Did US Florida Governor Charlie Crist assault an atheist?

If this is true, we should demand Crist apologize for such bigoted and hateful behavior.

via Atheist Alliance International:

US Florida Governor Charlie Crist has been accused of assaulting an individual for identifying himself as an atheist during a campaign event held in St. Petersburg, Florida.

A member of Atheists of Florida – an AAI affiliate – reported that he unexpectedly came across a campaign event being held for Governor Charlie Crist upon leaving a pizzeria in St. Petersburg on Friday, March 5, 2010.  At the event, the individual found a chance to introduce himself to the governor and, shaking his hand, asked the Governor if “he really believes that the letters he sent to Jerusalem prevent hurricanes from hitting Florida”.

After a heated and brief discussion with the Governor, the individual identified himself as not believing in God; to which the Governor assulted the individual, tearing off a “Charlie Christ for US Senate 2010″ from the individual’s chest, then screaming at the victim that he “feels sorry for” him before turning his back to the assaulted victim to continue his campaign event.

Atheists of Florida is demanding an official apology for this outrageous behavior. Imagine if any public official had reacted this way to a Jew or a Muslim expressing their worldview, by invading their personal space to rip off a campaign sticker, then screaming that he “feels sorry” for them!

For more information, contact:  info@AtheistsofFlorida.net.

As I post this, there has been no reports of this in the media. If this happened there sure should be.

Brother Richard

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/mighein mighein

    I don't care about an apology because it's pretty thin stuff to be considered assault. But IF it happened, and IF the alleged victim wasn't being deliberately provocative (which I can see happening), then it should be reported widely, yes.

    It's just as likely that the atheist was just looking to pick an argument and to embarrass Crist and frankly, if that's the case, getting his button ripped off and getting yelled at seems pretty harmless.

    Without more facts, I can't see this as much of a rallying point.


    • http://intensedebate.com/people/BrotherRichard BrotherRichard

      Yeah, I agree. I really want to know more of the story. I have been searching for one and have not found anything.

    • http://chariotsofiron.com eli

      However if this reaction was because the "assaulted" individual was jewish, it would be all over for Gov. Crist (especially in Florida), the actual words exchanged would be moot, but because it's an atheist in question here it is not even a blip.

  • Matt

    Yes…this actually happened. The person in question is a friend of mine, who told my wife and I about it the following day. Here is the original forum post where he shared his experience on a freethinkers/athiest forum: http://free2think.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&amp

    • http://www.oregonskeptics.com Joel

      Doesn't look like much of an "assault", really just a irrationally behaving idiot.

  • Tim

    I would say I was sorry for Gov. Crist, but I'm not. I think he's an idiot and a cretin.

  • Franklin

    Crist is an opportunist cretin. That kind of behavior is for middle school and a Politician should have a bit more decorum. I think that the invasion of this individuals personal space is a violation and Crist at least owes him an apology. This is the reason it is time for folks who are without faith to stand up and be counted. Politiicans need to know we are a force to be reckoned with.

  • Rob Curry

    Please email Charlie.Crist@MyFlorida.com (with cc: info@AtheistsofFlorida.net) tovoice yourfeelings about his disrespect for atheists.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/nogodsforme nogodsforme

    Actually, it is NOT pretty thin stuff to be considered an assault. Do you want the man to end up in the hospital? I suggest you look up the legal definition of assault and battery before making such a statement. Any battery is simply an unwanted touching. Yanking a piece a paper out of someone's hand can constitute a battery. There need not be an injury.

    For those that are accusing the atheist of looking for an opportunity to embarrass Crist, shame on you. The man was simply looking for an answer to a legitimate question (to an idiotic action) and responded with his world viewpoint that is despised by the religious and which was outwardly acted upon by this man who thought it okay to do so as the Chief Executive Officer of the State.

  • DuckPhup

    If anyone else gets an opportunity to question Crist about this, I think that the best way to frame the question would be to ask something like: "Do you do the letter-to-God bit to lure the stupid and gullible segment of Florida's population to your banner?… or do you actually believe that ridiculous, moronic crap?"

  • http://wagthegonzo.blogspot.com/ Killer Bud

    I definitely will not be voting for him now. He blatantly showed what an ass he can be to the kind of people I respect.

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  • http://JamesOldham.com James Oldham

    Just ask Governor Crist , ” Why his great Christian faith he professes and the prayers for Florida he leaves at the wailing wall didn’t protect us all from the FREEZES , Tropical Storm Fay,Floods, hail,and tornadoes.” He’s a hypocrit.jim