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

By: Josh Wolford - August 9, 2011

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.

[Lead Image Credit]
Josh Wolford

About the Author

Josh WolfordJosh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf

View all posts by Josh Wolford
  • 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.

    Chris

  • 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.

    Chris

  • 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.

  • http://www.metanym.com/milton-keynes MarkFL

    Comments appearing on Twitter et al are subject to the law but as we saw recently involving comments aimed at Ryan Giggs policing it is another matter and that’s the bit that needs addressing.

  • http://www.barnettassociates.net/ Toby Barnett

    I totally think the web needs accountability. When the MySpace user threatened then President GW they were taken into custody. When average users spread hate and violence I think similar actions should take place. Especially when the comments are to inflict violence on a specific group based on their beliefs. Also, religious group have proven to the world they are the most violent, least understanding, and least tolerant of other group’s beliefs. “Kill them all” … that is pretty douche if you ask me and threat upon ones person which in fact is illegal.

  • Segulah

    There are Jihadists Facebook pages also, probably started in Muslim countries. In all fairness, would you also discuss those and your plans to shut them down, or would you say they are exempt because they were started by foreigners, even though they attempt to recruit anyone, including Americans?
    See: http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2011/03/facebook-jihad-calling-for-another-muslim-war-against-the-jews.html

  • kochu

    What one can expect from m-effing dumb god crowd. I would just ignore these human waste.

  • http://www.campfirecontent.com Charlie

    In my humble opinion, promoting anything that is in opposition to goodness, right, honor and truth (all of which need succinct definition of course) should be banned through tough legislation…unless our society intends to ultimately choose a path of perpetual unrest, hatred, discrimination, violence, greed, wars, and all those things that are NOT reflective of goodness, right, honor and truth. Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but give me more about peace, love, kindness, forgiveness, harmony, and all those things that ARE reflective of goodness, right and truth…any day. I believe we ultimately become whatever we “feed” on…so, if we feed on lots of violence, it seems clear to me that we will eventually become more violent, and so on.

    We legislate things like exposing young children to some of the “social taboos” before we believe it to be “healthy” for them…and anyone who does so is usually charged with “impairing the morals of minors”. Why is it we don’t use the same logic and thinking for things like violence, greed, bullying, hatred, et al.? Or, aren’t those things part of the general topic of “morality”? In another example, some of the Armed Forces recruiting tactics often target young children, and include glorification of some of the violent and ugly (but deemed “acceptable” because it’s patriotic) scenarios germane to all wars…men and women engaged in hateful and bloody battles around the world for reasons most of them could never understand.

    In my humble opinion, these things ought to be controlled at least as much as some of the things already being “controlled”. “I’m just sayin’!”

  • josh

    Who are going to judge what is offensive, crazy, hateful and etc.?
    I certainly don’t allow you to do so.
    Your attempt to portray atheists as specially endangered target of hateful speech is pathetic.
    Your attempt to portray Fox News as a place that hateful people gather to say crazy things as if its audience were specially inclined to do so, is crazy in itself.
    Your ridiculous attempt to portray Christians as adept to those hate practices is laughable.
    So, the answer to your question is a big NO.

  • Matt

    Josh, you are correct that these are vile statements and in a non-public square (i.e. a corporate site like Facebook), the corporate citizen should take steps to squash these types of comments. Threats of violence and death do not serve to move forward the public discourse.

    That being said, lets move to the second issue. The atheists in question are bringing a lot of this onto themselves by consistently and constantly haranguing those who believe in God. Anytime God is mentioned in an article, the atheist trolls come out. When a memorial is erected (anywhere) that has religious symbols, these organizations are on a news show complaining.

    Since when did Athiests become evangelists? Are they going to go door to door next? They already do bus ads and subway ads. Very odd for those that believe in “nothing” to advocate that lack of belief.

    Personally, I wish both sides would just live and let live. What I believe is not your business and what you believe is not mine, except when we have a personal conversation where those beliefs are exchanged.

    Peace.

    • Paul

      Well put Matt. You addressed the blaring front part of the story well.
      What followed was just knee-jerk reaction and internet dribble from darwin award candidates.
      No different than what I’ve read many times from their trolling counterparts.

  • Lee Cole

    It’s difficult to actually believe that anyone who’s remotely religious said these things. I’m sure there are some, but so many? Almost makes me think these are fake comments. (Faked by the commenters–perhaps someone with an axe to grind when it comes to those of us who are religious.)

    Having said that, I think the only entity that needs to consider what Twitter should do with comments and tweets that aren’t actually breaking the law should be Twitter. If you don’t like Twitter’s policy about what they will and won’t allow, you have a simple solution–don’t use the service.

    Since when do the rest of us get to decide what someone else can do with their property? Oh, yeah, I know it’s very much in vogue at the moment for all of us to decide what kind of jet Donald Trump should get or what kind of environment Twitter should create. But those are dangerous waters. We have to draw the line and protect freedom of speech. Without that, the other freedoms we are guaranteed under the Bill of Rights just would not exist.

  • http://www.jacksononthemoon.com Sharon J

    I believe that there are laws against inciting hatred, laws against discrimination, laws against slander and liable. That should be enough. Sindy Clock, for instance, wishing that someone would be raped because he is an atheist shows her for what she is. A staggeringly ignorant, totally uneducated (pay no attention to the grad hat), angry young woman. Sure. Let her comment stand, so that everyone can see her for what she is. Why protect her from herself?

    Having said that, it is possible (I haven’t looked) that Facebook has posting policies that require respectful dialogue. In which case, FB has the right to take them down.

  • http://noadi.etsy.com Noadi

    I’m just about the most pro-free speech person there is. I fully believe that the only way to defend free speech is to not just defend speech you agree with but also that which you find offensive. I’m an atheist and in this case I happen to disagree with American Atheists, I don’t think the cross in the memorial rises to the level of government endorsement of Christianity especially since symbols of other faiths will be included. Any Christian is welcome to debate the point and vent their opinion.

    That said, death threats are NOT protected speech and are in fact a crime. I’ve been on the receiving end of death threats from Christians because of my atheism. I’m sorry for the many good, kind, peaceful Christians in the world that there are violent, hateful Christians giving them a bad name. Denying that bad people are Christians however is just trying to protect your own feelings, remember the KKK is an explicitly Christian organization, hatred comes in many guises and wrapping your hatred up in religion is a classic way to try to legitimize it.

    • http://www.ahmperformance.com Chris Crossont

      KKK is not Christian regardless of what they call themselves.

      • Chris_UK

        Sorry

        like it or not. KKK is a Protestant Christian group. In the same way the IRA, UDF, Knights Templar, Spanish Inquisition and many others before them.

        You cannot deny things just because they do fit with your ideals

        • Chris_UK

          Just to clarify, The list are “Christian” groups (both Catholic and Protestant) sorry for the confusion.

  • http://www.byfchat.com Chatting

    Of course it should be censored. Just because we have freedom of speech doesn’t mean we have use it. I think the Casey Anthony lynch mob mentality is directly related to social networking comments as well as the media. Some things tend to “rally the crowds” and escalate and stimulate negative reactions. I think it all sends a bad message to the youths. I think keeping it civil makes for a much better “family community” atmosphere. Society has enough issues regarding hatred towards racism, culture, sexism and many other biases without stimulating it via the social networks.

  • http://www.ahmperformance.com Chris Crossont

    I say NO to censorship from the government. If a private company or party wants to censor then that is their right.

    These comments did not bother me. I have seen atheists say vile stuff in the past; people are people.

  • Ed

    You bet!

    All comments advocating the perpetration of a felony should be removed, period. No need to define the edges of what’s right and what’s wrong. That’s already happened through the courts. Likewise, any media publishing personal threats should have it’s publisher explain in court why it’s allowance of such is governed by any Constitutional free speech references.

