The Saga of the Whiteville Water Tower Continues

Following up on a story I discussed in October and again in November, concerning a Latin cross atop a municipal water tower in the Western Tennessee town of Whiteville, the Freedom From Religion Foundation was apparently unimpressed with the town’s defiant Mayor’s decision to remove only one arm of the cross — leaving it a different symbol but still a clear reminder of the symbol of the Christian religion. FFRF filed suit, on its own behalf and on behalf of a resident of Whiteville identified only as “John Doe.” And unable to resist, the town’s Mayor has responded in in what I’m learning to recognize as his typically colorful fashion — one which I predict he will find was ultimately counterproductive.

With respect to the removal of the single arm of the cross in response to FFRF’s complaint letters, alleging (which was missed in prior media reports I’d found) that after taking down one arm of the water tower’s cross, the city “…installed two large crosses in front of the Whiteville City Hall” and subsequently decorated them with Christmas wreaths. (¶¶ 27-28), after the Mayor had publicly proclaimed “Someone needs to stand up to these atheist sons of bitches” (¶ 23). (For those of you playing along at home, that last bit, if true, is intended to be used later as evidence of the Mayor’s willful defiance of the law.)

For his part, the Mayor’s reaction is found in a rather odd press release. Speaking or writing in his official capacity as mayor, he calls FFRF a “northern company with little or no connection to our community.” It refers to the “Nashville law firm that represents it” as having filed lawsuits against the city previously, although it does not specify when, who the firm’s clients were, what the claims of those suits were other than that they had nothing to do with religion, or how those lawsuits were resolved. (He does dial back on calling them “terrorists,” to his credit.) Finally, he “finds it revealing” that the lawsuit does not complain about Christmas decorations on publicly-owned street lights in front of the very courthouse in which the lawsuit was filed. (One suspects that if there had been such a complaint, that would have been used to suggest that FFRF’s is ideologically intolerant rather than as a demonstration of its purported sniveling hypocrisy.)

The issue is distilled in paragraphs 30-32 of the complaint, which I will edit slightly to frame the issue generally:

The crosses … are an endorsement of Christianity by Whiteville. Mr. Doe’s contact with the crosses in front of the Whiteville City Hall is unwelcome and offensive to Mr. Doe, who believes that the installation of religious symbols on Whiteville property is an illegal and unconstitutional exercise of Whiteville’s authority and is defendants’ endorsement of Christianity. The crosses on public property signify to Mr. Doe that Whiteville is only welcome to religious people (specifically Christians) and that as a non-religious person, he is unwelcome in Whiteville.

To resolve the substantive dispute in your mind, then, you need to answer two questions:

  1. Do the crosses constitute an endorsement of Christianity?
  2. May the city endorse Christianity consistent with the Establishment Clause?

My take on it is yes, they are an endorsement, and no, the Establishment Clause does not allow this sort of thing. You may also want to consider the procedural question of whether either John Doe, a pseudonymous resident of the town, or FFRF, a nonprofit corporation based in Wisconsin (but with contributing members nationwide, presumably including the John Doe of this case) have sustained sufficient injury to have gained standing to sue in Federal court. I have previously opined, for instance here, that Federal standing rules are sometimes construed in an artificially narrow fashion to provide an “escape hatch” for judges who do not wish to confront the substantive issues of a particular case for whatever reason, and that this is both an abdication of judicial responsibility to the parties before the court and a disservice to the country as a whole which otherwise would benefit from the resolution of a civil dispute on its merits and the growth and development of caselaw resulting from that resolution. This seems particularly true in Establishment Clause jurisprudence, and the practice goes all the way up to the Supreme Court. So perhaps you might consider whether either FFRF or Mr. Doe has a right to go to court to complain about the town’s endorsement of Christianity — and if you conclude that they do not, then I would be interested in your opinion about who actually would have such a right. In my opinion, every citizen of the United States is harmed — at least in a small but observable way — when the Constitution is defied. This is true even for Christians whose religion is thus endorsed, in part because it renders them vulnerable to governmental endorsement of some other religion (e.g., fears about Islam’s prominence in Dearborn, Michigan) in the future. Of course, we are all also hurt by the disrespect for the Constitution in that a governmental entity, and its leaders, who openly defy the Constitution use the power vested in them to promote lawlessness from public office.

