Here is something I originally posted back in 2013 that seems relevant today given the way the New Atheist community recently harassed an orphanage.
Time for more dishonest street theater from the New Atheists. Militant atheist Jerry Coyne is once again trying to play the “atheist-as-victim” card with a blog entry entitled, Local park district, then library, reject $3000 donation because it came from atheists. Just because it came from atheists? Really? Let me share my opinions on the matter.
Not surprisingly, this narrative involves Hemant Mehta, the activist atheist who is constantly trying his best to spin atheists as victims. Coyne begins by citing his culture war comrade:
Back in October, I posted about how the American Legion Post 134 was financially boycotting the Morton Grove Park District because its Commissioner Dan Ashta wouldn’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance at board meetings. Ashta’s sitting down for the Pledge cost the district $2,600 that the American Legion group had been giving them each year.
And then Coyne comments:
Ashta’s protest was apparently about the right of Americans to exercise their freedoms. But of course it was perceived as a slap in the face by the right-wing Legionnaires, who refused to give their customary donation.
There is no evidence these Legionnaires are “right-wing.” That’s just Coyne once again leaning on the crutch of his stereotypes. I’ve been in Legion posts and have known veterans, and yeah, considering the sacrifices vets have made, they do get sensitive about those type of stunts.
Ever the activist in search of a controversy to score points with, Hemant got his followers to come up with $3000 and then tried to donate it to the Park. The Park rejected it because they did not want to become embroiled in some public First Amendment dispute:
The check was received, thank you.
I just sent you a letter indicating that we received the check. Unfortunately, your donation as presented must be returned. The Park Board has no intention of becoming embroiled in a First Amendment dispute or allegations it is sympathetic to or supports/doesn’t support any particular political or religious cause.”
Again, thank you for thinking of the district.
The evidence shows the money was clearly raised to score a political point. Like grown-ups, they didn’t want, or didn’t have the time, to become the stage where activists could preen for the cameras in another one of their street dramas. They were wise enough not to be tricked by Hemant.
Being unable to accept the parsimonious, simple explanation of the park officials, Coyne concocts some melodramatic translations that clearly come from his stereotypes in order to smear the park officials: