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February 28th, 2012
09:46 AM ET

Judge’s dismissal of atheist's harassment claim against Muslim makes waves

By Dugald McConnell and Brian Todd, CNN

(CNN) - A protester who ridiculed the Muslim prophet Mohammed claims he was assaulted by a Muslim who was offended by the stunt, but a judge has sympathized with the alleged perpetrator, in a case that has drawn national attention.

Self-proclaimed atheist Ernie Perce marched in a Halloween parade in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania last October, dressed in a costume mocking Mohammed.

In a YouTube video he posted, Perce can be seen wearing a long fake beard, a white turban and green face paint, calling out provocative phrases like: "I am the prophet Mohammed! Zombie from the dead!" Perce and someone else in a zombie-themed pope costume are carrying a banner that reads "The Parading Atheists of Central Pennsylvania / Ghoulish – Godless – God-Awful."

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Then a man who is not seen on the video can be heard saying, "Take it down." Amid sounds of a scuffle, Perce can be heard saying "Hey, he's attacking me!"

Perce told CNN affiliate WHTM that the man “grabbed me, choked me from the back, and spun me around, to try to get my sign off that was wrapped around my neck."

Based on Perce's complaint, a Muslim named Talaag Elbayomy was charged with harassment. But on December 6, District Judge Mark Martin dismissed the case, saying it was one person's word against another's, and that there was no other evidence or eyewitness testimony to prove that Elbayomy had harassed or touched the alleged victim.

The judge also scolded Perce, saying he’d been needlessly provocative on an issue sensitive with Muslims.

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"You have that right, but you're way outside your bounds of First Amendment rights," Martin said, according to a recording Perce made of the court hearing. "I think our forefathers intended that we use the First Amendment so that we can speak our mind, not to piss off other people and other cultures, which is what you did."

The judge went on to point out that in many Muslim countries, ridiculing Mohammed could warrant the death penalty under Islamic law.

Critics say Martin's lecture shows he used Muslim cultural grounds to excuse a deplorable assault, and failed to defend an atheist's First Amendment rights.

"That's greatly disturbing to people that believe in free speech," said George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. "You can say things that are hurtful to others. We hope that you don't, but you most certainly can be protected. People like Thomas Paine spent his entire life ticking off people across the colonies."

Former terrorism prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy, writing on the blog of National Review, accused the judge of allowing the Muslim suspect to invoke a "Sharia defense – what he claimed was his obligation to strike out against any insult against the prophet Mohammed."

And Perce said of Judge Martin, "He let a man who is Muslim, because of his preference of his culture and his way of life, walk free, from an attack."

The judge, in a phone interview with CNN, defended his ruling.

"The commonwealth didn't present enough evidence to show me that this person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt," Martin said. "That's why I dismissed the case. Nothing as nefarious as what everyone's thinking, that I'm a Muslim or I'm biased. I'm actually a Lutheran."

Martin added that he has served three tours of duty, totaling more than two years, in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he learned more about Muslim culture.

"It just amazes me that people think that I'm biased towards Islam," he added. "I got sniped at once, I got ambushed once, I got attacked by a mob once... I've served close to 27 years in the military - and have gone overseas - exactly to preserve that right [freedom of speech.]”

But Martin also repeated his criticism of the atheist protester. "With rights come responsibilities. The more people abuse our rights, the more likely that we're going to lose them," he said. " We need to start policing up our own actions, using common sense, in how we deal with others."

Attorney R. Mark Thomas, who represented the Muslim suspect, blamed Perce for the Halloween altercation. "The so-called victim was the antagonist," he told WHTM. "I think this was a good dressing down by the judge."

A blog post by the group American Atheists disagrees. "That a Muslim immigrant can assault a United States citizen,” it says, “in defense of his religious beliefs and walk away a free man, while the victim is chastised and insulted... is a horrible abrogation."

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Halloween • Islam • TV-The Situation Room

soundoff (2,453 Responses)
  1. Observer

    Why are Bibles not allowed in muslim countries?

