Several years ago, a Fox News article about secularists suing over a 9/11 cross went viral, and not in a good way.
Fox News interviewed Blair Scott, who was at that time the Communications Director for American Atheists, and commenters were quick to threaten the lives of all atheists. They also said some other horrific things, including, “I hope someone rapes you!”
This thread has since been deleted by Fox News, but in 2011, when it was live, it was covered by the media. On one end of the spectrum we have the Christian Post, which ignored the fact that these people were motivated by religious hate and pointed out that many commenters didn’t explicitly state their religious beliefs (although several did).
Bloggers captured some of the images of the comments and published them online, with the general assumption being that Christians were the ones to blame for the comments threatening death against Scott…
Out of the dozen or so comments captured before Fox News apparently deleted the posting (it no longer shows in the news network’s Facebook timeline), only one bears any hint of having been possibly written by a Christian.
That particular comment suggests that experiencing Christ’s crucifixion could help atheists understand the meaning of the cross.
Death by crucifixion is definitely a horrific thing to wish on any person, especially if you’re only doing so because they don’t believe the same things you do, but it also wasn’t the worst thing a Christian said. As we saw above, one commenter named Sindy said, “I love Jesus… I hope someone rapes you!”
That same commenter, Sindy, also said “I hope God kills” all atheists.
Of course, the Christian Post didn’t quote any other negative, violent comments from the thread. But others did. One blog, Christians Openly Advocate Killing Atheists on FOX News Facebook Page, provided several screenshots showing full names and links to profiles.
Keep in mind, this blog post is not about whether or not the Cross or any other religious things should be allowed at the WTC Memorial, which incidentally is mostly funded with hundreds of millions of dollars of US taxpayer money from people of all religions, including non-religious people.
What it is about however is the swift, brutal and violently extreme comments that self-professed Christians made immediately following Blair Scott’s appearance to express his views on Fox TV.
Here are just a few of the other ridiculous comments:
The most interesting part of this is that people are in denial that it ever happened. Despite several articles about the Fox News story and the comments, and regardless of verifiable and traceable links to the profiles of the commenters, people are eager to label this event as “fake news” or satire.
I shared an image depicting some of these comments on Facebook, and countless people said it was false or that the people commenting were “trolls,” in many cases despite being shown concrete evidence to the contrary.
Unfortunately, after tracking these people down and viewing their profiles, I can confirm that they were indeed legitimate and serious. They used their hate for atheists to justify some of the most horrific statements I’ve ever seen, and we can’t fight this type of extremism unless we acknowledge it exists.
David G. McAfee