

I am not one of them.  I have also found that those who cite these non-arguments more often than not are going out of their way to be nice as they really have not thought about what religious leaders call upon us to believe without question, to ignore the abundant hypocrisy within those positions of self-assumed authority.  It is in the interest of those men who having achieved positions of meaningless command that the rest of us follow their lead without thought or consideration.  Religious freedom luckily does not get privileges over the civil laws which protect us all.  In a culture of political correctness in the name of equality, we have now found ourselves in the unenviable position of being unable to criticise anything, including the intolerance of religious belief, without facing the severe criticism of equal intolerance.  This is not to say that people should be able to say whatever hateful thing is on their mind at the time, but to emphasise the fact that, at least in the case of certain individuals, the idea of political correctness has been used in order to garner an atmosphere in which those of faith may preach almost whatever they please (no matter how oppressive and unpleasant) in the cause of their religion and come up against almost no opposition from the rest of society for fear of being labelled a bigot.

Mean Atheists?

“You know what? God is an imaginary friend. Religion is a virus. Religion is a hoax. Religion doesbrainwash people (even if Brett seems to think that’s a positive thing).

It’s about damn time we get the courage to say so.

And if your feelings get hurt because some atheists are honest about god’s (lack of) existence, that’s just too bad for you.” – Friendly Atheist

Not only is it about time we had the courage to not hide our disbelief and be open about it, but we should be permitted the same platform as those who have a religious belief.  One Mrs Brett, Regina Brett of The Cleveland Plain Dealer is very unhappy with the recent slate of atheists billboards. This is despite millions of religious billboards across the US, claiming an eternity of torture and punishment for the ‘sin’ of not believing in the truth of Christianity. Harmless and inoffensive and legally paid for boards, with non-religious slogans are being vandalised and pulled down due to the complaints of religious adherents.  I say that if they have a problem with the non-religious boards then they must pull down their own and learn to live by their own rules.

Why believe in a God?  Be good for GOODNESS' sake

One of the mean, mocking and offensive adverts for the American Humanist Association. Yes, Mrs Brett thinks they highlight our smug arrogance. I'm detecting a lot of projection here.

“Atheists don’t have to share religious beliefs, but they also don’t have to share ill will, either” Regina Brett

  1. We don’t have RELIGIOUS beliefs TO share.
  2. We have every right to voice our displeasure and reach out to other atheists. (Quit with the divide and rule tactics; it’s getting very boring)

What Mrs Brett, has clearly misunderstood is that real freedom means that sometimes you just have to put up with things that might bruise some overly sensitive feelings.  She has chosen to ignore the fact that freedom of religion was NOT set up so that Christians and other religious groups could run their mouths (and poster campaigns) at other religions and non-religious people without any opposition. THAT is called bullying, people, and I refuse to become a victim.  The posters and billboards are not mean.  They are not mocking.  They are in no way inflammatory.  It’s time Mrs Brett and others like her (the Chrissy Satterfield twit for instance) stopped acting like a bunch of spoiled babies and woke up to the fact that the world does not work for or around Christians and Christianity.    One of the comments on Mrs Brett’s article reflected a startling attitude which is sadly shared and common within the religious community of both the US and the UK;

edwardiii November 21, 2010 at 4:15PM

The problem with any child raised as an atheist is that they believe they are the center of the universe. They have to. The individual as the centre of their own universe is the cornerstone of atheism. What a sad life. What a terrible thing to do to a child.

More projection there, I see.  WE DO NOT have the arrogance to assume a personal relationship with a supreme being which places us in a favoured position over other people and grants us rights over them and their property.  WE DO NOT assume that our world view is the ‘one true‘ anything.  Most of all, WE DO NOT consider those who, don’t share our lifestyles, or disagree with our beliefs in any way inferior to us or deserving of punishment or persecution of any sort.  The same cannot be said for theists because the tenets of their religions demands that they do.  I would say it was far worse to teach a child that they are naturally bad and scare them out of individual thought by telling them that without the belief in their relationship with a magical and invisible being in the sky that they must have complete unquestioning faith in, love unconditionally (but only loves them if they believe) and fear of regardless of the lack of evidence or they will burn in hell forever.  That really is a terrible and despicable thing to do to a child.  Thankfully Mrs Brett did correct him and this is half the battle: Convincing believers that we are not selfish, amoral, megalomaniacs who view ourselves as centres of the universe is not going to be an easy task but it IS possible.


