RICHARD DAWKINS, the atheist campaigner, is planning a legal ambush to have the Pope arrested during his state visit to Britain “for crimes against humanity”.
Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the atheist author, have asked human rights lawyers to produce a case for charging Pope Benedict XVI over his alleged cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic church.
The pair believe they can exploit the same legal principle used to arrest Augusto Pinochet, the late Chilean dictator, when he visited Britain in 1998.
If you aren’t familiar with Westboro Baptist Church, they are a hate group known for targeting their hatred towards gays and lesbians. They are led by Fred Phelps, from Topeka, Kansas and according to the site’s picket schedule; they plan to picket several spots in Tampa in the next few weeks.
On Westboro Baptist Church’s radar is the Bon Jovi concert that will take place on April 17, 2010 at the St. Pete Times Forum. The hate group announced that they will picket from 6:45-7:30 p.m.
On April 18, 2010, Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket Without Walls International Church, on 2511 N. Grady Avenue between 8:15 and 9:00 a.m. That will be early Sunday morning and according to the group; they are picketing because Pastor Paula White, who leads the church, is a female.
Later that day, Westboro Baptist Church will head to Gainesville, Florida to picket the Trinity United Methodist Church, the University of Florida Hillel congregation, the Queen of Peace Catholic Church, and the Saint Augustine Catholic Church. After their day of spreading hate to the various congregations, they will head back to Tampa.
On April 19, 2010 from 6:55 am-7:25 am the Westboro Baptist Church will return to Tampa, Florida and will picket at the H.B. Plant High School. From 7:40 a.m. to 8:10 a.m., the hate group will target Tampa Catholic High School on Rome Ave. The group will move on to the University of South Florida Hillel and picket between 9:15-9:45 am, before ending their Tampa tour at the University of South Florida Catholic Student Center on 50th Street. The group plans to protest at 9:15-9:45.
According to the ‘godhatesfags.com’ website, Westboro Baptist Church will finish up their Tampa protests and set out for protests on April 22, 2010 in Boulder, Colorado.
Counter protest idea:
Over the weekend Florida governor Charlie Crist had a negative encounter with an Atheist (read details here). I think this confrontation is important as we Floridians evaluate Crist as a potential Senator. The question we need an answer to, is why did he loose his cool with this guy. I have a hard time imagining Crist would loose his cool with anyone having met him years ago when he was still just a local representative. However, if he has become so intolerant of Atheists that he can’t contain his feelings in their presence anymore, then perhaps his religious views have been radicalized since he became Governor.
Read Jennifer’s full post here.
From The Washington Times:
The Postal Service’s decision to release a stamp honoring Mother Teresa has prompted criticism and an online petition of support, but the service says it will not reconsider.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has expressed public disapproval of the stamp, saying the Postal Service is violating its own selection criteria. The Postal Service’s guidelines bar stamps that honor “religious institutions or individuals whose principal achievements are associated with religious undertakings or beliefs.”
Rebecca Markert, a staff attorney with the foundation, said the Catholic nun who worked with the poor in Calcutta and won the Nobel Peace Prize fits that description.
“The foundation objects to the stamp because the issuance of this stamp is in violation of the regulation,” Ms. Markert said in an interview Thursday. “Her humanitarian work was tied with her religious beliefs. You can’t separate that.”
Read the full article here.
CatholicVoteAction.org has their own petition to urge the USPS to continue with the issuing of the Mother Teresa stamp here. The petition describes the protest of the Mother Teresa stamp as bigotry. While there may be some valid arguments on both sides of this debate, the protesting of the stamp because it is believed to violate postal regulations, isn’t bigotry. Perhaps it could be argued that the protest against the stamp is hypocritical or petty. On the other side, it could be argued that the stamp is undeserved. There are criticisms of Mother Teresa that people should be aware of in this debate. Below is a 3 part series about Mother Teresa by Christopher Hitchens that is worth watching.
A group representing people who do not believe in God or any gods has revved up an awareness campaign in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
The United Coalition of Reason paid to have two billboards erected that feature a blue sky with clouds and the words: “Are you good without God? Millions are.”
The move is the latest in an advertising blitz involving religion that has people talking.