FOX News Should Fix This Headline

Hey, FOX News headline writer person, you got it wrong.

American Atheists’ billboards didn’t come down due to “complaints.”

They came down because AA staffers and the advertising company were hit with threats.


Presumably from Christians who couldn’t handle criticism of their beliefs.

I’ll be right here. Waiting for you to apologize…

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Hmmm

    Our country’s history is rich with language such as “we won’t negotiate with terrorists” and give me liberty or give me death”. Such a shame to see this craven organization let the fringes of society frighten them into compromising our most important ideals. Instead of pulling the billboards, they should have mounted a publicity campaign to capture and punish the perpetrators of these violent, illegal threats. But, of course, that comment belongs on the original post about the billboards. I have no time to waste on Faux News (including watching the embedded video, so sorry if I missed the point here).

  • SkeeterMcClusky

    You are afraid of threats from unknown people, so you took the billboard down? Regardless of the unrelenting assault against them, I don’t see Christians taking down crosses, church signs or buildings. In fact, the pastor who had the meetings at his house chose jail instead of bowing to the threats of the court. 
    And why do you always blame everything on Christians? Why do you hate us so much? I thought you were the “friendly” atheist. Most Christians I associate with reply to threats with blessings, not curses. I guess their idea of friendly is  different than yours. Perhaps your idea of friendly is “evolving” into something closer to what I call hatred. But as a person who has no higher moral standard than the best a man can do, what difference does it make to you or other atheists? Hatred is as reasonable a response as love, for it is up to an individuals interpretation. 

    Returning to my first question: It seems if threats are being made, perhaps they are coming from other atheists who find your billboard as much an offense as a steeple. 

  • Mike

    Denial much?

  • David Benjamin Patton

    I hope you packed a lunch because you’re probably going to b waiting quite awhile for that apology.

  • Hmmm

    You know the definition of “presumably,” right? It allows the possibility that non-xians made the threats. But, really, how likely is that?

    I do not believe the American Atheists (and definitely not Hemant Mehta) decided to take the billboard down. The advertising agency made that decision. I will not speculate on their religion, but I will say they are spineless cowards regardless of the source of the threats.

  • LesterBallard

    Skeeter; not getting your way all the time is not assault. Being contradicted or criticized is not assault. The “pastor” who had meetings at his house lied and broke the law. 

  • Faithful

    For whatever it’s worth – I am sorry… I could attempt excuses for those who claim to be christian, but I won’t. I am  sorry – even though the threats weren’t to you I’m sorry.

  • David Benjamin Patton

    I will honestly admit to you that some people in our atheist ranks can be real assholes that’s true. It’s also akin to trying to herd a room full of cats to get all atheists to all agree on any given host of issues at one time.

    However, I have personally seen repeatedly time and again some of the most vicious, mean spirited, ugly and violent threats and comments come not from us but from your fellow christians and those who claim to be christians. 

    It’s a common behavior that many who think “we have god on their side” believe they are excused to behave as some of the worst and immoral examples of humanity to their fellow man who they deem inferior. Whether atheist, homosexual or merely of a differing religious, political or social opinion. Therefore you might want to seriously look at your own house before condescendingly judging ours with your passive/aggressive christian “supriority.” 

    Just some food for thought there.

  • Mark McCaw

    I’m pretty sure anyone named Skeeter would believe whatever they’re told at church. Like people who believe republicans are good christian folk.

  • edgar ayala

    An apology is nice but whats better is Christians speaking up in churches letting their peers know that atheists (everyone actually) have the right to express their views too. 

  • Mark DC

    This is not even a stretch.  YOu should read some history of Condfederates. Talk about Orwellian understatement.  For example,  a recent biography of Robert E Lee grudginly admitted, in the softest way possible, that Lee used whips on youngslave girls. (14 years old, he whipped girls who would be in 8th grade today)  I till spare you how convoluted the admission itself was.

    But she defended Lee, by saying in her OWN editorial voice, that  “discipline wisely used early can actually avoid even more harsh discipline later”.  In other words, Lee was being kind.

    And she even reduced that further, by saying Lee’s harsh dicipline was “due to his poor cross cultural communication skills”  

  • Mike D

    Honestly – and this is coming from someone who loves a good Christianity-bashing – that billboard is inflammatory and stupid. It’s not ‘criticism’. It’s just mocking a caricature of what Christians believe. And it’s pretty lame to follow that with “simply reasonable”.   It’s embarrassing to me as both an atheist and an anti-theist, and I’m glad it’s down.

  • Guest

     The billboard company was being threatened. They’re not the atheist organization, and they’re not spineless for wanting to keep themselves safe. They even offered to refund the ad money and put up another billboard supporting American Atheists, but the organization decided against that. Go read the initial article here about the billboards being taken down.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    It’s inflammatory, I’ll give you that.

    Mocking a caricature? In what way?

    Sadistic?   Job. Also Hell.
    Useless Saviour?   Doesn’t answer prayers. Won’t heal. Ticket to Heaven is a fraud.
    30k Truths?   That’s about how many sects there are.
    Promotes hate?   Bigoted against LGBT, women.
    Jesus on toast, bleeding statues?   You can get thrown in jail if you speak truth to them.

  • allein

    Not to mention, the “threats of the court” were legal repurcussions for his unlawful actions, not anonymous death threats for conveying ideas.

  • Glasofruix

    There’s a difference between “The cross is on public property, take it down or face the legal consequences” and “God commands me me to kill you and your famili if you keep those bilboards up”

  • Theodore (Tugs) Njáll McCowan

    Or is it a case of “the emperor has no clothes”?

  • allein

    What the hell is ‘harsh’ discipline if you consider whipping to be ‘wisely used’?

