Tag Archives: hate speech

Atheists Under Attack

Admittedly this is another, where does this guy get off? posting, but seriously, where do these people get these ideas? OK, I need to slow down here, I am speaking of Pastor Mike Stahl of the Living Waters Church. Personally, I think this guy is on an ego trip, especially considering that the URL for his church is not anything about it, but rather the URL is Pastor Mike’s Church. That says a lot right there.

Pastor Mike, and I use the title loosely, wants to create a national registry of atheists; just names, pictures, and general locations, not actual addresses, to inform the public about the atheists that live in their neighborhoods. His claim is that this registry will allow “true Christians” to minister to atheists and warn them about the “dangers” of the atheist lifestyle. Instead, I see this being a trigger to vandalism to local businesses, violence to people, and another way to spread hate in our communities.

This view is not just from the announcement of the registry, but from Pastor Mike’s comparison of atheists to sex offenders and extremist terrorism. I just can’t understand where Pastor Mike gets the idea it is OK to belittle a group of people for their beliefs. Nor can I think of any religion that teaches that this type of behavior is OK.

Pastor Mike, if you find this blog posting, I beg you to stop what you are doing and let people be. Instead of spreading poison and hate, spread love and peace. It better fits the role you are trying to fill.

1st Amendment vs Personal Privacy

As Americans we hold our right to free speech near and dear. We have an opinion on everything, and we say that opinion pretty openly. But when it comes to other people and company privacy, where is that line drawn?

For your employer the line is easy to draw and enforce, you post it you are out of a job. That does not mean that you cannot say it, but that if you choose to do so, you also choose to work elsewhere. But on the internet, it seems to be a free for all, guns blazing, smack down. Even the Supreme Court does not seem to want to get into the Wild West that is on parts of the Internet.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am all for free speech, as long as it is stated politely. I have allowed those who think differently from me post…as long as it was stated without name calling, harassing, or just plain being mean. I am not talking about people disagreeing. I am talking about people being mean, cruel, and doing nothing but spreading poison and hate. A prime example is one that has been in the news frequently, which is a shame; the Westboro Church. Even their web address is offensive with godhatesfags.com, which is down.

In February, the Westboro Church was brought before the Supreme Court for protesting at soldier’s funerals. I find this behavior despicable, but apparently it is legal, but that doesn’t make it right. I honestly think their mother’s should have done a better job. Now the Supreme Court said that what they are doing is legal, and one writer interjects that they got that ruling on a technicality, which had more to do with how the claim was submitted to the Supreme Court and less to do with actual facts or evidence. Essentially, out of 9 justices, only 1 had the courage to face the whole story.

That brings us to Anonymous, the hacker group that has taken on another Wild West personification, the vigilante. I do not agree with their tactics, hacking is illegal and should be for various reasons, but find it hard not to be behind their message: stop spreading hate. Now, whether or not the Westboro Church site is down due to the actions of these hackers, other hackers, or some other technical snafu, I have no clue, but find it interesting that it is down.

What I also find interesting is that Anonymous is holding some organizations responsible for spewing hate and others are getting by without a threat of being hacked and brought to their knees, electronically speaking anyway. The Dove World Outreach center who we mentioned last year for wanting to burn the Koran, was apparently successful in their hate demonstration. Instead of petitioning a hacker group, because there are always ways to get a new website or get the word out; we had news before the internet; we should be looking to our leaders to deal with these groups.

But wait, all of these groups are protected by the same rights I am exercising. So where does the line get drawn? What should be covered? And where does it become appropriate for the Supreme Court to step in and stop hate speech?