“The proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right.” – Thomas Jefferson
I live in a small corner of an outlying county in the Atlanta Metro area, and like many small towns in the South it is predominantly Christian and a majority of the residents here are Republicans. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and I will expand on this a little further down the page. I mention this now because while these demographics may reflect the majority, not everyone here is Christian and not everyone here is a Republican.
There are Democrats, Libertarians, Socialists, Independents and several other politically affiliated citizens here. As well, we’ve got Jews, Hindus, Catholics, Buddhists, Mormons, Wiccans, Pagans and yes, even Atheists. Politically, spiritually and even ethnically, we are a pretty diverse community, and many here are just fine with that. Many are not, however, and when the minorities (from any group) start getting uppity, well, it usually goes downhill from there.
There is a current snit going on here in Fayette County, GA., and it involves the local Freethought group, a certain State Director for American Atheists, Inc., the Chairman of the Fayette County Board of Education, and a man named…
Mr. Cal Beverly (Pictured)…
Mr. Beverly is the publisher and editor of our local newspaper, The Citizen. From my point of view, Mr. Beverly reminds me of Glenn Beck and his newspaper bears an ethically uncanny resemblance to “Fox News.” If you are OK with this, then there is no point in reading any further. If I have to explain why, you wouldn’t understand. Suffice to say, I am not a fan of either.
Cal sits at the helm of The Citizen and pretty much prints whatever he wants. As Editor and publisher of a newspaper that is produced in a free society, this is his prerogative. I have no wish to shut down Cal’s enterprise, interfere with its operation, nor do I portend to tell him what or what not to print. As much as I loathe the sloppy, lopsided, inaccurate reporting that is void of journalistic integrity and lacks the benefit of very basic fact-checking skills that usually end up on the pages of The Citizen, I loathe censorship even more. Long live the fourth estate.
However, as an author, writer and journalist myself, as well as a former newspaperman, resident of the county and citizen of these United States, I am also entitled to voice my opinion. It would be preferred if I were able to put my thoughts in a letter to the editor, but my many attempts to do so (along with requests for a user account that would allow access to their public forum) have gone ignored for a very, very long time. In fact, it would be a safe bet that within a very short period of time after I post this article on their Facebook page, my posting privileges there will most likely be removed. But before we get into the meaty portion of the issues at hand…
Lets Talk About Littering First…
This may seem picayune compared to the issues at hand, but enough people have brought this to my attention that I am giving it a couple small paragraphs.
Cal doesn’t charge for his paper, which is actually admirable. I will give him that, hands down. I don’t support having to pay for news. That’s what advertisers are for. However, his method of distribution consists of his paper being tossed in what seems to be every driveway in town, regardless of whether or not it is wanted. I have literally lost count of how many people who have told me how much this pisses them off. You cannot ignore it, because if you leave it there, within a very short period of time your driveway and sometimes the road in front of your house becomes littered with little plastic bags containing rolled-up newspapers.
To the person who does not welcome this, it becomes litter. If you do not take it upon yourself to wander down your driveway and physically remove them from your property, you run the risk of getting ticketed by Code Enforcement. Maybe it’s me being old-fashioned, but it has been my experience that a newspaper is usually delivered to those who specifically ask for it. Those people are known as subscribers. The rest of the community usually has to resort to picking up their copies up at retail outlets or small kiosks provided by the publisher, usually placed around town at various businesses. That said, let’s get…
Back On Point…
The Citizen Newspaper caters to the uber right-wing, ultra conservative demographic of our county. The platform of this group, known as the Religious Right, leans toward transforming government into Theocracy, completely intertwining it with, and have it subject to, fundamental Christian dogma. This is not me being paranoid, or offering my opinion. Nor is it a libelous statement. All one has to do is turn on any right-wing media offering or listen to the Republican Presidential candidates speak. You can also peruse their official websites and read anything labeled “issues,” or read the comments on the Internet outlets to their corresponding websites. Then, compare them to the stories and reader comments at The Citizen to see the truth in this.
This is true for the content of the news stories, a good portion of the reader comments (some that can only be classified as bigoted, racist and discriminatory – you can read them yourselves, I am not making this up), Cal’s own editorials, the letters to the editor that are chosen for print, the columnists (both local and syndicated) and most of their advertisers. It’s the usual bord au faire; stories, comments and editorials from those who mistakenly believe that the United States was founded as a Christian Nation (it is not, nor has it ever been), or that our laws are based on the Ten Commandments (they are not and have never been), or that the founding fathers were bible-thumping, Jesus-worshiping, born again Christians.
