An Update on Patrick Greene’s Potential Lawsuit

Quick update on Patrick Greene‘s potential lawsuit that I posted about this morning:

A vandal etched the word “EVIL” into a rug in Greene’s apartment complex and Greene has decided not to pursue the case:

Patrick [Greene] tells KLTV in an email “Because of a death threat from some ‘peace loving’ Christians, the lawsuit has been canceled and no further legal action will be taken.”

… [Greene] then said in the e-mail, “If I filed [a lawsuit], our building would have been burned to the ground.”

Conspiracy theories are already floating around as to who the vandal might have been, but if this ends the silly legal battle over putting up a handwritten sign — and brings the attention back to the serious legal battle over whether a Nativity scene should be allowed on government property — then I’m ok with it. ***Edit***: I realize that last sentence makes it sound like I’m ok with the vandalism. I’m not. I was referencing Greene’s lawsuit and nothing else. My apologies for the confusion. If this was an attempt to scare Greene away from his lawsuit, I condemn it and I hope the police look into it. Given Greene’s past behavior and his habit of jumping to conclusions at the slightest of provocations, though, I’m skeptical of the nature of this “death threat” until more evidence comes in.

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.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    There’s not enough info in this blog (nor the source article) to understand the nature of the threats that were received.

    If there really were threats against this guy and his home (apartment complex), then I am NOT  “ok with that”.

    I thought that basis/rationale for his threatened lawsuit was illogical and was potentially harmful to the secular movement. I would love to see if go away. But I’m NOT ok  with threats and property damage as the means to that end. 

  • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

    Hemant, you’ve taken a stand against vandalism in the past, and
    even raised money to clean graffiti on a church. Are you really ok with saying you’re ok with this?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      Obviously, I’m not ok with the vandalism. If someone did this to scare Greene, it’s abhorrent and I hope the police look into it. But Greene has been known to jump to conclusions with the slightest of provocations, so I’m skeptical about how serious this “death threat” really is under more evidence comes in.

  • Aaron Scoggin

    Then let them burn it to the ground. No sacrifice, no victory.

  • Isilzha

    Is it anywhere near his apartment?  Does it point in his direction?  I’m confused.  How is just the world “evil” in his proximity a threat?  I have no tolerance for vandalism and think that people who make threats should face jail time, but I just don’t see how this can be interpreted as a personal attack against him and not just some random teenage vandalism.

    • Patterrssonn

      He’s saying that he was emailed a threat of arson if he continued.

  • http://atheistlutheran.blogspot.com/ MargueriteF

    The source article references “numerous threats,” but only describes (and shows) one. If Greene is leaping to the conclusion that someone’s going to burn his building down based on this one word, then that would seem to be a somewhat over-the-top conclusion. Etching the word “evil” into a carpet is vandalism, and quite possibly intimidation, but it’s not a death threat. If, however, he received a direct threat of arson, as someone indicated in the comments, that’s a different story. But this particular article does not seem to suggest that. It’s worth adding that Greene himself seems rather prone to attention-grabbing stunts, so I’m not sure he’s a reliable source of information either. We have insufficient data at this time to determine the full story, IMHO.

  • http://twitter.com/nicoleintrovert Nicole Introvert

     I think it’s time to stop giving Patrick Greene attention. 

    • Ronlawhouston

       I think you nailed it.

  • JustWondering

    Of course an atheist could not have made such a threat claiming to be a Chrsitian.

    • Coyotenose

       Paranoid insinuation isn’t an argument.

  • SeekerLancer

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the vandal was Patrick Greene himself.

    • Coyotenose

       Yeah. I don’t like to go that route generally without evidence, but his behavior to date makes him suspect here.

  • Ronlawhouston

    Scratches head — if you don’t know who did it – who are you going to sue?  Sounds fishy and more that a bit of attention grabbing.


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