College Atheist Group Catches and Confronts Someone Ripping Down Its Flyers

The Southeastern Freethinkers Society at Southeastern Oklahoma State University only formed last spring, but already, they’ve experienced the sort of petty vandalism veteran groups know plenty about.

This week, group leaders created flyers to promote their weekly meetings. The flyers were approved by the office of Student Life, so group members had permission to place them on certain campus bulletin boards.

It features a message that we’ve seen on many atheist billboards: “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.” That harmless, or dare I say “shocking,” message still rubbed some students the wrong way.

Normally, when you put up flyers, you only notice a day or two later that they’ve been written on or torn down. There’s no evidence and little recourse you can take except to put new flyers up (maybe with a sarcastic message on it reading, “Please don’t tear me down! God is watching you”).

This time, though, group members decided they would monitor the flyers in some of the more popular spots on campus, just to see if they could catch anyone doing the deed.

Turns out they did. After a student and his friend ripped down one of the atheist flyers, a group member confronted him about it — and got the whole exchange on camera:

You can tell the guy in the green shirt is embarrassed that he got caught.

He tries to deflect what he did by asking if the group member has permission to videotape him (he does in Oklahoma, since this all took place in public space) and then says, “Well, I have freedom of rights as well”… which is complete gibberish. As the group member explains, that right doesn’t extend to vandalism of campus approved materials.

It’s a quick, civil discussion. The guy in the green shirt doesn’t quite apologize but he walks away without further confrontation, kind of like you might after getting stopped by a cop for speeding but being let off with just a warning. You get the feeling he won’t be ripping down any more flyers in the future. Let’s hope not, anyway.

In the meantime, if you’re a student at SOSU, consider attending the next meeting Thursday night. There are more details on the group’s Facebook page.

(Thanks to Chance for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • guest

    I would’ve liked to know why he did it, but otherwise pretty funny and well done to them.
    I wonder if he’d rip down a muslim flyer, or a christian one (from a different denomination, assuming he’s christian, which is not guaranteed).
    I guess you could put ‘it’s an offence to remove anything stamped by the student authority’ somewhere on the flyers. It might put off a few right wing authoritarians.

    • baal

      Green shirt said (or nearly so), “I have rights and freedoms” when confronted with the notice that it’s vandalism to tear down flyers. Apparently, that means he thinks his rights include vandalism against approved atheistic postings.

      • Art_Vandelay

        Which in turn means he’s probably a Christian. Nothing else comes with that much entitlement.

  • Gunner Miller

    Caught red handed. He should be turned in.

    • LutherW

      And punished for as many generations as his god requires…no no

      • Gus

        Well no, but a minor punishment and a mark in his college record for violating the student code of conduct and an official warning about repercussions for a second offense might act as a stronger deterrent than being made uncomfortable on camera for a few seconds.

    • godlessveteran

      No. He should be prosecuted for vandalism and hate crime.

  • Sam

    Douchebag!

  • ZenDruid

    So then, green shirt, your rights apparently include vandalism. Who taught you your sense of ethics? Your local preacher?

    • newavocation

      Yes! He is saving people from hell by keeping them from going to this meeting of heathens.

      • Doesn’tWantToMakeAnAccount

        Huehuehuehuehue

    • LutherW

      I just do not know how someone who believes in a jealous god can have any morals or ethics. Don’t they come from rationality and humanism?

      • ZenDruid

        My folly is to believe that every human infant is born with an operating conscience, nascent or protean as it may be, and informed by a remarkably simple set of premises: a good caregiver, typically the mother; an ignorant but otherwise potentially good caregiver, typically the father *waves*; and in the most unfortunate circumstances, a jealous pervert masquerading as a caregiver….

    • TheTundraTerror

      I just love how his first reaction is “hey, brah, I don’t think you’re allowed to record me!”. Not to say “I’m sorry” or ever “Oh, shit, I got caught!”
      What a fucking lowlife.

