Monday, September 28, 2009

How Not To Help...

Remember Patrick Greene? He's the guy that threatened to sue Ray Comfort a while back over Ray's silly "April 1st: National Atheist's Day" bumper stickers. Well, he's apparently still around, despite being mocked unmercifully by both the religious folks and his fellow nonbelievers (The Atheist Experience gave him a particularly harsh rhetorical whuppin'.), and he's madder than ever. He's not threatening sue over the bumper stickers anymore; Now he's trying to force Ray to shut down his goofy blog, lest Patrick bring down the wrath of the court system by claiming that Ray is disseminating hate speech.

Freakin' seriously?

According to the Atheist Experience, he sent the following letter to Ray's Living Waters Ministry:

To Mr. Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron,

This is to inform you that over a year has passed since the incident of the threatened lawsuit against your bumper sticker. Since that time I have received e-mails by the hundreds, from atheists all over the world. These atheists have unanimously agreed that the lawsuit idea was not a good one, to put it mildly.

However, after spending the last year going through your blog and your store, and seeing the sheer volume of materials against atheists, I have come to the conclusion that your "free speech" constitutes hate speech.

So, since Christians by their own admission adhere to a "loving" faith, your biblical mandate of spreading the "word" must come in the form of loving rhetoric, not insulting people who do not share your belief, and not instilling hate to your followers.

Therefore, if ALL of your material against atheists is not removed from your website by October 20, 2009, I will file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Antonio, and ask the court to issue a restraining order to curtail your hate speech.

Sincerely yours,
Patrick Greene

Yeah Patrick, that'll help. It'll help the same way rubbing a lemon juice-soaked porcupine in your eyes helps relieve ocular dryness. Not only are you just plain wrong about the hate speech issue*, but it just feeds into Ray's silly persecuted Christian persona.

Way to go. Don't you ever get tired of putting your foot in your mouth?

* See Yates v. United States for the Supreme Court decision finding that speech aiming to incite illegal activity is still protected unless it results (or is likely to result) in the imminent threat of violence or other "lawless actions". See also Brandenburg v. Ohio for a similar ruling directly related to hate speech. Ray, while irritating, is certainly not attempting to incite illegal activity with a corresponding threat of imminent violence. Therefore his speech is utterly legal. Ridiculous, brain-dead, cloying, and generally puerile, but legal.

Seriously Patrick, this is Poli-Sci 101. (Actually I think it was POLS 102 - "American Civil Liberties" was the class that turned me on to Political Science in college.)

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