  • Lisa Battistin Bowman

    WOW. First, for the record, I do not believe in any God. That is my privilege because I had the good fortune to be born in the best country on the planet – the USA. Second, this wonderful country was founded for the freedom to worship as one pleased.

    No, I don’t believe in any God, YES, I put my hand over my heart and recite, “one Nation, under God”, when saying The Pledge. I resent those that want to remove “In God We Trust” from our currency. I am for a moment of silence in schools – if they want to pray during that time, they may do so — it’s THEIR momement of silence to do with what they will.

    My Mother’s side is full of Minister’s, of several faiths – my Dad’s family is Roman Catholic. That is their choice. They all may not like that I don’t believe – any many pray for my soul. So what. It does not hurt me. They hurt no one.

    I would never belong to the American Athiests group because they are so intent on spreading THEIR WORD that they don’t realize that they are just as zealous as those that are believers and want to convert everyone. When has a Nativity Scene in a public square ever hurt anyone?

    To those “believers” that posted that the AA Group should die… how true are you being to your convictions? You can’t be a true believer and wish harm on those that you do not know.

    As far as the right of the site to remove/edit/moderate these comments on a “private” forum – I think that is up to the individual site. Promoting violence is not the way to make your point. [and I’m not a “peace-nick” either – let someone harm someone I love and I’ll hunt you down and you will pay, one way or another – the punishment will fit the crime.

    People become very brave and arrogant on the internet. It’s because they don’t have to stand up and face the person eye to eye. How many of those “believers” would stand up in their church and promote the killing of non-believers?

    I don’t believe these comments fall under free speech on sites such as Facebook, but does Facebook really want that type of individual on their site? I believe it is up to FB and other sites like them to determine what their policy is and then have the nerve to back it up – one way or the other. If you don’t like the policy, you don’t have to be there.

    • josh

      Thank you very much madam.
      This is one of the best comments I’ve already read here or elsewhere.

    • Xina

      Well said!

    • M.Selinger

      What she said.

  • http://www.idesthost.com Edwin

    Hate speeches are illegal in a lot of countries. Furthermore, as an example, the distribution of Nazi material is banned in Germany. Therefore, social media should have some form of censor on country level to meet and respect the legislation of that country.

    Although it is not clear if the examples in this article are hate speeches (normally hate speeches are targeted at certain groups within a society) one can argue rightfully that these examples can be marked as violence. However besides these Facebook comments one needs to put it into context to have a criminal action, an act violence, which, in most countries, is illegal.

    For example if your neighbour posted a comment like those on your Facebook post one should reported it to the local authorities. And the local authorities should act since your neighbour has the means (he only has to walk to your front door) to act. While if someone across the world commented something similar it shouldn’t be (that) criminal because that person hasn’t got the means to act. That is, a comment on social media isn’t enough to be a criminal but if other variables come into the context it can be criminal in my point a view.

    • http://www.5galwaterbottleracks.com WARREN

      THE NAZI’S STARTED THE BANNING OF FREE SPEECH! LOL!

      • Edwin

        You are right. History thought Europe that free speech has its boundaries. Note my comment on context, free speech is fundamental to a well functional society.

  • Lee

    I think it a very poor state of our affairs that the majority of these people call themselves Christian. They have obviously twisted the word of God and forgotten humility, forgiveness, and above all kindness. I can say that as one Christian to anyone… I personally would be reprove to act in such a manner.

    God is not a weapon! Regardless of the action taken by others, I know many will say Atheist spout vile things all the time… let their moral code be their own and do not stoop to the same level. Just because someone else does not believe the same thing as you does not make either one of you right. Nor does it give anyone the right to suggest the shear level of violence depicted here. Jeezzzz manners people… does no one have any manners anymore. No Excuses Accepted!

    I think if one is brazen enough to say such things, then you should be held accountable. I am not promoting censorship by the government (they are touching enough already) because these types of people will only find other, more destructive methods of communicating their anger.

    However, I do feel that if a company wants to censor their content, that is up to their prerogative, after all… they are footing the bill! If an individual does not like it, go build your own website… take the initiative!

    • http://www.5galwaterbottleracks.com WARREN

      GOD’LL GIT’EM!

      • Lee

        Warren,

        It isn’t a matter of what God will or will not do. What matters is how we each act towards each other.

    • http://www.seo-web-service.com Simeron Steelhammer

      I agree with you. Sadly, you are talking morals and manners mostly when looking at people and I fear, these days, having what was once concidered “good” morals and manners simply is not “cool” anymore nor is it even expected.

      We, as a people, have become too apathetic to things we should never have become apathetic to ever.

      We have come to the point where we are more afraid of offending someone then we are at doing what we know inside is right. Where we are more afraid of being sued and loosing because others are apathetic then we are letting our society fall further into the darkness.

      And then we see the few that will stand and say NO MORE…get run over and chewed up and we know….we were right to turn our collective backs and let them be destroyed while we don’t get involved.

      Problem with that is eventually, we are the ones that are pulled into the wood chipper and there is nobody to answer OUR call for help because they have already gone into the chipper.

      That is something once said about the Nazi party in Germany…that they started with the people on the fringe that most didn’t like and simply closed the circle until YOU ended up on that fringe….and by then, it was too late for YOU to call for help.

      Revolution starts with the misfits, malcontents and the odd after all….

  • http://raven2099.atwebpages.com Raven2099

    Unfortunately Yes…

    if one group has free speech then it is conclusive that all groups have that same freedom, or no freedom at all…

    • http://www.5galwaterbottleracks.com WARREN

      4 SUR

  • http://www.5galwaterbottleracks.com WARREN

    DON’ MESS WITH FREEDOM OF SPEACH NO MATTER HOW OFFENSIVE IT IS. YOU CAN JUST SHUT IT OFF!YOU START WITH ONE THING AND SOON THEY WILL LIMIT WHAT EVERYBODY CAN SAY AND DO!

  • http://www.seo-web-service.com Simeron Steelhammer

    There should be no censorship of comments. There should be monitoring of comments. And here is why…

    When you give the powers of censorship to anyone, you open up the ability to abuse said powers. Who watches the watchers?

    When do you draw the line? What is “vile” or “offensive” to me may not be so to others? Why is their feelings any more important then mine?

    “Hate” crimes make me laugh and by their very definition are stupid beyond belief.

    Tell me ONE “hate” crime that would not be a crime otherwise?

    Beating someone to death is a crime regardless of your motivation. Bringing others to riot and cause destruction is also a crime, regardless of the motivation.

    Labeling it a “hate” crime is just a bandaid on a massive neck wound to placate the uneducated masses or those masses are don’t have much of an attention span or don’t care to actually think things out before giving a knee jerk reaction.

    The comments put forth in this example are obviously NOT from real Christians. If they were, they would not be saying KILL others rather then try to enlighten them.

    There is also the fact that so many people that commit crimes tend to be rather stupid in and of themselves. They post with pride their criminal actions on facebook for friends to see…and law enforcement then knows exactly who did is and don’t need to spend hours proving it because the criminal themselves gave them the evidence.

    So if people make these comments, I assure you the authorities are noting it and keeping eyes on the more possible problem people out there.

    And finally, if I am upset and say “I’m going to kill you!” is that a hate crime? Do I mean it? Or am I just blowing off steam? Ranting? Raving and being…OH MY GOD….Human?

    There is a huge difference between saying something to say it and saying it to mean it and then doing something you say.

    One has to wonder a simple question….

    If you force evil into the shadows, is it easier to guard against its actions or harder?

    People will not stop their behavior. You are talking about morality and there is no simply way to fix that problem because first, my morals and your morals are different and second, how can you really know the morals of anyone BEFORE they act?