      • Zubat

        “Fucking lowlife” — you don’t want him judging your signs that groups such as yourself are putting up, yet you are calling him a “fucking lowlife”..Let’s grow up now children and act like you are an adult..

        • David Kopp

          He can judge all he wants. But unless you think someone tearing a church sign down because they disagree with it is an ok thing to do, you’re a hypocrite.

          • Marisa Totten

            I don’t think that is what Zubat intended his meaning to be. The type of discourse that took place between these two college students was good, it was civil, and it let the green shirt know that not everyone will lie down and let believers do as they please. It was probably a learning moment for him. It also let him know that not all atheists are foaming at the mouth and screaming obscenities at all believers, as some believers apparently believe we do.
            But to criticize the guy in the green shirt by stooping to his level (the calling of names) if not beneath him rather cancles all that out. Zubat didn’t express any approval or disapproval of green shirt guy at all; at least none that I saw.

            • alconnolly

              Zubat miss-characterized what the tundra terror stated was his reason for calling the guy a lowlife. Zubat says it was for “judging their signs”. That was demonstrably false if you read tundra terrors comment. It was for his actions of resorting to vandalism because he disagreed with someone else’s point of view. So your comment and Zubat’s showed a misunderstanding of the issue. Although I agree the language was stronger than I would have used.

              • Marisa Totten

                Hmm. You may have a point. I’m perfectly willing to accept I may have misinterpreted TTT’s comment.
                Nevertheless, I don’t believe it does anyone any favors to be trading insults.

        • TheTundraTerror

          What’s he’s doing is a misdemeanor. It’s vandalism. He’s an asshole. Instead of owning up to it, he tries to basically deflect the question and make the guy who caught him into the bad guy.

        • RowanVT

          If someone went up to a church and removed their cross, would they be a fucking lowlife or not?

          If someone defaced a christian billboard would they be a fucking lowlife or not?

          If someone went to the library and scribbled over the pages of the bibles there would they be a fucking lowlife or not?

          If someone tore down fliers advertising the local christian club on campus would they be a fucking lowlife or not?

          • Al Dente

            In fact they would (unless if the billboard or fliers were blatantly offensive). The only thing I ever took down was a sticker someone put on my apartment building dumpster that said something to the effect, “Atheist holiday, April 1st, April fools day. Psalm 14:1 A fools says in in his heart, there is no God.” In this case the sticker was an ad hominem attack on atheists. If it was on someone’s car, door, etc. I would have left it alone but since they put it on something that didn’t belong to them I figured I had just as much right to take it down as they had to put it up.

        • Mark W.

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        • baal

          Judging is a mental act. Green shirt did a physical thing. Also, Zubat, your lack of understanding this distinction means you argue like a children and you’re claiming to be an adult.

          (insults from claimed superiority fail for want of established predicates)

    • Msironen

      My guess is either feminists or Atheism+. They seem happy enough to rip down posters which dare suggest violence against men is somehow a bad thing.
      I’ll also note that this guy didn’t wave a box cutter around when confronted.

      • RowanVT

        Really? Do you have links showing mainstream feminists or most of the folks of atheism plus saying violence against men is perfectly a-ok?

        Because get this: I’m a feminist (the radical notion that I, as a woman, am also a person) and I like most of atheism +. I will say it point blank.

        Violence against ANYONE is deplorable.

        • Msironen

          http://www.news1130.com/2012/09/07/posters-in-support-of-mens-rights-ripped-down-in-vancouver/

          I don’t mean to actually suggest feminists (or Atheism+) are in favour of violence (towards men or anyone else). What is very much in evidence however is their disdain for the freedom of expression.

          Also, I haven’t heard of a howling mob of Christians trying to block atheists from attending a campus meeting, nor disrupting one by pulling the fire alarm.

          • RowanVT

            While I agree the posters should not have been removed, most MRAs that *I* specifically have encountered have been not much better than most hate groups. They only seem to mention custody battles and the extra belittling that male rape victims receive tangentially. Most of what I’ve seen is railing against women in general and any attempts to point out sexist attitudes, as well as whine about how women won’t have sex with them.

