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Austin Cline

Mayor Margie Rice: Knowing Atheists Exist Makes Me Sick

By May 16, 2011

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The Orange County Coalition for Reason has put up a billboard in Orange County and it's one of the more innocuous ones: "Don't Believe in God? You are not alone." As we have seen elsewhere, though, even the mildest expression of atheism or support for atheists is too much for some Christians. Mayor Margie Rice, for example, is only grudgingly willing to let the billboard exist and is actually made ill at the thought of atheists advertising in her community.

Mayor Margie Rice, who helped spearhead the In God We Trust movement in Orange County, said she still believes in God, but that the atheists have their rights and freedom of speech.

"That billboard is going to turn my stomach every time I drive by," she said. "But there is not much I can do about it. I guess it's fine to make a statement, but if I could help it, I would not allow it."

Rice said she will be seeking the advice of the city's legal counsel to find out what their options are. At the same time, Rice said, she will also wait to see the community's reaction to the sign.

Source: OC Register

So Margie Rice gets ill every time she is confronted with the knowledge that there are atheists in her community and, what's more, that these atheists don't have the decency to stay in the closet! What a wonderful political and community leader she is -- just the sort of Christian who helps give all Christians a bad name. She's basically saying that atheists aren't welcome in Orange County and that she doesn't regard them as equal citizens. Neither atheists nor secularists nor anyone who truly cares about equality should ever vote for or support Margie Rice.

Comments
May 16, 2011 at 1:35 pm
(1) Dean says:

We’re putting up a sign with that same slogan in the fall. I know I can count on the community to give us plenty of free publicity for it.

May 16, 2011 at 2:08 pm
(2) Louie says:

I wonder what she would have to say if a man said he got sick every time he saw a woman get a position in politics or business, other that that of a secretary, and if it were up to him, they would all be stay-at-home moms, and would try to find legal options to do something about it.

Somehow I think the irony would be lost on her though.

May 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm
(3) Karen says:

Why don’t we all chip in (it won’t cost us a lot) and buy her an emesis basin from a hospital supply store, gift wrap it and tell her we don’t want her messing up her office carpet.

May 16, 2011 at 5:02 pm
(4) Karen says:

Poor Margie Rice. She lives in a very, very, small world.

I remember my mother in her last years; she had arteriosclerosis in her legs, which kept her from getting out much (she refused to use a wheelchair). I watched in horror as her world, the mental world that she considered, shrank and shrank. She lived vicariously off the lives of her friends and neighbors, and as they slowly died off, her world continued to shrink. At last there was nothing left but her Catholicism, the saints, and a cocktail of prescriptions to get her through the day. Her ultimate system shutdown and death was a release for her.

But Margie Rice isn’t my mother. Presumably, she isn’t slowly dying from smoking. She’s intentionally made her world small. And if she keeps after it the way she’s doing, it will only get smaller.

If only she weren’t a civil servant.

May 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm
(5) Liz says:

I’d like to think that the sign will “turn her stomach” because it will call to mind some nagging doubt about her faith, shaking the complacency of her everyday existence and unquestioning belief in Yahweh and forcing her to face the notion that she might actually be wrong and wasting her time with all that religious nonsense.

May 16, 2011 at 6:12 pm
(6) Blunderov says:

If she believes that she knows what she knows then why should she feel anything other than a Christian concern about the possibility that others may not have the benefit of her insight? Is her faith so fragile? Methinks the lady doth protest too much. I think she has doubts.

May 16, 2011 at 7:28 pm
(7) Ron says:

Margie. Go fix me a sandwich.

May 17, 2011 at 11:55 am
(8) Richard says:

From my point of view, her reaction – which I suspect is a common one – is exactly why we atheists need to speak up for our (lack of) belief. Bus ads and billboards help spread the message. Given the reaction of people like the mayor, I have no problem with them being offended.

May 17, 2011 at 9:30 pm
(9) cag says:

Here in Canada there are 3 dedicated religious channels plus a lot of churches advertising their sermons. I manage to keep my lunch, despite the looney tunes.

May 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm
(10) Mojo jojo says:

I don’t believe in Margie Rice, and I’m not alone.

