Do These Vile Facebook Comments Deserve Free Speech Protection? [UPDATED]

Atheists receive death wishes on Fox News Facebook page

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Do These Vile Facebook Comments Deserve Free Speech Protection? [UPDATED]
[ Social Media]

Last week, we asked you whether or not social media sites should censor offensive content. The issue that spawned that debate was the possible removal of certain trending topics by the folks at Twitter. After a certain hashtag (#reasonstobeatyourgirlfriend) gained steam two weekends ago, a large group of users demanded that Twitter remove that topic from their trending list.

It’s unclear whether Twitter removed the topic or it simply fell off the list naturally (evidence suggests the latter), but the question remained: Should they censor that offensive content?

Your comments last week provided a pretty clear answer to the question: No. Although the distinction was made that social networks like Facebook and Twitter are private companies who aren’t compelled to operate under the same free speech allowances as the U.S. Government, a majority said that it would be wrong to remove the offensive content.

This week we ask a similar question, but with raised stakes. What about content that advocates violence? Let us know in the comments.

Let it be known, the following article will contain no religious opinions from yours truly – whether heavy-handed or carefully cloaked. At the heart of this, for me at least, is simply the issue of anonymity online and the tendency for people to say crazy things when staring at a keyboard and a monitor. Oh, and some of these posts are simply epic in their jaw-dropping hypocrisy.

Here’s how the story goes:

Blair Scott, Communications Director for American Atheists made an appearance recently on America Live with Megyn Kelly on the Fox News Channel.

The reason that he appeared was to discuss the recent lawsuit filed by the American Atheists group over the cross-shaped steel beams at the World Trade Center site know as the “World Trade Center Cross.” The cross would form part of an exhibit at the September 11th Memorial and Museum.

The lawsuit alleges that the cross-shaped steel beam display promotes Christianity over all other religions and it diminishes the civil rights or non-Christians since it is included on public property.

To them, it’s a matter of church and state separation. Either that or it’s about the singularity of the religious celebration. According to ABC News, the American Atheists said that they “have contacted the 9/11 Memorial and Museum requesting to display their own atheistic memorial next to the steel-shaped cross, possibly in the form of an atom or an American flag, to represent the ‘500 non-religious Americans’ who were “among the victims of the 9/11 attack.”

They say that their request was met with silence.

After Mr. Scott’s appearance on the show, Facebook users flooded the Fox News Facebook page with comments.

UPDATE: Fox News has issued a statement about the comments in question:

“We make every attempt to keep our Facebook page as safe as possible,” said Peter Drace, Fox News VP and creative director of promotion, “and we take immediate steps to remove all hateful and dangerous language.”

Fox News deleted the post containing the comments after identifying over 200 threatening comments. The post containing the comments went up on the night of July 28th. The post was removed on the morning of July 30th.

Although the content is no longer available as it has been removed, multiple sources managed to grab screencaps of the comments. Here are the ones culled by American Atheists themselves –

From the mouth of one gentleman, “few groups are filled with more hatred than atheists.” Just before that, “can we start killing them now.” Isn’t it ironic? Dontcha think?

Some bloggers who also screencapped many of the comments blurred out the names of the commenters. Others specifically brought attention to their names. Their argument is that the internet needs accountability. Basically, if you have the balls to say something, you should have the balls to answer for it. Nobody should protect people on the internet who post controversial content for public consumption.

Anonymity: Is it the landmark achievement of the internet or its central problem? Last year, a Facebook product design manager wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times where she called for content providers to stop allowing anonymous commenting. She pushed the importance of accountability.

And just recently, (former) Facebook employee Randi Zuckerberg said that anonymity on the internet has to go. She said that “people behave a lot better when they have their real names down” and “people hide behind anonymity and they feel like they can say whatever they want behind closed doors.”

Well, the majority of the commenters above didn’t hide behind closed doors. They used their reals names to post their misguided comments. You can check out their Facebook pages – many of them aren’t set to fully private. Is the fact that people aren’t having to talk directly to people’s faces enough? Is that all the anonymity they need?