I would have counseled the town of Whiteville to take down the cross on the water tower and encouraged the mayor and other leaders in the community who felt a need to proclaim their Christianity to do so on their own private property. Failing that, I would have counseled them to have responded with a more neutral and sober press release, saying “While we recognize the Constitutional right of the complainants to use the court system to redress their claimed grievances, the town of Whiteville has not violated the Constitution and looks forward to vigorously presenting its case to the court system at both the trial and appellate levels.” The stormy and emotional press release may have been a cathartic exercise for the Mayor, but he didn’t do himself or his town any favors by issuing it.

I owe University of Toledo Law Professor Emeritus Howard Friedman (whom I’ve never met) a debt of thanks for his indispensible Religion Clause blog, and for his studious and evenhanded approach writing it. He neutrally reports all of these events as they happen, freeing up the rest of us to editorialize. It would be much more difficult for me to follow these issues without his efforts.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. I live in Whiteville and many of us are under increasing pressure to put up a cross or face retaliation, particularly at the hands of two cops left from what some of us call the “old regime”. If you go to a Topix post under “Whiteville Cross Debate Continues”, you will find, especially with the more recent entries. a person with the peudonym “dragnet007” which many of us believe to be one of these two officers (one is the current chief of police, the other has a wife working at town hall). Apparently, they have gotten to the point of asking for others to help them track down a particular SUV from a nearby county as they suspect the person to be some “undercover atheist” (kid you not). This person and another one “demonchaser” wish for anyone seeing this vehicle to post the license plate so they can “out” him. When asked what they would do, they claim they will welcome him and then play the game with this outsider being “the rabbit”. Around here, that means the prey.
    From what we hear, the mayor has something planned for after the holidays with regard to the cross on the water tower but will not even share this with the board of aldermen.
    In the meantime, many of us are noticed that we are being watched and comments have been made (more indirect) that even if some of us consider ourselves to be Christian, not having a cross in our yards will be held against us and we may want to consider moving.
    Having been on the receiving end of the mayor’s wrath when asking for help with a legitimate neighborhood issue, I know how unethical and illegal they can be. Several of us have been keeping track and we wonder if it is getting close to get the FBI in here. There is a small group of people who run this town and many who fear retribution if we speak up feel as though we are living with the mafia or at least under the thumb of a dictator and his secret police. It has us worried, we are documenting whatever we can.

    • hello my [EDIT] told you the fbi is already here Full Bloodeid Italian FBI guess who?

    • the only ones watching you are your neighbors who are scared to death of you and your mental disorders


    • this blog is for people of imtelligence who wish to share intelligent thoughts about issues that dont invlve your mental disorder and the feud with your neighbors in whiteville.

      start your own blog and leave this one to people of sanity and intelligence/


  2. If you want to be scared, go to the above Topix forum for the most recent posts. I really don’t know if this is all a scam but if these people are for real (and there are people like this in Whiteville) then I truly believe that there could be a body found later on. These people are very scary and there is no protection here. The county sheriff used to be the Whiteville police chief and he allowed so much illegal stuff while doing the mayor’s bidding without fear of reprisal from anyone.
    The problem is that this area is so isolated that they think they can really harm others who they see as threatening to their way of life. I just don’t have the words to describe how backwards it is here.

    • Gay,

      If you follow that Topix thread you will be familiar with my exchanges with the “wonderful” religious fanatics in Whiteville. That was until recently when they decided to blame a county LEO and accused him of being me. I received a private message via my Facebook page from that same LEO stating that he was having to have threats of physical violence and personal contact information removed from TOPIX because they were accusing him of being me. It seems that they are so desperate to ferret me out that they are willing to conduct a witch hunt and threaten people based upon meer speculation. One of the fanatics even tried to leverage my identity from the LEO but he doesn’t know me, John Tremblay is my pseudonym. I do not wish to cause anyone hardship so I have stopped debating on TOPIX for the sake of the LEO they had targeted. I agree with you, it is really scary in your town and it would not surprise me at all if someone gets assaulted or killed because they are accused of being “the atheist in town”.

      I think the feds need to come in and clean house, the mayor is rumored to be using his police force to intimidate people and I suspect he is using them to attempt and identify people speaking out against him on the internet.