            They claim, when women call them on their bs, that they are being silenced. They don’t seem to understand that while they do indeed have freedom of expression, so do those opposed to them and that speech has consequences.

            If a man has the gall to tell me that as a woman I am unfit for certain fields of study, or am illogical, he shouldn’t then bemoan his plight if I won’t give him the time of day or make sarcastic comments at him.

            • Msironen

              Yes, and I’m sure the Christian poster vandal also has his list of grievances towards atheists (which tellingly enough could probably be constructed form yours just by changing a few key words).

              • C.L. Honeycutt

                That doesn’t even make any sense, either as a retort to the previous comment or as a thought experiment.

                • Msironen

                  Goes the not-that-crazy Christian, “Well I don’t personally agree with picketing funerals or other actions of the WBC, but then again those gay activists and militant atheist won’t rest until they’ve put all Christians into concentration camps, right?”

                  Goes RowanVT… well that’s a rather simple exercise for the reader.

                  In short, “they’re totes horrid” has nothing to do with a group’s right to present their point of view even if it actually was offensive, which in this case it’s not (and even RowanVT admits to that).

                • getz

                  Yeah, despite the discussion being about a poster being torn down, and an example provided after such a thing happening was questioned, they devoted exactly HALF of a sentence out of three paragraphs to address it.

                  While they can say “oh yeah, that’s bad”, the simple fact is “BUT FUCK THOSE GUYS” trumps the shallow expression of disapproval. It’s a bit like the “we can’t stop the atheists from distributing their literature, but we… heh heh, can’t really control what happens to it once it’s own there, eh? wink wink nudge nudge”.

                  If the person who tore down the atheist flyer gets a similar reaction, they’ll be met with far more reinforcement for their negative attitude towards atheism than they will reprimanding for their actions. And if that reinforcement is the result of doing “something they weren’t supposed to do”, then… it doesn’t really send the message that they’re not supposed to do it.

                • RowanVT

                  Sorry I wasn’t clear that I was responding to the idea that the MRA posters were related to feminists being okay with violence against men… when MRAs are only, as I said, tangentially against that themselves.

                  Imagine for a moment the posters in question were from PETA. The link provided was in response to asking for an instance of general group X being okay with animal cruelty. Would you thump your chest and rend your clothes if someone mentioned the fact that PETA themselves are often cruel to animals, after saying the posters should not be removed?

              • RowanVT

                Such as…us existing?

      • ZenDruid

        Non sequitur much?

        • Msironen

          Just pointing out that vandalizing speech offensive to one’s ideology is just as compatible with “ethically superior atheism” (=Atheism+) than it is with the supposed ethics of his “local pastor”.

          • RowanVT

            See, I don’t see anything in that link that mentions Atheism +, or that the people vandalizing are A+ers.

            Care to show me your work for jumping to that conclusion?

            • Msironen

              Eh, I don’t know if I should name individual (and in this case very prominent) Atheism+ forum posters, but they in fact made a post basically bragging about about participating in vandalizing JohnTheOther’s posters and the ensuing confrontation.

              Without going further into that particular incident, here’s some interesting, more general ruminations on the subjects of property destruction and violence vs non-violence:

              http://atheismplus.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=3503

              It seems the notion that “non-violence only works if your opponent has a conscience” largely carried the day. Corporations especially were deemed to be (and act without) any conscience and therefore fair game. I guess this handy principle can be extended to groups (MRAs) and even individuals (JohnTheOther) when the need is pressing.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Geez, another one of your ilk with an axe to grind over nothing at all. It’s weird how Atheism+ critics are so creepily obsessed with it that it keeps coming up out of nowhere.

      • baal

        Msironen, the best way to deal with the A+’ers endless hostility and authoritarian BS is to not summon them in the first place. STFU about them unless they are already here for another reason and then be explicit with examples on the harms they are doing.