You would also expect to find editorials and comments stating or implying that anyone who is not Christian and Republican should not be serving in the local, state or federal government, nor that they should hold any posts in Boards of Education, etc. True to the format of Fox News, Cal and his crew are not prone to using anything – no matter how loosely connected – to trigger another one of their Christian Crusades to keep out the “undesirables.” Cal has printed lies and falsehoods which do nothing other than inflame people into generating even more hatred and bigotry. Then he either walks away, claiming “absence of malice,” or digs in deeper by offering some lame justification for his rhetoric. This is a highly unethical and irresponsible way to run a newspaper, and a perfect example of the intolerance that I’ve come to expect…
Cal’s latest Christian crusader witch-hunt surrounds the new Fayette County Board of Education Chairman, Leonard Presberg. There are two things you should know about this situation. First, it has nothing to do with Presberg, no matter how much Cal and crew would like you to believe. He has done nothing wrong, illegal, immoral or unethical. He was appointed to a post on the Board of Education to fill a position that had suddenly come open due to a death. Appointing an interim Board member is fairly common in most BoE’s. When the position of Chairman came up a few months later, he was just as eligible for that position as anyone else on the board, and he was appointed as such, and done so unanimously. Again, this is not an unusual chain of events, nor is it a rare occurrence.
No big deal, right? Well, according to Cal Beverly, it’s a big deal when you are not a Christian Republican Theocrat. It doesn’t seem to matter that Presberg was appointed using legal, established and accepted means. It doesn’t matter that he is qualified for the job, to wit,
“Leonard Presberg currently serves at CFO at Women’s Medical Center, was the former Headmaster and teacher at Hill Country Montessori, an attorney with Fayetteville-based George N. Sparrow, Jr., Editor-in-Chief of the Richmond Law Review and Manger of Performance Testing with National Software Testing Laboratories in Philadelphia. He has two children in the Fayette County school system, has served as a youth coach on the school council, as well as the PTO and, as a teacher, he has taught all ages of students.”
It doesn’t matter that he is well-respected and well-liked, to wit,
“…he is one of the smartest men I have ever met. He scored in the 99% on the LSAT, he got a full scholarship to our law school. Along with being brilliant and I mean genius level brilliant, he is kind and tolerant. Open to others opinions, does not judge and since we have graduated has been passionate about educational issues. This is a man that if he chose could be making literally millions of dollars per year in the private sector but instead he chose to focus on his family and his children and education. You may be the luckiest school board in the country.”
“He is a loyal and thoughtful friend, father, and citizen… the fact that I am a christian, has never got in the way of our friendship. I pray that my fellow Christians will reserve judgement, and allow this man to work on the task at hand… “
“Mr. Presberg is far from militant, and is not Anti-Christian… He cares deeply about education, is a fantastic father and citizen. We should be honored to have such a fantastic man on the board”
“In my opinion, the FCBOE could not have made a better choice for our children and the future of education in Fayette County….and the county as a whole in general.”
Clearly the issue has nothing to do with anything other than Mr. Presberg is a member of a local Freethought Group, and because of that, Cal automatically assumed that he was an atheist. Aside from the fact that Presberg is Jewish, the Freethought group in question has been around for a while now, and has a positive impact on the community and offers a social outlet to well over one hundred thirty of our fellow residents. A group which, by the way, has always been open, public and inviting, but has had to privatize their member list because Cal’s irresponsibility has put the safety of the members at risk. More on that, later.
In an editorial written by Cal Beverly, he states about the Presberg situation (among other tidbits of ignorance), the following (emphasis mine):
“So what we have here is a man who has never held elective office appointed to a school board in a mostly Republican county on the buckle of the Bible Belt. Within two months of that appointment, he is chairman of the board that controls $180 million in Fayette County public tax money to pay 3,000 public employees and educate 21,000 Fayette children. And in this Bible Belt Republican county, our new unelected school board chairman is both a Democrat and a member of a militant atheist organization, a man who could never have hoped to be elected to public office in this county…”
It’s not the fact that Cal is concerned about the spending of tax money that is the issue here. We should all be concerned about where out tax dollars go, regardless of political affiliation, and I am even willing to let go the pejorative connotation of being a Democrat. We are in an election year. However, from Cal’s word processor to his readers eyes, it is plain to see that the issue is plain, old, garden-variety bigotry against a world view that does not conform with the religious right. This is obvious for two reasons,
One being his references to the “Bible Belt” which obviously implies that someone who is not a Christian should not be running the school board. This, of course, would go against the US Constitution, which states that there shall be no religious test as a qualification to hold a public office. That would article six of the U.S. Constitution, for those of you keeping up.
Two, Cal refers to the Freethought group in question as being “militant.” As I previously wrote, the Freethought organization that he belongs to is about as far from militant as you can get. Unless you count social activities like meeting for lunch and dinner, getting together to watch movies, hosting book studies, trivia nights, holding benefit yard sales and “adopting” a section of highway where you will find a bunch of them donned in reflective vests picking up trash off the side of the road to be “militant.”
In fact, that Freethought group has members who are Christian, Agnostic, Jewish, Hindu, Wicca, etc. As far as I know, they have zero contempt for anyone and do not, whatsoever, under any circumstances, proselytize (which isn’t even a word that should be used for a secular organization)
In fact, some of his long-time supporters are coming out against him,
“This article screams hatred and fear…hatred and fear of any ideology other than Christianity. So what if most of the voters in Fayette County are Christian and Republican? I am a native Atlantan, and our history is full of bigotry and hatred, most of which was supported by the voting public…was it right? I’m one of the 133 and have never once been called ‘militant’ or felt that way. I’m married to a born again Christian, whom I respect and love, regardless of whether we have the same religious ideology.
Your observations about the FFS are absurd and severely misinformed and possibly libelous as well. If you take offense to someone’s political agenda, then by all means report on that. How dare you “OUT” someone as an atheist when you have no clue what you’re talking about. I bet most of the “elected” officials of this county wouldn’t pass muster if their online lives were probed too deeply.
As for how Mr. Presberg will fare as a BOE Chairman, we will see…but he deserves a chance before being tried and convicted in your court of public opinion…he couldn’t do any worse than build a school that no one attends :/” (kimberlyinptc)
“Militant atheist organization”? Wow! Burn them at the stake. How dare someone who is not a self-described born-again Christian dare hold office in this county!? Cal, engage your brain. The same document which protects freedom of and from religion ALSO gives freedom to the press. If you were to truly “correct” this article, it would be about three paragraphs long. You might think of that before you set out on your next Christian Crusade! Your party, which will be lead by a Mormon, needs a mirror big enough for some collective self-reflection.
“You have used your barrel of ink to attack, with loose facts and great contempt, local citizens living within their constitutional rights. As I have enjoyed your paper immensely, I cannot, in good conscience, continue to participate on this forum. It is quite saddening that you have sunk to such depths, Cal. Perhaps in time, you might realize the great responsibility laid before the Editor of a globally viewed Newspaper; a responsibility which you, in my opinion, have greatly abused.
“Barring a printed apology to The Fayette Freethought Society, I will no longer participate on your website. No, it won’t hurt you Cal. Non-liberals could care less, but I could not look in a mirror while participating in a venue, which has apparently become a vehicle for Christian-based witch hunts.” (kevink)
“I imagine that there are some in Fayette who are having a problem with the first black council member. I bet back in the day there were non-militant citizens who spoke against integration at BOE meetings.” (Davids mom)
“See What I Mean about lazy journalistic practices!…I am not a member of FFTS or any other society for that matter, except the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Ninjas, but it is evident that the story was very loosely researched at best. Would any of you out there in the corporate have accepted such a report? I for one would not have. As for legality, I don’t see how Editor Cal invokes ‘absence of malice’ on this one. We might all be blogging on another paper come this time next year!” (Ninja Guy)
You can read plenty more like this on The Citizen website.
What does Cal do in response to being “called out” by his own community members? He responds with a second volley of completely erroneous commentary. Without bothering to check his facts, he attempted to link Presberg to me, a well-known Activist, by completely screwing up his facts in a long winded rebuttal that pegged me as the founder and spokesperson of the local Freethought group. To further complicate the matter, he insinuated that I was somehow working in cahoots with Presberg. Then, he stated that my articles can be found on the Freethought group’s website and then “linked” to one of my activism articles on a completely different website to try to make Preburg out to be something he couldn’t be any further from. There are several problems with this,
- I don’t represent the local Freethought group. I represent American Atheists, Inc. The local Freethought group has it’s own leadership and spokespersons.
- I am not the founder of the Freethought Group. I had not even set foot in Georgia when this group was organized.
- My writing is of my own volition, as my blog is not connected in any way with the local Freethought group, but is a venue that I own the copyright to.
- I don’t know Leonard personally and have yet to meet him. He has not attended any events and my severe disabilities limited the number of functions I can attend
In fact, there are many who I have never met, as there are many who have never met each other. These are just a few examples of the shoddy shock journalism/commentary that is part and parcel to this newspaper and it’s editor, as is the same with Fox News and the like. As is true to form, at the time of this writing, Cal has not offered an apology to Presberg or the Freethought group, which he clearly owes. Technically, he owes me an apology as well, but I am not going to hold my breath.
To add insult to injury, Cal did the exact opposite of what he should have done if he were an ethical newspaperman. Instead of retracting his statements, admitting he was wrong and offering a written apology to both Presberg and the Freethought group, he chose to dig his heels deeper in the dung heap he has created by printing a letter to the editor from a supporter that is so chock-full of utter ignorance, it made my head spin. You young folks would call it “facepalming.”
Click the link and see if you don’t find yourself staring blankly into space at the surreal, wondering just how an adult can actually believe this revisionist history stuff. This always amused me, given the Scripture about “exchanging the truth for a lie,” which is kinda routine for the history and science denying crowd. Truly, the contents of this letter would make David Barton proud.
At this time, the best Cal was able to muster was yet another rebuttal that attempts to brush the whole thing off as a “robust political discussion.” Nice try, but not even close.
So, What’s This Got To Do With Me?
Absolutely nothing. My name was brought into this for the sole and feeble purpose of attempting to discredit Presberg because he is not a Christian Republican Theocrat. That’s should make anyone shake their head at Cal. Same goes for dragging in the Freethought group. I actually had no idea my name was even made a part of this until I received a phone call urging me to visit The Citizen’s website. First I laughed, but when I saw the libelous statements that were being hurled toward a decent man and toward a group that is a positive presence in the community, I quit laughing.
The connection between me and Presberg as members of the same large and diversified social group is about the same as Presberg and me both having library cards. Cal really put his foot in it in his attempt to turn a non-issue into a volcano by using potentially libelous statements, poor reporting skills, little or no research and inflammatory rhetoric. If I were them, I’d be looking for a good lawyer.
OK, Then, Why Me?
The only reason why I was chosen as Cal’s weapon against Presberg is because he felt, in his arrogance and hubris, that I was an easy target. I am an outspoken and well-known activist, author and writer who is frequently in the public eye, embroiled in the controversy of defending atheists, who are the last minority that it is still acceptable to discriminate against. That, and my inability to defend myself on The Citizen’s discussion forums because Cal seems to be afraid to grant me access. However, I have a bully pulpit of my own and this is not my first rodeo. I’ve been at this for a long time and I can smell a rat from a mile away.
Last summer I threatened to sue the City Council and the Mayor for uttering unconstitutional invocations at the start of the city council. You can read about it here, here, here or watch it on the local news here if you are interested. No, the issue has not been dropped, nor have the other legal challenges I have against the State, Governor Deal and the Georgia Supreme Court. My actions against the city did not sit well with the religious right, if you can imagine that. However, last time I checked there was nothing anti-American about being an activist in our society, no matter how unpopular the cause may be. Remember how unpopular abolitionism was, or the efforts of Dr. King, Jr., or the women’s suffrage movement?
In fact, the First Amendment not only guarantees the separation of church and state, it also guarantees my legal right to bitch about anything that I feel requires bitching about. The treatment that unbelievers receive at the hands of the religious right – as with Cal’s witch-hunt against Presberg – is an issue that needs constant bitching about. For those of you who do not remember, the First Amendment reads,
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Apparently Cal and crew, along with a few select readers, one of whom I specifically address below, feel that only their misguided, bigoted and discriminatory grievances should be addressed and the rest of us should simply shut up, go away or both. How utterly Orwellian in a macabre “some are more equal than others” way.