Hypocrisy of Disgusting Proportion

The other day I posted an article written by Miss Satterfield, along with my response to her piece and the resulting conversation.  I was hoping for this issue to be resolved but she appears to disagree and has failed to answer.   Her idea of a conversation is therefore to slap down those who disagree with her and dare to question her with falsehoods and delusions and then answer a response with another deluded diatribe.  I was hoping to at least find a blog entry in response to any comments she had received regarding the piece but I was out of luck there too.  What I did find was this; another list of deluded drivel about how Christians in particular are so hard done by.  I will dissect it paragraph by paragraph.

Chrissy Satterfield 0n The Voice X Change.

When an Atheist falls and no one is around to hear it does it still make a noise? Probably not, but when a Christian falls you better believe millions of people will hear about it and make it a point to ridicule them. I am sick to the core that Christianity is frowned upon here in the United States. Don’t try to deny it either…try bringing up your Christian faith around ANYONE and they look at you like you have lobsters crawling out of your ears. “GASP…you believe in something other than yourself?!!!?? You follow a moral compass and try to live by the 10 commandments?!!?!? How do you sleep at night?” Ugh, it’s like you can’t even talk about your faith as a Christian without someone rolling their eyes or doing whatever they can to shake you up or poke holes in your testimony. But as soon as a Muslim or an Atheist or a Jedi begins to open up about their beliefs…everyone perks up their PC ears and listens without interrupting or objecting. They nod their head up and down as if they understand and they are so accepting of everything…Everything BUT Christianity. It’s almost as if people resent us. What is wrong with this scenario?

First point:  ‘It‘? I would previously have thought that this was a mere slip but having read some of her more recent ‘work’, this would be a naive assumption.  She has, in her first sentence, dehumanised the atheist community with a word and goes on to refer to the hypothetical Christian as ‘them’.  Christianity is not frowned upon and she has every right to believe in what she chooses.  What is frowned upon is the non-stop Evangelist proselytism. What is frowned upon is that any objection to this constant attempt to convert any and all non-Christians and other non-believers, is slapped down and decried as un-American, undemocratic oppression and persecution (Hitler used the same tactic against the Jews).  News flash, lovey, it is not un-American or un-patriotic to defend our own beliefs and way of life from an attack by the right.  Shameless attempts to convert others constitute an attack.

Most of us also believe in more than ourselves.  We have a moral compass and know the difference between right and wrong without religion at the core of our motives. She paints us as selfish, immoral, shallow and closed minded.  Asking questions is not evidence of closed mindedness but she obviously feels insecure in her  ‘faith’ to feel so threatened by questions and other statements of fact made by free-thinkers.

I’m not getting onto the whole Jedi thing as it hurts just trying to think down to her level on this point.  The fatuousness of that statement goes beyond stupidity.  I think she might find that people listen to the views of Liberal and rational adults because, for the most part, they are inclusive, not oppressive and do not advocate either forcing or preventing others from participate in activities they disagree with.  The key word there is participate. We do not believe that another person has the right to decide how another person must live their lives so have no intention of banning Christians from their belief in God.  Force and manipulation are NOT our way. What atheists and agnostics want is to be allowed to live our lives without having Christian dogma forced on us and be expected to put up with it and without having the lie ‘Christians are being persecuted’ waved at us every time we object to something.

Oh I know many will have a hundred answers to that question; most of which focus on how wrong I am or how hypocritical I am because I am a Christian. Do me a favor and spare me the “You suck and here’s why” speech. Before those people jump to any conclusions, just know I don’t assume that Christianity is the only religion known to man. I don’t assume that everyone has to follow the Christian faith to a T in order to be saved. If that were true I’d definitely go straight to hell.