    February 29, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Muneef

      Orthodox Christians in Islamic have their own bibles in their own languages...they are the one's objecting to these new prints which are brought to convert Orthodox Christians and Muslims in to a foreign Christianity than their own of the land...

      February 29, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Muneef

      Orthodox Christians in Islamic countries have their own bibles in their own languages...they are the one's objecting to these new prints which are brought to convert Orthodox Christians and Muslims in to a foreign Christianity than their own of the land...

      February 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  2. food for thought

    I will start by saying i have been in Law Enforcement scince my 18th birthday in both the millitary and civillian fields. Cases such as this get dismissed about 80% of the time. Even if charged by law enforcement (virginia citizens are allowed to obtain their own misdemenor warrants on other persons) all it takes is one witness to not show up and the case becomes a he said she said case and judges will not enter a guilty verdict without some evidence to sway the judgement. Now that being said most judges pull very few punches when dealing with the public. I have had cases where the judge found the suspect guilty of assault and battery and still advised the victim that they were not the brightest individual for doing whatever it was they did to provoke an assault. Bottom line is muslim guy was wrong and it was appropriate that he was charged. Judge made a ruling based on what was presented to him and told the victim he helped bring the assault to himself. Take out religion and make it he was wearing a sign that says i was banging your wife last night and its not news.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • momoya

      The judge threw out evidence. The judge ranted on and on about how other countries would fault the victim in a "she was asking to be r.a.ped wearing such clothes" sort of rationality. On those two counts the judge was wrong and should be disbarred.

      Many people have replied saying that if they say just the right words in just the right order it should be all right for somebody to physically assault them. I don't agree with those who think they deserve physical harm if they say something that offends the person who beats them up.

      February 29, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • tr5

      by legal standards you would be correct. by moral standards, if that was you and your family, you would have given buddy the old clancy night-club. come on. a guy walks into a celebration that has nothing to do with him and acts like a retard promoting hate... pffff... you are as stupid as the idiot in this case.... you have little enforcement. you are another idiot.... just like your friend.

      February 29, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • tr5

      your last sentence in particular was rather overwhelming with positive re-inforcement that the people are protected. maybe you should go back to directing traffic and not be another problem that the tax-payers have to subsidize. ignorant... FFFF.

      February 29, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • momoya

      tr5

      I disagree with you that people should be able to beat you up if you offend them. Despite what you say, other people should not be allowed to physically assault you for saying something they feel is "wrong."

      February 29, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • tr5

      momomya... i was bullied until the bully could take the whip in return... apparently i gained respect i should have had by just being me.... but no... lol. this guy went out with the full intention of causing a scene and the end result was a different matter. you don't know the people i know and the hate i have seen... this guy is a coward and he deserved what he got. his message got through and mom and dad must be so proud.

      February 29, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • momoya

      tr5

      The issue is not whether he "deserved it." The issue is whether or not it was legal.

      I still think people shouldn't be allowed to legally beat you up (tr5) for saying something offensive to the person beating you up.

      It's not a subjective issue, tr5. Just because you think that certain WORDS should be met with physical VIOLENCE doesn't mean it's legal. Do you realize that someone who uses YOUR ARGUMENT can use YOUR ARGUMENT to beat you up, and you would be stuck agreeing with the person who beats you up? How stupid are you?

      February 29, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @tr5

      What the muslim man did was ILLEGAL. Morality has no place, whether the idiot deserved to get his a$$ kicked is irrelevant. To say it was justified shows your own bias, and self serving interests. You got bullied, so did I, difference is that I never reacted violently. Why? Because it is useless and causes more problems than it can possibly solve.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  3. Iqbal Khan

    Proof 9-11 was an inside JOB! check Ur self....

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pL0M5ST8jY&w=640&h=390]

    February 29, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • tr5

      here's the problem... we are on a strict schedule to meet the next second in time. i don't know too many who have 2 hours in a day to watch this. inside job? could be. i can't tell you where i stand. i know where the firefighters stood. they called it a demolition. but please.... no more 911 footage... for the sake of those who truly care... move on... we all know the truth.