Yes, I work with some local groups on some constitutional issues, but my activities are performed in my capacity as the Georgia State Director of American Atheists, Inc., which is a voluntary position, and my level of activity is predicated on how my disabilities are affecting me one day to the next. I do not speak for the Freethought Group or any of its members. I do not speak for Leonard Presberg. Period. End of story.
A Special Note To S. Lindsay…
Back in September I published an article on the American Atheist Inc. blog. I was not kind at all to the extremist and fundamentalist members of the Abrahamic religions. I rarely am. It is no secret that I frequently target the religious right and the extremists members of all religions to expose their nefarious doctrines that literally call for the execution of infidels. I find no reason to be anywhere near nice toward anyone who follows a belief system that calls for my death based on the fact that I do not believe in their megalomaniac deity. I give no ground to the idiots out there who actually believe there god commands them to murder in his name, for any reason. I am not in the habit of pulling punches when addressing their bigoted, misogynist, discriminatory and hateful beliefs, especially when they try to infuse them into our legislation or poison the minds of our children. I have a deep a respect for our Constitution and the equal rights for everyone, regardless of race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, etc., etc. God is not great and religion poisons everything. Nothing new there.
In my article I expounded on why some of these dangerous doctrines should be eradicated. This, of course, has been done in the past. Doctrines have been eradicated by the church when they proved to be counter-productive to the growth of the church. Hence, we don’t stone homosexuals or adulterers any longer, and children are not put to death for being disobedient. We also don’t kill the infidel. This is a good thing, and shows that the mainstream church is willing to grow with society in certain areas. Of course, the religious right threw a shit-fit of monumental proportions and, as happens quite often with a group of people who seem to be lacking in basic reading comprehension skills, the took my actual words,
“But the underbelly of fundamentalist Christianity and radical Islam does not operate in the legal system. They don’t respond to lawsuits, letters, amicus briefs or other grass-roots campaigns and they must, must, must be eradicated. As long as they are allowed to exist, we will continue to be inundated with accounts of buses, buildings, markets and abortion clinics being blown up, rape victims being murdered for adultery, wives being beaten (sometimes to death), airplanes being flown into buildings, people being tortured and sometimes beheaded for blasphemy, people being burned for witchcraft and sorcery and all the other horrific, inhumane and insane practices that are part of fundamental Christianity and Radical Islam. If we don’t take a stand and, as a society, insist that these doctrines and beliefs are treated just the same as they would be if religion were not part of the equation, we will become extinct not due to natural selection, but at the hands of those who believe that the supernatural has made the selection.”
And magically reinterpreted them to mean that instead of me calling for the eradication of doctrines that the fundamentalist extremists use to justify all sorts of atrocities, that I actually called for the murder of human beings. As you can imagine, this was the topic of much conversation, and when one of Glenn Beck’s dingbat reporters posted it on The Blaze, it only served to make the religious right look even worse, and not just for his obvious and blatantly incorrect interpretation of my words, but for the ensuing 564 comments that were pretty much entirely batshit crazy and only proved that there are more dangerous people out there then we thought. When the reinterpreted story went viral, lo and behold, where do you think it ended up? You guessed it, on The Citizen forums by a reader who goes by “Observer4u.”
However, even the readers of The Citizen saw right through this, which is evidenced by their comments,
“If you look carefully at the quote and the original blog, Stefanelli is calling for the eradication of fundamentalist Christianity and radical Islam, which he sees as responsible for abortion clinic bombings, airplanes being flown into buildings and people being tortured for blasphemy, witchcraft, etc. I don’t think he wants Christians to be killed. By the way, the Constitution does indeed give you the freedom to not be religious, if that’s what you choose. Religious extremism can be pretty scary. I think I’ll just stay away from it.”
“but religion is pushed upon everyone.what I get from “they must, must, must be eradicated” is the hardcore beliefs, NOT INDIVIDUALS. I also don’t want to be told what I must do, how I must think, which Deity I must believe in. If the fundamentalist get their way, it will no longer be the Land of the Free. Isn’t America suppose to be a melting pot? Different people from different places with different views. How can you have that with “One Nation Under God”
“The Evangalicals wants to use the Government to further its particular religious beliefs and this is wrong and unconstitutional.
