An admin for the Why Won’t God Heal Amputees forum sent me an invitation to be a part of their discussion, as some of the members have found the sites I have contra their position and would like to discuss my views in person.
I’m contemplating accepting, but I’m not sure. Scanning the forum, the level of ignorance is absolutely intolerable. For example, in this thread, they are discussing the removal of a man dressed like Jesus from a church. The topic inevitable turns to the legality of kicking someone out of a church:
I wonder if removing him from church was legal? If it was, then the church could call the cops and ask them to remove anyone for any reason like their hair color, age or race. Anyone here know the laws around this by any chance?
Reasonable question, and it was answered correctly by another user. Basically, a church is a quasi-public building, and since it is privately owned, retains the right to remove people from the premises. “Quasi-public” only means that the public is welcome provided they act in a manner deemed appropriate by those with the authority to remove them. If they do not, then the church has every right to remove the offender.
That said, I don’t think that the “Jesus-guy” should have been removed. As far as I could see, he wasn’t causing a disturbance and the police didn’t even file a report. So the elders probably jumped the gun and, in the process, made themselves look pretty much like hypocrites. The same user with the legal question points it out colorfully:
I’m not saying ‘jesus guy’ isn’t a bit of an eccentric nutter and of course he is open to ridicule… but to have him thrown out by a “non-profit” tax-free organization that is supposed to welcome all? Damn hypocrites.
Now, here’s where I question the sanity of trying to debate or disagree with the members of this forum. In reply to the question of whether or not Jesus-guy could be legally kicked out of the church, once it was established that the church was within its rights, someone gets up on a soapbox:
If the churches didn’t get special treatment, such as tax breaks, that amounts to every citizen supporting them, then I’d agree they have the right to remove people. Otherwise, they should be treated like any other taxpayer-funded establishment.
I would like to thank the two users (I’m not sure if they’re religious or atheist) who spoke sanity into that idiotic drool. One (correctly) pointed out to this character that “tax break” isn’t even in the ballpark with “tax-payer supported.” The other reminded him that tax-payer funded establishments still have the right to remove folks from the property.
In another thread, a user complained about street preaching. A Christian group was preaching using a megaphone and playing Christian music on the (public) street corner, and some of the message was about how atheists need salvation by Jesus Christ. I’m glad it offended the user, and it should have. Rather than consider the content of the message, he wants to censer it:
This is where I draw the line on “free speech”. One guy giving out fliers and politely asking people for a few minutes of their time is fine. 20 people harrassing passers-by with loud music and speakers preaching their crap to me is dirturbing the public peace.
How the hell is this legal? I say allow street preaching but under very strict restrictions. NO mega-phones or loud speakers … NO music … NO f***ing noise. Let them only be able to hand out fliers and approach people politely and respectfully. If the person says “no thanks”, move on.
What these people were doing was forcing us to listen to their religious crap and I will not put up with it on the street of my local town centre.
In other words, it’s okay until he has to hear it. Once he has to hear it, it should be illegal. Well, I don’t much care for atheist bus ads. They’re big and unavoidable. Same with billboards. Should those be illegal by this logic?
If I have the story right, he could have just ignored these people, but he chose to walk up and say something to them. His wife had to calm him down and take him out of there. Approaching these people was his choice. He exercised his free speech rights to tell them that they were doing something wrong. Is that also harassment by his definition?
I signed up, but I have yet to post. I’m not sure it’s going to be worth my time. Everyone there has already made up their minds, and they all hate religion (especially Christianity). I see evidence that other Christians have brought charges of favoritism to atheists and moderators editing the Christians’ posts without their consent. I know this, because some of the atheists are discussing those charges in a thread titled “Theist Liars.” That should give some insight as to what the atheists running the forum think of those charges.
Looking for the title of that thread, I spotted another one I had missed before declaring that Christianity isn’t monotheistic.
This board is probably a waste of my time.