      February 29, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Judas Priest

      Proof! That you are a gullible simpleton.

      February 29, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  4. Ramona

    Really? Assualt is assualt, no matter what the provocation. Wonder if the judge remembers the old adage "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me"

    February 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • tr5

      ramona... assault is assault... for one, spell it correctly. you are right. when any one person or persons walks through a peaceful assembly and insults everyone around them.... that is absolute ignorance. and just for the sheer reason of your stupidity, i will call you as such... ignorant. i take it that you like name calling and bullies... way to go... another degradation to the evolution of effective thinking. you are truly... you. should be proud. way to go.

      February 29, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Is that truly all you have to say? Was this guy an idiot? Yes. Was what he did insensitive? Yes. Should the other man get away with assault? No. We have laws for a reason. He was well within his rights to dress as he did. The assailant is not even a U.S. citizen, and yet he will suffer no reprecussions from his actions against a U.S. citizen.

      February 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
  5. Wisdom4u2

    I like that Judge, he should ran for President.....I'd vote for him. Keep up the good work, Judge.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  6. Mary

    I agree with the judge. It is wrong to use the first amendment to ridicule another's religion. We also have freedom of religion, too. Dressing up like that has no good purpose at all, but it does show this man's small minded lack of decentcy.

    In the past, entire native tribes were wipped out because some of them practiced human sacrific. The tribe was not the issue, human sacrific was. Some poor idiot decided it would be better to kill them all. Now we regret that action. This is why we do not riducual another religion. Human rights are the issue, not the practice of a religion that could change for the better.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • momoya

      Good to know that you think some SPEECH should be responded to with physical ASSAULT. What sort of things might you say in future that others should have the legal right to beat you up for?

      February 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  7. HeIsGod

    CORRECTION:

    REPOSTING –

    momoya –

    Atheism = Negative

    Every time they say negative things about other people's faith, helps build me up spiritually. Why, because it helps me to see within the depth of their mind how sad their lives must be....really. Why would I want to be part of a group like that? I mean, misery loves company....I am too blessed to be stressed, too blessed to be an Atheists. I have found nice Atheists who have accepted that fact that it's OUR right to believe as we wish, but it's just less than 1% of them....what a shame. So, keep spewing your lies that there is no God, because for the last 2 years since I've been commenting on CNN, I haven't been convinced of your lies.
    I am not here to convince anyone about my faith and belief; I am here to defend my faith to the fullest like a warrior that's within me against the forces of darkness which you Atheist live in.
    I HIGHLY recommend you to read "Atheists Exposed". Google it. The website is actually from an Ex-Atheist who is now a born again Christian.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • momoya

      I and most atheists I know were once christian. We found the arguments for your god and all other gods to be lacking. Believers have only their faith, no facts. If believers did have facts that led to incontrovertible proof there'd be only one faith like there is only one math and only one chemistry.

      Based on the intelligence displayed in your posts, I recommend you stay a christian and continue your current behavior.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • just sayin

      There is no such thing as once Christian. God does not work that way.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Really?

      "Atheism = Negative

      Every time they say negative things about other people's faith, helps build me up spiritually. Why, because it helps me to see within the depth of their mind how sad their lives must be....really. Why would I want to be part of a group like that? I mean, misery loves company"

      What a hypocrite your post is filled with negativity. How's that log doing in your eye?

      February 29, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Really?