She is wrong and hypocritical but this is not BECAUSE she is a Christian.  She has made it very clear that she is unwilling to listen to anything atheists have to say and unfortunately there is no cure for that form of wilful ignorance. I may be mistaken but I am detecting some pride and a suggestion that there is virtue in her blind faith in the absurd. I will not spare her any sympathy because her hate-filled rants deserve no such consideration. Nobody has implied that she is unaware of other faiths and her position on this subject is such that no amount of rationality will ever make her see sense because she is determined to play the victim while turning reality on its head to fit around her delusions.  Had she a reasonable or rational thought in her head she would see how her flimsy argument contradicts itself.  The only way that nobody would ever question her after putting herself forward (as I am sure is the case if the content of her blog is anything to go by)  is if everybody were to just lie down and be converted to her brand of Christianity like good little sheeple. Maybe, if she actually knew when to shut up and  listen to what other people had to say, rather than comparing it with any fantasy she currently has running through her head, she might possibly learn something.  I will also add that her writing style addresses an outside audience of non-believers so as it is clearly directed at me I have no reservation in responding.  I encourage others to do so too.

I believe in forgiveness and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That He came to this earth to die for MY sins and yours. If you don’t believe that…that is between you and God.  I don’t seek to judge, that’s not my job. I don’t seek out non-believers and scrutinize their way of life. My beliefs have shown me that, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 Just because I believe I am right, doesn’t make me ignorant or close minded to another person’s point of view. It just means I believe in God. As a Christian, I must have faith that Jesus Christ is the son of God or else I’m going to hell. And Muslims have to believe that they are right. And the Jewish faith must believe they’re right. There are major consequences, for any religion, if you don’t believe you are right. So don’t think for a second that Christians are the only people who think their religion is true. And we definitely are not the alone in speaking our minds. It’s just when we do speak up, some people tend to shut down and refuse to have an open mind.

Good for her.  That belief is her choice. Again she is lying to herself as well as her audience as she DOES seek out non-believers but  instead of preaching what she clearly thinks is profound observations of non-believers to non-believers, she is sharing her ignorance. I wonder where she acquired these misconceived attitudes about non-believers.  I struggle to understand why she thinks a rational and sane individual would even attempt to hold a debate about sin with a being they don’t believe in.  Her statement about scrutinising our way of life is also contradicted later on, but I digress. She states that her beliefs have confirmed that a passage in her committee written, racist, slavery endorsing, misogynistic, bible is true.  Another circular argument of ‘I say such and such is true because I already believe it is and the bible says it is‘  Am I alone in seeing the madness of this precept?

Believing something is real, does not make it real.  I could tell you that the sky is orange and for all that I believe it, will not make it actually true.  The assertion that god and hell must exist because people believe they do is childish at best, and moronic at worst.  It does not change the fact that all religions are one part wishful thinking to two parts ignorance and superstition.  She assures us that they must believe and behave the way they do or they will suffer dire consequences which is why we must just put up with their dictatorial demands.  I will add here, as I have done many times before, that the mercenary attitude of only being moral or good in hope of reward or for fear of punishment is by no means, admirable behaviour.  Of course religious people think they are right.  It is this certainty which has led to so much bloodshed and it would not be religion with out it.  Our willingness to question, examine solid observable and testable evidence, and change our minds when proven wrong is what puts the lie to her accusation of closed mindedness.  What she objects to is that we will not allow ourselves to be indoctrinated on the say-so of another.

Now, I will admit there are Christian extremists out there who blow up abortion buildings and condemn homosexuals…but that same extreme behavior is modeled through some Muslims as well. Except they don’t blow up abortion buildings…they take guns to work at an Army base and murder 14 soldiers, they fly planes into buildings and kill hundreds of thousands of Americans. But, no one today will group them with the entire Muslim faith, as they shouldn’t. I agree that those are extreme situations that may not be directly related to every Muslim’s way of thinking. But why is it that a few Christians step out of line and the nation goes up in arms. I am not diminishing a Christian extremist’s behavior, by all means arrest them and put them behind bars if they break the law. But don’t believe that one bad apple has spoiled the whole basket.

