Controversy escalates after Loudoun supervisor calls atheists ‘terrorists’

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This year, Loudoun County leaders hoped to avoid yet another season of controversy and media attention over the placement of holiday displays on the Leesburg courthouse grounds.


But the focus on Loudoun’s infamous annual debate has only heightened in recent weeks after local atheists presented readings from Charles Darwin on the public property — and county Supervisor Kenneth D. “Ken” Reid (R-Leesburg) referred to the the group as “terrorists” for their continued opposition to religious displays on the grounds.

The county has hosted an escalating drama as a result of the increasingly eclectic seasonal displays outside the Leesburg courthouse, where traditional arrangements such as a Nativity scene and a decorated Christmas tree have been joined in recent years by displays honoring atheism, Jediism and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

With the goal to end the resulting uproar, the Board of Supervisors voted this year to approve a county-funded holiday arrangement and ban all other unattended displays.

But attended displays are still permitted under the policy, and an application from a local atheist group was approved. On Nov. 16, the group set up a tent with banners and a podium, and more than a dozen volunteers handed out information to passersby and read from the work of Charles Darwin, according to Rick Wingrove, the Virginia director of American Atheists.

Written By: Caitlin Gibson
continue to source article at washingtonpost.com

21 COMMENTS

  1. “My use of the word ‘terrorist’ was a poor choice of words and the Washington Times did not tell it in full context,” Reid said in an e-mail. “My comments in the Times were directed specifically at the atheist groups that have been relentlessly pursuing their goal to remove all religious holiday symbols from the courthouse lawn, not ALL atheists or non-believers.”

    In short, he’s still not getting it.

  2. Loudoun supervisor calls atheists ‘terrorists’

    Terrorists!!? 
    Well I suppose the little god in his head is terrified that folk may spot that it is the little god-in-his head, and not the mighty master of the universe.  
    Ego-deflation can indeed be terrifying! – but only to puffed up posers with over-rated opinions of their own importance!

  3. So not all atheists are terrorists, according to Reid’s apology? Only those who wanted to put on a manned display with opposing ideas to the Christians ones?

    No doubt when Reid’s God orders the slaying of the Canaanites, or the flooding of the world, these were the actions of a “just” God, and not “terrorism”?

    Reid’s logic is beyond mine!  (Eyes roll!)

  4.  “My comments in the Times were directed specifically at the atheist groups that have been relentlessly pursuing their goal to remove all religious holiday symbols from the courthouse lawn, not ALL atheists or non-believers.”
    Ah yes, the filing for permits and peacefully exercising one’s right to free speech within the legal framework of the land.  Definitely terrorism.

  5. Terrorists hardly, I personally think that this is very childish on the part of the atheist activists. The overwhelming majority of people like Christmas , and I would venture that many atheists would view this as petty as well. 
    I do understand that justice delivery should not have any religious narrative.But the reality is that this is a paraphernalia of a commercialized holiday and is far from Jesus in a crib.

    There are Islamist groups in the UK that reject the erecting of Christmas trees in city centers on the grounds that governments,councils etc should not push religion on society.

  6. Pauly_
    Terrorists hardly, I personally think that this is very childish on the part of
    the atheist activists. The overwhelming majority of people like Christmas , and I would venture that many atheists would view this as petty as well.

     
    You seem to be missing the point.  This is a court and government property. 
    In the US there is a law against discrimination in favour of, or support for, any religious group by arms of government. 
    It is reasonable for atheists  to exercise rights without discrimination and to protest against illegal abuses.

    I do understand that justice delivery should not have any religious narrative.But the reality is that this is a paraphernalia of a commercialized holiday and is far from Jesus in a crib.

    Indeed – some religious groups protest against commercialism – but commercial displays generally take place on commercial property.

    There are Islamist groups in the UK that reject the erecting of Christmas trees in city centers on the grounds that governments,councils etc should not push religion on society.

     

    In the UK there is an established CofE church and no such law.  The Islamic protests, demonstrate why favouring a particular religion causes disputes and bad-feeling between religious groups, or the religious and the nones by stuffing a particular religion in the face of others.
    Having said that, Islam is one of the most fiercely discriminatory religions around, – so kettle – pot – black !! ??

  7. When was the last time an atheist damaged or destroyed a place of worship? When last did a secularist plant a bomb? Are humanists known for their rape and torture of children? Do they carry out genital mutilation on children?
    Do we burn books?

      

  8. i guess the term “terrorist” is a semantic issue. as i understand the term it refers to an organisation or individual that uses terror to advance a political purpose.

    considering these backward hicks have a tendency to shit their holy pants the minute their childish fairy stories that they’d like to use as a template for deciding law are shown up for what they are there’s an argument for suggesting that the term “terrorist” is not far off the mark

  9. What I don’t understand is why these types don’t just start campaigning to abolish the constitution? Isn’t this freedom of speech thing close to the top of the additions?

    Man up if you don’t want to be American, don’t drape yourself in the flag and think we can’t see you wiping your arse on it.

  10. This battle between us, local atheists led by Beltway Atheists, Inc. (beltwayatheists.org) and the NOVA Atheists meetup group has been going on for 3 years now.  We’ve done everything legally and peacefully.  This board packed the Grounds Committee of the Courthouse lawn with people who disapproved of our viewpoints.  It was a huge scam… anyway

    Here is my speech in front of the Board of Supervisors yesterday:

    http://loudoun.granicus.com/Me

    Fast forward to 1:08:41 that is when I start. However, there were a bunch of awesome speakers before me as well as after me. The public comments started at: 53:10

  11. This has to do with Separation of Church and State.  A tree..ok… we actually had proposed a tree lighting ceremony where we would even help pay for it.  However, this was not liked at all because it is in fact, religious extremists who want to stamp out atheists from the public square.  This is what this is about.  not to mention that a Courthouse should always show a perception of neutrality.  This is an issue of free speech and separation of church and state.   There is nothing childish about what we are doing, unless you consider fighting for our constitutional rights, childish. 

  12. Here my art degree comes in handy again, why not have a seasonal art show with the theme of “Peace on Earth” or “Everyone get down to night”.  Me, I would rather spend energy on changing tax policy as Mr. Faircloth has outlined , but I am old. 

  13. One thing the developed world can not afford to stop is creativity, even if it expesses a very folksey worldview and public displays of art are so rare, it is a treasure that should be developed.

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