We talked yesterday about new research linking Facebook use to aggressive behavior. Is this what they were talking about? Is all of that anger and hatred a product of Facebook use in general? Or is Facebook simply a platform that can be used for everything, good and bad – and Facebook just enables some people with certain predispositions to bad behavior?

Motivations for the behavior aside, controversial content finds its way to social media sites. This is a fact. And once it gets out there for public consumption, decisions must be made regarding how to deal with it.

From the various reports from people who were screencapping these comments as the rolled in, the pace at which the truly extreme “death wishes” disappeared was pretty quick. It’s much more likely that the Fox News Admins were fighting to remove the content as opposed to Facebook stepping in. But the debate remains: if the comments above had been left alone, should Facebook have removed them?

Or do the inarguably vile comments deserve free speech protection within the realm of social media speech guidelines?

I know that few topics of conversation could be filled with more sensitive issues than vile threats to atheists over a Christian monument at 9/11. That’s hitting all the hot spots – religion, national tragedy, politics, etc. And it’s virtually impossible to separate those sentiments from a free speech debate. But let’s try to think about this as Christians, Atheists, Republicans, Democrats, Anarchists – whatever title your identity merits.

Does this violent speech have a place on Facebook? Even though it doesn’t advocate the death of any singular person, is it prone to incite violence?

Should it remain as a testament to free expression? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Do These Vile Facebook Comments Deserve Free Speech Protection? [UPDATED]
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  • Greg

    This is scary….people advacating killing others for not believing in god. All of these comments about killing in the name of their god from Americans – maybe you’re all closer to radical islam than you think.

  • alan

    To Sindy Clock- how can you say that you love Jesus and the cross and hope that someone gets raped? Even while hanging on the cross, Jesus prayed for the forgiveness of his enemies. How can you love Jesus and hate anyone? Simple. Your love is a lie. And as a “Christian,” you and those who feel the way you do should remember that all liars shall have their part in the lake of fire (hell). And if you hate people, you are a murderer and no murderer has eternal life abiding in him (according to the bible). Maybe you should fall on your knees and ask the Lord to forgive you because blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. I feel sorry for your blindness and hatred while calling yourself a Christian. May God have mercy upon your soul.

  • alan

    As Greg commented, what is the difference between these people who advocate violence and death against the atheist and radical muslims fundmentalists? Both groups are preaching death and mayhem again unbelievers.

  • Jim

    Y’know, God is an important part of my life. I believe Jesus died for my sins and rose again. However, I have not been to church in over 4 years because I can’t seem to find a church that teaches the values Jesus expressed while one earth. Forgiveness, compassion, tolerance, understanding, love. Jesus said, before you take the splinter out of my eye, take the log out of yours. In effect, don’t point fingers. Paul says, though I speak in the tongues of angels and do not have love, it is as the clanging of cymbals. There’s a lot of cymbal clashing going on these days. I often wonder if Jesus is in heaven asking God, is this why I died?

  • Scipio Africanus

    No, FB should not be in charge of censoring these (or any) quotes. It is incumbent upon the page manager(s) to either do so or not, depending on how they want themselves and their believers viewed.

  • Jeff Cornell

    Wow. Let’s see, the righteous of America have spoken? They sound like religious fanatics with a zero tolerance policy towards anyone who believes differently than they do and THAT is unAmerican. Social networking sites should NOT be censored. If people are saying things like this about anyone, everyone has a right to know. I now know that my safety and my family’s safety is compromised by Christian fanaticism, possibly in my own neighborhood.
    These people are stupid and crazy. trully amazing that these views exist, let alone that people feel comfortable expressing them in a public forum. Is this what Christianity is about? I’ll take my chances with teh athesist, thanks. Haven’t heard any of them calling for general murder lately.

  • Jeremy

    As a Christian, I am outraged. These people are obviously not real Christians. They are as bad as the Islamic terrorists. Why? Because they hate and they think killing is the way to go.