      • Hi,
        I responded to your comment above without hitting “reply.” Just another thanks for what you have done. You have shown integrity and decency like nothing these people could ever seem to understand. I wish you well and I hope that at some point, the cavalry will arrive and take these people to jail where they belong, in my opinion. I cannot fathom their arrogant behavior to not only flip off the Constitution, so to speak, but to think that in this day and age, the old lynch mob mentality would still be tolerated by the rest of the United States of which they seem to forget they are still a part of. Best wishes

        • As the daughter from Poltergeist said, “THEY’RE…..HERE.”

          Everyone see what these people are doing, the scowl the internet looking for negative comments that might be from towns people and then they spam whatever forum they find . Burt, this is the same person spamming the Topix thread and conducting the witch hunt. That gary guy is the one they are harassing online because they believe me to be him. Please provide Gay with the IP address that the troll is posting from so if anything happens it can be used in the investigation. These nuts are relentless in their pursuit to harass those opposed to them into silence.

      • [EDIT] here you are again. go join the [EDIT]

        spreading lies our sheriff might not look kindly on what that liar and idiot [EDIT] and [EDIT] are putting up. course they may be off their medicine

        the only fbi in this town is Full Bloodied Italian FBI guess who?

        • I assume you are saying that the sheriff will illegally impinge upon someone’s 1st amendment rights for making comments that he or his former employer do not like? Please let me remind you and yours that your town is still part of the United States and as such, you ARE held to the same standards and your sheriff, your mayor husband or employer and his local law enforcement staff are ALL held to the same standards. Despite recent changes in the laws, they are NOT above the law and especially now that so many people are becoming aware, outside of the area, as to how whistleblowers and others are treated unfairly here.

  3. Very well reasoned article. Can’t help but wonder what would be the Mayer’s strongly held convictions had he been born in the Middle East to Muslim parents.

  4. Why was my previous comment removed? Was somthing I wrote offenseive? I was simply agreeing with Gay’s comments.

    • Not clear why. Possibly the automatic spam filter kicked in. A peek under the hood revealed that your first comment associated a youtube site with your handle, which is a signal for the spam filter. The comment you just posted also has a different IP address, and the spam filter may have not liked the initial IP address for some reason. In any event, I’ve approved that first comment. Sorry for any inconvenience.

  5. There are some citizens who are keeping tabs, some with experience in law and law enforcement and are working to get the Feds out here. Some of us are concerned about that very thing with regard to assault or death due to the insanity and violence of these people. The mayor has a serious reputation of using some (not all) of the police force to take whatever measures, illegal, unethical or otherwise to find out who people are or if they know to intimidate and harass them, even make false arrests where the cops will allegedly even laugh at the person and tell them it is a way to get them to mind their own business and remember their place.
    I am very sorry to hear about this person and the threats they have been getting. It is amazing that these people have gotten away with the things they do to others for so long but that is the problem with the isolation of the community. Many of us respect you very much for your eloquent ways of standing up to the mayor even if we don’t necessarily consider ourselves atheists and even attend church. Intelligent and basic civility, including respectful disagreement and dialogue must return.

    • Are you referring to the videos I produced in response to the mayor?

      • yes. And keep an eye out for this gbellar. james bellar’s wife is glenda bellar. Comments such as the ones here have been forwarded on to the FBI and others who might need to be aware of it as have the ones from Topix. At some point these people and the mayor will have to answer for this. It is astounding how crazy and threatening this all is.

    • I appreciate the kind words and know that although I hold no belief in anything that could be called supernatural and will argue to the hilt in defense of rationalism and demand that factual claims be supported by evidence or reason, I would still oppose anyone attempting to prevent you from practicing religion.

      These people truly hate others for not accepting their worldview. They are behaving like the KKK acted toward racial minorities in decades past. The old Klan harassed anyone who THOUGHT racism was wrong and THOUGHT civil rights were a good thing.

      This new “Klan” of religious zealots harasses anyone who THINKS that mixing religion and government is wrong and THINKS that secular government and the wall of separation are good things.

      The Mayor called the FFRF terrorist, but it was his followers posting the personal address, followed by direct threats of physical violence, of an innocent and uninvolved person, who they think is me, that make he and his followers the actual terrorist.

      I thought these kinds of people were relegated to the history books. I never would have thought I would see people acting like this in my time.

      Gay, you be strong out there and don’t let them intimidate you into doing anything. If you believe in God fine, that doesn’t give them the power to force you to put wooden crosses in your yard nor intimidate you to take up their cause. A federal judge will soon enough explain exactly what they may and may not do and believe me, the FFRF is watching and recording the TOPIX exchange for use in their lawsuit.