May 20, 2011 at 11:54 pm
(11) Ttosc says:

I sometimes believe that we, as a country, are moving backward; sinking to ever more intolerant points of view.
We do still have a constitution – however weakened it has become over the past decade or so (“Patriot” Act anyone?). Free speech is still a guarantee (at least I hope so!). I think that anytime we see someone who reacts like Ms. Rice, we see someone acting out of fear. They may fear that atheists are right.
They may fear facing that (scary) thought head on and asking the hard questions of themselves to discover the truth for themselves. While they’re certainly free to come to a different conclusion than atheists, they’re afraid to even look into it. To even entertain that thought is, to them, some sort of sacrilege… a nod to the devil, if you will. It really is easier to react like this, and pretend that doubts don’t exist within them.

May 27, 2011 at 5:56 pm
(12) Jordan C. says:

I agree with Blunderov…I’ve said it before on this page so I’ll just cut and paste….

jordan(12)
I believe that most Xians are closer to atheism than they themselves are aware of or would admit to. Here’s why I feel this way: They are always saying things like, “he’s in a better place now” or referring to heaven as their “reward”. However, I’ve never seen anyone try so hard NOT to get to this “better place” or receive this coveted “reward”. They’re always doing everything they can to NOT die….wearing seat belts, looking twice before crossing the road, quitting smoking etc. If they REALLY believed, they would not cling to life so desperately. If they REALLY believed there was a magical being directing what happens to them, how they die, and where they go when they die, they would be much more relaxed and accepting about it. They can give their piety all the lip service they want, but their actions speak volumes about what their subconscious truly believes.

April 13, 2011 at 8:43 am
Reply

June 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm
(13) Techskeptic says:

Not really jordan. They believe that ths better place exists, but that their god wants them on ths planet for the time being and that suicide is a sin. Therefore intentionally trying to increase the chances of dying would be sinful and they wouldnt get into heaven.

Believe me, they have had 2 thousand years to justify easy things like that. thats a softball.

June 9, 2011 at 11:41 am
(14) Tripp says:

The billboard is a positive message for atheists – the most marginalized minority in the country. I think a better wording would be “Don’t believe in gods?…” Using term ‘God’ gives the impression that the Christian god is the only god worth considering. The fact is that there are over 3000 named gods. It seems pretty clear that all of them are products of the human imagination and have no basis in the real world.

The mayor’s reaction to it goes against one of our most cherished American values – freedom of religion. It sure makes her look bad.

June 9, 2011 at 7:13 pm
(15) seathanaich says:

Well Ms Rice, people who believe in fairy tales turn my stomach too, particularly when we see their deeds on the evening news, and see the harm they cause to others in all aspects of life.

However, unlike you, I don’t feel that censoring and silencing you (or wistfully wishing to do so) is an appropriate way to counter your ideas and beliefs.

What sort of “community reaction” is she waiting for? A mob with torches that she can join?

December 30, 2011 at 4:56 pm
(16) Samuel Ciraulo says:

I would not let the billboard up either. I hate atheism with a passion just as I hate Evolution and Socialism. they are all part of the same twisted tree. That does not mean i hate the Atheist, i merely think they are lost and ignorant though some like Richard Dawkins who is a Darwinian evolution are plain and simple arrogant a** holes.
There is freedom of religion in America, which means that you have the freedom to believe in whatever you want and not be publicly persecuted, but your lying to yourself if you think that Christians don’t get persecuted by 90% of atheist, and allot of Christians persecute atheist as well.
But the idea most atheist are trying to past is not neutral apathy towards Christianity or anyone else who is not an atheist. The message most are trying to send is that Anyone who does not believe in Atheism and Evolution is a dumb a** and should be frowned upon by the community as general. Evolution is the religion of the state and it is upheld by the minority of the country. and it is most definitely hostile to everything else Especially Jews and Christians.
Point being I believe that you have the right to believe in whatever you want, However I don’t support outright illiterate badgering and mocking of theist, and whether the intent of the atheist who put up the billboard is hostile or passive, the message still comes across as mocking and idiotic to everyone who is not an atheist. I wont lie I have wanted to go out and climb onto the billboard and put white paint on the “don’t” on the “Don”t believe in god?”.
and Again whether the Atheist realizes it or not that does not change the fact that the Reason this country is going downhill is because of Atheism’s encouraged acceptance and Evolution being jammed drown the throat of the youth in every public school in America.
Conclusion being that You can believe in atheism, Just don”t expect everyone to pat you on the back for it.

