Watch Chicago Christians Cover Up an Atheism Display With an Angels Banner, to ‘Show Atheists Our Love and Support’ December 24, 2013

Watch Chicago Christians Cover Up an Atheism Display With an Angels Banner, to ‘Show Atheists Our Love and Support’

Not a lot needs to be said here, because the video says it all. Some Christians really can point at a perfect summer sky and claim it’s green with yellow polka dots.

Just as they can come to a public atheist display, cover it up with a banner about angels, and claim that their actions are intended as a show of love and support for non-believers:

“What we’re hoping that it’s possible that if we as Christians show our love and support for our atheist brothers and sisters that maybe, maybe they might be more tolerant toward Christian values, not only, you know, at Christmas time, but the entire year, as well.”

I’m not making that up. It’s a quote from William Kelly, chairman of the Remember America Foundation. Listen for yourself, at 3:49.

The Christian lady at 0:20, however, gets it:

Everybody should get the opportunity to speak here. Whether it’s an A, whether it’s a menorah, whether it’s a nativity.”

In the unlikely event that Kelly didn’t yet make his shadiness and mendacity sufficiently clear, he posted the above video to YouTube with a caption that reads, in part:

An angry atheist attacks Christian demonstrators in Chicago’s Daley Plaza.

No angry atheists are in fact shown, and neither is an attack of any kind — other than Kelly sucker-punching truth and decency in the gut.

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  • Rob P

    “I’ve had my 1st Amendment rights violated many times.” So why are you violating someone else’s?
    I hope there is a fine for defacing the displays there.

  • Thiriel

    How do these people even function?!

  • Marie Alexander

    You know the most ironic thing about this story… It says he’s the head of the “Remember America Foundation”. Why don’t you remember American values by NOT violating our First Amendment? Recognize that not everyone agrees with you and don’t censor us.

    You know, if we had done something like that to him, that would be part of the War on Christmas, wouldn’t it? Hypocritical Christians, I’ve kind of come to expect them.

  • Whitney Currie

    I’m going to go with “poorly”.

  • Thiriel

    I think I’d go with “childishly”, but I work with children and while their logic sometimes confuses me, they are, at the very least open to the rules of Logic. These people, methinks they still need to be tied to apron strings…

  • Fentwin

    My new alphabet see & say; A is for asshole. You pull the string and hear Mr. Kelly say stupid things.

    Merry Christmas 🙂

  • I would love for this asshole to show me just once when and where his 1st Amendment right was violated.

  • Does it mean they are mentally deficient since they seem to “remember” an America that never existed?

  • Faustinah Santiago

    These people are ridiculous.

  • T Shull

    So if Jews or Atheists had come in and placed menorahs or A’s around the Christian nativity, to show them our support, he would have understood?

  • Jack7

    Just what in the hell is this?

  • LesterBallard

    The arrogance, self-righteousness, and dishonesty of the average American Christian; it’s something to behold.

  • LesterBallard

    They suspended him from his TV show?

  • Heaven Kincaid

    Showing love with a display of intolerance in hopes of getting the group you’re intolerent of to tolerate your intolerence…….

    While, as an atheist myself, I find a lot of these Atheist holiday displays to be tasteless; censoring an entire group of people is not how you will successfully achieve the goal of making them feel loved.

    I’d personally prefer that we be the bigger person and put up all inclusive holiday displays, even toward christians, because this time of year isn’t one that I think we should be making people feel unloved. I feel this way because I am an atheist and I now how it feels to be excluded because of that. If they want to keep making fools of themselves then let them. They’ll look twice as bad if we aren’t putting up displays featuring borderline verbal attacks under the guise of holiday cheer.

    Also, an A, really? We can’t get more creative than the equivalent of tossing a cross with lights on it up there? As an artist I find that to be offensive simply on the most basic aesthetical level. =/ We’re contributing mediocre, not even deserving of the word, ‘decorations’ in the midst of the most decoration filled time of the year. At the very least it’s the least eye catching thing we could do. I’m just generally disappointed in our holiday contributions. 🙁

  • Jon Doee

    Really christians? I…. y’know, I’ll let Jack say it for me…

  • Dorothy: How can you talk without a brain?
    William Kelly: I’m a Christian conservative.