      “Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself.”- Robert Green Ingersoll

      “I will not attack your doctrines nor your creeds if they accord liberty to me. If they hold thought to be dangerous – if they aver that doubt is a crime, then I attack them one and all, because they enslave the minds of men.” – Robert Green Ingersoll

  6. Can I just say I find asdr and his/her comments to be vaguely creepy? And very, very much in need of proof reading?

  7. Burt, you would be wise to drop the ban hammer on the nut from whiteville or give him some legal advise regarding harassment of people for no other reason than they dislike their opinions.

    Ever wonder what it would have been like if the internet existed in the 1960s and those angry at having their separate but equal lives adjusted by federal law could have expressed their bigoted anger online? Now you know.

  8. Ten really creepy if not overtly threatening posts from “asder” heaping abuse at two commenters who were already complaining about being stalked in the real world is far from acceptable conduct on this blog. While I like open debate, this blog is not a public forum. It’s much more like my living room than the town square. Guests are welcome, until and unless they get rude. I would not tolerate one guest in my house saying these sorts of things to another guest.

    As a blog moderator, I hold plenary authority over what gets posted here. I’ve never censored or edited anyone for expressing an opinion with which I disagree. But I have in the past, and will in the future if necessary, respond to abuse of the blog’s commenting functions in whatever fashion seems most appropriate under the circumstances including but not limited to deletion of comments and banning the commenter from further participation. In this case, rather than delete these comments I’m going to let them stand so that everyone can see them for what they are; other can judge for themselves whether the first two commenters are justified in feeling threatened.

    I’m also reminded that when some people are permitted to comment anonymously, they perceive license to be assholes because they believe anonymity will let them get away with it without consequence. So in my judgment, removing the veil of anonymity seems like the step most calculated to encourage open debate and civility in this case. People are free to use pseudonyms or even amusing handles for legitimate reasons here. But causing other people emotional distress is not such a legitimate reason.

    “Adser” uses a account with a host server in Jackson, Tennessee, about 40 miles from Whiteville, where the first two commenters state they live. She appears to be named [EDIT] and maintain a residence in Whiteville and a residence on [EDIT]. In fact, I found much more specific detail than that, without even trying very hard.

    If you’re going to use my blog to harass people, Ms. [EDIT], the least you should expect is to be called out on the carpet for it. Any future comments of this nature originating from your IP address will be deleted as soon as they come to my attention. This is your only and final warning.

    • Hey, Burt… can I ask you to forward me your email address? I want to offer a professional comment, but not here.

      • Upon entertaining slightly calmer thoughts I’m editing back out the identifying information of the troll from the publicly-viewable portion of my comment. But I still have it, and future comments of this nature will still be deleted immediately.

        • well you better edit it out of topix

          the whiteville crosss post 2246 cause you got the wrong person dude.

          you did screw up

          • Gbellar, how is it that you are posting from the same computer as wevea and asder? It looks to me like all three handles are the same person, whoever that person may be.

            I do not use topix and I am not responsible for what someone else posts there. I do know that another post containing a threat was put on my blog, which I have deleted. Do not do that again.

            Rather, why don’t you (politely, please) explain why you think it’s okay for the city to have a cross on the water tower? I presume that is your opinion; that’s what the post is about, and that sort of discussion is what this site is for.

          • So you think it is fine to post the address of someone when you do it in the name of God, but as soon as someone does the same thing to you in response to threats being posted from your IP address then it is wrong. You harassed an uninvolved guy over my disagreement with your mayor’s public remarks, his name, his wifes name, and his street address were all posted thanks to you guys. Now you want to cry foul? I am glad you got a taste of your own doing, you will notice that atheist are not making threats even knowing who you are now.

    • If only Topix had moderators like you then maybe that LEO they think is me would not have to put up with being the target of their witch hunt. Even after he asked that I stop debating them, for his personal sake, they still have not left the poor guy alone. You removed his name (thank you) but as you can see they are convinced that I am him. He has posted several times that he does not have an opinion one way or the other about their cross. And to his credit he actually wrote that his job concerns criminal law and not squabbles over constitutional matters. I guess they will settle for nothing but fanaticism for their side, being neutral isn’t good enough for them.

    • I do not believe Burt is taking a side. I believe he is saying that your behavior is not tolerated on his site, regardless of your point of view.

      • Yo, H!

        It may well be hoax. Certainly hope so.

