Boston atheist vows to defy police and display poster stating all religion is fairy stories
JOHN Richards, of Boston, Lincolnshire, has been told that he faces arrests if his post decrying relgions as “fairy stories” causes offence. Because anything can cause offence to those who seek it out, Mr Richards is doomed.
According to Lincolnshire Police, the 1986 Public Order Act states that “a person is guilty of an offence if they display a sign which is threatening or abusive or insulting with the intent to provoke violence or which may cause another person harassment, alarm or distress.”
That nonsense is followed by the police’s laughable lines:
“This is balanced with a right to free speech and the key point is that the offence is committed if it is deemed that a reasonable person would find the content insulting.”
No. It’s not a balance to free speech. Free speech demands no balances. Free speech demands reasoned debate. The State and its goons, the police, want to put some views beyond debate. Furthermore, the law patronises believers, portraying them as beings incapable of thinking rationally. Are religious sensibilities so fragile? Is this country so undemocratic that it can shut a man up with such ease?
“If a complaint is received by the police in relation to a sign displayed in a person’s window, an officer would attend and make a reasoned judgement about whether an offence had been committed under the Act. In the majority of cases where it was considered that an offence had been committed, the action taken by the officer would be to issue words of advice and request that the sign be removed.
“Only if this request were refused might an arrest be necessary. Very explicit or grossly offensive material may be dealt with under alternative legislation.”
Says John Richards:
“I am an atheist and I feel people are being misled by religion. I wanted to show people that if they thought they were alone there was at least one other person who thought that.”
Of course, he could just write “I’m an atheist – honk if you agree.” To the sane, it’s hard to see how Mr Richards’ home-printed A4-sized poster can cause offence to anyone who believes in God. Can your belief in God be shaken by a man with a small sign in the window of his own home?
The sensible move would be for the Church to step in to bless Mr Richards home and then un-bless it and explain to Mr Richards that Tinkerbell forgives him…