    It CLEARLY states in the Bible (In the 10 Commandments) 2 books
    Exodus 20:13 You shall not murder.
    Deuteronomy 5:17 You Shall Not Murder.

    They need to read their bibles a little more often.

  • Rich in Seattle

    Well, these comments are pretty typical of the more militant American Talibangelicals, sad to say it but they are. I don’t know enough about the World Trade Center Memorial to know if it is a public project or a private project. If it is a private project, they can include religious iconography all they want. If it is a publicly funded project, then our government should make it either completely secular in nature or completely inclusive of all faiths. The citizens have freedom of religion, our government does not. Tax dollars should never be used to pay for constructing religious monuments.

  • Nicole

    Why are people surprised? This is a very normal response from a large portion of Christians when their belief is questioned. I’ve dealt with this type of behavior for most of my entire life. You’d have to be blind to suddenly be shocked by this.

  • pastol

    Don’t pray in my school, and I won’t think in your church.

    • Kandi

      You know that is the way I feel too. Religions wouldn’t want the government telling them how to run their churches. Why should we allow religions to be a part of government.

      My daughter is in the Army. When she says the pledge, she stops at the part “Under God” on purpose then continues on. I do the same. And she doesn’t like that it is on our money. Neither do I. They are supposed to be separate. But they aren’t.

      I get so sick of people saying they have “taken god” out of schools. Ummm which “god” would that be?

  • Shannon

    wow! i’m a pagan, not an athiest, but if the above is an example of Christian Love and Christianity at work, I might consider leaving the country as it seems that the Actual Christians that I know don’t seem to think it important to reign in their more vitrolic brothers and sisters, and they are a scary bunch. If this is an example of Christs love, NOT INTERESTED.

  • Andy H

    It’s not technically censorship. Facebook owns the service and may run it as they see fit. Idealizing FB as some sort of public right pertaining to freedom of expression is as ridiculous as threatening to sue FB for losing your service. Incidentally, FB boots abusive users all the time. Making threats against specific groups, persons, etc., is against their terms of service agreement. Point aside, why on EARTH should it surprise anyone that Xtians want to kill ppl with whom they disagree?? They’ve been doing it for quite a while, you know….

  • John

    Isn’t this the way the ‘Inquesition’ started? When the religious fanatics take control of things, then things are out of control.

    • me

      is that kinda like the islamic jihadists attacking on 9 11?

  • http://securitylicensestampafl.com/ Security Licenses Tampa FL | Florida Class D License

    I don’t believe that they should censor content, but when the content is being abused with hatred then the people running the page should do the right thing and pull it down, and if they don’t FB should step in and take it down. That technically isn’t censorship, like Andy said.

    securitylicensestampafl.com/class-d-security-licenses-florida” rel=”nofollow”>

  • Open Minded

    Ridiculous comments (“kill them”) by closed-minded, red necks. But not entirely unexpected because the comments are made by humans displaying the worst traits of humanity. Give us about 1 million more years and just maybe we’ll have evolved beyond this Neanderthal-like thinking. As for us living in the now, however, this is just the kind of BS we have to put up with.

  • http://www.projectneurophant.com athiel

    Sunday I did a guest comic for a site that touched on this sort of hypocracy… gotta love it.http://www.stickprimo.com/2011/08/07/guest-strip/

  • Gordon Sands

    Well, we all know that these insane nutjobs would be going even more insane if anyone said anything even slightly negative about them lol 😛

    This would be free speech, except they would go on a murderous rampage if something negative was said about them, so if it’s not free speech when something negative is said about them, it is not free speech for them to be saying such vile things. Let God (there is no God) sort them out.

  • Tracy Smith

    Comments advocating violence, especially when completely devoid of any other substance, has no place in a civilized society. The internet is no exception.

  • Chris_UK

    This is what I like about the “one god” movement – be that Christianity (in its many guises,) Judaism or Islam – they all preach TOLERANCE…. but the only thing each seems to be able to tolerate is it’s own narrow form.

