http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/12/atheist-billboard-andr...

this guy seems to think so. he says it's "hate speech", although i'm sure he thinks it's perfectly acceptable to speak vulgarities of non heterosexuals so long as they come from the mouth of a bearded duck hunter. i also wonder what people who criticize atheist billboards think of the ones that tell me i'm going to hell, but i digress.

what is really going on here is these folks feel threatened. for the first time in their lives religious voices aren't the only ones that people hear. atheists are challenging the monopoly on messaging. there obviously isn't anything hateful in suggesting that people don't NEED christ during the holiday season. if you want him you can have him, but others get comfort from seeing that they aren't alone in their disbelief.  in that regard it's the exact opposite of hateful - it's a kindness.  

here we get to the heart of Christian Persecution Syndrome.  when he says "religious persecution of the kind that similarly led to the Holocaust..." we should know to stop listening.  no one, not one single Christian in America, is being persecuted.  it makes you wonder if he (or they) even know what persecution means.  obviously, since Godwin's Law has been violated, no one will take this guy seriously.  still, the fact that he's able to compare a message about atheism to the killing of millions of Jews without major public backlash shows that we've got a long way to go.  

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Chicken Little strikes again - "The Sky is Falling, THE SKY IS FALLING!!!"

I have to wonder what he would say if there were a truly serious situation going on, rather than a couple of billboards which happen to express a sentiment in opposition to his.  I've said it before and will say it again:

PA-THE-TIC!!!

These morons feel that way because they honestly think that atheistic belief led to the standards that produced the holocaust. As for persecution of christians, there is NO such thing in America. Nothing going on here except free speech.

Thanks for the discussion - knew they would think of something about the billboards we put up.

You are so right.  They DON'T know what persecution is. Ignorant.

The first thing you hear coming from a criminal's mouth is how they are victims. This convoluted reasoning seems to be the identifying trait of the truly guilty. It is possible to fabricate a rational excuse for any abuse. Observe their behaviour. If their behaviour exhibits hate and authority, then that is what they are guilty of. We become dupes when we accept deceptive rationalizations.

Any ideology claiming to be the embodiment of love and then spewing hate against others has unmasked itself. You don't judge a group by what they claim to stand for. You judge them by their behaviour. To earn the right to be respected they must first offer that same respect. Mr. Duckman has failed to qualify.

well said, Peter.  the best thing about Pope Francis is how he reminds us just how far from Christ today's Christians really are.  we non-believers tend to be more ardent followers of the message of love, peace, and good will towards man (and woman).  

Yes Matthew, when I was reading the works of Denis Diderot, I couldn't help but think how he embodied the spirit of Christian teachings regarding  truth, integrity and compassion. I also suspected if Jesus would have been in Paris in 1760, he would have been one of the Encyclopedists. 

There were some people in the church and Royal administration who helped the Encyclopedists. Malesherbes was minister of publications and had to officially have Diderot's home searched for seditious, anti-religious writings. He knew the writings were not in Diderot's apartments since he had them safely hidden in his office! I can't help but think some of Diderot's Jesuit professors became Atheists during their careers and planted the seeds of his scepticism.

When I was at Upper Canada College, an Anglican private school, I had a history teacher, Dr. Basset, who I suspect was an Atheist. He was very sceptical of the biblical version of history and would offer alternate explanations. He was also a kind man in a school that was home to the most abusive psychopath I've ever met. This psychopath later became the headmaster of the prep school.

This is on the level with that idiot Congressional candidate who says the duck dynasty patriarch is equal in his courage to Rosa Parks.

exactly Ronin.  these people are either pathologically stupid or simply psychopaths.  either way, they should have no role in running our government.  i could care less about what the duck fuck has to say.  it's his supporters who are elected leaders - governors, senators, and congressmen - that is unacceptable.  i expect it from some random moron on reality tv.  people who make law should be above such stupidity.  

Ronin, Matthew -- hear, hear!!

The U.S. -- and other (sometimes more) civilized nations -- are founded on secular government.

As Matthew Shultz said:

“You’re allowed to believe in a god. You’re allowed to believe unicorns live in your shoes for all I care. But the day you start telling me how to wear my shoes so I don’t upset the unicorns, I have a problem with you. The day you start involving the unicorns in making decisions for this country, I have a BIG problem with you.”

Thanks to Booklover for introducing me to that, in her newest set of Facebook finds:

No you shouldn't have the right to believe anything you want. Every freedom has a corresponding responsibility. The level of abstraction of that freedom has nothing to do with this relationship. As we progress through increasing abstraction by what we do, what we say and what we think, that relationship does not change. 

Most of us realize you cannot do anything you like. At this concrete level it is easy to see the consequences of irresponsible behaviour. Non of us would believe someone has the right to steal anything they wanted. The responsibility corresponding to free speech is a little more abstract. Voltaire said "I may disagree with what you say but will fight to the death to protect your right to say it." If this were an absolute right we would not have laws against hate speech,liable and defamation. There is a responsibility to insure what you say is true and doesn't harm others.

Responsibility of thought is even more abstract. Ironically another Voltaire quote illustrates the need for responsibility of belief "If you can get a person to believe in an absurdity, you can get him to commit an atrocity." The corresponding responsibility of freedom of thought is to use all our faculties to insure our beliefs are as true as possible. Before we believe in something it must pass the most rigorous empirical and rational scrutiny we can provide. This is where Atheists have their greatest ethical advantage over believers. We have accepted responsibility of thought. No you shouldn't believe anything you wish. Irresponsible behaviour is wrong wether it involves actions, speech or thought.

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