  • I wish you lived near Maine.

  • Tamra Louviere

    A bunch of self-righteous idiots! Christians make me sick. I was raised among them and I know for a fact that they are the most hateful, bigoted, hypocritical idiots ever born! UGH!

  • Guest

    “[Atheists don’t like christianity and that’s hate speech.]” – some dork who likes to hear himself speak.

  • “Show me on this doll of the constitution where they violated you”

  • Alierias

    “Bob here, has no brain”. “Turns out, you don’t need one!” — Monsters Vs Aliens

  • LesterBallard

    Thanks, but no, you don’t.

  • Longbowgun

    “I think that if you read the text of the atheist display it’s actually more hate speech.” This dude needs to see a psychologist. No reasonable person would say that this is hate speech.

  • Camran

    What he means is his Christian preferential right has been

  • Merry Christmas.

  • “…the atheists somehow obtained a permit…”

    Implying that there’s something nefarious involved in atheists getting a permit to put up a display where other displays are permitted. Nope, just as straight-forward a clerical process as was used for your nativity scene.

    “..I think Rahm Emanuel was wrong to grant this permit…”

    It’s not up to Mr. Emanuel’s discretion, you deliberately ignorant fork-tongue. It’s in the Constitution. If Emanuel or anybody else tried to deny the permit, they’d get a big fat lawsuit and deserve the headaches.

    “…As Christians we want to love the atheists and pray for them…”

    “…as long as they shut the fuck up and go invisible again.” Not gonna happen, Kelly.

    This guy is deeply threatened by our very existence. That’s why he was out there, trying to change the scary word “atheist” into the happy word “angel”. He’s terrified of his imaginary atheists, not real ones. He defines and describes his imaginary atheists, not real ones. He argues with his imaginary atheists, not real ones. He has nightmares about a big red “A” chasing him around in his ‘jammies. “Mommy! Mommy!” For Kelly, growing up consisted entirely of no longer saying “boogeyman,” and saying “atheist” instead.

  • He said the display could be upsetting to families with children who expect to encounter a Christmas tree or Nativity scene, but not atheist symbols that criticize their religious beliefs.

    Good to know that the Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, the Statue of Liberty, and the United States Constitution are “atheist symbols.”

  • Christopher Griswold

    That made me laugh entirely too much.

  • Terry Firma

    To be honest, I get the vibe from him that he doesn’t actually believe in his own bullshit. Something in his facial expressions (lots of looking away) and his body language suggests to me that he’s almost a performance artist, an actor trying on a part, a Joey Skaggs wannabe. Not saying that Remember America is a hoax, but I have the distinct impression that Kelly — unlike, say Pat Robertson or Rick Warren — is massively insincere. Maybe it’s just that Kelly is a con man who hitched his wagon to the Conservative Christian outrage machine in order to get people to send him money. He’s an odious man either way.

  • diogeneslamp0

    War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is knowledge. Vandalism, criminality, slander, hate and suppression of free speech is Christian love and support.

  • Guest

    Another win for the good guys!

  • tony durke

    Yes, these displays are tasteless. We atheists are getting to be known as a dull bunch. Can we not spice up our non-belief? Science is a beautiful thing, let’s show that to the world. Part of the reason why religions have been so successful is that they rely on spectacle and awe to gather their flock. Science is beauty at every turn, take a look at a double helix or a nebula and your breath will be taken away by the absolute magnificence…

    And the A does suck. We can be more creative than this.

  • tony durke

    Freedom of speech is often mistaken for hate speech.

  • Gunner Miller

    I went to this guys FB page and I can easily say that he feels that atheist sign is hate filled and his blocking it is due to love…and you’re hate filled if you tell him. Some people have a need to feel persecuted.

  • wtbusdriver

    I’d like him to list even one time that his First Amendment right was violated.