An admission that she promptly steps away from is hardly an admission.  She is very fast to spread the blame about isn’t she.  Such reflexes.  People DO condemn Muslims on the actions of a handful.  The Muslim community are by no means exempt for the collective blame for atrocities in the name of Allah. And the reason they share collective blame for atrocities committed in the name of their faith?  Because the Muslim community only shows collective outrage when they feel that they have been insulted. They are no better than the Christian community but nor are they any worse.  The Christian Community is no less guilty of trying to force their delusions of choice on the rest of us than the Muslim community is of honour killings, stoning rape victims to death and hanging homosexuals.  In the case of Christians forcing their ideals on non believers, I am yet to hear of a right wing Christian actually defend the rights of a liberal non-believer to chose their own way of life.

The extreme behavior is not really what I want to address. I want to focus on the Christian at your work place or at school who loves to talk about God and wants to shine their little light all over. Stop persecuting them!!!!! Not to get all PSA on you, but if you see a Christian in your office, don’t smash their spirit…treat them just as you would treat your friend. They are not your enemy! They aren’t actively seeking you out to criticize you, honest. When I tell people I am a Christian, for the most part people don’t really respond. Which in itself is a disappointment, but every once in a while I’ll get someone who will do anything and everything to make me insecure in my faith. Why is that?! And why is it that some will simply turn their ears off and change the subject? Are they unable to have a conversation about Christianity without yelling and screaming? Or maybe they just don’t care…

NOBODY IS PERSECUTING YOU, YOU STUPID WOMAN!!! The workplace is not the place for religion any more than a school is.  As far as I am concerned you are paid to do a job, not discuss, theology.  If you have the time to talk about your religion at work then you obviously have not got enough work to do and you are talking yourself out of a job.  You have every right to chatter away about what ever you like but you do not have the right to force people to listen (unless you plan on returning the favour, which I very much doubt).  I have religious friends but I respect them so I do not make them listen to me talk about my-lack of faith all the time and they respect me enough NOT to bore me to death with arguments that have been disproved a thousand times and more.  We actually have OTHER things to talk about.

This isn’t just about religion either. Liberals can shout their beliefs from the mountain tops…and rarely someone will challenge them when they talk about a woman’s right to kill…I mean choose. But if a Christian voices their opinion about a fetus’ right to live, all hell comes crashing down on them. I’m sure all of us have had firsthand experience with this, on more than one occasion, and I know people are merciless when it comes to “proving you wrong.” I challenge the readers to find me one media outlet besides the silver FOX news that challenges liberals, environmentalists, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindu’s, Atheists or any other belief, the way they challenge Christians. A great example to further my point stems from last week. Televangelist Pat Robertson blamed the Haitians for the deadly earthquake. That was all over the news like white on rice. People were outraged by this, as they should be, but the media turned it into this monster of a deal. None of those networks give a flying squirrel about what Pat says any other day of the week, so why should this be any different. He’s done a lot of great things for people, but he says this one thing and all of a sudden he’s Hitler. People make mistakes. Christians make mistakes. There’s no need to broadcast our every wrong move, unless you are willing to broadcast our every right move. That’s right…we do great things too.

