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Atheist Tuesday: Pesky Atheists and How to Fight Back

| 24 Comments

Two stories were in the news lately concerning atheists and their aversion to all things godly.  In the first, atheists want to stop pre-game prayer before football. In the second, an atheist tries to stop a home Bible study.

Story #1:

Story #2: The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) is asking the California Superior Court in Orange County to relieve a couple whose home Bible study was shut down by the city of San Juan Capistrano recently over First Amendment issues.

The city fined Chuck and Stephanie Fromm $300 earlier this year after one atheist in their neighborhood of expansive homes on acre lots complained about the 40 people gathering at the Fromm’s house once or twice a week. According to city officials — who threatened to fine the Fromms $500 for each future violation — a longstanding ordinance requires groups of more than three people gathering in homes to buy permits. Read the rest by clicking here.

24 Comments

  1. Are you going to allow Muslim prayer before a game? Hindu? What have you?

  2. Putting aside very clear biases at the moment…

    No one is restricting your right to pray. No one is restricting your right to read the Bible and believe whatever crazy idea you feel like getting a high on. However, if these acts invade a secular realm, then it becomes a problem.

    In the first case, it’s a public school area. They cannot announce a specific prayer to a specific deity or religion. The audience can openly do what they wish as long as they aren’t harassing people with it. What bothers me is why can’t you pray together in silence? Other people have other religions – why can’t you respect that?

    In the second case, according to the city ordinances, that was against the law. Period. Do I agree with the law? Not the specific number of people, but I do believe that if it becomes a problem to other neighbors, then you can stop them.

    Religion has been illegally invading secular places. Of course, when they’re called out on it, they cry persecution. It’s not. It’s understanding that you aren’t the only people and aren’t the only religion.

  3. I’ll comment more on this when I have time, but three quick things:

    1. You guys might want to do a bit more research (crazy idea, I know) before blaming atheists for either of these issues. That’s directed both to you, Steve, and to the PJI (regarding the second issue).

    2. I’m betting that the people in the video are rank hypocrites, and I doubt you’d be okay with JW, Mormon, or Muslim prayers being blared from a loudspeaker at your daughter’s school, if you just happened to live in a town that was mostly JWs, Mormons, or Muslims. And I ask you this question: was playing the prayer over the loudspeaker at the football games constitutional or not? Why, or why not?

    This country was not founded on, nor is it currently run on, the idea of “religious freedom for me but not for thee”. If you don’t want something done to you or your children, then consider that if you complain when someone gets in trouble for that, especially if they’re on “your side”.

    3. I’ve read multiple Christian websites that do not support Mr. Fromm, because they understand that 50 people, weekly, just ain’t cool to your neighbors in a residential area.

  4. You always leave out important details you don’t you. The first one was School led prayer. As always individuals can pray all they like, which they did! It’s the same story whenever Christians complain you can’t pray in school any more, remember like Kirk did in the Origins give away video. Quite Shameless that way…

    The second story sounds ridiculous, if the Christians are being truthful, and we are all quite experienced with the truthfulness of Christians.

    The best way to fight back of course would be to present good evidence to convert them. But we know the Christians would never attempt that.

  5. The guys in the video just Do Not Get It.

    There’s a large difference between people in the stands choosing to pray, and having a prayer played over a loudspeaker, by the school.

    I don’t know if they honestly don’t see the difference, or if they’re being hypocrites.

    They keep talking about the bully (hah!) beating up on the weakling (oh come off it already), and what if the school could actually challenge this in court maybe what could happen?

    They’d lose. Because sectarian (important word, there) prayers, by government-owned entities, to captive audiences is unconstitutional. You wouldn’t like it if it was a different religion’s prayer, so it works both ways.

    The guys in the vid can talk all they want about the school district not having enough money to take this to court, but the point is moot; they’d lose in court.

    This is now becoming an issue due to diversity, and not whatever conspiracy theory these guys think best excuses the behavior.

    Thanks for the video, though. I find people like this to be fascinating to watch and listen to.

    • I’ll also note that this post is titled “Pesky Atheists and How to Fight Back”, but there didn’t seem to be any information on how to fight back, which was the part I was really interested in.

  6. What about families that have multiple kids? If I lived there with my wife and daughter, we could never have company. What if the mail carrier stands on our side walk too long? Do we have to worry about a fine then?

    • Hi Ryan,

      What about families that have multiple kids? If I lived there with my wife and daughter, we could never have company.