        • Lea Tapp

          “Endless hostility and authoritarian BS”?
          Could you be any less honest?

          • baal

            How? It’s exactly how I feel about you all based on everything I’ve experienced and more that I’ve read. That’s entirely my honest well and fully considered opionion. Really, you all are immoral harm maximing assholes on par with the christianists. You put ideology first and think marketing bull shit is a way of life. You all are so far down the rabbit hole that rationality and evidence based reasoning or even just plain fairness is beyond your ability to conceive of that there is little hope to even showing you how wrongful you are. Delusion hardly covers it.

  • Chance

    I want to credit Dustin Curry for taking this video. He handled this quite well.
    Chance
    SE Freethinkers

    • AxeGrrl

      In complete agreement. I think he handled it perfectly :)

      He wasn’t an a**, wasn’t abusive or hostile, and did absolutely nothing the insecure vandalist could cry foul about…..which means if he does, he’ll (once again) look like the fool.

      I can’t tell you how much I love it when someone handles a situation like that :)

    • raerants

      The video seems to be private now, and as such unviewable. :(

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Excellent. Well done, Dustin Curry and SE Freethinkers!
    This should be done in many places. Assuming he’s a Christian, (which I don’t think is much of a leap) American Christians won’t get over their delusion of privilege unless they’re caught and embarrassed by their hypocrisy and their insecurity. Vandals should be asked on camera if they believe in freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Whether they say yes or evade the question, they should be told, “You don’t believe in those freedoms unless you support the freedom of those who disagree with you.”

    • just somebody

      This is exactly what I meant when I wrote of my disapproval of the similar tactics of the gay activists in Iceland: Gay Rights Activists in Iceland Have Found the Perfect Way to Protest Evangelist Franklin Graham’s Festival — comment — but there I got downvotes and here Richard gets upvotes.

      The intent of the vandals here is exactly the same as the intent of the dissemblers in Iceland — to reduce the opportunity for people to hear about an opposing point of view. If you are opposed to the actions of these vandals (and I am), then you should be opposed to the actions of the Icelandic protesters. Both were trying to limit the right to free speech.

      “You don’t believe in those freedoms unless you support the freedom of those who disagree with you.” “The solution to bad speech is more speech.”

      • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

        For what it’s worth, I agree with your opinion on that Iceland issue. A tactic that expresses your opinion is not ethical if it prohibits someone else from expressing their differing opinion. Gathering up tickets just to prevent others from attending, whether or not the system set up allowed that to be done, was an unethical tactic.

        • Intelligent Donkey

          There’s a small difference.

          The Iceland thing didn’t stop anyone from expressing their opinions. It just reduced the amount of people being able to listen to it. Graham was still able to say his piece. There was no removal or suppression of information.

          But by removing flyers, that is directly attacking the “speech” part of “free speech”. To be similar to Iceland, they would have left the flyers in peace, but then tried to stop anyone from attending meetings or contacting the group.

          Freedom of speech, not freedom of having people listen to you.

          • just somebody

            Graham was not the only person affected. Also affected were the rights of the people who would want to hear him speak (if the activists hadn’t deceptively reserved the tickets) — and to peacefully assemble with like-minded people and talk among themselves.

            The removal of the flyer(s) also affected the rights of the people who would want to attend this meeting (if they had only seen the flyer) — and to peacefully assemble with like-minded people and talk among themselves.

            It is true that freedom of speech does not require that a society provide an audience for any speaker. But it does require that it allow access for a willing audience to listen.

            If Christian groups reserved all the free tickets to Skepticon so that all the speakers arrived but there was no audience, would you consider that fair and reasonable? After all, according to your logic, the speakers still have the freedom to speak to an empty room.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        For what it’s worth, you convinced me on the Iceland issue.

        • just somebody

          It’s worth a lot. Thanks for commenting on that.