      "There is no such thing as once Christian"

      Most atheists posting on this blog are former Christians.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Leo

      Mo, the sad thing is the Falling Away from the faith by many in the last days is prophesied in the Bible. Though it is sad to see people do this to themselves and then so deparately try to pull others away with them, those that know the scriptures know what is happening.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Leo

      The problem is that you and "just sayin" can't even agree on something this simple. He thinks that there's no such thing as former christians and you claim that it's an expected thing in the end times. You guys have no way of interpreting the scripture in the same way because the scripture gives you no method by which to show which interpretation or implied bit o'dogma is right or wrong. If you bible believers can't even agree on what the bible means then why should anybody take you seriously? Believers of all different gods use the same math and the same chemistry. If god's nature can't be as simple and verifiable as math and chemistry, then we should withhold judgement about god and his nature. It's all just "he said, she said" at this point, so it's stupid to have faith in one belief versus any other.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Wisdom4u2

      mommoya, you're a liar. You were never a 'christian' and know nothing of our God....stop lying.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Wisdom4u2

      I had no idea that you knew momoya so personally to be able to say that he was never a christian.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Wisdom4u2,
      I thought is was fools who "rushed in" and jumped to conclusions...

      February 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Wisdom4u2,
      Hey, didn't you just write this in the posting below:

      "Just because you don’t believe in something doesn’t give you the right to poke fun of what others believe in, and if you do…. expect to get a good ass whooping!!"

      February 29, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Wisdom4u2

      Are you saying that god let me believe I was a christian for almost half a century, and that god let me convince thousands of others that I was a "holy ghost filled minister/prophetess" for over 40 years? Are you saying that a person can be completely fooled by every christian and atheist that thinks she is a christian and still not be saved? Are you saying that all those people who were "healed" when I laid hands on them and saved by the message I preached were somehow fooled into thinking I was a christian? Hmmm.....

      I was never a christian in the sense that there is no holy spirit indwelling and therefore nobody is a "true" christian; I was a christian in the sense that I believed I was and believed that the bible was god's word and professed with my whole being.

      February 29, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  8. Wisdom4u2

    Ha-ha....Right on, Judge!!! What a buffoon that so called atheist is. Just because you don’t believe in something doesn’t give you the right to poke fun of what others believe in, and if you do…. expect to get a good ass whooping!! Let that be a lesson, doofs!

    February 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Really? And if the man who was assulted was a Christian I'm fairly certain a lot of people would be voicing a different opinion. The man broke no laws, and was assulted by a person who was not even a U.S citizen, the judges verdict is wrong and not based upon the law, but rather his own biases.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      Hey, friend!!!

      Amen!! Well said!

      February 29, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Wisdom4u2

      Ah...DUHHH!! The atheist has no moral compass, and it was not right of him to go spoofing some else’s idol, or whatever.... Did he really think everyone was going to laugh at his getup? Well…..actually it probably was funny….just seeing Mohammed as a zombie getting his ass kick by a Muslim had to draw a chuckle from somebody. Ha

      February 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      And what do you base the assumption that an atheist has no moral compass on? Religion does not have a monopoly on morality, no matter how often it is said.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • tr5

      from a non-religious guy to you.... AMEN... brother... sister... ehemmm... fellow human. i am surprised the judge didn't sit him over his knee and give him a good old whoopin'... one hand on the paddle and the other on the gavel.... shoved right up the.... i mean into this idiots mouth just so he could learn when to shut the F@@@ up.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  9. Michael J

    It's amazing how so many people have missed the point. The Judge clearly stated: "The commonwealth didn't present enough evidence to show me that this person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." That being said, why should he then be prosecuted if there isn't enough evidence to do so? Does anybody on this forum want to be sent to jail if there isn't enough evidence to convict you "beyond a reasonable doubt?"

    February 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • momoya

      If the judge was throwing out the case for that reason, then his rant about it being wrong to offend Muslims was stupidly out of place and over the line. It's the judge's rant that gets him in trouble because it shows his bias and poor reasoning.

      Here's the whole story:
      http://jonathanturley.org/2012/02/24/pennsylvania-judge-throws-out-charge-for-harassing-atheist-while-calling-the-victim-a-doofus/

      February 29, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • tr5

      anyhow... the judge was exercising his freedom of speech when he told buddy that he was an utter jack@ss for what he did. exposing idiots like this self-claimed atheist is a step in the right direction. now if we could only stamp out the rest of the idiots... that would be true progress.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • momoya

      tr5

      Exactly. The judge was exercising his free speech. The world gets to judge him as a complete moron because of his speech. NOBODY gets to ASSAULT the judge for his stupid statements. The judge is protected by the very law he discarded in his ruling.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  10. sam

    Oh thats right, only Catholicism and Christianity are open targets for jokes, criticism, and mockery. Touch any other religion and it calls for retaliation.