    WHY OH WHY OH WHY – can anybody think it’s acceptable in *any* society to advocate killing somebody for expressing their opinion. Especially when it’s not defaming anybody else.

    I thought you Americans stood by the FIRST AMENDMENT – seems I was wrong.

    Bigotry, racism, xenophobia and intolerance seem to rule. Given where 99% of the population claim their roots – don’t you think that’s just a bit rich?

    Give me the London Riots any day – at least we all know they are “IDIOTS WITHOUT A CAUSE”

    See you on the other side.


  • http://jfx-online Joe Fitzpatrick

    I believe the same laws should apply to the net as any other form of speech. You shouldn’t be able to incite violence.

  • Chris_UK

    Oh and another thing.

    Surely defamatory and threatening comments – regardless of the media in which they are published – contravene a number of laws (section 16 of the OFFENCES AGAINST THE PERSON ACT 1861 in the UK for example)

    The police in the country of the author should request their personal details and arrest them….. simple!

    If their name was Mohamad or Ahmad then there would be no question that this would be the reaction.


  • Larry Miller

    This was a completely one sided piece. Those comments, while inappropriate, are nothing compared to what some atheists have been writing on Christian sites for years. The idea behind the first amendment was to protect unpopular speech. I can understand how some would not understand this coming out of a closed minded academic environment that says it is open to all ideas, then is surprised to find that there are actually other ideas.

    As one who has been on the receiving end of such statements, I would say “Quit whining!” If you want to pretend to be a man and make controversial statements, accept the fact that not everyone will agree.

  • http://www.jumbocdinvestments.com/ ChrisCD

    First, Josh, violence of any kind is not acceptable whether it is your girl friend or towards someone who doesn’t agree with you. Matter of fact, there are laws against it. I wouldn’t censor the information I would go after the people with the full force of the law.

    Second, interesting how everyone assumes the commenters are Christians. From what I could tell only one of them actually professed faith in Christ. Killing people is not what Christianity teaches. I would question anyone’s faith who said otherwise. On a side note for those that just think Jesus was all about love and tolerance though: He did forgive the woman at the well, but he also told her to go and sin no more. He promises forgiveness to all, but he does expect to see a change of heart. He also called the religious leaders of the day a bunch of vipers and turned over tables at the temple.

    Back to the topic at hand, I suspect most of the commenters are just being idiots, albeit, awful idiots. Some of them may have just been trying to get a rise out of people for the shock value. But, evil lives in all segments of society. Every bunch has its bad apples, whether it is “Christians”, “Atheists”, “Jewish”, “Muslim”, etc. Note, I put each in quotes. I don’t feel people who wish violence on anyone have a right to be part of their respective groups.

    And note the positive feedback that has been generated here. A much larger segment of society does not hold a value of hate and violence. Bad Apples often remind us of that and re-affirm that there is, yet, hope for humanity. :O)

    • http://www.mom-venture.com Melissa

      I totally agree with you and I was so glad to see this comment. Those people that made those disgusting, violent comments are not Christian. They may call themselves that, but they are not and they should not be representative of true believers.
      “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Matthew 22:37-39

      I think this verse clears up what God thinks about violence toward others! Too many people have taken the word “Christian” and ran with it claiming to be “Christian” when they are not. Christian means “Christ Like” so if you are not following Christ and his example, then you are not a Christian. Even if you are saved and a child of God, you may not be following Christ and keeping his commandments, thus you are not a Christian(that includes myself if I am not doing the things I ought to be).

      That said, I believe that things that clearly promote violence should be taken down! It does not need to be left up to encourage others.

  • phil

    Good topic, Josh. And timely, as London burns.
    My feeling is that “inciting to violence” should not only be removed, but prosectued as well … just like would be done to someone yelling “FIRE” in a crowded movie theatre.

    • Chris_UK

      Good point…. However, I don’t think anything should be removed that amounts to censure and ultimately state controlled media. However the consequences for those that have published such inciteful material should also be made very public so that we can all see that for each action there will be a consequence.