      • UWIR

        The Iceland issue was ethically worrisome. But not everything that is ethically worrisome is ethically worrisome to the same degree. And in judging a person’s action, the intent, not just the nature, of the action is relevant. The latitude for opposing bigotry is larger than that for promoting it.

    • http://www.everydayintheparkwithgeorge.com/ Matt Eggler

      Funny how you don’t see Joe Klein confronting campus flyer vandals.

  • Bitter Lizard

    I love how he tries to make himself out to be persecuted just because he’s confronted about vandalizing someone else’s legally protected speech. If you inconvenience a Christian in even the most mild way when they’re trying to shit on someone else, you are violating their rights and persecuting them somehow.

    Christians think the only right in existence is the right for Christians to be assholes and do whatever they want to whoever they want. The notion of any other right existing, or of rights existing for anyone who isn’t them, is just too much for their level of thinking to sustain.

    • Fred Bailey

      I think you’ll find most house apes rush to shift blame. Xians have no monopoly on it. “It’s not my fault” is the Prime Directive.

    • Patrick Reilly

      “but it my right of free speech to block what your saying”

  • TnkAgn

    Got to hand it to these kids and the sefreethinkers for even existing in what must be a lonely outpost for secularism. SOSU is a college of under 5000 enrollment, set in a rural town of 15,000 very near the Texas border, whose notability rests on its prowess at peanut farming. Good on yer, S.E. Freethinkers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World%27s_Largest_Peanut_Monument.jpg

    • Katelyn

      we don’t farm peanuts anymore…

  • Tainda

    Embarassed that he got caught is the right phrase. He’s definitely not embarassed at what he did.

    • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

      Feeling shame, not guilt.

  • Glasofruix

    Vertical video, come on people, screens are horizontal, use your fucking phone the same way….

    • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

      The video shows a guy in a green t-shirt being asked about vandalism the committed moments earlier.

    • Mike C.

      In some cases, vertical is better. Filming a pperson upclose is a great use of vertical. Otherwise we wouldn’t see his cool green shirt, and he woupdnt be known as green shirt guy. The alternative is only seeing his face and random students walking the campus. Plus, it’s much easier to hold a phone vertical when you’re in a “tense” situation.

  • Edmond

    I was able to find green shirt’s Facebook page. I suppose it would violate some kind of ethics to post it publicly? It wasn’t particularly hard, all the clues are there.

    • Kevin_Of_Bangor

      No need to stoop to his level. We have to be better than that.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, TOWAN

        let me just strongly disagree. i even worked facebook for a corporate client for a time. don’t be reeedikulous.

        faceborg is for one purpose alone: publicity for you and your shit. no one can force you to facebook. it has all sorts of stupid rules and agreements which basically say “you don’t have privacy here. post at your own risk.” disqus and other systems are the same. if you’ve the SkillZ, you can find me and any other person here, in RL.

        posting someone’s facebook page is amplifying their own action, not harming them. don’t want to be noticed? don’t have a public fucking facebook page. jeebus. it’s elementary.

        • Kevin_Of_Bangor

          I just think it is stupid to harass a random person because of their actions. If you want to track them down and send them a message, feel free.

          • Nate Frein

            If he has a public profile, I don’t see how it’s harassment to post that video on his wall.

            • Kevin_Of_Bangor

              So hunt him down and do as you please.

        • Dirk

          You can’t necessarily find someone IRL off Disqus. Someone careless, sure.

        • JT Rager

          I really don’t think you’re helping at all by harassing someone like this.

        • Kodie

          It might be short of cyber-bullying, but it might not. “Get a real life” comes to mind.

        • godlessveteran

          Epic reply! If he’s not proud to be exposed doing what he did, then perhaps he shouldn’t be doing it in the first place, and shouldn’t complain about it being publicized.

    • Minh Dao

      There’s no violation of ethics to post it. Just a small dilemma.

      On one hand, putting it up so people can harass him is kind of douchey. On the other hand, one good bit of douchebaggery deserves another.

      Your choice.