  • AugieBenDoggie4444


  • A3Kr0n

    That guy in the interview thinks what he is doing will make atheists more tolerant toward Christians?
    By calling their display hate speech and covering it up?
    That makes sense!

  • Howard

    Seeing as Christians are commanded by their god to not bear false witness, you have to ask yourself, do people like Kelly really believe what they claim to believe?

  • Lee Miller

    Yes . . . ridiculous, but also scary and dangerous. They just can’t see what they’re doing because it’s all justified by Invisible Gawd™.

  • This is the text of the sign, just so we all know that it’s not hate speech in any way. In fact, there’s this ChicagoNow page where he quotes a DIFFERENT FFRF sign in order to make this one look worse than it is: (he quotes the There are no gods, no devils… etc. sign instead)

    Atheists, agnostics, secular humanists and freethinkers are far more numerous than most people realize. This display, provided by the Freedom From Religion foundation, depicts the scarlet letter “A” symbol designed by the Richard Dawkins Foundation to promote its “Out Campaign.” Its purpose is to encourage the non-religious to come out of the closet, eradicating the negative stereotypes of non-believers, promote rational thinking, to prevent atheism from being pushed into the shadows, ensure that our government remains completely neutral on the issue of religion vs. non-religion, and reach out to like-minded individuals to let them know they are not alone. Nearly 20% of the U.S. population now identify as non-religious, a percentage that continues to grow very rapidly.

  • Randay

    I have to agree. He reminds me of preachers I saw in Marjoe Gortner’s documentary exposé about his own preaching, simply called “Marjoe”. Next we can follow him up with “A” is for “Asshole Jesus Freak”.

  • Boarczar Zila

    Isn’t there something in the bible about bearing false witness?

  • Randay

    You’ll like their given contact address: One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA.

  • skinnercitycyclist

    OT, but I am getting REALLY tired of having videos start up on this blog when I open a page.

  • Fentwin

    ““You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

    loophole; I guess it depends on whom they consider their neighbors.

  • Dave

    My impression is that he never bothered to rationalize his actions, and now post facto he’s realizing that he even sounds stupid to himself.

  • Terry Firma

    The ones you were raised amongst, perhaps, but do you really want to make that statement for Christians as a whole? I happen to be visiting the home of Christian friends right now, who (surprise) happen to be a very far cry from “hateful, bigoted, and hypocritical.” Tomorrow, I and my family will join my extended in-laws. Not a hateful bigot among them, and they’re all Christians. Some of them are even [gasp] conservatives.

    I get that blowing off some steam is a legitimate, possibly therapeutic function of this comment section, so have at it. But I hope I may assume that you agree, in the cold light of day, that it’s wrong to tar two billion people with the same brush based on the (admittedly large) contingent of jackasses in their midst.

  • Terry Firma

    I don’t think that’s anything we do on our end. Is it possible that you have autoplay enabled in your browser? Let me check with Hemant.

  • Emily

    As much as I dislike that guy and what he’s doing, I have to point out that he’s not actually violating our first amendment rights. He didn’t somehow get the government to take away our ability to speak or punish us for speaking. We have the right to free speech, just as he has the right to speak out against what we said. Is this guy an asshole and a dumbass? Yes. But he didn’t violate our fist amendment rights.

  • Ken Loukinen

    Maybe we could hold a FSM on a long pole above the manger (without touching it) to alter the creche in the same manner as they are doing with the “A” display.

  • Marianne D

    You win the Internet–Christmas Edition.

  • Jim Jones

    Maybe an animated and illuminated FSM (bless His mysterious noodles) would do it?

  • SkepticsRUs

    There are extensions for both Chrome and Firefox that blocks scripts from auto-starting.

  • wesvvv

    It’s not doing it for me. I run Ghostery.

  • WingedBeast

    How is… covering up what someone says and intends, at the moment that you’re covering it up, to be heard expressing love? There’s a logic fail, there. Of course, when the logic is a patch between good PR and bad intent, there’s a limit to what it can do.

  • Rene Belloq 12 inch figure

    Angels are real.