      You have 50 kids that come over weekly?

      What if the mail carrier stands on our side walk too long?

      How is that relevant?

      Do we have to worry about a fine then?

      Why would you? What relevance does that have to the issue? How is a mail carrier relevant to 50 people showing up at a residential house weekly? What do they have in common?

      • Nohm, stop your persecution, how dare you point out that all he’s got is ridiculous hyperbole that only makes himself look worse.

      • I was making reference to the 3 person maximum. That is what I found to be absurd. I agree that the fact that they meet at least weekly with 40+ people is an issue. I don’t think it had anything to do with the fact that it was a Bible study. That would just be a ton of traffic for a residential street, which would be problematic.

        I don’t think they should have been fined, unless they were warned first and refused to comply. I do think that when a Bible study gets that big, they need to find a more appropriate meeting place or break into smaller groups.

  7. Actually, I thought at first it was a Homeowner’s Association thing – they’re all about rules like that.

    If it’s a law, it sounds like a stupid thing… until, as JD pointed out, 40 people? Twice a week? Really? Yeah, that’s a bit over the top.

    Now, can anybody find the news story this comes from? Because all I can find is unsourced religious websites, and once you filter for bias, the story doesn’t seem unreasonable at all.

    Plus, the evidence that the neighbor who complained was an athiest? Where’s that at? Could just as easily be somebody tired of being unable to drive down the street, or of the fundies parking in his driveway. (Plus, what denomination are we talking about? Some of you guys aren’t the politest, and loud hymns and chanting at 9:00 on a school night? That might be considered a little over the top.)

    • Hi Nameless Cynic,

      So, I researched this quite a bit. The news of the fines is all over a variety of Orange County newspapers; that’s easy enough to find. I also found some Christian sites (such as christianpost.com) that reported on it, and interestingly enough quite a few of the (supposedly Christian) commenters also see a problem with 50 people showing up weekly to a residential house. I thought that was good to see, as they understand the hypocrisy.

      As for claims of the person who initially complained being an atheist, I only found that in ONE place; the article on the PJI website. All of the other sites that reported this issue, including other Christian sites, have no mention of the person being an atheist. At most, I found a single Christian site that mentioned the PJI report, but this site made a point of saying that the idea that the person was an atheist is “alleged” (by the PJI).

      So, as so often happens, once you start researching the story, you learn that it doesn’t match the claims shown here.

      Shocked, I am.

      • I’m shocked that Christians would repeated unsubstantiated allegations in an effort to denigrate someone.

        Just totally shocked.

  8. The Bible says there is no one good, not one. The Bible says that we have all fallen short of God’s moral standard. We are all guilty. We all deserve God’s rightous judgement a place called hell. The Bible says there is nothing impossible for God. The Bible says that if you repent, humble yourself, tell God your sorry for your sins and then place your trust in the Savior Jesus Christ you will be saved. The Bible says that salvation is a free gift of God. None of your good works can earn your way into heaven. The Bible says Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and no one gets to the father but by him. There is only one truth, all other religions are false. Save yourself some pain, repent and believe the gospel. God loves you.

    • Why should we care what the Bible says?

    • Given that the bible was written by bad men, as you’ve just demonstrated, why should anyone take it seriously?

    • Steve,

      I find it interesting that I responded to this with other things the Bible said, and gave verses to back it up, and you deleted it without a word. No cuss words, no incivility, not uncapitalized terms. And the only way you can call it “blasphemy” is to tell me why those verses mean something different than what I put out there. In context.

      So, why is that?

      • Nameless,

        You write biblical verses out of context, without explanation to prove a point: that God is either unjust, unfair, wrong or bad.

        Sorry. Won’t allow those verses.

        Not afraid; just not pertinent to the discussion at hand.

        Thanks for your understanding. I show the atheists who visit here a lot of grace by even allowing them to write their negative musings.

      • How dare you quote the bible!

  9. Steve any reason why they didn’t hold their bi-weekly meetings at their clubhouse?

  10. So, you’re reporting two stories about Christians breaking the law and hrassing their neighbours, in one case by forcing other people to participate in Christian worship services, and in another case by just being generally inconsiderate in a residential area.

    Fair enough. That’s important stories which should be collected, and I can see why a Christian blog would post these stories. It’s a good example of how not to behave.

    What I’m not understanding is the relevance of the title you’ve chosen to put on this post. It doesn’t seem to fit the content.

    TRiG.

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