Mr. Lindsay, responsible journalists as well as many readers understood my words and reported as such, and I even guested on several Christian Talk Radio shows to further assure that I don’t go around advocating violence of any kind, let alone murder. The issue was finally laid to rest, and life went on. Until yesterday, when you decided it was time re-stoke the flames of bigotry by bringing it up again, but without the benefit of the truth. You wrote on The Citizen’s forum,
Cal do you remember this?
But the underbelly of fundamentalist Christianity and radical Islam does not operate in the legal system. They don’t respond to lawsuits, letters, amicus briefs or other grass-roots campaigns and they must, must, must be eradicated. Al Stefanelli, American Atheists’ Georgia State Director
Hmmm Christians MUST BE ERADICATED.. Nah these guys are just some flower smelling, toe tickling group that just wants everyone to get along…NOT.
Remember Cal this group is responsible for protesting a cross at Ground Zero.
Tell me Al did you ask New Yorkers or even the Families before you tackled that one or did you just push your beliefs on everyone else?
Isn’t that exactly what you claim Christians want to do to everyone, force THEIR beliefs on Society?
The Freethought website on Christians: “most of these people” lack the maturity and intelligence” to act in “a socially acceptable manner.”
You believe of these Christians they are “sociopaths,” “psychopaths” or simply “delusional.” This was from their website. At least as of 9/16/2011.
First of all, heed this warning. If you continue to publish that I call for the eradication of Christians, or any act of violence for that matter, as made evident by your statement “Hmmm Christians MUST BE ERADICATED,” I will sue you for libel as well as whatever publication chooses to print it. That is a promise. You can say whatever you want about me. I’ve been in the public eye for a long time and have developed a thick skin that can repel pretty much any rhetoric that is thrown my way. I’ve been called every name in the book, and it doesn’t phase me. However, this is not the first time you have written somewhere that I have called for the murder of human beings. It is libelous, and puts my personal safety at risk that is not of my own doing. I await your retraction and apology on this website. Comments here are moderated only for spam. I promise I will allow it to go through.
The issue regarding the Cross at Ground Zero is a constitutional one, a matter of law that has nothing to do with “asking anyone.” If you are interested in our reasons for filing this suit, click here. As far as pushing my “beliefs” on anyone, you obviously remain totally clueless about what “unbelief” is, particularly atheism. Go here for some education.
As well, I will reiterate something again to you, Mr. Lindsay, as your incessant badgering of the Freethought group spokesperson is clear evidence that you either do not have the ability to comprehend the written word, are willfully ignorant, or you have special needs….
I do not speak for the local Freethought group, they do not speak for me. We are two separate entities, and while I hold membership in their group, support their efforts in the community and attend some of their events, they have a spokesperson and it is not me. As well, my views, opinions and points of view are not part of their mission statement. Did I mention that I do not speak for them? Did I mention that my views and opinions are my own, and not a part of their mission statement? Do you understand this, or do I need to hire a plane with a sky writer? You are trying to make a connection where none exists and the only thing you are accomplishing is making a fool of yourself.
They do not link to this blog, and I do not link to them. In fact, the only thing you will find here is the well-known fact that I am a member of the group along with one hundred and thirty-some-odd other people. These are good people with the best interests of their community at heart and do a lot of volunteer work in town. You are, in effect, kicking a puppy. Nice…
Bad Company Corrupts Good Morals…
I have absolutely nothing against the majority of Christians. I am paying lip service to nobody, nor am I being disingenuous when I say that I count amongst my closest friends people of faith and a majority of my family identify as Christians. They are great people, I enjoy their company very much and I count myself fortunate to have them in my life.
There are, however, a lot of bad apples in the bunch. If you are a Christian here in Fayette County, ask yourselves how well you know the people who you call “brothers” and “sisters” in Christ. When you have your “quiet time,” reflect on your relationships and ask yourself how comfortable you would be having prayer, worship and fellowship with the “devout believers” among the community who have sent me these emails, of which contain original grammar and spelling,
- You are an arrogant piece of shit. I would love to rip you to shreds. Have a nice day, shitbag
- Who gives a fuck what you want. There are more of us than you. Watch your back because you will never know when I will be there. I might be staring in your kitchen windows now.
- America is one nation under god and if you don’t like it then leave, you traitorus fuck. I hope your dick rots off and you end up dead in a ditch somewhere.
- This country was founded on Christian values and morals and the majority of us will not let you trash the principals this country was founded on. Nobody cares what you think so just shut up before someone shuts you up.