      • Jeff

        Let’s see, the guy was a douche, but making it so others can harass him is douchey, but that justifies douchebaggery. There, I think we have covered all tenses of the word. I mean, we might as well be clear.

      • Deus Otiosus

        “When one answers douchbaggery with more douchebaggery, the whole world gets that not-so-fresh feeling.”
        -Ghandi

    • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

      Humiliate him and generate sympathy for him among the other religious students. I can’t how that could go wrong.

    • baal

      Holding someone up for harassment is harmful and takes more justification than showing some random guy being an asshole for jesus or some such.

    • Edmond

      The consensus seems to be that I should NOT post his Facebook page. Fine. I can see why it might be an issue. I was just wondering why everyone keeps calling him “greenshirt”, when in the video they clearly ask his name, and he says “Levi”. It only took a quick search of the few Levis at the school until one of the names brought up a match for the above image on Facebook.

  • LesterBallard

    This is why I have my doubts about who really blew up that veteran’s monument in that one park. Maybe it was an atheist. Prove it to me.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      They didn’t even blow it up. To my knowledge (correct me if I’m wrong), they didn’t actually manage to damage it.

  • Fred

    He already knows what he’s doing is wrong.

    Should have made the question simpler and more sound bitey.
    “Why did you tear down that flyer?”

  • Bitter Lizard

    Bored. Made new flyer to put up.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    What an asshole. As many people already stated he first tries to play the can you film me card instead of just saying sorry or he was wrong. So much for those Christian values.

    BTW, why are comments disabled for the video?

    • RowanVT

      Probably so it doesn’t get flooded with thousands and thousands of christians whining that he was doing the right thing.

    • Gus

      Because they don’t want the usual stream of awful comments that YouTube videos garner from both sides and from complete trolls. Because they wanted to, and they’re allowed. Posting your own speech and content does not require, in any sense, that one also allow everyone else a platform. I guess I’m just a little trigger shy about people criticizing disabled comments as if it’s some kind of censorship.

  • JA

    Poor flyer design. The light color of ‘not’ makes ‘You are alone’ stand out more and could create a subtext for some people.

  • God’s Starship

    Looks like he’s going to have to change his shorts.

  • Rain

    He seems very nice when he’s not destroying things. I don’t think he will do it again because he will be extra nicey-nice from now on.

  • Me

    What right did you have to 1. Record him and 2. Post this. You go around degrading our God and expect us to be okay with it … not going to happen. If you “non-Christians” have so many morals thats Christians “don’t have” then why do you think so many of these comments are saying what they are saying in these comments that are so rude and without morals. Most freshman have no clue what the stamp means and all you had to do was tell him what it meant. It is just stupid to record him and post it on some website.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      You argue against recording people destroying property out of bigotry. Your “morals” are therefore nothing but venomous tribalism. Grow up.

    • Kevin_Of_Bangor

      So are you the guy in the video or his friend?

      • Me

        I’m a fellow Christian.

        • waybeyondsoccermom

          Is your god that fragile that a handful of students should not discuss their belief that your god doesn’t exist? Puny god.

        • Kevin_Of_Bangor

          And I’m a recovering Christian and I don’t remember being taught in church to tear down fliers I don’t agree with.

        • Lagerbaer

          So is he Christian or a True Christian? We must know.

    • wabney

      Um… 1. Every right (public space) and 2. Every right (posting stuff to the internet). Who expected you to be okay with anyone degrading your “God”? If this “Christian” had morals, he wouldn’t think tearing the flyers down was a correct thing to do. What’s with the incomprehensible run-on sentence? Also, not knowing the speed limit doesn’t get one out of a ticket for speeding. “It is just stupid” to think responding to the vandal in a legal way isn’t an okay thing to do.

    • Minh Dao

      Well hey, guess what? It’s just as stupid of HIM to go out and make an asshole of himself by ripping down posters he doesn’t like. Posters, by the way, that were specifically allowed by the school administration..