When did you ever hear of a liberal shouting about anything wasn’t defending the rights of another party (or our own) being violated by somebody else.  A woman’s body is their own affair and not every non-believer is pro abortion. It is none of anybody else’s business.  Isn’t the very idea of an aggressive Buddhist a bit of an oxymoron?  (It’s a bit like the vandalism of, or declaring war on against abstract nouns.)  Having never knowingly met a Buddhist, I would say they have less that warrants a challenge than the ever-so-sensitive Christians. I have also never had a member of the Jewish community attempt to convert me.  From what I have learned, it is not something that is easy to do and you have to approach them WITHOUT coercion from another party. When have we ever experienced Hindus or Sikhs publicly trying to ban the sale or production of beef products, or force their world-view into schools?  There has only one Sikh protest that I can remember about objections to a theatrical production and another to petition Downing Street to oppose the death penalty in Dubai. Mr Robertson would have been condemned for his hate filled and unsympathetic assertion that the Haitian earthquake was the fault of the people who lived there no matter what his personal religious beliefs might have been.  What I doubt is that he would have said it at all were it not for his religion.  The reason nobody normally cares about what he says is because he is an aid to the perpetuation of irrelevance.  I wonder what he has really DONE for people that didn’t involve just sitting and wishing that things will get better?  If you remember, the Iranian leader later asserted that immodestly dressed women were the cause of earthquakes.  Again with the self-promotion of ‘great things’, but you have already said you only act to please God so why should we be thankful for, or acknowledging of, mercenary acts?

I’d also like to address the Christians out there who maybe have hurt some people along their journey, and of course I’m talking to myself too. I wouldn’t be a Christian if I didn’t address my own lifestyle. If we are ever going to save people and bring them to the Lord, condemnation and hate isn’t going to help. I heard a joke the other day, “Going to church makes you no more of a Christian than standing in a garage makes you a car.” Meaning going through the motions of a Christian doesn’t necessarily make you a better Christian or a better person. It’s all about how others see your faith. We may be the only bible they ever read. So we need to be more helpful than hurtful, more understanding than unkind. If someone doesn’t do what you think is right, let it be known in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. If people are unresponsive to your efforts, all you do is pray for them. Don’t judge them, pray for them and pray for yourself.

The first person to look at should be herself.  There is no doubt in the matter. At some time in our lives we have all been offended by some one or other over a difference of opinion.  Sometimes the dispute is resolved and other times it is not but we do not often make assumptions about their whole way of life based upon the single issue.  It is not for others to decide who should believe what.  She takes it upon herself here to decide she has not only the right but duty to ‘save’ people.  She has proven here that while she might not show (she makes a poor show of hiding it) her own disdain for the rights of non-believers she certainly feels it.  If I saw that this woman’s faith was truly a private matter and she allowed others their own lives and own decisions, as she so vehemently demands for herself, then she would have nothing to shout about.  However, she does not.  She openly displays her disgust that non-believers share the same rights to express ideas contrary to her own.  She is comfortable with coercion and manipulation and seems completely unaware of how her open statement of aiming to convert as many non-believers as possible, regardless of their own personal ideas, can be at all objectionable to others.  I really hope she finds this and reads how ridiculous she seems to rational adults.

Many have told me that they have been wronged by a Christian, and that is why they disrespect them. If you have been wronged by a Christian, and that has led you to treat them with a negative attitude, I am truly sorry. No Christian should ever make another person feel ashamed. As a Christian, I know that we can be judgmental and rude and downright mean sometimes…but please remember we’re not perfect.

I don’t disrespect Christians on speck.  Those I lack respect for are those like Miss Satterfield and her ilk, who are driven to outright indignation when the rights of others to not have Christianity forced on them, prevent them from acting as they please.  How can she not see why?  I would say that NOBODY should ever make another feel ashamed.  I am lucky that I have nothing to be ashamed of so as to deliver any ammunition.  I have never felt ashamed of my non-belief and I am perfectly happy in my life.  I am married, for the second time, to a wonderful husband who supports and encourages me and we have a beautiful son so what have I to fret about?

That’s my dose of honesty this week, Christians aren’t perfect…no one should expect us to be perfect. And just because we make mistakes, doesn’t make us the enemy, it doesn’t make us crazy, it makes us human. Just like you. The only difference is, we’ve found forgiveness…have you? I want to encourage everyone to investigate Christianity. I’m not talking about Catholics and Protestants…strip all of that away and just read up on the foundations of Christianity and really read the bible. Don’t read it with the intent to prove someone wrong, but read with an open heart. I think you’ll be surprised; there is more peace within those pages than you could ever imagine. For those who are now going to slaughter me in the comment section below, this blog isn’t a judgment…just a suggestion to help us understand each other a little more.

