Remember Patrick Greene? He's the dimwit who took umbrage at Ray Comfort's website selling bumper stickers unflattering to atheists. He declared it hate speech and threatened to sue, called in to the TV show to defend his litigiousness, was roundly mocked for such silly and petty behavior, and yet insisted that his contact information be made available on the show despite warnings from both Matt and Kazim that this was probably not the best idea.
Well, here it is a year later, and Patrick is highly frustrated that you folks are still emailing him telling him what an assrocket he is. Evidently it didn't occur to him that, what with fans posting clips all over YouTube and the availability of the show on such services as Google Video and Blip.tv, his little announcement would be available pretty much in perpetuity. Never mind, though, because, in his narcissistic view of things, you're all the ones with the problem. So he writes us back in full-blown petulant-5-year-old-who's-been-told-he-can't-play-Wii-until-he-eats-his-broccoli mode.
I received another e-mail about the bumper sticker, after a YEAR of this shit going on, so I have decided to file the lawsuit, and send you a copy of it. I am so sick to death of people keeping this crap alive......!!!![Like you, Pat? —MW]
Because of this e-mail, and the hundreds of other e-mails I have received that say the exact same thing yours does, I have decided that I will file the lawsuit, because if ALL of you think it's a bad idea.........it must be a good idea...............because all of you around the world are acting like Christians. This idea I had is a YEAR old. A YEAR OLD!!!
And if you all are STILL talking about it, and taking time to send e-mails about it, then It MUST be a good idea......THANKS!!!!!
Well, you can't argue with logic like that, can you?
So, here's the email that our courageous defender of atheism's honor has fired off to 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.
Oh yeah. That'll have them quaking in their boots and their lawyers scrambling to circle the wagons, for damn sure. Uh-huh. Like this thing won't be dismissed so fast it'll set off a sonic boom.
Patrick, if Ray Comfort is the World's Stupidest Christian™, then you are most certainly the World's Stupidest Atheist™. You guys are made for each other. If only you knew how good you're making him look. Moron.
anyone care to post a link to the offending bumper stickers?ReplyDelete
Patrick is right about one thing. Ray Comfort's methods don't exactly scream, "Christian love". This guy is an ass, and makes fun of us to make money. He's a money-grubbing whore, and will sell anything he can.ReplyDelete
But that doesn't mean that a lawsuit is necessary. I say far worse things about religious people on my website, in far worse language, and I don't consider it hate speech.
Even if Comfort IS motivated by nothing but "hate" for atheists and -ism, so what?ReplyDelete
Free speech includes expressions of odium. It has to.
Has it escaped Patrick's notice that there are millions of people who think HE and HIS thoughts and words are offensive and insulting - indeed, blasphemous and evil?
Theists outnumber atheists. It's not even close. As an atheist, does Patrick really want to live in a cultural and legal environs wherein speech can be silenced that easily - on the grounds that it's "hateful" in the literal sense?
A statistically significant percentage of a group believes something is a bad idea.ReplyDelete
Therefore it is a good idea.
It's the Argumentum Ad Populum, Inverse!
Dear Banana Man,ReplyDelete
We are sorry for the nonbelievers that act like this. Please accept this bushel of bananas as a token of my deep regret and humiliation as an atheist.
Your fellow fruit lover,
This case will definitely be thrown out. This jackass will continue being a jackass, and Ray will take his emails and threats of law suits to make some stupid case to his followers about us being litigious free-speech haters or something. Doesn't matter that this is one guy. Ray will run with it.ReplyDelete
Also, I agree these guys were made for each other. He is the Federline to Ray's Britney Spears.
this is like watching a car full of clowns colliding head on with a bullet train. You know it's going to look bad but you want to see it happening anyway.ReplyDelete
What a tool.ReplyDelete
Has this guy considered that having waited a year to file his lawsuit, he may run into a small problem called the statute of limitations? The applicable statute in Texas is two years for regular personal injuries and one year for injuries arising out of defamation. Civ. Prac. & Rem Code, Title 2, Ch. 16, Secs. 16.002, 16.003.
Now, I don't know what "hate speech" is under Texas law but it sounds more like defamation (saying something bad about someone else) than it does personal injury (something like an auto-versus-auto collision). Having intentionally waited a year, whatever the (extraordinarily dubious) merits of his claim might be, he's going to lose anyway.
But what's worse for atheists is that this fellow is going to feed Ray Comfort an easy victory, and thus embolden him.
All we can hope for is for the Texas courts to make it abundantly clear that in dismissing the case, they are pronouncing "A pox on both your houses."
Ray Comfort only has as much "power" as we give him. We need to just ignore him or perhaps occasionally laugh and point. A lawsuit only brings more attention to him, and since this lawsuit is going to fail, not only will it not forward the "cause" of atheism, but it will actually serve to promote Ray Comfort.ReplyDelete
The main issue I have with this whole scenario is not that Patrick is feeding into Ray's self-serving tentacles.ReplyDelete
Ray will do that anyway - he will find any method to twist a criticism into something that, on the surface at least, benefits him. He did it with the "Atheist Nightmare" debacle by claiming it was taken out of context, he did it with his Thunderf00t debate by turning a pretty penny on the DVDs, and he even did it with Patrick the first time he rose his complaint on his blog.
My main issue with this whole scenario is that Patrick is feeding directly into the stereotype of atheists as hypersensitive religion-hating-retards.
"O noes thar is Bibel in hotel room? CALL LAWYR!"
"Church haz nativity scene? COMPLAIN!"