      There’s no law saying he can’t pull them down, but there’s also no law saying nobody can videotape his douchebaggery and slam him publicly. Public shaming isn’t illegal. It’s a time-honored “disciplinary tactic” that your kind freely engaged in against groups you didn’t like.

      Turnabout is fair play, bitch.

    • Matt Bowyer

      Maybe the guy ought not be tearing down Atheist signs, how about that?

    • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

      Have you considered allowing your deity to fight its own battles?

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

      If someone was vandalizing the signs in front of churches and he was finally caught on video, would you be opposed to it being made public?

      Would you complain to the TV news station that aired it?
      If not, why not?

    • RobertoTheChi

      What right did he have to destroy another person’s property? That’s called vandalism in case you weren’t aware. Are your beliefs so fragile that you can’t handle the thought that not everyone believes as you do? How very sad…

    • Gus

      Sure, you have to know what a stamp means to realize that you don’t have the right to tear down other people’s fliers on a public posting board. That’s not an example of not knowing some arcane rule, it’s an example of someone who is not willing to conform to obvious social norms.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      <

      What right did you have to 1. Record him and 2. Post this.

      Another moron who thinks that only they have rights.

      Most freshman have no clue what the stamp means and all you had to do was tell him what it meant.

      Shame on SOSU if they don’t cover this in freshman orientation. But stamp or no stamp, why would this moron think that he has the “right” to interfere with other people’s rights of free expression; and why do you apparently have the same thinking impediment? It is unfortunate that you were not raised in a culture that imbued you with a decent sense of morality. In the discussion about whether religion is necessary for morality, you are an “own goal,” as is green-shirt.

    • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

      I am not a lawyer. However… Oklahoma appears to be a one party consent state; the person talking to him has the right to record the conversation under state law. As the creator of the recording, the person with the camera holds the copyright, and may generally publish it under the First Amendment’s Freedom of the Press.

      Of the few exceptions, it does not appear to qualify under any. It is a conversation in a public space, so there is no expectation of privacy that publication would infringe. The posting is a noncommercial use for commentary, green shirt’s right of publicity (if OK even recognizes such) would not impinge. It is not in the scope of the legally obscene; in so far as it is an unaltered recording giving a truthful depiction, it cannot be defamatory libel; as it is published over the web, it lacks the proximity required to trigger the imminence of “fighting words”.

      Or are you talking moral right, rather than legal one? Discussing the former in detail would require agreement to an is-ought bridge. However, loosely speaking, public humiliation is considered a proportionate response to the offense, and serves pour encourager les autres.

    • David Loewen

      “What right did you have to 1. Record him”
      You weren’t paying attention.

      ” and 2. Post this.”
      What makes you think they DIDN’T have right to post it?

      “You go around degrading our God and expect us to be okay with it”
      And what part of the flyer “degraded” your god?

      • phantomreader42

        Well, you have to realize that the christian god is tiny, insecure, and pitifully weak. The mere existence of anyone whose entire life is not dedicated to licking its boots is so intolerable for it that it must burn billions of people alive for not believing an incredibly stupid and contradictory story supported by no evidence whatsoever. But it is utterly incapable of acting in any way that would convince anyone not brainwashed from birth that it is actually real or worthy of such devotion.
        A god who finds the mere fact that people who do not believe in it are allowed to exist “degrading” is a sociopathic narcissist. Lucky for everyone that it’s nothing more than a figment of the diseased imaginations of its followers.

    • godlessveteran

      For the record: FUCK your god.

    • godlessveteran

      You think your God gives you the right to do as you damn well please, and the hell with us. Well, no. The hell with you. You denigrate us and expect us to be okay with it. That ain’t happening anymore. Our rights trump your whiny butthurt sense of entitlement. People like you who think their god takes precedence over our rights in violation of the Constitution will get the same response I posted earlier.

  • Hat Stealer

    “Well, I have freedom of rights as well.”

    Well that’s us proven wrong then. Time to pack up and go home everyone. Apparently, much to my great surprise, they have freedom of rights as well.