  • Frank St. John

    Freedom means freedom for things you don’t like as well – and conjuring up some religious boogy man really proved a good opportunity for you to let your hair down and reveal the intense bigotry you have (but I’d never attempt to use the LAW to shut you up – and on this point Andy’s right, FB has the right to do whatever they want with their site)

  • richard

    It is speech that is not popular that need to be protected. Stop trying to kill the first amendment without explaining the story.

  • Jason

    Absolutely nothing should be removed. Zero censorship is the only way.

    The world is full of vile, repulsive people and things, but we can’t start censoring the things we don’t like.

    That will only lead to absolving people and putting blame on something – like a topic or post. Hold people accountable, not content.

    Free speech always and everywhere.

  • marie

    Stop ALL violent content. There is too much everywhere and violence creates more violence. The God I believe in does not condone this kind of attitude. In the bible it says Judge that ye be not judged and the final judgement is God’s.

  • I Wonder

    I wonder which “heavenly suite” or “place of honor” the “kill them” advocates will occupy when they are judged by their god for their murderous acts? Killing those who disagree with you–isn’t that what mostly motivated the 9/11 terrorists in the first place? Careful what you wish for, “kill them” advocates!

    • Stan

      Well said..

      I feel as if there is a REALLY shallow gene pool amongst the commenters. As an atheist myself I do not believe in the harming or KILLING of another person unless in defense of oneself or ones country. But correct me if I am wrong – the bible does say something along the lines of “thou shall not kill”… and they call us hypocrites..

      • Kandi

        Totally agree as well. Isn’t it funny how killing, abuse, and all manner of crimes are being perpetrated in the name of religion? Yet those that profess to believe in nothing are damn good people. I know 2 people who claim to be atheist. And they would do anything for anyone, help anyone in need…it’s amazing to me how these people are so stupidly blind and brainwashed they can’t see beyond their own hatred.

  • Yvonne Finn

    No! No! and again No!
    Censoring does not work, just as how we cannot legislate decent and civil behaviour.Only fear of reprisals hold some people in check!
    It seems human beings are becoming more depraved and degenerate by the minute.
    But that is really not the case, there are still a majority of ordinary individuals trying each day to become just a bit better than the day before.

    Censoring would only drive those few craven malcontents underground and we would eventually be blindsided by violence and venom that we were not aware of.
    So, no censoring of speech, it might just be a deterrent to violence someday.

  • Atheist101

    Really ? those people call themselves christians and they all wish the death of the non-believers? So what makes them so different of those Talibans that wanna kill the “infidels” ??? I think some people here didn’t quite get the message in this book called the “bible”. I personaly don’t believe in god but i respect the people that does as well as other kind of beliefs… Unless they wanna kill me!

  • rose

    honestly im all for freedom of expression, but something that is ‘hate’ related reguarding a person just is not ok

  • http://lifeprospernow.com Linda

    Wow all those hate and kill comments are downright scarey. There is no innuendo, it’s blundt and to the point for all to see. It really makes you wonder what is really happening in our world today, and in the minds of some people. No wait…I really don’t want to know.

    • Dan

      It’s called religion, and like any other drug it poisons your soul when you let it take over your life.

  • Cisco

    Opinions, as offensive as they maybe, should and must be protected. Hate speech, incitation to violence and uttering threats are already illegal; displaying them on a computer screen does not change their nature.

  • Rod Gilchrist

    “Facebook and Twitter are private companies who aren’t compelled to operate under the same free speech allowances as the U.S. Government, a majority said that it would be wrong to remove the offensive content.”

    Since when is it that only the US Government are the only ones taht are under special rules of “Free Speech Allowances”?????

    Our “Free Speech” is not something that is governed by you or any other company in the US!!!!! “Free Speech” means just what it implies. Americans are granted Free Speech by their Constitution and Bill Of Rights. NO ONE can make rules about the use of those rights. If you don’t like what someone says or writes, DON’T LISTEN OR DON’T READ…. That is your right, to not expose yourself to whatever someone is saying or writing that you don’t agree with… BUT NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO SUPERCEED THE BILL OF RIGHTS OR THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.