    But if you make it where they act in secret you have increased the difficulty in proving and stopping those that are truly evil by anyone that seeks to do good.

    And again, what is evil and good is relative to most people.

    And frankly, I don’t like the idea of the Government being the ones to decide what I can and can not say as it is. I think people need thicker skins and put time, money and effort into real problems, not pop culture flash in the sky stuff like what most of the blitz goes on these days.

    The REAL problems, for instance if one of these people actually did kill someone, would be harder to find out because they would not have posted on facebook so the LEOs could see and add evidence.

    So for me, there is room for SOME censorship, but not much. I don’t think screaming FIRE in a crowd for fun is protected. I DO think screaming fire in the same exact situation when you BELIEVE there is a fire (for instance you see smoke) IS protected.

    • Lee

      Simeron,

      I think it is only a hate crime if you actually go and do kill the person you were talking to.

      However, I would hope that we would find a more temperate way in which to express ourselves. Not for the sake of freedom, but for the sheer sake of social development. After all a rat will always be a rat… humans have the ability to alter and refine their behavior.

  • http://www.areconnecting.com Karen

    Any content that advocates harming another human being or an animal does not justify publication. We are so concerned about freedom of speech for everyone (which for the most part I do agree with) that we seem to have lost our concern for the people who are victimized by this hatred. Time to stop giving a platform to that kind of hatred.

  • http://www.ljcatalogsales.com Larry Vitali

    I would like to say I speak for all who are christian but it looks like there are some who profess christianity yet speak evil from their mouths. I truly apologize for those that use violence to get their point of view across because it only shows they do not know or have the love of God in them. I feel sorry for those also that claim God does not exist and are unwilling to even discuss the idea that he does without telling me how stupid, uneducated, and brainwashed I am. I do know that my Bible which I totally believe is truth personified and directly related to how we should be living and teaching our children about. God is not evil or destroys without cause and even if I entertain the idea that he would He Is God who created us and in His all knowing wisdom can do whatever he wants. Yes he does demand obedience but so do your parents and any other authoritative person in your life. What He does not demand is your worship like so many of you try to tell me. That you must do of your own free will which He gave each one of us. He only tells us that to choose to do otherwise leads to death. God wishes to commune with his children for all eternity and promises that we will live forever with Him. Jesus was sent to pay the price for all sin not so we could continue sinning but so it did not condemn us to Hell. We all fall short His glory. Being saved and baptised does not brainwash you into thinking you can never sin again because it is impossible for us not to sin. It does change your heart and lifts the veil that blinds you to the true evil that exists in this world. It takes the punishment we should all endure and put in on Christs shoulders to bare so that we can walk with the desire to do righteous deeds spreading love and brotherhood and tend to one another as it should have always been just like the parable of the good Samaritain which is in the Bible as a lesson on who is your brother in this world. As long as hate holds your heart you will be blind to this and you will serve a master that will destroy you in the end: of your free will. Choose life and quit analysing what God does and love and help one another or go about your own way good or bad because only Jesus can get you to heaven and not your good deeds. That is also in the Bible that all will face judgement on their life good or bad but unless you have that personal relationship with Jesus he may tell you depart from Him because he knew you not. Do you really want to play that kind of card with your life? I’m not saying your automatically condemned because God can give mercy to whomever He pleases but your taking and awful big chance.
    That being said threats do not necessarily mean anything unless acted upon and falls basically under the guise of “sticks and stones.” I think discretion on the part of Facebook should be a medium that promotes good relationships and clean discussion instead of a place to post hateful and violent speech or material. Those that want to do that should buy your own website and put anything you want on them but you know that most people would never even come across your site and/or even look for that kind of material so you trash a social website with your viewpoint knowing it will reach millions of people hoping to spread your hate. That includes self-professed christians who mouth their hate too. Thank my God that there is One who will come that can bring peace and an end to all this hate and show once and for all the power and glory of our Lord whom I love. Love to all my brothers and sisters who read this and let us pray for those still lost.
    Sincerely,
    Larry Vitali

  • Stewart

    I am just one voice among many but I just had to say that I do not agree with the atheist point of view but I feel that I would hope they would say it without so much anger. As a “Christian’ I much rather use the phrase “believer” I know it does not say that we can say the things coming from other people who are defending the believers or that they say they are from that group. It clearly says that we must reply to their actions in a way that the messiah would accept. Not with the anger and language that is being used in the replies I have seen. All I can do is hope and pray that the Lord touch those who have all of this anger in them to see what they are doing. Just my opinion.

  • MandyP

    I am sick to death of people masking as Christians and then saying and acting in ways that are diametrically opposed to Christ. There is no call for saying such things about anyone simply because they are of a different religion. Ridiculous. Unfortunately, it’s these people who give Christians a bad reputation.

  • winnergirl

    I am sure that it is illegal to threaten a group or specific person, but just a vague “kill them all” is just crazy rantings and I doubt could be prosecuted. I assume the FBI follows such posts looking for hate groups. Personally, I ignore such crazy rantings if they do not dominate a site, and if I like the site, but if FB or Twitter were my company, I would remove such hate, like most forums do. Bad posts just makes the whole thing look like a bunch of crazies. Example, there was a political movement that tried to start up, that I was interested in, but I don’t think it ever got off the ground. I joined and then quit after reading the crazy posts that flooded the forum. Someone from the organization actually contacted me and asked why I removed myself and I told them I did not want any part of all of the craziness I was seeing. The man I spoke with agreed and said they were trying to do something about it. Well, they weren’t trying too hard or bad posts would have been immediately removed. Trash just says trash for a whole organization. Summary, trash in – good people out, too much trash and good people with eventually turn away. My opinion, yes violent content should be removed, that’s not even free speech under the law, much less under most forum rules.

    • http://www.willardbrumbaugh.com Willard R. Brumbaugh, LUTCF

      These statements are an embarrassment to me. Those who truly understand the nature of Jesus, the Messiah, would not write, nor would they even think, such things. But others hearing these remarks may not know these words do not represent true Christianity.

      Nevertheless, as unrepresentative of my values as these statements are, they must be allowed.

  • http://www.babblefoundry.com Jorge

    Isn’t it nice of those kind hearted atheists to defend the rights of non-Christian religions?
    Hold on? atheists defending non-Christian RELIGIONS? Don’t you find this a bit surreal?

    To answer the question of the text: I think that content that advocates violence should be deleted from social media discussions (such as the one above). Not only because it’s uncivil, but also because calling to violence or threatening with it is usually a knee jerk reaction from people who cannot reason (fools), don’t want to reason (fanatics) or cannot bring themselves to reason (cowards), that is 3 types of people whose posts do not contain any valuable information and will not be missed if they were deleted (the posts, not the people :)).
    In the words of Isaac Asimov : Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

    • http://BizzyTurtle.com BizzyTurtle

      @Jorge – Your post is so eloquently put. My sentiments as well.
      I find it ironic that these “Christians” that defend their religion, are the most violent people! True spiritually, whatever the denomination, should be for peace for all.

      • Lee

        @BizzyTurtle – Not all Christians are that way… often the nuts get a bigger part of news time. It is the same that not all people who follow Islam want to kill Americans. It is simply a few rotten eggs.

        @Jorge – Very well put.

        • http://BizzyTurtle.com BizzyTurtle

          @Lee – I agree with you. My post said “These” Christians – addressing just that group in this discussion. Certainly every religion has it’s dark side of sick fanatics. The majority of wars are over this very thing! IMO There are only 2 types of people: Good or Evil.