  • allein

    While I agree they are inflammatory (which isn’t in and of itself necessarily a bad thing), and I don’t think they convey the message that AA said they intended to send, I’d rather they take them down voluntarily for that reason (or have put up something more fitting in the first place) than because they and the billboard owners were receiving threats.

  • cipher

     Thank you, though.

  • Margaret Whitestone

    You expect FOX to tell the truth? 

  • Guest

    Threats?  Gasp.  That never happens to anyone but atheists and those doing business with them.  It must be evil religious people again.   

  • Coyotenose

     You seem to have missed the part where the billboard company pulled the ads, and AA simply didn’t blame the company or insist in putting the company in danger. Regardless of whether their ads were a good idea, calling AA “craven” implies that you’re extremely unfamiliar with them.

  • Coyotenose

    Everything in the billboard is accurate and representative of large swaths of the populace and of the religion itself, including the pariedolia. It’s just inflammatory.

    We already went through the part where the billboards are kind of trashy and poorly conceived. I find it odd that when you see people being intimidated into silence, you focus 100% on what’s wrong with the people being silenced.

  • Coyotenose

     Sure he does! He has magic underwear. Silly atheist.

  • Coyotenose

     Your martyr complex is disappointing, but wholly expected.

    Comparing death threats for speaking publicly to jail time for massively, overtly and deliberately breaking the law? Pathetic.

    Trying to sneak in a “Atheists have no morality and are relativists/nihilists”? Disgusting.  At least own up to your ignorant, bigoted caricatures.

    Claiming atheists made the threats? So stupid that you’re not even worth bothering with. Jesus, learn to read.

  • Coyotenose

     Sarcasm fail.

    Projection/Denial success.

    Keep whining. You wannabe martyrs only make it plainer with each ruffling of your feathers how overprivileged, oblivious, and elitist you are.

  • machintelligence


  • Margaret Whitestone

    Religious billboards, signs, displays and the like are all over the nation.  The only thing atheists ever ‘threaten’ them with are lawsuits, when those things are on public property.  On the other hand, nearly every time an atheist sign or billboard goes up on *private* property it’s immediately hit with screeches of protest, threats of violence and/or vandalism.    Stop pretending you’re so persecuted because you aren’t. 

  • Hmmm

    They offer a product that should be equally available to everyone. When we refuse to stand up for our neighbors’ rights, we sacrifice our own. They gave in to bullies, so now we all can look forward to more bullying. I wonder, if a non-Christian threatened them over a Christian billboard, would they have made the same decision?

  • phantomreader42

    If christians are allowed to put up billboards threatening atheists with unending firey torture, without having to endure even the mildest public criticism for it, then atheists should certainly be able to insult and caricature christians without censorship or terrorist threats.  

  • phantomreader42

    Hmm, I thought the delusional lying christianist “Guest” announced that it was leaving.  Several times.  Of course, it’s not the least bit surprising that it’s a pathological liar.  

  • phantomreader42

    I think Skeeter’s the terrorist who made the threats.  And if I’m wrong, it’s not like Skeeter could pretend to think there’s anything wrong with babbling nonsense on a subject one knows nothing about and falsely accusing people of fraud and terrorism…

  • Pseudonym

    I’m sure there will be a notpology, though.

  • Pseudonym

    Of course not. But it’d be nice if the AA told the truth too. The billboards were taken down because they’ve done their job.

    More people have seen the news reports than ever would have seen the billboards. Now that the news cycle is done, the billboards have served their purpose and can be taken down.

    Welcome to the 21st century, where acting like a moron in public is preferable to obscurity.

  • Pseudonym

    Absolutely. But I’d far rather that the billboards were taken down because the AA saw reason than because of threats.

    Quite frankly, AA should be thankful to the morons who issued the death threats. It was the only way the AA was going to come out of this looking like heroes of free speech.

  • Jim_Lahey

    why do you troll here anyway? its obvious you are are not here to try spread the ‘good word’. I actually belonged to a very evangelical  church for over 12 years of my life, and while it is based on no more than your beliefs, the people who attended never would have acted in the unchristian manner that you do! I dont troll christian blogs lookin fer a fight! nor do most atheists! we come here for intelligent discussion and to make sure our rights and freedoms stay as such! It appears you have nothing to add in that regard, but always fixin tuh start sumthin seems a petty reason to be here.

    My name is Jim Lahey
    and I am your trailer park superviser


  • Rich Wilson

    In fact, the pastor who had the meetings at his house chose jail instead of bowing to the threats of the court.

    That wasn’t martyrdom, that was a zoning issue.  Kind of like pissing of a cat so it will scratch you and then claiming you’ve been thrown to the lions.

  • rlrose63

    I’m certain it was other atheists or Muslims who were making the threats.  AA did an honorable thing by letting the billboards come down rather than risk some believer (of whatever flavor) deciding to vote with their guns.  And we don’t see Christians taking down crosses or church signs because they don’t face the discrimination or hatred that atheists do.  They can meet in public and be proud of it without dirty looks.  They can openly practice their faith and hold office.  They are not the most reviled and hated group of people in the country.

    I didn’t like the billboards, quite frankly… a little too negative for my tastes.  But they had every right to put those up and NOT be threatened because of it.  Your Christian privilege is showing and it’s not pretty.

  • Matt E

    I thank you, but I must also point something out here. They don’t “claim” to be christian they are christian. They may have a different point of view from you that you do not like, but you can’t negate their religiosity like that. There are plenty of boorish and sexist atheists trolling on reedit but I never claim they aren’t atheists because they are,  they are just assholes as well and a stand up against them. If you want our respect, you must acknowledge your loutish co-religionists and stand up against them as well

  • Hmmm

    I was calling the advertising company craven. I think AA just accepted that, once again, xians were going to get their way because of bullying. From AA’s perspective, that is a qualified win, IMO.