    I personally have fought in a war for these rights and I do not appreciate ANYONE trying to limit rights or deny them. I did not get shot twice or see my comrades die for our rights to listen to this absolute drivel about another group who thinks they are more powerful than our Constitution.

    To me there is no question of whether Facebook should remove the comments or not, there is NO QUESTION!!!!!! By our Bill of Rights, they CANNOT!! To do so would be denying the Constitutional rights of the author. The only thing they can do is remove the platform on which the comment was made, Facebook…

    • Mark Ferguson

      Laws have been around which are directly expressed from the meanings of the rights you talk of. And those laws protect others from threat to life and liberty. There is no abandonment of the Bill of Rights when someone removes threats to another. Death threats violate a person’s right to life and liberty, therefore, the person making those threats, and the threats they have made, are not protected, and should be punished and removed.

    • http://karras-bommer.blogspot.com Karras Bommer

      In response to your comments, doesn’t business in America have the “right to refuse service”? I believe they do. If someone is disrupting the harmony of other customers he or she can be asked to leave.

  • Lyndsey

    I started looking up the facebook profiles of some of these people and they’re a little disturbing. “Sindy Clock” the sweet-looking female graduate who said “…I hope God kills them all” has a custom Facebook URL of http://www.facebook.com/hopeyougetraped – yeah, you read right “Hope You Get Raped”. That’s right beside her church choir photo. Weirdo. These people are a mess.

  • Ron Klowden

    “Kill Them, Shoot Them” …Wow, what a Christian thing to do! I’m sure your God will really look upon those comments as “wonderful” and you will forever be invited to Heaven!! Like Hell you will!
    Everyone has a right to believe or not to believe in whatever gives them comfort and peace! What right does anyone have to deny the existance of another Human Being just because they do not believe as you do? SO long as they are practicing “live and let live” and do no harm to you, what is wrong with that? Are the “Christians” so insecure in their beliefs that they need to condem any other belief to death? What kind of Barbarians have they become?
    I am afraid for our nation and our World and I hope I never fall under the influence of those zealots!

  • John

    interesting how these threats are vile when they are NOT directed at President Bush. Where are the articles when these type threats are directed at conservatives?

    Nice try, please try again.

    • Mark Ferguson

      when they are directed at any president, the FBI visits the person…they are never thought about long enough to become thought of as vile.

  • http://www.spyimplant.webs.com don muntean

    Anyone who advocates violence online should have internet access cut off – so yes – postings that incite violence ought to be deleted. As for people who claim to believe in God and still yet say the nasty things they do [like atheists should die] – they ought to see that God is NOT a tpart of their lives – at least not the real God… Not only are some people creeps – they have a false ego to match.

    • Mark Ferguson

      They know their god isn’t going to do a thing to them because they are “christian”..as in SELF-righteous better than thou…there is no god that would give anyone that kind of right, nor does any religious text advocate the the right to kill others, but, as these people only read “allowed” and “approved” books, how can they be expected to understand the written word?

  • Mark Ferguson

    Here’s the problem. The atheists have the biggest issues with the “christian” religions. That cross serves no jewish or islamic purpose, only christian, and with so many lawyers being jewish, one would think they would point that fact out. It’s the christians that push themselves into politics and laws…and for that reason, atheists push back. Christians waste tax dollars on maters which concern only christians..the USA is NOT a christian nation!
    Deleting comments made in ernest to correct or comment upon a wrong, should never be deleted…it’s the threats of violence which need to be archived and turned over to the police and FBI. There is no place for “religious might”, because they are never “right”.

  • Sharon

    Keep in mind that these websites are run by private businesses or owners. They can keep or remove anything they want. Free speech is free speech, but private ownership trumps free speech. I just wish that the businesses or individuals who own them would at least label these types of comments, correctly, as terrorism. Terrorism is generally defined as “violent acts which are precipitated with the intent to create fear (terror); are perpetrated for a religious, political or ideological goal; and deliberately target or disregard the safety of others.” A violent act can physical, political, or emotional.

