Tuesday, July 05, 2005

If You Don't Like the Heat, Stay Away From the Fire

An Atheist in Omaha is upset because the newspaper printed his name, after he hooked up with the ACLU to protest a copy of the Ten Commandments in a public park.
OMAHA The man at the center of a challenge to remove a Ten Commandments monument displayed in a public park said he feared for his safety after a newspaper revealed his name Sunday.

The Omaha World-Herald in its Sunday editions identified the man, an atheist, who brought the suit against the city of Plattsmouth in 2001 with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Last September, a federal judge declined a request from the ACLU to stop the paper from naming the man, whom the Associated Press is not identifying.

On Sunday, the man said in a statement released through the ACLU that he regretted the paper's decision to release his name and would continue to fear for his safety in the town just south of Omaha.

"I hope the work of local law enforcement, coupled with the warning of federal investigations, will dissuade those who have an irrational hatred of me," the man said. "While most of the people in Plattsmouth are good neighbors, I must be concerned about those who are not."

Tim Butz, director of the Nebraska ACLU, said the organization shared the man's concerns for his safety and has met with state and local law enforcement authorities. The ACLU would not comment on any of the measures taken to guard the man's safety, Butz said.

The Omaha World-Herald would make no other comment than the story it published Sunday, said Larry King, executive editor. The article did not say why the paper decided to publish the story.

"The story speaks for itself," King said in a statement released by the paper.

Besides identifying the man, the story also listed the type of car he drives and his license plate, which is related to his atheist affiliation. The story detailed his personal and professional life and quoted co-workers. Some of the man's writing on religion and Christianity were also quoted as were depositions in which he detailed threats made against him and his family.

Last year the man said he would consider moving from Plattsmouth, should his name be revealed, because his life had been threatened.

Was his life really threatened? Or is it a ploy by the ACLU to drum up sympathy for this guy? If his life was really threatened, I am sorry for him, and it is wrong of anyone to threaten him, especially a Christian. Put then again for him to bring a suit like this, he should expect to take some verbal harrassment. The People are getting fed up with this kind of crap, and emotions are getting heated over this issue. Atheists and the ACLU have been running ramped across the country trying to de-Christianize it, and now Christians are starting to fight back. As I said, if can't stand the heat, he should stay away from the fire.

Mr Minority