    February 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • tr5

      it's even worse when christians and catholics touch your children. my bad... ooops.... lol. for the devout in you.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  11. Parades

    One does not go to a gay parade and attack a gay person likewise one does not go to an atheist parade and attack an atheist.

    I would ask the muslim does your religion allow you to take part in such parades such as halloween?

    February 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • tr5

      you make no sense.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • gr8

      The attacker should have been sent for anger management therapy.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      Great point!

      February 29, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  12. Nat

    I don't think it matters one way or another. Once he put his hands on him it became assult. The motive behind the assult ... is secondary. If that is the case.. someone who bullys someone with words and then is killed is that justified?? NO ITS MURDER! There for religion aside its assault. He didnt like what was said so he reacted physically because of his beliefs. FINE IN HIS COUNTRY. BUT we are in America. and your beliefs do not give you the right to assault ANYONE. He should have been punished.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • tr5

      i have a solution!!!!! put duct tape over the idiot's mouth for a month. freedom of speech can only be taken so far before it becomes an advert slag that promotes hate. this is what this person did. nothing more, nothing less. like i said, he's lucky he didn't get his @ss kicked... cause he sure deserved it.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • gr8

      tr5-u got anger mgmt issues. have you considered anger mgmt therapy for whatever anger you are harboring?. be quick before you hurt someone with that anger.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • tr5

      gr8... no anger issue here. lol. let's put it to you this way... realistically, this guy walks through a peaceful assembly and insults everyone around him. freedom of speech is what it is and people also have the right to object to being bullied, harassed and humiliated. the camera was there for the reaction. full intent to cause a disturbance. he deserved to have his @ss kicked. period. it's not my anger issue at hand here. it's about an ignorant, uneducated, non-cultured loser who made it a mission to disrupt something that had nothing to do with him. freedom of speech only takes you so far until someone shoves their foot in their mouth.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  13. Mthomas

    freedom of speech is exactly that and you can't attack someone just because you don't like what they are saying even if they are mocking your religion. I am a Christian but I'm not going to attack someone for mocking it that's their right if the choose.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      Me neitherm Mthomas, but we are speaking of Muslims and a few of them are voilent and these foolish Atheist happen to have messed with the wrong one.

      Got to go, God bless you!

      February 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • tr5

      let's get it straight... the guy is not an atheist... he is an idiot. stirring the pot to get a reaction. he did what he set out to do and got the existential ego boost he needed. i would have clobbered the guy... what a moron.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  14. momoya

    ..Unless you think assault is a reasonable response to speech, call and voice your opinion, now!!!!

    Call the judge's office now:

    717-240-7864 << live operator

    717-766-4575 << leave message

    http://jonathanturley.org/2012/02/24/pennsylvania-judge-throws-out-charge-for-harassing-atheist-while-calling-the-victim-a-doofus/

    February 29, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  15. Eserrano

    WOW all this, I see it very simply both parties were in the wrong from what I read the one who assaulted should have some form of punishment as should the one disgracing the Muslim belief. I'm wouldn't call for jail time but maybe some community service served together could help them both under stand each other and avoid either one from repeating their actions.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Mthomas

      what about Freedom of Speech? That includes the freedom to say whatever you want even if it offends others.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • tr5

      they could hold hands. it's best to advise an individual to not walk around insulting everyone around them. it could have led to worse. in my mind, this guy is an idiot who proclaims himself an atheist... he's a dooooooosh and should have had his @ss kicked... then maybe he would understand what humility is.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    February 29, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • tr5