  • Demsd

    I won’t comment on ones right to freely express their opinion – that is a no-brainer. However, Paul Altum, Bob O’Connel, Joe Martinez, Joseph Sneckenberg, Casey M Jones, Mike Holeschek, Chris Dunn, Tim Allison, Raylene Ingmire, Sindy Clock, Elieen Rourke, Hans Anderson, Michael Perri, Scott Miller and Patrick Alley are clearly ignorant, and some are complete hypocrites. Take Sindy Clock for example. Her last comment was “I love Jesus, and the cross and if you don’t, I hope someone rapes you.” Really? You love Jesus and you hope someone gets raped? Out of what “Christian” hate camp did you walk out of before posting that comment?

    Sindy Clock… I am an atheist, which is why I am not ignorant enough to wish rape on another human being. Christians are haters and are intolerant of anything that is not found in the bibles they thump. We atheists are few, but are growing in numbers. Recent surveys show that, fortunately, organized religion is becoming extinct.

    One thing for certain is Faux News has created a hostile political environment that has beckoned every bag-o-nuts in the country out of their hole. I don’t subscribe to the ideology, so I know that vile comments are not necessary to get my point across.

  • http://fishandcrane.com FishandCrane

    When your name is attached to your speech, I think that warrants more protection of free speech. We must pity the Christians that strive to be Christ-like, yet spill out comments like those. More God, More Love and More Separation.

  • http://www.adwh.com Dawn

    For what it is worth, here is my take:
    1. These people are not and never where followers of Christ. My proof is that Christ stated that our greatest commandment is love.
    2. Yes they deserve to have their statements left out there for all the world to see. Let them pay the consequence of knowing that anyone who knows who they are will now know them for vile the creatures they are.
    3. Free speech is protected for a reason and public companies based in the US should respect that as an US tradition, but no I do not think that they should be held accountable for keeping people from parading their ugliness in public nor should they be held accountable when they bow to public pressure to remove certain ugliness. They are after all trying to run a business, not a government.
    JMHO

  • Tony

    Well not seeming to won’t to sound like an Attorney but the First Amendment of the Constitution clearly protects both free speech and freedom of religion (in a perfect world, but we don’t live in a perfect world do we).

    Great caution needs to be taken with this subject because censorship and that is what is, can be a very slippery slope towards the lose of any and all rights to free speech. The interesting question is who decides what is “Vile” and for what reason, there are already court rulings on the subject “You can’t call out FIRE in a Theater, when there is no fire” placing the public at risk.

    But there must be what I call the “Reasonable Mans Test”, meaning what merit would a reasonable man place on the comment and I believe that any reasonable person would come to the conclusion that incitement to violence crosses the line from an opinion to a call for action…!!!

    As I said before this is not a perfect world and I seem to remember two New Black Panther Gentleman standing out side of a Poling Both with Batons (Weapons) in there hands during the last Presidential Election and couple of months later the shorter of the two gentlemen standing in a park calling on others to “KILL CRACKER BABIES”.

    Now that one man at least should be serving a long Jail Sentence by now, but he has never been held accountable for his actions.

    Obviously some one decided what he and his friend was doing was not VILE and that my friends that leads me back to my original question who decides what Vile and for what reason…??

    I personally say a big YES to FREE SPEECH Protection, but remember with free speech should also come responsibility and personal accountability…..!!!

  • Chickmelion

    Welcome to freedom of speech….. but hey… if all cards are out on the table you can gauge where your society is at… it is a sad state of affairs to know that we have hit this all time of low in moral decay and complete lack of compassion… yet I see it everywhere… in comments on Yahoo News and other sources… hearts have certainly turned cold… but isn’t it better to know the truth of what your neighbor is made of as opposed to being blindsided by them? I don’t by any means condone the mentality behind the comments discussed… at the same time… it’s best we learn we don’t live in “Candyland” either…

  • http://arnobie.blogspot.com/ Arnobie

    Free speech has always have to put into the limit. Let the International Organizations solve this issues, I think, they are the one who have jurisdiction on this matter. Let them put liabilities to all social networking sites and free email providers for common goods as haters are always there and always creating fire to burn others, after that they will leave no trace.

  • Dixie Passion

    I think facebook and twitter both have a right to set standards for their sites and the right to suspend any account that does not adhere to their standards.

    But anyone does have the right to write, say, and read what they want.

  • http://spoonfulofdreams.co.uk Chris Price

    Censorship is always problematic because what is offensive to one is not to another and who holds the censor to account? I have a problem with offensive language on Youtube because its totally inappropriate unless the content is adult oriented. Some people feel that its cool to use offensive language on Facebook and these idiots that you have pointed out think its clever to want people shot.

    Social media can be self regulating. On Youtube a comment will be removed if enough negative feedback is given and religious idiots will shut up if enough people give them grief. Fools tend to be quiet when they hear no echo.

    Personally, I think the atheist lawsuit is pathetic but let them have their say.

  • Kate

    I don’t agree that all of those have the same veracity. Specifically, one by Sindy Clock, advocating that “God kill them”, suggests that their death come FROM God, not being advocated by them as a reason to kill the atheists.

    Josh, I don’t think that comment should have been included. Specifically, because the level of hate spewed against non-Muslims by some extremist Muslims, and some cults against not believers, are well in excess of that particular comment.

    Any comment that talks about killing people or the use of violence against another person IS out of line. But only if its person-to-person violence. But let’s get serious here, leaders in the Republican party have been using violence metaphors for years, they are ENCOURAGING this sort of talk. FOXNews, whose news values are slipshod and below poor, should not be able to continue promoting itself as a news service with its serious deficiencies and poor reporting that has allowed it to whitewash facts and stories. And if you are going to attack the smaller people, who watch FOX News, then you need to start by removing the source of the cancer, FOX News. These sort of comments would NOT be as volumous on other News pages, albeit some people will spew venom whatever you say to them.

  • James

    I see no reason to censor the postings. It is no worse than what we can hear all around us at any given time. If you are so far gone that you would go kill someone because you saw a posting on facebook that said “go kill someone” than you are already beyond hope and will end up killing someone regardless of any reason. Censoring anything that is not politically correct is total bull crap. People hate people for various and sundry reasons. Always have, always will. Not good or bad, just a fact of life the world over. Telling them they can’t say they hate someone will certainly not change that fact. Again it is censorship of non-politically-correct speech and that is still bull crap.

  • http://www.concernedchristians.ca Jim Blake

    The God of the Bible stated clearly, He wants that NONE should perish but should turn to him confess their sins receive His forgiveness and to commit to walking with Him for the rest of their lives in the way which pleases Him, sinless. There will be times where we will fail, but if we desire to please Him out of a love for Him, we will follow His commandments; which He summed up with Love (1 Corinthians 13:1…) the Lord God (through Jesus Christ) with all your heart and mind and soul and strength, and to love your Neighbour as yourself.

    If we love people we will also want them to turn from their sins, to embrace God through Jesus Christ. We will not want the to burn in hell, nor to joke about such a horrid end.

    May God grant us wisdom as we dwell together with understanding. May He grant us wisdom to honor Him by loving even our enemies and give mercy when we think we are justified to take vengence.

    Free speech is a privilege and should not be abused, but who will determine what is hateful and what is not. By some people’s standards me speaking of hell is hate. Let’s be wise but careful when it comes to censorship.

    Clearly there should be innate standards of decency but I think that those standards need to be trained into a child rather than cleaning up the mess later when they were adults.

    When people were taught God’s ten commandments growing up there was a common understanding of God’s standards which was implemented by most of society, now that it and prayer have been removed from schools, our society is reaping the reward.

    On a side note, I do find it disturbing that schools that banned the Bible and Christian prayer are increasingly embracing Islam and the free expression of it in schools.

  • Adam

    I agree that we have the right to say what we want, when we want to. That is the right to freedom of expression.

    However, do you have the right to say whatever you want, whenever you want to, WHEREVER you want to? No! That last part is up to the owner of the property on which said expression is being made.

