This is considered hate speech?

I think overly sensitive Christians need to re-examine their definition of hate speech. Political hopeful William J. Kelly is attempting to make a mountain out of a molehill, claiming a sign erected by the Freedom from Religion Foundation in the Illinois Capital Building is hate speech:

At the time of the winter solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is just a myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.

Kelly finds this disparaging toward Christianity and other religions in general, and is suing Jesse White, Secretary of State for Illinois (who is responsible for enforcing the state’s property laws). It’s becoming quite clear, however, this is a politically motivated action rather than an honest concern about “hate speech”. He’s hoping to rally Christians around him, and I’m sure he’ll have plenty of success; after all, the recent confidence that previously silent atheists are displaying scares the hell out of them, and some people are looking for any excuse to fight the progress we’ve been making.

So what we can gather from this lawsuit is anytime you suggest religion is merely a superstition, you are effectively committing a hate crime. Is Kelly unaware of the concept of freedom of speech or is he merely afraid of it? Why do religions fear dissension so much? Do they correctly see that once people are exposed to the fact religions are merely the product of superstition and ignorance that they might abandon them? If they get to remove the sign from the Capitol Building, does that mean we get to expunge “In God We Trust” from their money too?

Comments (8)

  • avatar

    Bryan Elliott

    “Kelly thinks this is disparaging toward Christianity and other religions in general”

    And he is correct. However, this doesn’t imply animosity – or even hate – for Chrisians or other religious folk.

    Ain’t no reason to avoid disparaging a concept. Escpecially if you think it’s false.

  • avatar


    I think its just stupid to put something like that up. I mean its true no question, but its just not the right time to be so harsh. I think we aught to ease people in. Or rather, focus on things that can make a difference like getting tax exempt statuses away from religions, or closing down religious schools. This is just a nice big “fuck you” to religious people, and that really does nothing positive in the grand scheme of things. And of course it does wonders to paint atheists as assholes when an organization puts something like that up.

  • avatar


    Hate? No, mate. Just a considered opinion, which everyone is entitled to. I can rant about religious beliefs ’till the cows come home but that doesn’t make me a hater of individuals. Why, I even had a friend at school who was (and still is) a Jehovah’s Witnesses and his charming parents never, ever raised the subject or tried to force it down my throat and neither did he in adult life, which is how it should be. Each to their own.

  • avatar


    Unfortunatly “to each their own” never applies to religion. If it did they wouldnt be killing abortion doctors, holding back stem cell research, taking away the rights of gays to adopt or marry, Changing our science text books to not include the age of the earth or teaching Intelligent Design as Science.

    Religion needs to systematically dumb down our children in order to survive, if they said “to each their own” religion would be gone in a few generations. Wait maybe to each their own isnt such a bad idea after all…..

  • avatar

    jaeger ohellino

    I think the message is nicely put. The tricky thing with atheism is we have to say what we mean with language and phrases that really belong to the superstitious. We can’t come out saying there is no god because the universe has no boundry yet is finite nor can we really feel at all sincere with ourselves when we say “look at all of the horrible things god as done how can you believe in him”. I hope they don’t tear down the sign.

  • avatar


    Hay! be happy! William J. Kelly & his church has taken out a fatwa on Jesse White,
    ….. YET!!!!
    With the Simon Singh thing and the islamic thing, I’m expecting the xtians to start giving it a try, and here they are doing the Simon thing—if you can’t shut them up SUE them.
    Would Tiller count as an islam thing??? You know don’t like what they are doing – its against the religion – So kill em.
    Got ta luv those moral followers of g0d.

  • avatar

    Kevin O'Leary

    @ Dave

    As an ex Jehovah’s Witness myself I was extremely surprised by your remarks. Followers of this cult do not associate with non-believers unless they are (or are likley to be) participating in bible study. This is strictly enforced and applies to family members also. Either your friends are living under the constant threat of disfellowshipping, or you have mistaken their beliefs for something a little more casual. I’m not having a go, but to me your comment is akin to saying “I met a couple of Nazis once and they were actually quite nice…”

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