        In other news, how go the holidays with you and yours? All is well, I hope? Tchaikovsky is playing at your home these days, unless I miss my guess.

        Also, after a myriad of classical composer references, it made me smile to see “insane clown posse.”

      • Heidegger, I’m taking down all your comments on this post. This is for your own good. I’ll be more willing to tolerate your nonsense elsewhere.

        • Burt, were they that bad? Oh well, if you must, you must. I thought you might get a mild chuckle about the Four Noble Forces and Higgs boson. I would hope that in future, we can still have some laughs with our light hearted banter–where else can we joke and bitch about gravity being dropped to 4th place among the Big Four? As for the invasion of the drive bys, it’s bizarre to say the least–they reek of serious trouble. And I definitely think they’re not here to discuss remedies for barophobia. Gute Nacht mein Freund. Schlaff gut!

          • The drive bys were not your doing, but given that you’re aware that you’re on thin ice here as it is, even you, Heidegger, should have had the good sense to direct what I’m sure you see as impish playfulness to a different thread where there was substantially less drama.

    • better take it down because you got the wrong person. the only thing you have right is that it is abellsouth account. it is on topix.
      you dropped the ball on this one

      i know i pay the bill

      • Bizarre shit, Burt. I’ve been monitoring this with some interest, but mostly amusement. Get sucked into anonymous internet drama if you want, it’s sure alluring.

        Until somebody stands up in public for their own rights, there’s a whole worldful of oppressed people who have greater and more pressing concerns than a cross on a water tower.

        The butt end of the comments section of a subblog of a little-known blog, then all the intrigue about internet addresses and IPs of their opponents…well, I can’t decide whether this is more comical or pathetic.

        If it’s not just comical, stand up for your rights, o me brothers, or STFU. Or get your ass up and move somewhere else instead of complaining to Burt Likko, who isn’t even a real person. That’s why we have 50 states, including San Francisco, which sort of makes 51.

        Man up.

        • Tom, I agree with you that this whole exchange got dramatic to the point of silliness, an admission I make a little sheepishly as to my own flare of temper, a ledge from which the passage of time and the wise counsel of Tod Kelly helped back me away.

          There is one thing I’d point out — it’s a bit cavalier to tell people “If you don’t like it, then move.” That’s not always economically feasible and it too casually dismisses the reasonable demand of citizens that their government treat them in a fair and reasonable fashion. If it is the case that bullies are occupying the important offices of local government and local law enforcement and abusing their power like petty schoolyard bullies, that is a real problem that needs handling.

          But it’s a problem to be handled with Federal law enforcement and the Federal judiciary, not in the comment section of an obscure blog — a blog where commenters are expected to behave like grownups and stay on topic.

  9. All that I can assume is that if you are a Jew in this town, you will have to live with a graven image, the cross looking down upon you. Sad!

  10. Burt,
    Get the ban hammer ready because your outing of that crazy Whiteville poster has started a fire storm over on the Topix board. They are really upset that you took away their anonymity. I suspect they will be here soon enough with their same old tactics.

    • Well, I can’t control what’s happening at this topix board, something I’ve never read. Frankly I’m not invested enough in the dispute to bother seeking it out. I can only control what happens here in my own forum. My investment in my forum is a different matter altogether. I’ve invited the triply-named poster, and any other people who think the cross should be permitted on that water tower, to offer their point of view here, which is proof enough that I am happy to entertain viewpoints that differ from my own. By all means, let us discuss the issue on its merits like civilized and peaceful people.


      Discussions here will be kept civil in tone. Anyone unable to mind their manners is unwelcome, regardless of whether they agree or disagree with me. Threats posted here will be scrubbed from public view. Any additional threats from the same IP address (e.g., veiled threats of Mafia violence) that issued them before will result in bannination. I trust that this is abundantly clear to all concerned.

  11. Had it been a big loud speaker on top of the tower like the Muslims do over seas I bet there wouldnt be any problems removing it.

