Subject: Harassment, Christian style Date: 23 Mar 91 16:57:03 GMT From the Jan/Feb 1991 is
Subject: Harassment, Christian style
Date: 23 Mar 91 16:57:03 GMT
From the Jan/Feb 1991 issue of the freethinker newspaper "Freethought
Today," a rather disturbing example of Christian intolerance and
downright nastiness. A couple in Waunakee, Wisconsin, Pat and Joe King,
protested to the local town council about the erection of a creche
in a city park in Waunakee, correctly pointing out that this was a
rather clear violation of "church/state" separation and that the
U.S. Supreme Court had stated that such a religious display on
public land was illegal. In an attempt to be as reasonable as
possible, Pat King suggested that the creche be rotated among any
interested Waunakee churches, since there was no objection to such
a display on church property.
The Kings were ignored by the town council, and were the targets
of some of the most unbelievable harassment imaginable by local
Christians. Below is the entire text of the article "Plaintiffs
Harassed by Community", which appears on p. 3 of the aforementioned
newspaper. Perhaps some Christians on this group might like to
comment on the rather questionable behaviour of their spiritual kin.
Plaintiffs Harassed by Community, by Anne Nicol Gaylor
Perhaps the strongest argument that can be made for the wisdom
of church/state separation can be found in the treatment of those who
dare to protest church/state entanglement.
When Dr. Patricia Smith King and Dr. Joseph J. King, Jr., made
public their opposition to the Christian worship scene in the
Waunakee, Wisconsin city park in early December, the city literally
turned on them.
The Kings were not "outsiders." They had purchased a home in
Waunakee. Pat King had contributed many hundreds of hours of
volunteer work for the community, working in the schools and the
parks, speaking to civic groups. An educated, talented, pleasant
couple, they would be regarded as an asset by almost any community.
Yet their thoughtful letters to their city officials went
unacknowledged. Their attempt to reason with officials was
rebuffed. At a mock "public hearing," the officials' vote to
keep the creche was taken before citizens could give their views.
City officials were behind a rally in the park at the site of the
creche, a rally whose theme was to keep the creche. The Village
President spoke at that rally.
When the Kings went to shop in local stores, they were met
all over town with canisters on counters inviting shoppers to
contribute to legal action to keep the creche.
They received several anonymous Christmas greetings with nasty
And the phone harassment was breathtaking.
Here are some of the messages, as ->recorded<- by the Kings,
from a variety of callers, mostly male.
(Please note Freethought Today rarely publishes four-letter
words or vulgarities. We do it now so the Christian harassment
record is clear.)
Caller: "I want you to keep the hell out of this nativity thing,
you fucking bitch."
Caller: "If you don't like the nativity scene in the park,
get out of town."
Caller: "Fuck you, you sleazy cunt, we'll get you."
Caller: "You people are real assholes, I mean real assholes.
Why not take away everything decent that's left in America?"
Caller: "Why don't you people get to hell out of town and
leave this nativity scene alone?"
Caller: "If you don't quit fucking with the town of Waunakee,
someone's going to be fucking with you!"
Patricia Smith, whom one caller referred to as Satan, reported
these taped calls to police, and changed their number to an
The Foundation staff [Freedom from Religion Foundation -- rday]
received harassing phone calls at home throughout much of
December on this issue as well, including one death threat.
Both of Madison's daily newspapers went on record for the
removal of the creche, which was gratifying. And the editor of
the weekly "Isthmus", Bill Lueders, opened his column on the
subject with an inspired query:
"Was Jesus Christ a foul-mouthed, mean-spirited, misogynistic
thug? If not, some of his followers apparently have gotten the
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