"Car has bumperz stickr? SUE!"
"DOWN WIT RELIGUN!"
Sometimes legal action is necessary... and it's especially useful when you know the law is on your side. But when some short-sighted person like Patrick comes around and sues someone for doing something they have every right to do simply because of his hyper-sensitivity, then it makes the rest of us look bad.
How would it make us look bad? Because the second his case goes ANYWHERE (even if it gets thrown out) you can guarantee that it will get picked up by some form of media and spread around, and that will affect the image of the rest of us.
Lurker said: But when some short-sighted person like Patrick comes around and sues someone for doing something they have every right to do simply because of his hyper-sensitivity, then it makes the rest of us look bad.ReplyDelete
And that's what gets me about this situation. Comfort, Cameron, Robertson and any number of Christian appologists can say virtually anything they wish, regardless of how ignorant, deceitful and/ or hateful, and walk away with hardly a scratch. An atheist says something, even if (especially if) their claim is legitimate*, and we are boorish, jackbooted thugs trying shut people up and taking away their right to practice their religion.
*Which Patrick's is most definietly not. It is quite stupid.
Ray Comfort has as much of a right to free speech as anyone. There might be some European countries where such a lawsuit might have a minimal chance of success but even there it would be very iffy. This is bad both ideologically and pragmatically.ReplyDelete
It is genuinely perplexing that Greene would by his own descriptor be told repeatedly by a large variety of people that this was a bad idea and still not only not understand that this was a bad idea but not have the thought even occur that even if he can't understand why it is a bad idea that maybe the overwhelming majority just happen to be correct.
If it bothers him this much, why the hell doesn't he just get a new fucking email? Seriousl!ReplyDelete
@ Dan O'LearyReplyDelete
That is a pretty good idea (the banana man thing). My concern here was that I do not want to side with Comfort, but I do not want to look the other way simply because the guy's "on my team". Maybe a sufficiently snarky letter of support, is what we need.
It has come to my attention that you are being unfairly persecuted for your beliefs. Welcome to the rest of the world! While your beliefs may be silly, retarded, asanine, poorly conceived, and badly composed, I feel that you have a right to state silly, retarded, asanine, and poorly conceived opinions, at any level of grammatical skill.
I passed a collection plate around my bedroom, and have raised $2.35, and three buttons (one red). Please add this contribution to your defense fund.
The Guy Who Wrote This Letter
Jackie, you asked why he doesn't just change his email. I think this was brought up on the Non-Prophets episode as well, and I was also curious.ReplyDelete
Then I realized. This has nothing to do with atheism. Patrick is, simply put, the type of person who resents having to change his actions to accommodate other people.
If he sees a bumper sticker he doesn't like, he does not feel it is his responsibility to suck it up and let them be. It is theirresponsibility to accommodate him.
If he is getting an apartment or driving people in his cab, he does not think it is his responsibility to act cordial (at least for that moment) and not act like an ass so that he is denied a lease or a cab fare. It is their fault, because he is an atheist.
If he is getting a barrel-full of email, it is not his responsibility to change his email. It is everyone else's responsibility to stop communications.
The hosts of the AE/NP sometimes bring up the Christian Persecution Complex, in which Christians gain satisfaction in the thought that everyone in the world is against them. This is not a religious thing - it's a psychological phenomenon. People like attention, and if they don't get it easily, perceived-negative-attention is just as good.
And it's no surprise that atheists get it too. Patrick is a perfect example, and I can wager that in his day-to-day life, he feels singled-out for all manner of things, not strictly limited to his views on god and religion.
Ray posted the Youtube link for The Atheist Experience episode that commented about this one. I think it's really quite good for us. Hopefully his Christian buddies will go to that link and follow some of the others.ReplyDelete
Here's the link to the bumper sticker.
Just to add, the more the atheist community comes out vocally to denounce this unwise action by Patrick the more damage control we can actually do.ReplyDelete
In other words, it's hard to point at someone like Patrick and say, "This is what atheists are like," when many atheists have issued vocal response that he is absolutely NOT representing their views--or the views of any atheists they associate with.
I would say that if you find it bothersome that someone like Patrick promotes a negative, but mainly untrue, atheist stereotype, by all means, express that at every opportunity.
I just read Ray's blog post, and he posted Pat's email IN FULL. Address, phone number, email, everything.
Does that mean that Pat will get EVEN MORE negative email now?
Looks like a storm up ahead.
Click here to see Ray's blog entry, and leave your comments.ReplyDelete
I hadn't even thought about that, Lurker. If I believed Ray was smart, I'd probably see it as intentional harassment...ReplyDelete
I posted a brief word of support at the Youtube video as well as at the forum I hang around. I refuse to support Ray at his blog, but imho the suit is frivolous; I believe it will be seen as legally frivolous as well.
I haven't talked to a single atheist who believes Patrick's complaint has any merit whatsoever.
I posted on Ray's blog saying I would stand up for him (Ray) in court. Even though I know it won't go anywhere close to court.ReplyDelete
Ray has repeatedly allowed the phone numbers and emails of his supporters through on to his blog, so I don't think it's deliberately. He's just that oblivious to the world around him.ReplyDelete
Argh! This makes us look bad and feeds Ray just what he wants!ReplyDelete
Tricks are for Christians!
Silly Heretic, Tricks are for kids.ReplyDelete
Yup. Ray is talking about it.ReplyDelete
1. Free Speech includes speech you disagree with.
2. You don't have the right not to be offended.