New on AlterNet: Harassment of Church-State Plaintiffs

My latest column is now up on AlterNet, Outrageous Attacks on Supporters of Church-State Separation: Death Threats, Murdered Pets, and Vandalized Property. In it, I report on the campaigns of harassment, persecution, and even criminal violence that are all too often waged against First Amendment advocates in religious areas of the country. Read the excerpt below, then click through to see the rest:

As often happens in these cases, FFRF plaintiffs asked to have their identities concealed because they feared harassment and retaliation from the community. It was a well-founded fear, since some of them had already been receiving threats on social media. On a Facebook page supporting the New Kensington school, one person encouraged others to “slam the shit out of the bitch” who filed the lawsuit. Another commenter asked, “Have the families involved in the lawsuit been identified? I cannot believe anyone living in the community would participate in such a worthless cause. Someone needs to send that group back to Wisconsin with several black eyes!”

Because of threats like this, the court granted the request for anonymity, finding that “this basis upon which the Does fear disclosure is substantial and that there is a substantial public interest in ensuring that litigants not face such retribution in their attempt to seek redress for what they view as a Constitutional violation, a pure legal issue.” In response, Republican state representative Tim Krieger filed a bill… that would eliminate the right of plaintiffs to sue anonymously over religious symbols on public property.

Continue reading on AlterNet…

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • L.Long

    BUT! But! But we are doing it for JESUS!!!!!!
    You know the jesus that said turn the other cheek, love your neighbor, and who never said to do violence in jesus’s name.

    How does lying immoral (according to their own book), assholes sound?

  • Machintelligence

    They didn’t stop at harassing plaintiffs, they went after the judge in the Kitzmiller vs Dover case (much to his surprise.)

    In the months following the decision, Jones received death threats and he and his family were given around-the-clock federal protection.

  • GCT

    Jesus also talked about killing unbelievers, spat racist epithets at a woman seeking health care for her child, torture for those who didn’t obey him, and a host of other things. Also, the concept of neighbor seemed to extend to fellow Jews that obeyed Jesus. The Jesus described in the Bible (most certainly a fabrication) wasn’t some paragon of virtue and we should all stop pretending that he was.

  • John Evans

    Let’s not forget cursing a fruit tree to death for failing to produce fruit out of season.

  • J_JamesM

    Just disgusting. How would they like it if Atheists harassed Christians in their churches?

    Oh, wait, never mind. They would be thrilled.

  • evodevo

    Very few Xtians, especially fundies, know the Bible very well. Most liberals don’t know it very well either. Jeebus was an orthodox, apocalyptic, messianic Jew to the bone, and NOT interested at all in converting anyone outside that circle. It was Paul who invented the Xtian religion as we know it today.

  • DavidMHart

    There are those who think that Jesus wasn’t even a real orthodox, apocalyptic, messianic Jew at all, but a fictional god-man. This is slightly off-topic, I know, but I feel it must be pointed out whenever anyone asserts what Jesus was, that the jury is still out as to whether Jesus was, so to speak :-)


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