Death threat: “IT’LL BE PAINFUL…God bless your family in spite of me”

Jason Torpy, President of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF) alerted me to a shocking comment that was submitted to his website:

I’m a little different than most Christians. I believe in protecting Christians and Christ’s scriptures. I have a radar for people like the slime of Justin Griffith. The only way to fight slime like Justin is to show the narcisist for what he is. Include his childhood history. His parental rearing. His never being taught the Bible or at the least Integrity.

Like I said. I’m a little different than most Christians. I’M COMING FOR YOU. BELIEVE ME YOU WON’T ESCAPE.

YOU’VE LOST YOUR SOUL. IT’LL BE PAINFUL

God Bless your soul in spite of me. God bless your family in spite of me.

You’re doomed forever.

Brainbuster, Jr

Hot Springs, AR

What a creepy twist to the standard death threat. Just what is he talking about with regards to digging up my childhood history? He might find I:

  • was enrolled in Christian daycare
  • went to public schools where I argued with science teachers against evolution
  • attended various churches
  • acted in a play about C.S. Lewis “Shadowlands”
  • lived at various houses such as 3601 Sailmaker Ln. – Plano, Texas
  • my old phone number was 214-235-1080 (my dad told me I would forget it as soon as I moved, so I ‘proved him wrong’)
  • my mother’s old license plate was PWK15G (I remembered ‘Puke 15 grams’)

Here is a childhood picture of me:

I still don’t see how any of this helps him carry out his act of terrorism. Which is basically what we are talking about: religiously motivated violence against a U.S. soldier. I have specific training for dealing with armed religious fanatics, it’s kind of my job. At the very least, this is the threat of a hate crime.

“I believe in protecting Christians…”

This person apparently perceives me as a threat to Christians. I’m not a threat. In fact, I just attended a bible study conducted by one of my Catholic soldiers. I helped him prepare for it, and he did a fantastic job. I asked questions that were relevant topically, but not to debunk per se – rather because the subject matter is interesting. For instance, he was proposing a question to protestants: “Why do you accept the authority of the Catholic church for the canonical New Testament, but not the Old Testament?” He was referring to the ‘missing’ books in the ‘protestant Bible’. It was a compelling argument, and well received by the non-Catholic attendees. I only piped up to explain the nuances of this soldier’s point to another soldier.

It may be hard to believe to outsiders, but I’m well-liked by my religious peers. They appreciate my enthusiasm, and the fact that as I demand respect, I give it. All of my unit’s chaplains love me, and I consider them allies – friends even. Even the chaplain that prompted me to coin the phrase “There are no chaplains in foxholes” likes me. Countless devout Christians that I work with have gone out of their way to mention their intention to attend the Rock Beyond Belief festival in March.

Jason Torpy said this about the incident:

Threats like this are a common reality for atheist activists. We assume the best when someone says, “I’m Christian,” but threats like this are a daily reminder that Christianity is a subjective concept that has driven people to violence for millennia.

Exactly.

About Justin Griffith
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001094733404 nonprophetdisorganization

    You sound capable of taking care of yourself but do not let your guard down. It may just be someone wh is only flexing their intenet muscles but, it could be a real threat. It still hard to believe that in this day and age, freethinkers have to be on guard against these dark age beliefs and the people who who hold themselves up as protectors of a religion that claims that an omniscient and allpowerful being is in control of everything. Does that qualify as an oxymoron?

  • FoRM

    I’m sure this bible-thumping neckbeard is absolutely terrifying to a United States Army sergeant who has been deployed overseas.

  • beerslayer

    I hate to sound paranoid, but if I were you I would gather as much information about this turd as possible (IP address, etc.) and report him (or her – could be female!) in an attempt to get a restraining order or something against him. You never know when such a threat might turn out to be genuine.

  • Janie

    I don’t understand why this guy thinks he has to protect Christians and Christ’s scriptures. Doesn’t he believe that the people he’s protecting will be protected by god and the people who are doing wrong (atheists, gay people, whoever’s doing “wrong”) will go to hell for eternity? Doesn’t he believe that his ‘god’ will take care of it? Why does he feel he needs to do gods work? I really don’t get it.

  • Len Blakely

    Does he not understand how atheist soldiers go out of their way to ensure that the religious rights of others are respected?

  • Irene Delse

    “God Bless your soul in spite of me”

    WTF? This sick creep thinks God can bless you and still wants to kill you? Who’s lost his soul, then??

    Anyway, just wanted to add my words of support. Even if the threat is pure bluster, it’s never innocuous.

  • Barry Johnstone.

    Hi Irene, you ask “Who’s lost his soul, then??” You pay the compliment that there was a soul to lose. I don’t think there was one there to lose!

  • N. Nescio

    I have specific training for dealing with armed religious fanatics, it’s kind of my job.

    That just made my day. Thanks for the grin.

  • ‘Tis Himself, OM

    Janie #4

    Brainbuster, Jr must think his god, while omniscient, omnipotent, and various other omnis, is a real weakling. Any god with access to lightning bolts should be able to take care of itself. It’s called smiting and according to the propaganda Ol’ Yahweh used to be pretty good at it. So why does BB Jr think he has to stand in for The Big Guy In The Sky?

