Thursday, 15 December 2011

Email to LIND Media regarding Mid-Ohio Atheists billboard campaign

Source; Greta Christina's Blog

  • Whether or not the US - or any other country for that matter - is a Christian nation, each of us that live in what we notionally call the West, have decided over numerous generations that intolerance and bigotry is not welcome in a modern and democratic society.

    In both the UK and the US, majority rule forms our respective parliaments and governments, but explicitly not at the expense of legal representation of the minority's rights.

    America in particular, despite its predominant Christian base, was founded on secular principles by people that didn't wish to repeat the mistakes as they appeared in the 'old country', but these founding principles appear to have served out their useful function, a new breed of good 'ole American fascism is sweeping the nation.

    All the more disturbing, then, when perfectly legal organisations like the Mid-Ohio Atheists, raise the funds and spend time and effort putting together a tasteful billboard campaign, only to have it rejected at the last minute by the billboard company for unsubstantiated claims of an  'inflammatory, offensive and obscene' nature.

    I honestly don't know what good it will do, but I for one have had enough of this overt bullying and repression, and I have decided to let LIND Media Company know about my concerns, and to illicit a response for their actions. And I call on every fair and just-minded individual to do the same.

    My email lies below the fold.

    Mid-Ohio Atheists billboards

 Tris Stock

It has come to my attention that you have refused the Mid-Ohio Atheists use of your billboards in the run up to the holidays, citing that they were inflammatory, offensive in nature to the community, harmful to your own corporate image in the community and obscene.

Given that the billboards in question state nothing more inflammatory and obscene than 'Don't believe in God? Neither do we', and another with the EXACT same text as a campaign by another organisation, I find it hard to comprehend why you have come to the conclusions you have.

Would you be so kind as to elucidate exactly how and why LIND feels that the MOA campaign is;

  1. Inflammatory - Considering they are appealing to like minded individuals only.
  2. Offensive to the community - Given that the first amendment guarantees freedom of expression, not freedom from offense.
  3. Harmful to LIND - Given that you are unlikely to openly support the message of any prospective advertiser, and
  4. How an ad worded so benignly could possibly be perceived as obscene - Given no. 2?

I feel the first amendment is the most important aspect in this distasteful rail-roading of a wholly legal entity such as the Mid-Ohio Atheists, and whilst I understand genuinely offensive and obscene adverts should be refused based on a matter of law, this is clearly not the case here.

Please respond with a coherent rationale for each of the above numbered points so that your legal position is open and transparent.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Tris Stock

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross” ~ Sinclair Lewis

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