I worry that she really does think that this bile is ‘honesty’.  It’s a sad fact that she will not be the only one who believes that an individual or group, who already have an elevated position in both society and in law, are being ‘oppressed’ by the mere fact that others have differing opinions and wish to be left alone to live their lives without having religion foisted upon us. Even if we only went along (and the very idea is appalling) it would mean sacrificing our integrity by lying to ourselves and others.  That may be satisfactory to Miss Satterfield, but it is not to me and I am sure it is not to others.  I would no sooner teach my son to lie or cheat than I would teach him to fake a belief to suit another’s feelings.

Nobody expects anybody to be perfect. Nobody views Christians as an ‘enemies’ until their lofty (and I use the word in it’s loosest possible sense) attitudes. The views expressed in her blog are but a sample of the couched bigotry exhibited on a daily basis by the religious right-wing.  The same people who add insult to injury when they claim that THEY are being persecuted for not being allowed to run rough-shot over the rest of us or dictate how we live our lives.


The true views of the Conservative Religious right as expressed by one of their own!!!

Yesterday I read an article which almost sent me apoplectic! I am not in the habit of including an entire article in my blogs but In this case I am willing , in fact, I insist on making an exception.  The article is by one Chrissy Satterfield for World Net Daily and entitled ‘My Kind of Vandals’.  For those who have already read this atrocity to decency, I recommend you scroll down for the next part.

Just when I start believing there is no hope for our country I get a little reminder from my God that all is not lost. It was reported June 29 that a billboard sign sponsored by a North Carolina atheist organization had been vandalized. The ad reads, “One Nation Indivisible.” It seems someone didn’t think the sign was an accurate depiction of our Pledge of Allegiance, so the vandals inserted “Under God” with spray paint – and I couldn’t be more relieved. It’s nice to know that I am not alone in my beliefs and that some people are still willing to stand on the right side of truth.

Never would I encourage vandalism, but in this case I think I’ll let it slide. Atheists have been vandalizing my beliefs for years, so it’s about time the shoe was on the other foot. When asked about the vandalism, William Warren, the spokesman for Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics, said, “It was done by one or two people off on their own who decided their only recourse was vandalism rather than having a conversation.” Hmm. That’s interesting, because the Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics felt its only recourse was to deliberately insult those who understand the importance of “Under God.” They probably figured that because the Bible teaches Christians to turn the other cheek, we’ll just take their abuse forever. We will only take so much before we stand up against our oppressors. Besides, I can’t count how many times an atheist and I have had a “conversation.” They’re not as calm and passive as Warren suggests.

The best part of this whole situation, though, is that these secular billboards were part of aFourth of July project that placed similar ads in Greensboro, Raleigh and a handful of other cities – and it totally backfired. They underestimated their demographic, and because the vandalism occurred days before the Fourth, no one could service the billboard until after the holiday. It’s the small victories in life that make it all worthwhile.

Get Ray Comfort’s answers to unbelievers’ protests in “You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can’t Make Him Think” – autographed!

What did this group think would happen? They placed this controversial message on a billboard that just so happens to be on a street named after Rev. Billy Graham. Did they expect the response to be positive? The group claimed that the billboard was not meant to disrespect Rev. Graham, but for some reason I don’t trust them. This billboard campaign was a calculated insult to Christians, and the atheists thought it was appropriate. That shows you how spiteful this organization is. They took an American celebration and made it about them.

Warren also made clear, regarding the vandalism, “It does show how needed our message is. As atheists we want to let people know we exist and that there’s a community here.” Oh, people know you exist all right. Any time you have a problem, the Left is ready to hear you out. But anytime a Christian has something to say it gets swept under the liberal rug and dismissed like our rights aren’t important. “Oh, it’s the Christians again; let their ‘god’ take care of it.” Well, let’s see them ignore this.

Incidentally, when was the last you heard about a Christian billboard that was vandalized? It happens all the time, yet it’s never “newsworthy.” But when an atheist’s right to put his beliefs on blast is vandalized it’s “Poor atheists. They have a right to ad space.” Atheists are always saying how offended they are by, well … everything. How is this billboard not offensive to me? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Where’s my PC? And who’s protecting my right not to be offended?