      Atheism is no less healthy than believing in religion. Unto itself, atheism is a belief system. I guess if i were to label myself, i would be considered an atheist in the eyes and minds of those who feel that i do not believe in god. I do not consider myself so. I believe that what you believe in is your right as a person – and use your belief system to become a better person. To believe in yourself and the reality that surrounds you does not make you an atheist. I would say I am more of a "realist" than an "atheist". What i do find incredulous is that when I am asked what my status is in the religious department is the amazement of how I could not believe and then the preaching begins. Then I have to put an end to it by simply stating the fact that "if what you believe makes you a better person, good for you – i have other things to attend to".

      what this guy did was ridiculous and the judge put himself in deep-six as far as free speech is concerned. i am not religious by any stretch but on behalf of anyone who is, and i have many a friend who are, the judge was correct in stating the plain truth of an idiot's actions. the guy walked around and insulted not only muslims – everyone around him. i wouldn't say this guy is an atheist, i would say he is an idiot and a fine example of what goes wrong during the evolutionary process.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  17. Mike

    I don't care how you slice it, religion is an opinion. If you want to believe Dr. Seuss is God, knock yourself out. However, don't push your beliefs on me and expect me to blindly follow it. You believe in what you want and I'll believe in what I want. It's really not that hard and quit being petty. I'm sorry, but if people are living in the US they need to abide by our laws, such as the First Amendment.

    February 29, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      Mike –

      If you want to believe that there is no God, knock yourself out. However, don't push your beliefs on me and expect me to blindly follow it. You believe in what you want and I'll believe in what I want.

      See how it works both ways, Mike? Yet, this foolish atheists thought he could mock a Muslim and get a way with it. Freedome of speech does come with responsiblity.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Mike

      Of course it works both ways, that is my point! The Muslim took his personal religious beliefs and imposed the consequences of offending Muhammad to that man, which is not right. I'm not saying it was a good idea to provoke people by dressing that way, but that isn't the point. The point is that he was assaulted because of someone's religious beliefs, which is basically forcing that assaulted man to take the punishment a Muslim would. How is that right?

      February 29, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      That foolish atheist got what it was coming to him by both the Muslim and the Judge. I hope Atheists will learn that in public, you need to consider what freedom of speech really is....especially when it has to do with Muslims.....they DON'T play around and this Atheist played with the wrong Muslim.

      I am not even a Muslim, but when it comes down to an ignorant Atheists doing a stupid speech such as this, I will side with them.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • tr5

      funny thing is... you are both correct... in your own way.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      So violence is an acceptable response to perceived poor behaviour?

      February 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • tr5

      by the way... lol... there is no comparison between god and Dr Suess. At least Suess had a sense of humour and the scruples of morality that you can't get from a bible... at least suess hops you along, unlike the boring read of some narcissistic tale of how we should all get on our knees, get under the desk and suck it up... no thanks. hey gr8.... lol how's that for anger management.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  18. BK

    If it was such an innocent ruling, why the lecture? This is just a case of a judge who hates atheists more than muslims and saw a chance to strike out at one. He couldn't even bring himself to pretend to be fair.
    And our founding fathers were complete dissidents. How can he possibly say they didn't think people should tick off the establishment?

    February 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  19. HeIsGod

    Momoya,

    Dear, I see so many Atheists complaining about our laws and accusing Christians of being over them when all of you know that is a LIE coming from Atheism! As you see, Atheists are not even welcome to ever become a President or be part of any federal government. So, it’s your lost, not ours. This nation is UNDER GOD, rather you like it or not and since you Atheists are CONSTANTLY complaining about freedom of religion…..all of you can pack your stuff, move out, create your own country, create your own currency that doesn’t say IN GOD WE TRUST (because obviously you do spend American currency which proclaims it), and create your own laws where God isn’t welcome. Other than that, who is Atheists to say who can worship or can not worship God, rather it is Allah or Jehovah, whom we Christians worship as well and believe in Jesus Chris being the Son of the Living God & Lord of our lives. Atheist took care of removing God and prayer from schools, just look at the chaos that’s happening in schools, thanks to your foolishness decision…AND yet, you people have the NERVE to say, where is God when chaos takes place or blame God, because you can’t seem to know how to deal with it!

