Atheist convicted of putting rude pictures in prayer room

Not sure who to be angry at in this story. The guy seems to be a bit of a jerk for putting rude pictures in a prayer room but on the other hand the law seems to be somewhat of an ass if it is convicting people for causing offence.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/8549613.stm

What the hell is a “prayer room” doing in an airport?

i’m guessing it’s mainly for the benefit of muslims. You may be at an airport for several hours and devout ones wanna pray 5 times a day so the airport provides a quiet space for the purpose.

I presume though that any religion could use it if they wished.

Why not? A large number of people pass through an airport, and a lot of them spend several hours there. I’m sure it doesn’t take up much space, and it’s just another service they provide for their customers.

I think it’s the same reason that some hospitals have prayer rooms or nondenominational chapels - they are there for use by anyone who wishes to use it or speak to the chaplain. Sometimes people are traveling due to bereavement or a family member’s health issues, and some people might seek it out if they are afraid to fly but must do so for some reason. Also, it’s there to support passengers, employees and their respective families if there’s an accident of some kind.

So he’s 59 years old and still has the maturity level of a 12 year old boy? What a catch!

“The atheist admitted leaving images of important religious figures in sexual poses but said he was simply challenging the views of others”

That phrase could be used to excuse just about anything.

There are chapels in both the Cleveland and Atlanta airports (and I’m sure in many, many other airports). When I was flying down to Atlanta for my friend’s brother’s funeral, I spent most of my waiting time sitting in the chapel, meditating. It was more comfortable for me to be sitting in a peaceful place doing my mourning than out amongst the other travelers.

Same thing free wireless internet is doing in the Pittsburgh airport (as well as some other airports). It’s something some people want to use while they’re at the airport.

“Militant atheist.” There’s an oxymoron you don’t see too often. Gives the rest of us a bad name.

You know, I thought “militant” meant someone with such intense fervor he might be expected to go to war over his convictions. Not someone who put up some dirty pictures in an airport. The guy isn’t a militant anything, he’s just a jerk. And it looks like he’s a jerk who violated a very stupid law.

Of course you’re right that warring is the first definition, but I think you’ll find that the 2nd definition fits this idiot’s bill nicely.

[Main Entry: mil·i·tant
Pronunciation: -tənt
Function: adjective
Date: 15th century

1 : engaged in warfare or combat : fighting
2 : aggressively active (as in a cause)](http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/militant)

He went into an area that is serving the purpose for which it has been designated and left garbage designed to offend. That’s pretty aggressive and stupid.

It always amazes me how so many people of faith have so little of it.

Oh noes, the prayer room had some offensive cartoons left in it. My faith has been besmirched!

Oh please, that’s hardly the issue and is that really what you believe? Do you honestly believe that someone’s faith is shaken by offensive cartoons or is your crazy hyperbole your idea of funny?

It’s just inappropriate and childish and although I know this board leans heavy, heavy, heavy on sneering at any believers, do we really want to side with the idiot in this situation? This guy didn’t happen to find himself in a prayer room against his will and fought back because he was forced to be there. He sought it out and decided to leave something specifically designed to offend. If he was a teenager I’d understand it. He’s a senior citizen and old enough not to be a jackass by choice.

O noes, the religious have a place to go and pray so I won’t have to see them doing it in the rest of the airport and offend my delicate non-believing sensibilities. I must fight back to save us from this!

See how stupid it sounds when I play the over-reacting hyperbole card? Yeah.

So religious harassment should not be a crime?

I for one think this is a great law. The next time I run across a Chick tract in a public library we can finally round up the jerks who leave these things everywhere. OK, OK, I’m kidding but the one time an atheist leaves a tract somewhere he gets arrested?

While I agree with what Sleeps With ButterFlies says, have you ever read a Chick tract? Evil, hateful images and words, they are everywhere and yet no arrests that I have ever heard of.

My faith isn’t besmirched in the least by what the guy did but it still was a jerkish thing to do.

He intentionally went into a place he knew to be designated for people to pray as they see fit and did something to cause offense. He went out of his way to do it.

I promise you none of his dirty pictures could change my faith but I shouldn’t have to see them if I go to pray or gather my thoughts in a prayer room.

His right to draw whatever pictures he wants and post them on his blog or publish a book with them or open an art show. Go for it. My right to go to a place to pray and not have to see them.

I’m not believer, but this is inappropriate. It also stupid – there’s no way this will change anyone’s mind about anything.

At the same time, the law seems an overreaction.

The second definition comes from the first. I agree that this was aggressive and stupid, but I think the BBC’s description was hyperbolic. It seems to me that if anybody is publicly known to be an atheist, they’re treated like a militant.

No, it shouldn’t. It looks like the guy’s crime was essentially blasphemy. Religions don’t deserve any particular protection and religious people don’t have a right to avoid ever being offended. Harrassing people because of their religion is another problem, but I don’t think putting some pictures in a public place qualifies.

I’ve never been a fan of draconian laws.