    • Connie Kreis

      Good point to remind us that these are NOT public sites.

  • @jimwatson9

    Typical comments from the kind of red neck right winger vsiting Murdochs nazi voice in the states —- ignore them — peasants

  • Dave Kellerman

    Josh, Great conversation. It is amazing to me as a Christ follower how Christians who are tought the message of Christ, which is love, are the first to react in hate.
    Anyway, I personally feel that I am tired of our country pandering to the rights of the few. When 95% of the planet and this country believe in a supreme being, why are we forced to remove God from our national anthem, pledge of allegance and the opportunity to pray before events?
    It is this type of pandering that makes us press #1 for english on most service calls to companies. With that said, I think that Facebook and Twitter will create guidelines for communications on their networks. It’s one thing to allow public displays of free speech. It’s another to do it within a companies umbrella. Good discussion!

    • Mark Ferguson

      I want you to prove that 95% of everyone believes in a supreme being. I don’t think that Buddhists believe in a “supreme being”, and they account for a very large portion of the population of the earth. And! This country is not a Christian only country!!!!

      • Connie Kreis

        Interesting concept of Buddha as a supreme being. He was a man who walked the Earth, who’s teachings include a morals code, meditation for inner peace (almost like prayer), and helps set guidelines in which to live by. Hmmmmm….sound familiar?

  • matt nappo

    I want to see that on the web page it’s reported to be on. It’s not on Fox News Facebook page, not like that. I just looked and couldn’t find what you mocked up in Photoshop to look like an actual Facebook thread. Dishonesty to further an agenda gets you ZERO credibility.

    • Cedar Rapids

      psst….I think you missed the bit that said “Although the content is no longer available as it has been removed”

      Though of course you want to dismiss it as photoshopped. If you want you can put your fingers in your ears and go ‘la, la, la’ as well, it wont make it any less real.

  • Mark Ferguson

    Actually, these comments violate the law and are chargeable under what would be termed as terroristic menacing. I believe that the police and FBI need to visit each and every one of these people

  • Seamus

    If their all knowing, all seeing all powerful god doesn’t like the way I’m living, then let him tell me, not them.If you swopped the word “athiest” for”Jew”,”gay” or “nigger” I don’t think that there would be any question about their being banned on social sites.

  • Danielle

    Death Threats Are Not Protected in the First Amendment because they convey serious expression to inflict bodily harm.

  • Kristin

    Free expression is a Good Thing. And heck – employers search FaceBook, so best of luck to these particular opiners in their next job search.

    • Connie Kreis

      Good point!

  • http://www.inalienablerights.org John Melchinger

    There IS accountability to the law, if there’s enough interest by the authorities to track you down for “uttering” death threats, and to society (someONE may hunt you down and hold you accountable). Accountability for extremism is usually met with extremism. Christians must proselytize, Atheists must proclaim, semites who are anti-semitic against Jews must do their extreme actions, and Jews must act extremely to defend themselves. The laws are clear, from utterences that threaten death, to libel, to words versus actons or inciting to action, to standing by and allowing someone to illegally harm someone else. Fools who don’t think bully others yet usually haven’t the balls to do it face to face when they can satisfy their tiny pseudo-narcissistic egos with the anonymity and unreachability the Internet and WWW provide. It’s all just another media in today’s multi-media barrage. Ho uhm. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. Now THAT is important.

  • Connie Kreis

    Your question has nothing to do about Atheists, nor those who had responded with hatred. Your question regards censorship. Our country has fought for our rights, including freedom of speech. We may not agree with what everyone has to say, but they do have that right to say it. We also have the right to respond to, or ignore their statements. Remember, a fool can preach while at the alter, but what harm does it do if the church is empty? Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to listen just to find out who your enemies are! More importantly though, If we start censoring peoples comments, thoughts, or ideas….where does it stop? Who is in charge of drawing that line? Many pieces of art, literary pieces, and such have been lost or damaged throughout time because of censorship.

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