    Now, putting it into context…

    If someone comes to my house and starts spewing epithets about stuff that I am not willing to listen to, I have the right, as the owner of my house, to kick them out. I can even tell them to never return. If that person wants to stand in the Town’s street and say the same things, then I cannot stop him/her. I can simply go away and ignore him/her.

    Similarly, privately owned web sites should have the right to control their content, but publicly owned ones should not.

    That’s just my 2 cents.

  • Indu

    I would just like to point out that the allegations against atheists are rather comical. Look at all this hatred. All the commenters claim to be religious, when every single religion preaches peace, sincerity, and understanding.
    All the atheist group wants is to be equally represented and to equally represent their own loved ones. America is a land of freedom independent of an individual’s beliefs.
    Here you are preaching the destruction of innocent souls. I don’t understand what the hell is wrong with all of you. If you really think this is the way to spread ‘God’s love’ you are mistaken.
    Today I am truly sad to be American.

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  • http://atlanticbroadband lucille

    LET GOD TAKE CARE OF THEM. THEY WILL FIND OUT SOONER OR LATER WHEN THEIR SPIRIT LEAVES THEIR BODY. AS JESUS STATED, EVERY KNEE WILL BOW & EVERY TONGUE WILL CONFESS THAT JESUS IS LORD. AMEN!

  • http://www.examiner.com/biblical-in-charlotte/vincent-eagan-III Vincent J. Eagan, III

    As you can see, I put my full name in the field. I write, post, blog, teach, and preach controversial content every day. I’ve been threatened with litigation, violence, and yes – even death. My name has been slandered before – ironically by people who did not have the guts to give their real names.

    It is terrible when people who claim to be Christian say such things. I suggest that they are not Christian – or at least they are not living as Christians should. Someone who would post such comment as advocates violence or death, while stating he or she is a Christian, ought to publicly repent of said action. They have brought reproach on Jesus’ name.

    That said – no. It should not be censored. If I do not want them to censor my right to promote the love of Christ and the way to live right morally, then I can not support the act of censoring what any other person has to say either. Anyone has the right to be wrong.

    When an adult comes to my house and I serve fish for dinner, I expect them to be able to spit out the bones. Let the readers – the consumers, if you will – of the comments spit out the bones.

    • Pete Dashwood

      Your post gives me hope, Vincent.

      Beautifully written and completely on the button. I don’t share your religious beliefs (although I suspect we would probably agree on most other things), but I respect your right to hold whatever beliefs you choose and I’m comforted to see there are people like you who can stay sane in the midst of chaos.

      I wish you well and you have my respect.

      Pete.

  • Gilbert-Joseph

    Ay speech advocating violence should not be protected.
    This is the same quasi extreme political right which advocated and carried out the massacares of the 19th century agaonsts abroginial americans.

    • Pete Dashwood

      What? How about violence against evil and bad guys? How about violence in protection of homes and families? There is violence in the world and there is violence in us. We show we are evolved and civilized by not resorting to it and finding more positive ways to resolve differences.

      But not allowing people to express their desire for it is counter-productive. As long as they are talking about it they are blowing off steam which may prevent the words becoming action.

  • Pete Dashwood

    Free speech is a right that belongs to a free society. The reality of the world is that that some people will not share your views and some will even be extreme in their opposition. It isn’t about being Atheist or Religious, it is about allowing people to speak up, whether you agree with them or not.

    Since we have worked so hard over the last 20 years to eliminate courtesy and manners, we now have a generation who are not concerned with gentility or consideration for others, so it is hardly surprising that we are seeing the posts we do.

    The very way the question here is couched (who says the comments are “vile”?; that is a subjective judgement that will affect the response) misses the point. We are subjected to views and ideas that many of us consider “vile” every day. I think it is “vile” that young people are being sent to war every day, but someone else may see that as “patriotic”.

    Without freedom of speech there can be no exchange of controversial ideas and freedom and liberty will die. It is incumbent on all of us to show maturity and filter what is offensive to each of us personally. Don’t like what you hear or read? Turn the page, flick the channel, or “dislike” on Facebook.

    I may not like or agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

    The answer to the question posed has to be: “ALL material on the Internet, whether it is “vile”, offensive, nonsense or deeply significant, deserves the “protection” of Free Speech.

    Each and every one of us is responsible for how we act or react to whatever stimuli we expose ourselves to. It is not the fault of Free Speech; it is down to all of us.

  • http://tokogembira.com/ Jonathan Paul Gordon

    These posts are almost uniformly overt threats of violence. In fact, they are death threats. If they are protected under the First Amendment, what isn’t. If I were to shoot a teabagging fanatic, like one of these freaks, is the act of pressing the trigger, thus causing the firing pin to activate the bullets primer, etc., etc…- ultimately resulting in death- constitute my right of expressing how I feel about slimebag republicans?

  • http://www.thespiritofprophecy.ca/ Daniel Knezacek

    I agree that the statements like “kill the atheists” are stupid and hateful.

    The problem is just who is qualified to say something someone else says is hateful. How do you define hate? Christianity has always said that “all have sinned” and “everyone deserves Hell”. Is this hate? When I say that, I am including myself, so how is it hate? And yet, some would call it hate.

    I think that God is quite capable of convincing the atheists of His own existence, so why don’t we leave it to Him? Give Him time and I am sure He will. You think 2,000 years is not enough time? Just wait a decade or two!

  • http://get-business-online.com/ Get Business Online

    It’s interesting how Christians forget one of the most important things for Christians – “Thou shalt not kill”. If anything, the WTC memorial should be reminder that religious killing is NOT a good thing.

    • Pete Dashwood

      That’s a very good point. You could argue that since Religion led to this atrocity it might be better to keep the memorial neutral. Will there be a shrine for Jews or Muslims or Jains, or Ba’hais or Buddhists or Hindus, some of whom were represented among the victims? The real question has to be:”What is being remembered here?” If it is the lost loved ones, the heroism and courage of others, the fact that America survives, or all of those things, does there really need to be a religious statement at all? If there IS to be a Religious element to the memorial, perhaps it should be ecumenical and respectful of ALL faiths, including Islam?

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  • Frank

    An agnostic here with a bit of advice to the Christians coming through and tempted to say something that looks like a “no true Scotsman” about this, to help you be understood legitimately.

    Try making the distinction between:
    The philosophy of the Christian religion – Theology
    The cult of the Christian religion – Occultism

    Cults are spread and strung by con artists with an agenda, and they’ve accomplished a sabotage for many different types of people by wreaking havoc under a disguise. These hate spewers aren’t necessarily aware of their illegitimacy and hypocrisy, in circumstance of being victimized with indoctrination by the sociopath(s) somewhere up in it. Confidence artists are what they are by being good with a sales pitch, after all. They succeed far too frequently with selling lies as truth however, seeming like there’s a severe downplaying of the fundamental merits of skepticism in our culture.

  • http://www.sebastyne.com Sebastyn

    Leave it. Shows people that being a Christian doesn’t make you a good person. In fact, it often does the opposite. Religions remove the need of self-discovery, true understanding and deep thinking, because in it’s dogma is the message: “Do not question.” So you’ll be spoon fed information that you don’t need to process, at the same time as you’re given moral high ground for no merit.

  • Leon

    wow! if I did not know cristianioty better, I’d think these people that posted the comments represent a vial religion. I think, it is fundamental difference between religious and non-religious people – the former will first shoot you if you are not one of them and then will start asking the questions…it is explainable though – most of the religious people are still living in the middle ages… hey dudes and gals it is time to educate yourselves! watch a bit of history channel – you may change your mind…

  • Frank

    I hope you two below me realize how silly you look with posting ignorant sweeping generalizations right after I made a case against it.

  • Lance Chambers

    A hate crime is no less just because it is protected by the US right of free speech.

