Sometimes, it pays to track online mentions of the organization you work for. The Secular Student Alliance’s Jesse Galef (who also contributes to this site) saw a tweet this morning which included this image:
MY FUTURE TARGETS
I’ll pray for you.
*Deep breath* Ok. Calming myself down…
Every indication is that the person tweeting was talking about converting them to Christianity, not shooting them. But, as JT Eberhard notes, if the tables were turned and an atheist called members of a Christian group “targets” and posted their picture, there’d be a *huge* outcry. (And rightfully so.)
So how do you handle this?
JT and Jesse figured out who made the tweet, what school she attended, and they alerted the principal to the Tweet along with a note indicating why they were taking precautions about this — more from a anti-bullying stance than a “call the cops” one. I think that was the right move — not ignoring the message and not overreacting to it by any means.
JT summarized the reason this sort of thing shouldn’t be ignored:
As I have said before, if an adult punches another adult out of displeasure with their atheism, thanks to the legal protections in our favor and the reality of a lawsuit, the assailant would have just volunteered to purchase his victim’s next vehicle. In high school the perpetrator would receive detention or a few days of suspension. High school atheists do not need the same protection as post high-school atheists — the need more. Sadly, up until now they haven’t gotten it, but that is thankfully changing.