  • Marie Alexander

    Not legally, no, he hasn’t broken any sort of legal right. I guess that I should be glad that he hasn’t gone to the courthouse and demanded that this BLASPHEMOUS display be removed IMMEDIATELY (but please still allow religious displays), but he has the nerve to spout “Remember America!” and “Freedom of speech!”, censor an Atheist display, doesn’t stop to think “You know… if someone had done this to a religious display… I would’ve been pissed…” (and THEN say he’s saying that he’s showing his “love and support for atheists,” but now I’m getting ahead of myself) The point is, I get what you’re saying, but my point wasn’t that he was violating the law, it was that he’s a hypocrite for saying he believes in freedom of speech.

    I do see now that I maybe should’ve worded it a little differently, though.

  • SeekerLancer

    Bravo to the lady at 20 seconds. I imagine I probably disagree with her about a lot of things, but when it comes to the constitution she gets it.

  • Marylou Doehrman

    So, Kelly says he hopes that atheists will become more tolerant of Christians? As Ron Reagan Jr. once said when someone years ago asked him if he would consider running for the presidency of the U.S: “I could never get elected because I’m an atheist.” And I’m sure that holds true today, so why is it that we as atheists are intolerant? It’s no different than any other religion – Christians want everyone to embrace their religion. I am not intolerant of Christians; I am intolerant of ignorance, inflexibility and holier-than-thou attitudes – and all of that certainly describes William Kelly!

  • midnight rambler

    Even without Flashblock (which you should have anyway), embedded YouTube videos shouldn’t play until you click on them.

  • Ed Adams

    lol. yes. the win is for the atheists.

    this shows the world how dangerous christian fascists like kelly are.

  • Abendschein

    This whole, “violation of our First Amendment rights,” argument is so old, and so wrong. The First Amendment protects the people from the government, not other people, from censoring what you have to say.

    That being said, I think people should understand what this is really about: A shitty human being hiding behind the mask of his, “beliefs” to justify something he would clearly be against if it were to happen to him. He has very little tolerance and it’s more annoying than anything. Also, Richard Wade made a good point. He’s implying, and very much so, that Atheists are awful people and had to do something underhanded to receive a permit for their display.

    This guy is just a giant piece of shit. This has absolutely nothing to do with the First Amendment, just someone’s total ignorance and bullshit.

  • diogeneslamp0

    The distinction between authoritarianism and fascism is lawless, thuggish behavior. These particular Christians, by embracing thuggish criminality to suppress criticism, have crossed the line from authoritarianism into fascism. We will see more and more of that.

  • John Louis Evans

    he is a fucking idiot

  • EdmondWherever

    “You don’t need to pass an IQ test to be in the Senate.” – Mark Pryor, US Senator. I wish my quote was as fictional as yours.

  • John Gallagher

    Next year they can erect a D for Douchebag as their Atheist view of this clown – this whining clown of a “pastor”.

  • Beau Stoddard

    Did you know 87% of atheists are diagnosed with a mental disorder at some point in their lives?

  • Oggy

    One of these days the sane people in the world are going to unite and lose our patience, slap the theists legs and send them to the naughty step

  • Richard P. Weiss

    This is just another example of the pushy theists forcing their superstitious beliefs on others and paying no attention to the First Amendment, and the Jeffersonian interpretation of the separation of church and state.

  • Pattrsn

    Thanks Beau for that beautiful poe, you’re imitation of a complete idiot made my day.

  • Terry Firma

    He covered up the atheist display with his banner. What says”free speech” about that?

  • Nico Prime Ferrise

    >.> does anyone else see parallels of what Christians have done before, taking other people stuff and making it mean something else for them?

    just me? huh weird

  • phantomreader42

    Whereas mentally ill christians just claim jeebus cured them, then go on a killing spree, and their fellow cultists blame demons or say they weren’t True Christians™

  • Strudelhouse

    Who’s the asshole off camera that won’t stfu? I’m trying to listen to her, and this dude just keeps trying to talk over her. What is this, Fox News?