January 1, 2012 at 8:43 am
(17) Austin Cline says:

I would not let the billboard up either. I hate atheism with a passion just as I hate Evolution and Socialism.

Do you even know what they are? I have my doubts.

your lying to yourself if you think that Christians don’t get persecuted by 90% of atheist

Then you should be able to cite a lot of examples.

The message most are trying to send is that Anyone who does not believe in Atheism and Evolution is a dumb a** and should be frowned upon by the community as general.

Which is completely the opposite of your attitude towards atheism and atheists.

Evolution is the religion of the state and it is upheld by the minority of the country.

Like I said, I don’t think you have any idea what evolution is.

However I don’t support outright illiterate badgering and mocking of theist

So, what if my belief is that religion should be mocked?

and Again whether the Atheist realizes it or not that does not change the fact that the Reason this country is going downhill is because of Atheism’s encouraged acceptance and Evolution being jammed drown the throat of the youth in every public school in America.

OK, prove it.

Conclusion being that You can believe in atheism, Just don”t expect everyone to pat you on the back for it.

Well, it would be nice if people weren’t so ignorant and actually knew what atheism is. Then they wouldn’t say ridiculous things like that atheism is something that a person “believes in.”

January 6, 2012 at 3:03 pm
(18) The Big Blue Frog says:

I’m convinced that one of the reasons why some theists react so violently with illness and fear at the mere existence of atheists, is that the mere existence of atheists undermines their idea that “everyone believes in something.” They can rationalize other theists who don’t believe in the same god or pantheon as they do, but the idea of non-belief is so foreign that they can’t fit us into their pigeonholes, and that makes them squeamish.

January 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm
(19) MaryL says:

Legal counsel should tell her about freedom of speech and religion, then add that billboards are private property that display paid advertising and announcements, governed by zoning laws. Of course, that information may be too easy for some to understand…

January 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm
(20) OZAtheist says:

It’s amazing that Samuel can hate so passionately and have so little understanding about the objects of his hatred. Gracious of him to admit that Christians persecute atheists, but where does he get that figure of 90% of atheists persecuting Christians? How, what, where?

I can sympathise with Mayor Margie Rice getting sick when she is confronted with evidence of the existence of atheism. I feel nausea myself every time I see a woman dressed in a burka, a Catholic Nun, men in dresses with big crosses adorning them, groups of men on there knees banging their heads on the floor in perfect time, guys wailing and banging their heads against a wall, and hearing an American politician making reference to God during his speech.

January 7, 2012 at 6:03 pm
(21) Jacob says:

Samuel Ciraulo,

Believe it or not, there are plenty of religious folk who believe in evolution. And Cline is right; your word socialism, if I had to guess, is just a blanket word you learned from a source like Fox news. It sounds like you would throw the word around to start fights and label people rather than have an intelligent discussion.

If you believe in a personal God who created this world and the physical laws that uphold it, then you had better learn the science that seeks to understand this world, and reconcile your religious views with it. If you believe in God, then God works through evolution and natural laws. Otherwise, your God sounds more like a myth to me.

January 8, 2012 at 9:52 am
(22) Grandpa_In_The_East says:

Why should the statement of truth, “you’re not alone” make a person ill? What’s wrong with some citizens of Orange County, CA wanting a wee bit of education for the people of Westminster? Is it because IF they’re educated they may know better than to vote for candidates who are morally unfit to serve? (people intolerant of those whom they are elected to serve?) I think that’s the crux of the matter!

Billboards are a powerful form of advertising, but seeing is NOT “believing.” Get a life, Samuel Giraulo, it’s the only chance you’ll have, I feel certain.

Grandpa

P.S. A thought for you: “When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read: “All men are created equal except negroes, foreigners [atheists] and Catholics. When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”–Abraham Lincoln

January 8, 2012 at 6:41 pm
(23) dave Y. says:

@Samuel Ciraulo,
When people believe something and it is found to be not TRUE, telling the people that it is NOT true is NOT persecution! it is FACT!
Belief has no place above facts, and beliefs can’t be facts, if they were facts you wouldn’t have to believe in them!
From the nonsense I read that you wrote, all I can say is that you hate reality, a coomon complaint of believers!

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