At last a silver lining. Someone actually made a difference without broadcasting his name to the world. The vandal stood up for what he believed in and said, “To heck with what anyone thinks.” I find it quite refreshing considering all of the negativity our country has accumulated lately. It’s nice to reflect on something positive, especially during the Fourth of July weekend and the days that follow. The timing was impeccable.

I would like to extend my deepest thanks to the man or woman responsible for this vandalism. I appreciate the action you took. Thank you for reminding me that I’m not alone. It took a lot of guts to do what you did – and the fact that you haven’t stepped forward to take credit makes you a hero. It shows everyone that you are more devoted to the message than you are to the spotlight. I encourage you to keep your cover. Don’t give the secular world a reason to call your name; instead, let them call for our God.

I also need to extend a thank-you to some people in Sacramento and Detroit. In February, 10atheist billboards were defaced in the Golden State and a slew of atheist bus ads were vandalized in Detroit. My dose of honesty this week: I am not happy that vandalism seems to be the only way to get an atheist’s attention. I’m happy that I can count on other Christians to stand up for themselves and for Christians everywhere. It gives me hope.

I will admit my response to this vitriolic diatribe against freedom of expression was driven by anger and disgust but I no less stand by my previous statement.  Reading it again made me feel just as sick but I had to highlight the most ignorant points.

I have never read such a venomous piece of claptrap in my life. You actually made me feel sick. When US law is not blatantly biased in favour of religion, and the church and its followers cease trying to force their backwards views on the rest of us and let us just get on with life, I might have more sympathy. In the meantime, being offended by not only our existence but by building a community of our own, makes YOU the bigot, not I.

Believe what you want, just don’t expect the rest of us to follow suit. It might hurt your poor little pampered feelings when people who disagree with you do so openly. Grow up and deal with it like an adult.

Her response;

Speaking of adults, I appreciate your ability to think with an open mind. I’m always open to other opinions and I’m relieved that an outstanding citizen such as yourself feels that the adult thing to do is facebook an attack with such a hateful tone.

Let me just ask, and feel free to not answer seeing as how you probably don’t have an answer, but when was the last time your right to believe in nothing was violated? Has the government ever forced you to believe in anything but yourself?

Your point has been made, it’s perfectly normal for you to verbally bash me but when I make an observation and formulate an opinion it’s eloquently painted as a “venomous piece of claptrap”. If you had read my article thoroughly you would see at the end I wasn’t happy that vandalism was the reaction to the billboard, I was simply happy that I’m not alone. The ad campaign was a deliberate slap in the face to Christians and now that you’re feeling a little of what we’ve felt every time we open our mouths, your pampered feelings are hurt.

I don’t care what atheists do. It’s their life if they want to live a certain way, who am I to say otherwise. But when their way of life insults my beliefs, that’s when I feel hurt. And just like you, I have every right to feel offended.

It always amazes me that people come at me with such hate when in fact they are proving my point. Conservatives are never allowed to be offended or take action against anyone. And people like you are only satisfied when playing the victim. Great strategy.

As always I appreciate all points of view, doesn’t mean we have to agree. Perhaps you should take your own advice and let go of that hate you’re obviously clinging to. Please feel free to facebook my wnd account. I don’t appreciate being heckled on my personal account. Thank you!

Thank you for reading and keep being a great American.

Can she be serious? She really has turned it completely around!  It seems incredible that she has not realised the privileged position of Conservatives, who not only make the rules but that the varied societies of Christian representation have such a privileged position that they do not even need to pay tax! If she is truly offended by another’s right not to be forced into a religious way of life then I think she has more of a mental health issue than one of plain ignorance.  As a cure I would suggest she sit down and actually take a non-biased look at the bible she puts so much stock in; the same bible which promotes slavery, racism and misogyny.

