“Militant Atheist” found guilty of religious harassment

Prayer room

“The airport is named after one of my heroes and his view on religion was pretty much the same as mine. I thought it was an insult to his memory to have a prayer room in his airport.” That was part of the evidence given in court by the self-styled “militant atheist” campaigner Harry Taylor, 59, to explain why he left anti-religious materials in the multi-faith Prayer Room of Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport (pictured).

The jury of ten women and two men, at Liverpool Crown Court wasn’t having it. It took them just 15 minutes to find Mr Taylor guilt of “religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress” after viewing the “grossly abusive and insulting” images in court. The cartoons — which had been cut from newspapers, magazines and other mainstream publications — included one showing a smiling Christ on the cross next to an advert for a brand of “no nails” glue. In another, the Pope is shown wearing a condom on his finger. Others featured Islamic suicide bombers at the gates of paradise who are told, “Stop, stop, we’ve run out of virgins.”

BBC: “Militant Atheist” found guilty of religious harassment

(Via Religion News)


  1. Bill Whitcomb

    March 5, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Seems reasonable, as long as they extend the same protections to atheists being told they’ll rot in hell.

    He might have been able to get away with it if he’d set up the material just outside the chapel, but inside is kinda rude. …and how come no funny pictures of Buddha? No overt insults to Judaism either. Sort of hard to find Moses cartoons, I guess.

    Maybe he should just have argued for equal time and tried to get the airport to install…what?…the Atheists Philosophy Lounge? That would be pretty cool.

  2. “Seems reasonable, as long as they extend the same protections to atheists being told they’ll rot in hell.”

    If they extend that sort of protection to people, would people also be protected from having to hear about politics they disagree with?

    (Robert Bork would be all for it: http://reason.com/blog/2005/12/05/censors-for-freedom)

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