    Atheism is for angry and bitter people who love to belittle others and disrespect others for having faith. They constantly complain that we force God down their throats, but here they go, clicking on EVERY SINGLE RELIGIOUS ARTICLE as if someone is holding a gun to their head, forcing them to read. Yet, Atheists have been using every News Network to preach that there is God every single day. If you can prove to us and explain the existence of everything that resides in heaven and on earth, I will consider thinking as you. Something DID NOT come from NOTHING…if you say the Big Bang, something or some one caused it. If you say an explosion, something or some one caused it…..and so on.

    Atheism is for whining people!

    HAVE A GOOD DAY, I HAVE TO GO.

    February 29, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Phineas

      HesGod, thank you for illustrating the point. See folks? Even this steaming pile of dung is protected speech!

      February 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • TypicAtheist

      @HeIsGod.

      Very Well Said..HITS RIGHT ON THE HEAD!

      @Only your stinky smell solicits attention.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • TypicAtheist

      @phineas only your stinky smell solicits attention.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • momoya

      Atheists don't say that the Big Bang came from nothing. The Big Bang Theory states how all the energy and matter of this universe was condensed into a small point that then expanded. Atheists don't know where the energy came from and they don't claim to know.

      Why is it that christians claim something can't come from nothing and then turn around and say that something came from nothing (God)

      By the way, I hope you keep posting here. You are the best example of a dumb christian that I've seen here. Congratulations on winning that prize.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      momoya – You must be plain dumb or ignorant....I have debated with many Atheists who refuse to give us answers to the existance of things in heaven and on earth and YES they ALL have said that there was a Big Bank, we evolve by apes and so on.

      BTW, God isn't nothing, HeISGod. Prove it otherwise.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • momoya

      Why would you want answers from an atheist anyway? Why debate with atheists if you despise them so much?

      February 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      momoya – I ask the same questions about Atheists....why do they use the Network for answers in regards to God? I learned of God through my own experience and faith. The questions that I ask them is to challenge them, since they "think" they know more about the bible than Christians do, which is usless of them any way. When did I say I despise them? I actually praise God for them. Ever since I learn who they really are, it has really helped my faith and strengthen my RELATIONSHIP with God through Christ. It's always good for the Christians to have enemies because they cause us to be even more blessed by God.

      I do have Atheist friends, btw, who respect me. I only debate with the ones on here.....such great debates that I have with them, btw and I enjoy them like the ones here.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • momoya

      So, even though "atheists never have anything good to say" (your words/last page) they build up your faith and cause your relationship with god to be better and you enjoy them? okey dokey.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      momoya –

      Atheism = Negative

      Every time they say negative things about other people's faith, helps build my up. Why, because I help me to see within the depth of their mind how sad their lives are....really. Why would I want to be part of a group like that? I mean, misery loves company....I am too blessed to be stressed, too blessed to be an Atheists. I have found nice Atheists who have accepted that fact that it's OUR right to believe as we wish, but it's just less than 1% of them....what a shame. So, keep spewing your lies that there is no God, because for the last 2 years since I've been commenting on CNN, I haven't been convinced of your lies.

      I am not here to convince anyone about my faith and belief; I am here to defend my faith to the fullest like a warrior that's within me against the forces of darkness which you Atheist live in.

      I HIGHLY recommend you to read "Atheists Exposed". Google it. The website is actually from an Ex-Atheist who is now a born again Christian.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Megadave

      I smell at troll.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  20. Reality

    What the judge should have noted:

    "Mr. Elbayomy, you are one of the many victims of the Infamous Angelic Cons:

    Joe Smith had his Moroni.

    "Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day dem-on of the de-mented.

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    Please note this in your future visits to parades. Next time, you will not be excused for your actions due to obvious brainwashing."

    newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

    "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."

    February 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • .....

      What should be noted by all : reality has no original thoughts to contribute, all that is here is copy paste bull sh it often unrelated to the story. Hit report abuse every time you see a reality heading.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.