    Who knew. Guess I’ll just hang up my atheist hat now.

  • Mick

    Green shirt will soon figure out a way to play the martyr card by “spinning” the story to his advantage. I picture him strutting into the church youth club next Sunday explaining that he took the flyer off the board to read it and then couldn’t find a pin to put it back up again, “And now those horrible atheists are calling me vandal.”

    [And his fellow believers will say "Amen Brother."]

  • UWIR
  • Malcolm Reynolds

    Why are religious people so insecure about their “god”? Surely a flier promoting free thinking will not undue reality, or harm your “god”, will it?

  • Supermoves3000

    “duhhh well I gots freedoms of rights too ya kno.”

    Who would have guessed that Moose Mason would be behind the vandalism?

  • Esquilax

    What I find interesting is that he demands that he’s got his “freedoms of rights,” but the very first thing he did was try and shut down the guy filming him by asking if he needed permission to do so. I guess those freedoms of rights extend to petty vandalism, but not to filming in a public place… or maybe they’re just whatever is convenient to him and, in a broader sense, christians at the time?

  • kuku22

    In their mind, they think they are doing the right thing, and will have support. Wrong.

  • Betty Harris

    Lol, I have this guy in class, he is always talking about his church and group Christian meetings… which is fine, it didn’t bother me. Then he found out I wasn’t Christian. ERMERGERD! Someone with a different belief system!

    • TheG

      Next time he goes on about religion, ask him where his pastor stands on vandalism. No other reference, don’t clarify, just let him stew in class for awhile.

  • Gus

    I just love that we’re sending people to college who actually utter phrases like “freedom of rights”. Back to high school for you, Mr. Green Shirt, you’re not adequately prepared for college level course work. Hooray for the American education system.

    I wish they had asked him a few more questions, like why he was afraid to let people see the poster, or what made him think that his freedom of rights included attempting to block other people’s public speech in the first place. But I can’t really criticize anyone in such a stressful situation for not doing exactly what I would like as I sit at my all powerful keyboard.

  • ktaylor

    As a student of SOSU, I can add that this group is not discriminated by any means. They are welcomed as any other organization on campus. I personally am a Christian, and I find some of these comments a bit closed minded. I believe everyone has a right to form a group on campus, therefore, I respect the Free Thinker’s Society. I don’t agree, but I do respect boundaries (such as not ripping down flyers, etc.). With that said, I don’t believe the actions of this guy should be a reflection of the Christian community. For all anyone knows, he could be some other religion, or just some jerk who likes to cause trouble. I agree this guy was in the wrong, but before you comment on this blog calling the whole Christian community “ignorant” or “degrading of others,” I would like point out I have met many atheists who were very disrespectful of my beliefs. So, how fair would it be if I called the whole atheist community “disrespectful” from the actions of few? It isn’t fair. Keep an open mind please. There is Christians who respect you guys for what you believe, like me. And it is very offensive to see some of these comments.

  • nope

    It was the pedophile priest that taught the young man his ethics

  • Madison

    As an SOSU student, I’m extremely offended by some of these comments. We are not all backwards hicks. The kid was wrong to pull down the poster, and no one condones his behavior. However, to characterize all of the students who are not in the free thinker society at SOSU as intolerant Christians is wrong. By the way, some of us SOSU students come from metropolitan areas. We do not all rely on peanut farming for an income. Better do some research before you post your facts.

    • TnkAgn

      I know. Now you have an Indian casino, and that ain’t peanuts.

  • S

    So… the youtube clip was made private. Maybe that warrants the removal of the embedded clip? I don’t understand why it was made private. The attention it received was too much for the uni freethinkers?

  • KBrent Alexander KThomas

    video was taken down

  • Garret Shane Brown

    Aww it’s private now. Anyone have a link to a version that isn’t private?

  • ConureDelSol

    So it says the video is private and it won’t play. :(

  • scroogleu

    I’m offended that u made such an important video private!


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