    I believe that the comments should NOT be deleted but I do feel that when a posting is very obviously hate related that the police should release the name and address of the perpetrator – left or right leaning I don’t care.

    The right of free speech does NOT and should NOT protect you from being identified as the speaker/writer/blogger/etc.

    Individuals should take responsibility for what they say and if the individual refuses to do so then law enforcement should demand it of Facebook, Twitter, etc.

    As a citizen I have the right to be protected from hate crimes. We all have that right and these people take those rights away from us by, in effect, hiding behind a moslem-like hijab (full body cloak and veil that hides the wearer) of secrecy.

  • SuzanneL

    It’s pretty obvious that these are trolls, fake “people” (go ahead and try looking any of them up on FB), likely even with stolen profile pictures, who post for the sole purpose of smearing Christians. They do this so they can steamroll the rest of us with their bigoted anti-Christian agenda. This happens all the time, and it’s pitiful that WebProNews would fall for this old trick, much less give them further unwarranted publicity.

  • Paul David

    I love the Christian reps that advocate “killing” the Athests over their differing beliefs, especially when their own religion dictates “thou shall NOT kill” IDIOTS!

  • Alec Ward

    I am not surprised by these comments on facebook for two reasons;

    1) The far right have always resorted to threats or actual violence more readily than other political groups, which in itself does not surprise me as those on the right seem to comprise of megalomaniacs at the top, and illiterate unintelligent morons at the bottom.

    2) America, for reasons I can only speculate, appears to have larger percentage numbers of illiterate unintelligent morons than any other ‘developed’ nation. But as America has been in the grip of the right to one degree or another since the fifties, and as those at the top rely on having illiterate unintelligent footsoldiers e.g. Hitler, one could easily conclude that the violent ‘thick as two short planks’ stereotype footsoldiers displaying their stupidity on facebook are a result of deliberate manipulation of education, advertising, and propaganda.

  • http://www.incometriggerblueprint.com Elizabeth

    The danger with comments like these is not so much in the comments themselves but what it can lead to. A group of people who call themselves Christians but who, in the same breath, call for people who don’t see things their way to be killed belong to a very vocal very right wing minority. Their comments are no different to the Islamic publications that one sees from time to time that call for the killing of all Christians because someone “insulted” Allah.

    Vile and/or violent comments published frequently in a short period of time can whip up an angry crowd very quickly. In days gone by it would have been a few loud vocal calls from a bunch of “God Fearing” Christians for a kill and a lynching party would roll out of a saloon to go after the atheist because of religious zealotry. Today instead of the saloon the gathering place is Facebook and Twitter and the topics can be anything e.g. Christians vs. Atheists, young hoods vs. authority, etc. Just look at what’s happening in the UK right now. A small but vocal protest against a police action is picked up on Facebook and Twitter. No sooner has this happened and a call for action has gone out naming the time and place.

    Don’t believe that this could not happen in the US with extreme right wing comments being published such as the topic for discussion here. The Klan did it before and there are some extreme right wing elements among the Christian community who are 100% sure that their way is the only true way in more ways than one. The uncertainty in today’s economic climate adds to the anxiety and it wouldn’t take much for someone to find that tinder box.

    So, to make a long story short, should violent comments be banned from Facebook and Twitter? I’m afraid I can’t answer that question because I don’t know what I would censure. Would it be comments made by Christians, Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics, Hindis, Buddhists or what? I suppose that all depends on what side of the fence that you are sitting on. The real answer I believe is not in curtailing free speech but it is in teaching tolerance instead of hate because that can and should be applied on either side of the fence. Is that wishful thinking on my part?

  • Jon

    Religious nuts in the US are worrying – the US rants and raves about religious fundamentalists in the rest of the world but just take a look at what they have in their own backyard. Its scary that the most powerful country has such a proportion of such nuts – armagedon is probably the day one of them gets in power.

    As far as free speech goes then it is complex but I think the US sometimes takes it too far, a bigot who preaches hatred against a peaceful innocent party infringes upon their liberty to go about life happy free and without attack. Take racism, here in Europe some countries tolerate so called freedom of speech on this issue, the UK however takes a difference stance and public expression of racial hatred can land you in jail. I agree with the UK on this issue – people have a right to go about their daily lives not feeling persecuted and attacked by those who are filled with hatred.

    The saddest thing of all is that some poor misguided folks waste the precious time they have on this Earth hating other people – you cannot have a happy soul whilst you hate. I suppose if you believe in Heaven then you feel you can afford to waste this precious life chasing heathens in the belief that you can rest in eternal peace in the next one but if you are wrong and there is not a heaven then it is indeed a great shame and a great waste of life. Dont waste your life hating other people – live your life just in case its all there is.

  • Jon

    My second post…

    Also very ironic that the US was founded by folks seeking to escape religious persecution, as with many things the US is a complex source of self contradiction and infighting.

    As an external observer it appears to me that the US has never really properly jelled as a single country and behind all the flag waving and saluting the stars and stripes and superficial national pride there is actually a country deeply divided on many many issues with rife tribalism, a failiure to intelligently discuss issues ( two second attention span ) and a fertile breeding ground for small excentric groups to go off at extreme tangents. Unlike some I dont worry that the US could go the way of Nazism because that requires social cohesion and I dont think the US displays this quality except on very superficial issues that require a bit of flag waving.
    Instead I think we can expect more of the same, a reasonable centre majority fringed by extremists, survialists, fundamentalists and all manner of folks who feel they dont fit in with the main stream.

    Some very interesting and worthy folks have fitted the description “not fitting in with the main-stream” but unfortunately a much larger number of unexceptional, unintelligent and closed thinkers will tend to see themselves as mold-breakers and confuse their stunted social and personal development with genius or worthy radicalism.

    I think the problem in the US is that the society has very little social glue – its already tribal and disparate and so an ideal breeding ground for those who mistake antisocial pathologies with individualism, those who think they dont fit in because they are ‘special’ rather than because they havent learnt empathy etc.

  • http://primadiscordia.com/ Howard Crane

    Not at all! It’s not as if my opinion matters or will be heard, but:

    Not only would this rule out “threats” of “violence” in -protection- of our rights and society – it will also encourage authorities to nit-pick at everything we say to make sure it’s azure. FUCK THAT.

    We are all one thing. One organism. We are a culture. We are a species. And the ONLY way for one to understand the world he was born into is if he can observe how everyone in that country truly feels, thinks, and acts.
    The reason we have the Internet is because we’re growing up Spiritually, and it’s time we faced the fucking music and be ADULTS.

  • Rob

    Advocating violence is a crime in most countries as far as I am aware…..so arrest the culprits, charge them with the crime and let a court decide what to do with them. Democracy at work!

  • Jack Norris

    We need to show how sick and deranged the average person really is by allowing uncencored video comments. If 80% of the population condones infanticide and 90% condone rape, for instance, I’d want to know that so we can address the hatred that runs through society instead of just pretending it isn’t there or threatening those who display it or even accepting them without critisizing them about their hateful beliefs.

  • Shasta

    These are vile comments by vile people. They should be held accountable for the comments they make online similar to the comments they would be held accountable to face to face. If they would be arrested for saying it face to face they should be held accountable for saying it online. It is never okay to threaten to kill someone, just because you say it online doesn’t mean it’s not hurting a real person somewhere.

  • Shasta

    I am unimpressed. The first comments were bigotry, many of the comments here responded bigotry for bigotry. All I can say is WOW! Who are you to judge when your responses are just as hateful? You can not judge a whole group of people who it is impossible for you to know (as each and every one is an individual and very different in so many ways you can not possibly know). Christianity or any religion or non-religion, Democrat or Republican, each person contains within them the potential for good or bad. It is what they/you do with that, that makes you a good or bad person. To ignore your own sin is sin! With that said I still echo my first statement that these are threats which should be punished as they would if not put online.

