“You Should Be Shot in the Head”

(Madison, Wis.) The Freedom From Religion Foundation contacted local police twice in the past month regarding over-the-top hate e-mails from individuals.

Kim” sent an e-mail with a subject heading, “Attn: Annie Laurie Gaylor,” saying:

“You should be shot in the head.”

Gaylor, who with Dan Barker is co-president of the Foundation, commented:

“Even though this e-mail did not directly threaten me, we feel it went beyond the pale, and so did police.”

A local officer, unable to contact the individual by phone, e-mailed a warning, citing criminal statutes.

This e-mail came with many other indignant e-mails during the Foundation’s recent protest of a mission statement adopted by the city of Hudsonville, Mich., that cites as a purpose to “strive to serve God.”

The Foundation also complained to police in early March, after receiving a signed letter from a man in Iowa, identifying himself as “a servant of the Lord,” who appears to be a staff member at a religious center.

“I want you to know that you have and are committing treason against the United States of America. The motto of the U.S. is In God We Trust. I want you to know that if former President Andrew Jackson were still alive today he would come to you and shoot you dead for this action of treason! You better thank God that he isn’t alive! So this is a warning from God, and myself a servant of The Most High God, and you will do well to pay attention to this.”

“We’re inured to, and even amused by our high volume of crank contact, mostly coming via e-mail, and warning us we are in danger of going to hell. Many crank mailers just recite tedious passages of scripture we’re all familiar with,” she added.

“But I don’t think most Americans realize the level of hysterical animosity that appears to be considered socially acceptable to direct toward nonbelievers in America. It does not speak well of religion.”

Below are some typical recent e-mails. Warning: Some contain obscenities. (Spelling is uncorrected.)

  • “Buzz off, you maggot atheists and keep your damn atheism to yourself. We don’t want you shoving you sh*t on America. It’s another reason why this country is going to rot, your efforts to sanitize America of anything religious. Mind your own damn business!”
  • “Why dont you just crawl in a hole and stay there, you need to mind your own business, this county was built on God, your just a piece of crap”
  • “We are so done with the likes of you . . . you are a dinasour and are about to become extinct!”
  • “It’s time you people who have nothing better to do with your time than to pick on and harrass wonderful communities, it’s time you put up or shut up and mind your own fucking business.”
  • “What goes on in their city is none of your business, keep your simple minded comments to yourself, if you don’t like things in this country I will buy you a oneway ticket to somplace like Iran, Irag, red China, Cuba, Libya or some other wonderfull like country.”
  • “FUCK YOU. you’re a stinky cunt and i hope you and all of your followers die a slow death from cancer or some other fucked up disease that ruins your life and those of your family’s.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation