Earlier this week, a judge in Florida ruled that a giant government-sponsored Christian cross in Pensacola had to come down. It was clearly an establishment of religion, he said, adding, “the law is the law.”
The attorney who successfully argued this case for the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center was Monica Miller, who’s been with the AHA for five years. Her bio is incredibly impressive and she’s done a lot of work in the past several years on behalf of atheist plaintiffs, but this recent victory really struck a nerve with Christians who are now harassing her (and the AHA).
This particular post seems to have gotten the most attention on Facebook. It’s been shared more than 7,000 times as of this writing. And it’s by a man named Lou Cobb, whose Facebook profile says he’s retired from the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office in Florida.
Here is the idiot attorney that fought for removal of cross in pensacola.
Lets make her famous an run her out of town!
There’s an unstated threat in there that I find very scary… because he doesn’t specify how people should “make her famous.” He also doesn’t seem to get that she’s an attorney representing clients in Florida and doesn’t live there herself.
That’s bad enough. But the shares and responses to that post are even worse.
Those posts, I assure you, are just a sampling of what people have said online. And I’m skipping over a lot of the comments that say she’ll burn in Hell, comment on her looks, or show no understanding of how the law works.
You want to know why atheists are often hesitant to file church/state separation lawsuits even when they know the law is on their side? It’s because they know this is what they’re up against. Sometimes, it’s safer to just stay silent.
I asked Miller if she had anything to say to these people (many of whom I’d suspect are regular churchgoers). Was she angry? Was she upset? Did she want to rub her victory in their faces?
Nope. She was, as always, very professional.
Although I’ve been the latest target of angry Christians who are upset with the law, which forbids a city from promoting their religious symbol, I have also received an outpouring of support from Christians and Atheists alike who understand the importance of separation of church and state.
My job is to enforce compliance with the First Amendment and that’s what I did. Even Reagan-appointed Judge Vinson understood that this cross is a plain violation of the First Amendment.
In case you’re wondering, the AHA has received several phone calls from these trolls since the victory, but at least the number featured in the post goes to a switchboard and not Miller’s office. Still, the harassment hasn’t stopped. I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for the likes of Todd Starnes to call the haters out on it, either.