  • ron

    you guys sound as bad as the atheist. I’m not saying that I condon atheist but dang guys your are christian. I hope

  • Dan

    In agreement with other commenters, anything for which one can be arrested, or otherwise held accountable, when said offline should also have the same consequences for committing the offense online.

    Yes, there is freedom of speech in this country, but it does not mean that there are not sometimes consequences for exercising that freedom. Using the old example of yelling “Fire” in a crowded theater where no fire exists, just to see people panic and get trampled, the penalty can be severe, depending on the locale.

    We also have the freedom to pursue happiness, but if someone’s insane idea of “happiness” is killing people, his freedom to pursue that “happiness” should, and usually will, be severely curtailed.

    Some freedoms simply cannot be pursued to the ‘nth degree’ without consequence. Speech is a perfect example, because it can and does – and has – hurt people. Inciting speech of the nature displayed by those atheist haters on Facebook is not that different in most ways to the inciting speeches given by one Adolph Hitler a few generations ago. The resulting holocaust stands as a permanent record of the price paid by many for the freedom of speech enjoyed by one.

    These people are talking to their target audience and potential audience to try to find others who agree with them. When enough agree, and the next step is ready to be taken, we have a mob or lynch mentality formed in a large group. I think we all know this can be very dangerous. Do we learn NOTHING from history?

  • Christel Vinson

    I find it extremely interesting that those who profess to be Christians are so filled with hate. Christ said turn the other cheek. God requires that we love others as we love ourselves (which means we start with loving ourselves. Anyone who spews such hatred at anyone or any group is to be pitied. Their own self hatred is so open they cannot even pretend to be Christian – or spiritual. I feel very sorry for them.

  • http://www.reameasures.com John Burnham

    I think public comments should be attributed to those who make them. I think teeh public has the right to know whose voice they are hearing. That said, I don’t know that we need to publish the telephone number and address of everyone who comments on a blog or article online.

  • Damian Gray

    As a Christian and supporter of free speech first let me say that I am appalled by the comment by Christians with death threats. Shameful is the only word I have to describe it. Secondly, I don’t in any form support censorship, especially not enforced censorship. If these people want to expose their very unchristlike attitudes to the world, then let the world judge them for what they are.

  • Joel

    What exactly is free speech protection? Would that also be free speech abolishment? and no way do I want censorship of free speech, then it wouldn’t be free speech….. Its impossible to monitor every comment.

    If you regulate christianity it is ending separation between church and state, not helping it. Either way you look at it, every media provider plays on the ignorance of the average person. Americans only comment on topics about sexuality, religion, or govt. Get involved in your govt, show up at council meetings, and dang sure don’t let the spins put on every story get in your head. These are hand picked comments designed to draw an emotion and play on peoples ego’s. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!

  • http://www.antellus.com Theresa M. Moore

    History records that all hate speech of this kind has incited to violence, and it is not the medium which should be blamed for the message. But the fact is that public property should not be used to promote one religion or another, and I remind you that atheism is not a religion. It is a personal choice. Worshipping God is a personal choice, too. That so many religious zealots choose to express their vicious antipathy proves that there is no more need for religion, because organized religion has been responsible for most of the bloodiest wars in history. Read the first amendment to them and remind them that what they take for granted can easily be taken away.

  • pee blanket

    Everybody seems to be missing out on the real meat of this story: Hans Anderson believes Osama Bin Laden was eaten by sharks.

  • Kandi

    Hate in the name of religion is still hate. Yeah I love how all of those so-called “Christians” advocate the killing of other human beings because they don’t believe in their individual god. Nice.

    Most of the wars and killing that goes on in this world is over religion. I don’t profess to believe in anything, and I would never in a million years threaten to kill someone, harm them, call them names and spew vile to anyone no matter their religion. What does that say to you? I don’t think I am an exception to the rule either.

  • Roger O’Rielly

    Are these cousins of Anders Breivik?

    Seriously though, WOW! I thought they said the Norway incident was a single-man idea!!! They lied! Look here..many more Anders Breivik’s??!!!!!

  • http://www.freewebs.com/angelsofhope2008 David Miller

    If anyone wants to see a dangerous message-board, take a look at the horrible advice, posted as “satire”, on http://www.landoverbaptist.net. They try to post alleged satire against Christians, but it often appears to be dangerous ideas… like raping women, murdering Wiccans, and using people of different races as slaves… not employees, but actual slaves. One must wonder what would happen, if some poor sap happens along their site, and believes the information is genuine… they may take it to heart… apparently, some have believed their rhetoric, not realizing there is no real Landover Baptist Church or Freehold, Iowa… not realizing that Pastor Deacon Fred is a mere character, developed by Chris Harper. As with the posters of those Facebook comments, the Landover Baptist forums should be either shut down, or ridiculed so mercilessly, that nobody can ever possibly take their lame attempts at “satire” seriously…

  • Gerhard

    Don’t confuse these hateful people with Christians. Christians, per definition, are people who follow Christ and do what the Bible says. The Bibles clearly says that you shall not kill and love your enemy. The Bible also says that blessings and curses cannot come from the same mouth.

    As a Christian myself I’m very much opposed to the teachings of the Atheists, but I’ve got no right to insult or kill them. Rather we should pray like Jesus did: Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!

    • Karen Brearley

      This is not about religion, but each individuals rights to free speach. Some how, I think it is already too late.

  • Gordon Edwards

    Larry Miller says “The idea behind the first amendment was to protect unpopular speech.

    Actually it was not, and is not. The idea behind the First Amendment was to protect public discussion of radical political ideas, in an atmosphere of Congressional tyranny. The text of the Amendment says nothing about what we now call “Hate Speech”, except that:

    “[Our] decisions have fashioned the principle that the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not allow a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or cause such action.” (Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969)) (my emphasis)

    OK. 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?

    I come from Oz, after a childhood on a far distant planet and a long gone era. We have laws against this “Hate Speech”, following from too many instances of violence against non-white, non-Christian migrants and refugees, and against Aboriginal people. The laws mostly work.

    Unfortunately, like all edicts, they have been undermined by governmental policies against “boat people” (and isn’t that an incendiary phrase?) — what you Americans like to call “Wetbacks”, except that ours really do have good reason to leave their homelands.

    To me at least, bearing in mind the purpose of the First Amendment, no it should not remain as a testament to free expression. No person has the right to call publicly for harm to any persons either in general (see Adolph Hitler) or in particular.

    Is it prone to incite violence? One of the easiest things to do is incite a mob to some hate-filled action. All it takes a good speaker and ten to fifteen minutes. Once again, look at Adolph Hitler’s Germany.

    Pizzaman7 in another thread says “This is a very slippery slope. If someone gets incited to violence because of what someone else said then that violent person has something wrong with them. People who say they are incited to violence because of your comments are simply trying to suppress what you want to say. We cannot allow this. That is not freedom.

    What a sad and ignorant assessment of humanity! We won’t worry about the many examples where good people and kind have been led to mob violence “because of what someone else said”. Perhaps Salem is too far away.

    Does this violent speech have a place on Facebook? For all the reasons outlined above, and more arising from cyber-bullying on SMS, Facebook and Twitter in Oz, there is no place for this violent speech on Facebook, or Twitter, or any other social networking media. While censorship is to be deprecated, the reality is that while active incitement to violence is routinely employed against minorities then censorship of speech is not merely necessary, but mandatory.

    Gordon.

    • http://www.benewords.com Carol Frome

      Beautifully said. Bravo! You, Mr. Aussie, appear to have a better understanding of free speech and the First Amendment than Americans do. The First Amendment does not protect incitement to riot or violence. The same people who want the doctrine of free speech to protect this incitement to violence, would probably object to someone doing that in a classroom. Or standing up with a megaphone at half-time during the Superbowl and calling for the slaughter of atheists.

