God Hates Bleeps

Minnesota Atheists radio show had me on the air last week, and I reached a milestone.

I’ve officially been BLEEPED on the air! @#$% YES!

Why? Because I said the phrase “God Hates Fags” – a phrase that is shocking, but nonsensical to me. I was relating to the Minnesota Atheists audience the new developments in our saga. I mentioned that Nate Phelps had joined the lineup and briefly explained his back story. That’s quite impossible to do without using the phrase “God hates fags”, a phrase coined by his bat$#!+ crazy father – Fred Phelps, pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church.

The guys at Minnesota Atheists explained that the engineer was new and was unfamiliar with the context. The rest of the podcast was fun, and we talked for the entire hour. We really appreciate these types of opportunities to take our message nation wide, and this one was certainly a professional outing.

Mike Haubrich and Steve Petersen put on a great weekly radio show on 950 AM (KNTF) every Sunday at 9 AM Central, called Atheists Talk. For those of us not within reach of the station, it’s definitely worth seeking out their podcast distribution of these episodes (see below).

This interview was the first place we announced the $50,000 pledge from the Stiefel Freethought Foundation. Since that interview aired, that aspect of the story got a little bit deeper. Readers may remember the bizarre situation we found ourselves in regarding our “missing” Statements of Intent after the first approach for our festival was &$%#-blocked. Basically, Fort Bragg seemed to be expressing doubts to reporters that our lineup was actually going to show up – because they hadn’t received a statement of intent from the performers – a document we had never heard of despite asking countless times if they needed anything further. As soon as I heard about this post-requisite, I contacted our lineup and every member publicly released a Statement of Intent. Many of them were EPIC.
Unfortunately, this soured the optimism for much of our lineup – including Todd Stiefel (President and Founder of SFF). We were told to prove that we could ‘actually’ get funding for Rock Beyond Belief. So there is an understandable feeling of insult and pessimism coloring Todd’s response.

May 10, 2011

Hi Justin,

This letter is to confirm the pledge of the Stiefel Freethought Foundation to donate up to $50,000.00 towards the expenses of the Rock Beyond Belief event.  My foundation currently has $2,012,928.43 of assets at its disposal, so this donation is well within our financial resources. Please see the attached screen shot from my foundation’s portal showing the date and assets available.

This donation will be made to cover the costs of the RBB event, if the RBB organizers change their minds and decide they can hold the event because the Fort has agreed to provide more support than in past offers.  These donations will be made to a 501c3 public charity for the purposes of RBB; one acceptable example would be the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

I am terribly dismayed that the leaders of Ft. Bragg made every effort possible to deliver an evangelical event to convert civilians, soldiers and children to one Christian sect, yet appear to be making every effort to deprive secular soldiers of enjoying a similar event.  I believe the base’s refusal to use the same effort and funds is unconstitutional and I look forward to seeing them challenged in court for their violation of the principles they swore to defend.  In the meantime, I am enjoying writing this email because I believe the base was using their illegal withholding of government managed funds as an excuse to try to stop RBB.  This pledge calls their bluff and forces them to make the right decision or to further show their religious based discrimination.

Thanks for all of your efforts on this project.

Todd Stiefel
President & Founder, Stiefel Freethought Foundation

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  • This is the first time we ever got “beeped,” so, sir, you have achieved a true milestone.

    Thanks for being on the show, it was a lot of fun.

    • Justin Griffith

      Yeah – that was great! Thanks for supporting the troops, MN Atheists. You guys ‘get it’.

  • Oh, I just realized that I called an enlisted man “sir.” Sorry, Sarge.

    • Justin Griffith

      “Don’t call me sir – I work for a living”

      • Some of us zeros work for a living too! Honestly. We do!

        Well, okay, maybe not. Although, you gotta hand it to the NCOs in the AF, they send the officers off to do the main combat… Something’s up here…