- I would love to take my gun and shoot it off by your left ear then one by your right ear and then stick it to your forehead and ill get a kick of out of who you will be praying to!! And when you die you have fun in hell buddy, you think satan is gonna treat you with dignity and respect?
- God is real. You’re a retarded faggot. I hope you burn in hell
- You think you so smart but you wont be laughing when God smote you and your burning in hell!!! You are blasphmering and your punishment will be death as its comanded in the bible! That is a promise! Watch your back!
- I promise you this. You mock god you die. You won’t see it coming, but I will watch with great joy as your lifeless body drops on the spot where my bu1llet pierces your evil flesh
- You’re dead meat
- Do you not realize that God will not stand by and allow you to live? Do not be surprised when you and your entire family are put to death just like Achans family and you will be the one responsible. You got fire insurance?
- You need to be tortured and killed. You are Satan’s spawn and a worshiper of the evil one and you will pay for your blasphemy with your life, as is commanded by our Lord. I would consider it an honor to put a bullet right between your eyes.
- Fuck you! You are going strate to hell and its not a fun place motherfucker. Maybe I will get to be the one to send you thare!! Beware!
- We are watching you. Closely. Very closely. We are armed and only await the word from our King to assassanate you. You will get no warning. Boom! You’re dead. Just like that
- I know where you live and shop, I know what kind of car you drive, I know what your family looks like, I know when you are home, I know when you are out, I know when you are alone. Keep mocking God and find out what else I know. I’ll give you a hint. They will never find your sorry ass body.
If you agree with any of these statements, you are not only a horrible Christian, but a terrible person, to boot. You should be ashamed of yourself. I hope you are not breeding…
Some Final Thoughts,
Cal Beverly, you should really do the right thing and retract your inflammatory rhetoric, correct the errors you made and offer a written apology to Leonard Presberg and the Freethought group. You know you are wrong, so how about a little humility on your part and admit that what you did was slimy, underhanded, contemptible and just plain wrong. I do not expect an apology from you, but what you did to Leonard was beyond being “subject to the intense scrutiny and criticism of those he is supposed to be representing.” As well, the way you portrayed the Freethought society as being guilty of “in-your-face, proselytizing atheism, which seeks to banish all trace of the great monotheistic religions from every square inch of the public square,” as well as them holding “in pure contempt what most of us in Fayette County consider to be holy. They reserve their highest contempt for Christians who dare to proclaim their faith” is highly inaccurate.
With regard to my plans to fight the efforts of the FCA and the CEF, I will fight the efforts of any group, organization or church in their efforts to use the public schools as their evangelical platforms. Doing the work of the church on school grounds is in violation of the First Amendment, and it also amounts to preaching to a captive audience. My goal is, as it has been, the total and complete separation of government and religion, and that includes our public schools, our legislative and municipal buildings, our courthouses and everything else up to and including the Oval Office. That is what I do.
The local papers can waste their time trying to uncover “dirt” on me, but you won’t find it. I am the quintessential public figure, and everything you need to know about me is a matter of public record somewhere. Of course, there will always be armchair private eyes, whom make me laugh when they think they’ve uncovered something about me, only to have me direct them to a website, publication, biography, lecture, interview or one of my own articles that have already addressed it. My advice is to take a cue from the National publications. If you want to hear my thoughts on any given subject, usually all it takes is a phone call requesting an interview.
Those of us who are Atheist Activists are not going to go silently into that good night and we will not be intimidated. We will continue to love our Country and our Constitution. We will continue to advocate for the of separation of church and state, for the opportunity and ability to hold public office without the requirement of a religious test – either real of implied. We will continue to mount litigation upon those who discriminate against us, as have our predecessors in the Civil Rights movement (those of African descent and women), and as do our contemporaries in the LGBT movement. We will not give up until everyone receives equal rights, protections and freedoms and there is no longer any discrimination on the basis of age, gender, disability, orientation, creed, belief (or no belief), or anything else that still causes the ugly specter of bigotry to rear its ugly head.
We are your sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles. We are your doctors, lawyers, managers, employees, friends and co-workers. We are on your school boards, fire departments, police departments and emergency medical crews. Most importantly, we are honest, ethical and moral citizens.
You couldn’t hope for a better neighbor than a Freethinker.