  • http://retailedge.com Azrian

    I don’t think anyone really takes these threats seriously. The comments should be left up so that these people will be shown to be the idiotic bigots that they are.

  • Robin Richardson

    Facebook does not have to allow their postings! It is a private forum between friends, not a public platform. People that are friends with them should be the only ones that can read their degrogating propoganda. Unfortunately FOX has befriended the maggots for whatever reason. Maybe we should stop watching FOX! Unfortunately, God loves these demon’s as much as he loves me!!! Guess that’s whey He’s God.

  • Justin

    The second you deny another’s rights, you’ve just denied your own.

    Be careful what you wish to have “controlled”, you may just get it.

    We are all adults… it’s very simple… choose not to engage like children with people whose opinions differ from yours. Change the channel, leave the room, easy.

    Plus, I’m sure every thinking human realizes by now what paid “shills” and “trolls” are, right? Hit the ignore button, so simple.

    All of mainstream media (as well as this article, by posing this question) is used to divide and anger people at one another. Faux news is one of the masters at it with murdoch at the helm. Google the documentary “Outfoxed” and watch it online for free. Quite the eye-opener in how the media works.

    “Divide and conquer”… the oldest rule in the book and we stupid humans fall for it every time, when it should be WE THE PEOPLE.

  • Karen Brearley

    Where does free speech stop and controlled editing take over, and controlled by whom and to whose standards? Censorship of explicit pictures or vulgar lewd words is one thing, but who decides who can say what and when. How do we find Truth, Transparency and Light through censored stories and rewritten articles, how do we know the truth of what is really happening in the world today, if it is blanketed and transformed into something that it is not. If the truth is not shared and knowledge made available for those who wish to learn the truth, then are we not sheep to be lead wherever we are taken, or do we bury our heads in the proverbial sand and pretend that nothing is wrong until it is too late… Only through experience can we grow in true knowledge and only through knowledge and experience can we grow in wisdom… For one, I would like to see what is happening in our world, good and bad, my choice, everything goes deeper, deeper, I like it to be my choice to look or not, to understand or not, to accept or not. Which is what face book is all about… Truth, Transparency and Light…. and sharing with friends. MY CHOICE

  • Shay

    This is exactly why Facebook is for bored teenagers and not for businesses, intellects or serious matters.

  • http://bea-anin.blogspot.com/ bea

    yes

  • http://swiftecurrency.com fund liberty reserve in nigeria

    here does free speech stop and controlled editing take over, and controlled by whom and to whose standards? Censorship of explicit pictures or vulgar lewd words is one thing, but who decides who can say what and when. How do we find Truth, Transparency and Light through censored stories and rewritten articles, how do we know the truth of what is really happening in the world today, if it is blanketed and transformed into something that it is not. If the truth is not shared and knowledge made available for those who wish to learn the truth, then are we not sheep to be lead wherever we are taken, or do we bury our heads in the proverbial sand and pretend that nothing is wrong until it is too late… Only through experience can we grow in true knowledge and only through knowledge and experience can we grow in wisdom… For one, I would like to see what is happening in our world, good and bad, my choice, everything goes deeper, deeper, I like it to be my choice to look or not, to understand or not, to accept or not. Which is what face book is all about… Truth, Transparency and Light…. and sharing with friends. MY CHOICE

  • Snake

    I know there are those of you who believe that nobody should have the right to offend someone else but here’s the deal. Our forefathers died during the Revolution and others have as well to protect and preserve our Constitutional rights.

    The 1st Amendment doesn’t say we have the right to free speach except for this or that it says we have the right to free speach period. There is always someone trying to undermine our Constitution and take away our freedoms and the minute you allow someone to take away even the smallest right you jeaporize EVERYTHING.

    The way I figure it if you don’t like what someone says, you take insult at it, then beat the heck out of them and give them an attitude adjustment but guess what – you can’t even do that anymore because someone made it illegal to defend your rights from insult and called it assault. Well that is not assault, it is standing up for one’s self. Beating an old woman for her social security check is assault, two different things but to many do gooders have ruined our freedoms.

    So go ahead, spew your gargbage and try to get the politicians to take more of our freedoms. It is people like you, who write about stupid, senseless crap, that should be taken care of in a different manner, end up as promoters of socialism and the fall of freedom.

    Learn to saddle your own damn horse and stomp your own snakes. If you don’t like being called a name, handle it, but don’t whine like a woman and expect someone else to handle it for you. That’s exactly how we lose our rights. Or you can always go live in a country that doesn’t allow you to speak your mind.

  • http://www.randypenn.com Randy Penn

    I feel good to see so many understand at least some small idea of freedom here.

    This seems a simple matter of censorship. Censorship by corporations who offer services with a TOS which defines the services. In reality they determine what they will offer under what terms and that is the end of discussion. They are under no obligation to offer you FREE corporate services as it is at their own discretion. That sort of makes this thread a bit ridiculous. Think about Google who can knock you out of any of its services for no reason and state that in their TOS.

    The whole problem with this discussion is it has been obscured by the question of corporate responsibility to offer the same freedoms we once enjoyed (before the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. act removed them) to the services they provide. They do not have that responsibility unless they claim so in the TOS. Frankly I note that all TOS we agree to allow the corporate owners to censor and decide, without question, whatever actions they want for whatever reasons they can conjure.

    All this leaves it up to individuals to use a service or not. Freedom of choice prevails. What this thread is doing is discussing the will of the mob to inflict its ideas on the corporations as to how they should provide the service and putting user pressure on the corporate offerings to allow freedom.

    Perhaps a good example is the UK’s recent exploitation of facebook and twitter using their claim to have authority to cut off its subjects from access so they don’t use it as a means to enhance public protest. While the UK does this with impunity our own corruption has set up a network for the Arab lands to allow them access even when their government cuts them off! At our expense no less. Yet this same service is not allowed to rebels and protestors in western democracies.

    The battle of cults for economic supremacy has been part of our heritage since the first caveman figured out how to control its tribe through fear. Cults have always been violent and god cults are historically the most violent and vicious as reflected in almost every online commentary service. They always talk the talk.

  • http://www.bestbuys4business.com Michelle

    You are right, there certainly are a lot of hypocrites out there. When I read those comments I feel saddened for the so called Christians that wrote those messages. I wonder if they went back to read what they wrote and looked at it from a different angle whether that would help them to see that their actions (in words) is not Christianlike and could be the whole reason behind why people become atheists in the first place. Where is the decency? Maybe there should be a peace sign instead!

  • http://www.Vending-LA.com frank

    NO, it should not be censored either. Freeedom of speech is easy to defend when you like what is being said, but you either beleive in freedom of speech or you don’t.

  • Scott

    I love all the ignorant bible ‘thumpers’ that continue to speak about killing people and how they will be going to hell. When last I checked I do believe that violates their own religion. These hypocritical blindly follow their religion are actually quite pathetic and sad. I nearly feel sorry for them for the hate they spread while attempting to hide behind the “holy shield” of their beliefs. It must be nice to be completely naive and oblivious to the religions brutal violent past. I do not defend what is going on in the middle east by any regard but think of the Christian religion during their rise a past crusades. The religion is built on blood. The murdered, rapped, and stole their wealth and power. All the meanwhile the religion grew stronger through fear and belief. Now it controls major aspects of society. If someone wants to be a non-believer according to the bible you should show them the path; HOWEVER, if they still do not follow it is not stated in the bible to shoot or kill them. People like that a fools and ignorant of their own religion.

    Censoring Facebook or any social media will not stop hateful people from saying what they feel they must say though.

  • http://www.expertmagentodevelopers.com magento experts

    I don’t think anyone really takes these threats seriously. However these kind of comments are very offensive

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