    Possibly its because Yahweh has been losing his touch over the centuries. Way back when he could poof the whole universe into existence in six days and spend the seventh day watching the football game. Then a while later he decides he’s pissed at the whole world and instead of doing a restart he just drowns pretty well everyone. A couple of thousand years later Yahweh Jr. gets killed and it takes him three days to get all better. Nowadays The Big Guy In The Sky is reduced to showing up on pieces of toast and dogs’ arses. It’s getting pretty obvious Yahweh doesn’t have it any more.

  • BobApril

    Janie – surely you’ve heard the old joke. “God was busy, so he sent me!” I’m with you, I don’t get it, either – but apparently a LOT of religious people share this guy’s basic premise, that God has to work through their hands.

  • Alison Wonderland

    You’re my hero. And, I’m genuinely scared for you. I agree with beerslayer and think you need to take this seriously. Be safe!

  • MLouise

    I am a Christian, and I am utterly appalled and infuriated by this threat. “Brainbuster, Jr.” profanes the name of the God he claims to represent. Please do be careful. The simmering hate evident in the “Christian Right” in our country can explode into violence at any minute. I’m sure you can take care of yourself in a fair fight, but these folk fight dirty. If you have a family, teach them to be always alert and what to watch for. Be strong; go well.

  • sqlrob

    @Tis:

    Plus, he can’t deal with iron chariots, and just about everyone has one of those these days.

  • nobonobo

    ‘Tis, you have to remember that the population growth since the early days is really taxing Yahweh. I’ve heard talk of increasing tithing to 15% and prayer rationing based on ones date of birth.

  • http://www.friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Justin, since we first met online a few years ago, I have never ceased to be impressed by your courage, tenacity, maturity, and above all, your integrity. If Brainbuster, Jr. thinks integrity is important, he should look at his own deficiency. He’s threatening to do the exact opposite of his prophet’s most important teaching.

  • nobonobo

    Sorry about making a joke in this thread. I read it immediately after the King, NC article and the two hour movie. I was hoping that 2012 would start off better than this.

  • http://grahamshevlin.com/current Graham Shevlin

    Let’s call the threatmeister for what they are – a ratchet-jaw little chickenshit.

  • Lee Seligman, USNA ’60

    Hey, Jason … You’ve arrived ! Get some advice from Mikey on how to handle ignorant assholes like this ! Keep on keepin’ on and continue the grrrreat work !

  • http://yawningdogblog.wordpress.com/ Kate

    I agree with everything everyone here has said.

    Justin, I’ve got tears in my eyes here. Much of that probably has to do with you reminding me so much of my little brother (the Marine), but most of it is just the horrifying, disgusting sickness of this person doing this. Doing this at you.

    Protect yourself first, because if you can’t take care of yourself (thought we know you can), you can’t take care of your family. I know it’s your job, but… we’re all concerned for you over this, to say the least.

  • Bob

    I have specific training for dealing with armed religious fanatics, it’s kind of my job.

    As another commenter above said, this made me smile.

    I read this threat and wonder just how stupid a civilian must be to think he’ll win if he takes on a trained soldier in a fight. Then I re-read the rest of the diatribe and he answers that question for me.

  • had3

    Why do you give respect to delusional ideas? Why do you demand respect? Your

    ideas stand on their own and are defensible with logic and reason, and that’s why they should be respected; not because you demand it. Conversely, respecting those beliefs of others which are indefensible appears to be an acceptance of irrational thoughts.

  • Aquaria

    Brainbuster, Jr?

    i see he started with himself.

  • Aquaria

    Also: You were a completely adorable kid, Justin. I love that picture.

    Sorry about living in Plano, though. You poor thing.

    And I didn’t just smile at the snark about your job and armed religious fanatics line, I laughed out loud. Told my husband, and he’s now laughing, too.

  • Rebecca

    Spike! Mike and I are very proud of the stance you are taking. Keep doing what you are doing. Many more people have your back than you realize. Peace!

  • http://www.rockbeyondbelief.com/ Justin Griffith

    @Had3 #21

    Your rant is misplaced. Here is what I said:

    “I’m well-liked by my religious peers. They appreciate my enthusiasm, and the fact that as I demand respect, I give it…”

    I am talking about people. Not ideas. Of course I’m critical, and dismissive of intellectually empty concepts. But these people are still awesome, and they think that I’m awesome too. That’s all I’m saying.

    Look at Rebecca #24 for instance-

    I’m pretty sure that she and her man Mike are not atheists. They are fans of the Constitution, equality, respect, and yeah – they know me personally. Hi guys!!!

  • Patrick Page

    While I commend you in your (lack of) beliefs, and hope this wingnut who threatened you gets locked up in a rubber room soon, I do have one slight problem with one of your statements.

    Terrorism is an attack on unarmed civilians motivated by political or religious beliefs. An attack such as you describe “on a US soldier” would not necessarily meet the criteria of a terrorist act.

    For example, the attack on the Marine barracks in Lebanon was not a terrorist attack (as the Marines were military actors in a civil war). However, the bombing of that German bar frequented by US military was a terrorist act, in that the military personnel were off duty, presumably unarmed, and not belligerents in any war, declared or undeclared.

    I say all this because, as you’re surely aware, words and definitions are important.

    Anyway, keep up the good fight.

  • Ben

    Heard about your work and efforts via BBC News. Keep up the great job and stay strong. -ben, a fellow atheist in the bible-belt!

  • AUSTRALIA

    You are changing the worlds view of Americans :) Bill O’Reilly and bible bashers are just sheep.


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