  • painperdu

    He believes and supports our rights . . ., as long as they’re the *right* ones.

  • Ton_Chrysoprase

    We can’t have things both ways – the first amendment is about government interfering with speech, which is not the issue here. I am sure his first amendment rights were never trespassed on, but neither is he on anybody else’s. This shouldn’t be about tribalism but about what’s right, even if the guy is a douche.

  • David A Deal

    He is saying Atheism is NEGATIVE! And they are going to pray for us. He calls displaying the A for Atheism is hate speech, when we as Atheists promote science, reasoning and peace. Screw these arrogant fools!

  • David A Deal

    Yes indeed wouldn’t a Menorah be hate toward Christians by his definition since Jews DENY Christ as the savior?

  • David A Deal

    That’s a bold statement! I like it!

  • Faustinah Santiago

    Its incredible how deep the brainwashing is. Generational brainwashing. Their sign should say “A” is for “Assholes.” Clueless.

  • Sue Blue

    So, I suppose that they wouldn’t be at all offended if the Satanic Temple covered up the angel banner with one displaying satanic symbols, and claimed to just be “sharing” the enlightening power of Satan with their Christian brethren. Cuz everyone knows that the way you respect someone’s views and beliefs is to repress them, right? Sure, ya betcha!

    Christians – specializing in not-so-passive aggressiveness since way back when.

    (Actually, the Satanists are way too tolerant and classy to ever do anything like that…sorry, Satanists.)

  • enjoyingxmaswithfamilyindublin

    He is actually helping atheists…more idiots please 🙂

  • Don Gwinn

    He has a long record of desperate attention-seeking in Chicagoland. This is unlikely to be anything but new schmuck from his point of view.

  • Matt D

    Feel free to support the “good guys” with a faceless “guest” login all you want. I’m sure hiding in the shadows and leaking praise will be compelling evidence for people on the fence.

  • Where’s the Beef?

    I would have walked right through the banner to see the APPROVED Atheist sign erected by law on the public commons. If their sign just happened to be damaged in the process, then so be it, as it was not an approved sign to be displayed.

  • Where’s the Beef?

    His ILLEGAL display covering the approved, legal, display is his subversion of the 1st Amendment. Plain and simple. WOuld it have been OK for Muslims to have a banner 30 feet high covering the whole area, nativity scene included?
    Your argument is stupid on its face.

  • Where’s the Beef?

    Refrain: May his noodly appendage touch you.

  • R’Amen

  • Chris Muir

    He’s no angel. In his case, the “a” stands for a-hole.

  • chris brock

    So what should we say their ‘T’ stand for?

  • Jim Jones

    >And the A does suck. We can be more creative than this.

    Although no one’s been nailed on a big A yet – but I wouldn’t put it past the crazies.

    Maybe a huge picture of the universe with a caption and arrow, “You are here. Oh, and cut off the end of your penis. Sorry about that.”

  • Tamra Louviere

    I call ’em like I see ’em. They follow a book that teaches bigotry and hatred…so it’s part of their religion. Yeah, I do paint them all with that brush as long as they belong to a religion that supports and condones this behavior…

  • Terry Firma

    I’m always sorry to see bigots make an appearance and defend their bigotry.

  • katiehippie

    Did you know that 87.6% of statistics are made up on the spot?

  • EssenceOfThought

    I’ve made a video on this, including what it was that the original signs said which just strings out his lies one after the other.

  • Conuly

    A number that is comparable to the number of theists who are diagnosed with a mental disorder at some point in their lives.

  • Ton_Chrysoprase

    Not sure how his “display” is illegal. I understood this to be a temporary thing that only was there for the duration of his temper tantrum. If this was a permanent installation that, if tolerated by relevant authorities, represented an implicit endorsement of his message, that would be a reasonably clear case. The Muslim thing doesn’t work on me as I don’t see how one religion is different from another. Obviously, reasonable people can disagree on the merit of the argument, but calling it stupid seems a bit extreme. Are you one of these intolerant Atheists that are giving the rest of us a bad name?

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