  12. Hmmm this ought to be intersting , a place to post with a present moderater.

  13. I represented Lisa Herdahl back in the 90s against a school district in northern Mississippi regarding school prayer and Bible classes. Reading this thread brings it all back. Except, rather than things improving, if anything, apparently they are just getting weirder. At least for us, local law enforcement made some effort to protect. Bomb threats were immediately investigated by the FBI and ATF and idiots dealt with. FFRF really needs to have a discussion with the U.S. Marshal’s office regarding good relations with local law enforcement, i.e., the feds need to talk to the local police agencies and ask in a spirit of friendly cooperation whether they can be depended upon to assist in providing protection. Doing so will put the local agencies in a spot and let them know the feds are watching. Residents who feel they are being threatened should not wait but rather call the FBI, Justice Department in D.C., and the local U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of Tennessee (in Jackson, I think). Now. Tomorrow at the latest.
    Every town like this has it’s competing churches – Baptist, Methodist, etc. – mainstream groups who should be every bit as concerned about a sort of coercion to put crosses in yards to prove they’re on the right side (perhaps not so subtly backed up by the use of the local police), as they are by the idea of “outsiders” who must not be proper believers coming in to tell them what to do. The local churches really need to think about what their proper response should be and really ask WWJD.
    There is a story the details of which I’m sure I don’t recall all correctly, but the gist was that a white supremacist group had pretty much taken over a town in Idaho. During the Christmas season, in order to express the town’s solidarity with and protection of a Jewish family, all the Christians put menorahs in their windows. The attitude behind that response I think comes closer to the understanding I obtain from the gospels. Much more than one of blindly reacting and putting up a cross in the yard and thereby appear to go along with state-coerced religion (even if it happens to be one’s religion) and wittingly or unwittingly encouraging a decidedly un-Christian campaign of harassment.

  14. I would urge anyone who is following all of this to not believe that John Trembley (FreeThinker82) is innocent in this. He instigated the hatred that many people show towards him because of his vulgarity and callousness. Most people had a lot of disdain for him long before the Whiteville cross debate. He tears people down and uses extremely derogatory language towards anyone who is a Christian. I can’t count how many times he called someone, myself included “trailer park white trash inbreds”. Most of the ill feelings stem from him posting extremely obscene and pornographic material depicting Jesus (he calls him “sky wizard) in a homosexual manner. Now, you may not be a Christian but you can imagine the responses. I just wanted to show a little of both sides of the story here. I don’t agree with any threats that have been made toward him or any of the others. Being a Christian, I don’t like their views but the last thing I would do is threaten anyone or belittle anyone because their beliefs (or lack thereof) are different from mine. I hate that a few people who call themselves Christian and act in a manner just as bad as J. Trembley or FT82 give others a reason to say that ALL Christians are right-wing extreme Bible-thumping extremists. Not all of are, just as I’m sure all atheists aren’t jerks.

    • Mr. or Mrs. Seriously,

      Every one of your accusations is a means to avoid answering the main question I pose to everyone I debate; “Where is your evidence?” I believe it is this question and my insistence on not allowing you to obfuscate that is at the root of your hatred. Everything else you list are merely excuses and were a result of the obfuscation which zealots like you engage in following the primary question. I will now address each of your complaints.

      First, you wrote that your hatred, it is your hatred after all, so please do not write replies as if you are uninvolved and have any semblance of objectivity in this matter, your hatred is a result of my vulgarity and callousness. What you interpret as vulgar and callous is in reality just honesty and directness. I describe all religions for what they really are and I do not mask it with soft words meant to spare your feelings or avoid insulting your “sacred cows”.

      You claim that I “tear you down” but all I am actually tearing down are your unfounded superstitions and the utterly fallacious arguments you peddle to prop them up. That is not “you” in any sense of the word; in fact, I often make it a point to explain that the only reason I debate the subject is because I use to be religious and that I believe everyone, including you, is intelligent enough to see the fraudulence of religion if only they would investigate it for themselves.

      Would you please provide the permalink to the post where I called you “trailer park white trash inbreds”? I do believe you are intentionally quote mining one of my replies and I cannot give a proper rebuttal without the entire post. That being said, why would you even allow words to produce hatred in you? I have lost count of the number of insults you and your pals make toward me but then again I do not care, every insult is a admission that you cannot answer the primary question and meet your burden of proof.

      You say most of the ill feelings stem from a link I posted to pornographic material depicting Jesus. If I remember correctly, that link was given in reference to a discussion of free speech regarding religion in which I also posted some jokes about Jesus and the crucifixion. I created neither the photo nor the joke but simply posted them and because of that, you justify your hatred. I am not a Christian but yes, I can imagine the response because I use to be like you. I still remember the completely irrational emotional responses to which I use to be driven over feelings that my religion had been insulted.