I replied back

My right to believe in nothing is a misnomer. Your first assumption appears to be that I have neither beliefs, moral’s or values and you have based on the fact that I have no belief in God. I wonder where you got this idea from. Your phrase ‘People like you’ has completely enlightened me to your unmovable disdain of atheists. The atheist way of life is to value our lives and the lives of others. We make the most of the one life we have. We have no ulterior motives for our actions and ‘we’re’ good because it’s the decent way to be, not because something told us to. What is there to be offended at? Is it perhaps that we can be happy in our lives without religion?

In answer to your question, I must first clarify that I am English and living in the UK. Our right to non-belief is violated every day. Every time somebody knocks on my door trying to convert me my right to privacy is violated. The government is at least partially to blame because they have not prohibite this practice so on the grounds of ‘Freedom of Religion’ it goes on. When I object, does that make me the one at fault? I’m not saying Christians shouldn’t be Christians. What I am pulling you up on is the fact is you are not offended just by what we say or don’t believe, you are offended by the public expression of ideas that do not match your own.

UK schoolchildren are compelled, by law, to participate in daily acts of Christian worship. This is both divisive and damaging to social and community cohesion. It was forced on me throughout my school life and unless this ridiculous law is repealed, my son will have to go through the same thing when he starts school (I am campaigning for this to be repealed). We have a multi-cultural society in the UK which means that Hindu, Sikh and Muslim families who send their children to state schools also have have to face this problem. On my quest I have been faced with the ‘this is a Christian country so if you don’t like it, get out!’, statement more times than I care to remember. So, please do not tell me that I have not faced discrimination because I have but in most cases I am not only offended for myself and fellow non-believers but for non-Christians of other faiths as well.

Your article was less about the vandalism of the sign and more about your indignation toward a group of people who had paid to legitimately place billboards with the message “One Nation Undivided”. The message was inclusive, and promoted no group or society over another. The message could be in now way construed as negative or exclusive. The idea was not to make the day ‘about us’, but to highlight the fact that being non-religious is not the same as being non patriotic. I was always taught that the 4th July was about celebrating America’s independence from the British crown. I am yet to discover where religion played a part.

The various Christian billboards peppering your motorways and main roads may have been vandalised, but why do you automatically assume that it was from atheistic motivation?

You clearly find it acceptable for those who do not share your beliefs to be ostracised by society and painted as ‘un-American’. You have shown that you believe we are either immoral or unpatriotic by merit of not being Christians. Both the media and those who share your ideas are happy to perpetuate this hateful and false representation of our characters. You are happy that this person saw the right to express their view as permission to oppress the rights of another because that’s what the vandalism stood for and your response was to publicly applaud this interpretation as they ‘share your views’. The act of vandalism was a statement to non-believers that have we no right to express any belief which does not concur with those of the religious right. Why do we have any less right to express our beliefs than you do? If you truly believed in the right to freedom of speech and freedom expression then you would be as offended as I am that the sign was vandalised at all. Freedom of religion does not cancel out the other two freedom works both ways.

Your media, and your politicians, have every right to disagree with us. What you don’t have the right to do is prevent us from expressing our beliefs. We are not forcing others to follow our examples by using legal loopholes. You claim to be the land of the free, well live by that claim. (Freedom sometimes comes at the cost of some bruised feelings.) Just think about how conservative Christians come across to the rest of us. For example, Texas changing the history text books to favour Calvin over Jefferson? Forcing intelligent design into schools in the place of the study of evolution? Expecting everyone to just pick up and tow their line? That isn’t freedom! That is a totalitarian theocracy and to be trying to overcome this and ‘fight for freedom’ in the middle east, while the in the west the Church and it’s followers seem to be busily trying to mirror it under another label, smacks of blatant hypocrisy.

I did not present you with any hate. I don’t know you, we have never met and living on almost opposite sides of the globe, we are unlikely to. I came at you with the justified anger that you had provoked. You have told your public that the attitude expressed by that vandal (not the vandalism), was commendable. Carry on with what you write but don’t expect it to go unanswered or for others to just like it or lump it.

“I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it” – Voltaire

I will keep you posted with any updates.