      You did not post this response to show “a little of both sides of the story”. You were forced to cease your vitriol because the admin of this blog was spanking you every time you decided to post your angry nonsense. The motivation for your response is obvious; you needed to justify your threats of physical violence and harassment of uninvolved third parties by asserting that your actions were a legitimate response to past criticism and ridicule of your religion. Sorry, but that does not cut it.

      You state in your post that”[you] don’t agree with any threats that have been made toward [me] or any of the others.” Great, then why did you waste time writing the preceding eight sentences defending the motivations of the people who made those threats? Excuse me, but comparing my critique of your religion to direct threats of physical violence is absurd. There is no equivocation between posting a joke about Jesus and posting the home address of someone you think is me with a message that you are on the way to physically assault them. There is also no equivocation between complaining about a cross on government property and posting innuendo that the person complaining should worry about being burned out of their home.

      Now that I have disposed of all that nonsense, we can get back to why you really say I am a jerk. Answer the primary question; where is the evidence to support your religious claims?

      • First of all, I don’t hate anybody. There you go lumping all “believers” together again. Do I agree with you? No. Do I think you are a pompous jerk? Yes. Doesn’t mean I hate you. I know many Christians that are jerks as well. I DO NOT agree with anybody threatening anyone over their views. The only time I would threaten somebody is if they posed some sort of danger to myself, friends, or family. I don’t think you not believing in God is threatening to me in any way. I never threatened you nor do I condone those that did.
        Secondly, you did refer to me as white trash, trailer trash and I believe inbred as well. If you feel the need to try to look it up have at it. I was logged in as Singledad74. If you will remember I didn’t downtrod or belittle you in any way other than saying I felt sorry for you. You posted on SO many different forums being a jerk that yes, you developed quite a following of people that despises you and your hateful ways. You jump on people for their belief in their “sky wizard” and people don’t appreciate that. If I were to go around saying that all atheists are pieces of excrement and were close-minded idiots you would probably take offense to that, as well you should. Do I believe in God? YES. Do i HATE others that don’t believe as I do? Absolutely not.

        • Yes, I remember you. You were the fanatic anti-abortion proponent who said you would still condemn a women for aborting a pregnancy due to rape. You even went so far as to say you would condemn a woman for aborting an ectopic pregnancy even after being informed that the fetus will not survive to term and is life threatening for the mother if it is allowed to grow. Your viewpoint shows that you have more concern for upholding a dogmatic religious position than you do for the well being of another human.

          You still cannot separate people from dogma can you? I refute fallacious religious claims and ridicule the credulity with which people believe and repeat those claims without one shred of evidence. You say they don’t appreciate my describing their magic man in the sky as a wizard? OK, I don’t appreciate being told that I have to burn for all eternity in some magical realm of fire and brimstone because I question the validity of a water walking, wine conjuring Jewish necromancer; and because I doubt the validity that human sacrifice can absolve people of all their sins simply because they are willing to suspend their reason in favor of gullible faith. Though I may not appreciate being told I am evil because I choose to think for myself, I do not threaten to burn down Christian homes or physically assault Christians for believing in sky wizards and zombie Jews who are their own father. Those are the actions of people you are defending when you attempt to shift the the blame to my WORDS. You are no different that the clerics who blamed Salman Rushdie after the religious leader of Iran suborned his murder for a book that he wrote.

          If I you were to go around saying that all atheists are pieces of excrement and were close-minded idiots it would just be same old nonsense you always right. I would not take offense, rather I would chalk it up to your continued refusal to support your magical claims with reason and evidence. Saying those things is the only thing you can do because you cannot provide any reason why I should accept any of the bullshit you claim to be true. BTW, I’ve never said that Christians were “pieces of excrement” but I would say that some of the utter nonsense I’ve heard come out of their mouth would match that description very well.

          • There you go putting words in other people’s mouths again. I have neverm, nor would I ever, condemn any women for having an abortion. No, I don’t agree with it under any circumstance, but I would NEVER condemn any woman for having one. I have several friends that have had one and consider them to be wonderful people. Everybody makes mistakes. Trust me, I’ve made more than my fair share of them.

          • Seriously,

            HELLO! MCFLY! That’s just the thing, a woman who aborts a pregnancy that cannot be carried to term and might kill her is not making a MISTAKE.

        • “Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the ‘transcendent’ and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.” ― Christopher Hitchens

    • “Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely soley upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.”― Christopher Hitchens

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