Monday, December 12, 2005

Julian Hath On Atheists V. UHP

Mr. Julian Hatch- I operate the political site SLCSpin and have a small question for you. I'm sure you are aware of the legal action being taken regarding the Utah Highway Patrol memorials. I kow you have been actively involved in Atheist causes in Utah and I am curious to know your statement or opinion on this legal action? This is for public consumption, of course. Anyway, I look forward to your reply. I've enjoyed following your campaign so far and wish you the best of luck.-Ethan Millard Hello Mr. Millard, I just got back home to the internet after spending the past few days working on environmental problems out in the canyons of the Grand Staircase Escalante NM when I saw your email--sorry for any delay. I wasn't aware of your blog and glad to hear you care about my campaign for US senate challenging Senator Orrin. As for the question about the American Atheists lawsuit over the UHP crucifix's along the highways and on public land I have not seen anywhere that Pete Ashdown or Senator Orrin have made any comment about it. I would expect them to try to eventually take advantage of this since they can gain votes by standing with the religious majority in Utah. It is easy pickin's to kick minorities around. I did not file the suit, am not a named Plaintiff, and have not had a chance to review it yet. I do support citizen's using our court based legal system to try to resolve problems, especially when it involves our government. Apparently, the state agencies have never been willing to discuss this problem and atheists were forced to file litigation. If this lawsuit is frivilous or unwarranted then I trust a federal Judge will dismiss and the government can then file Abuse of Process and wrongful Use to get their costs for defending it. But I personally doubt the state will prevail in this matter and if that is the case, our leaders are wasting money as well as trashing the rights of atheists. It is well established that there is a wall of separation between government and religion. What I can't understand is why the government felt compelled to run to the media and drag all of us through this issue---without doing that, no one would even know about this lawsuit. Hundreds are filed every month in our state alone. From what I have read so far in the media, if you replaced the word "atheists" with "Jews" or "Mormons" you would have what Atty General Shurtleff believes is hate-speech. I am against Hate crime laws since I feel it will limit our free speech rights and end up persecuting opinions but I understand that Orrin, Shurtleff, and perhaps even Ashdown all support such laws. That is just one more reason to vote for me in 2006. I wouldn't want to call Shurtleff a bigot but am very concerned that this man, the media, and many people portraying themselves as loving Christians are so hatefully lambasting all unbelievers in religion---it's almost like a lynch mob mentality---maybe they can crucify the atheists on UHP crosses! I have personally seen dummies dragged through the streets and hung on light poles in Escalante, Utah with enviromemtalists and even President Clinton written on them. One time it was the Garfield County Deputy Sheriff who used the patrol car to do lynch them. It is not a funny or excusable. I hope citizen in Utah can take a deep breath and find something better to do with their time, especially during the Solstice holiday season. Thank you for covering my campaign on your blog---when I get a chance I will take a minute to see if you covered my campaign announcements---The Deseret News has never writtten a word about it----I guess they don't want citizens to know who the candidates are against Orrin---so much for Democracy in Utah! I hope to change that and see there is a clear choice in the election even if Republicans are the only ones that can possibly win. I heard Ashdown actually thinks he might become a Senator next year---I'd love to place a bet against him---no one has a chance against Orrin. I believe in democracy in our Republic---but that requires truth and a open, fair, and active press. You help get the issues out there with your blog and I appreciate it! We care at the Green Party and think we can make a difference! Seasons Greetings, Julian Hatch

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, he actually seems kinda reasonable, in a kooky kind of way.

12/12/2005 07:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Logan said...

The cross is a symbol. Whether it be religious or two sticks lashed together with string. The representation of the cross in this case is respect for the UHP that have given their lives.

It is not about religion being pushed on anyone. There are deep religious symbols everywhere and if it were a Star of David would the atheists still be throwing a fit? If the spots were marked with a verse out of the Quran would there be a lawsuit? No! It is because the symbols are christian and that is it.

I say get over it. This country is based on Christian values. Whether or not you are offended by a cross it is still just a symbol paying respect to the men and women who died on the highway.

What are they going to do next? Take the war memorials down on 11th ave? The crosses for all the soldiers?

Ridiculous.

12/12/2005 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger pramahaphil said...

I guess he seems reasonable, if you are a kooke! What a crock, atheist are somehow minorities because they sue anyone that has the audacity to say "Jesus Loves Me". It's not like anyone is saying "Jesus loves you", now that would be persecuting an atheist. "God loves you, and he hears your prayers". Take that dirty Atheists.

This whole case is rather ironic, the cross is a symbol that is avoided in Mormonism. The cross I'm guessing was likely chosen at random (or maybe even in an attempt to avoid an appearence of the Utah government/Mormon connection). I wonder if the Highway Patrol would have used the angel Moroni would the Texas group have known that there was a religious icon to sue about.

I'm curious if Atheists groups inclined to sue municipally owned cemetaries to have headstones removed that refer to God. This "cross" case seems about that petty. The military offers headstones to Vet's with the soldiers religious icon on the headstone, sounds like there needs to be a lawsuit filed there too.

12/12/2005 10:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the T stands for "Trooper" or "Thank you". What other kind of symbol would you be able to put up so that some one would instantly know that it represented that someone had been killed. A "K"?

12/12/2005 11:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Meghan said...

One thing I do agree with him on is the hate crime legislation. I don't think it is in the best interest of our state or nation.

12/12/2005 12:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm curious to know how a well written hate-crimes law limits free speech. Such a law would only effect crimes.

12/16/2005 03:35:00 PM  
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2/06/2006 06:06:00 PM  
Anonymous James Huber said...

At 60 or 70 miles an hour all you see is a 12 foot cross with UHP logo on it. That gives the appearance of government endorsement of religion. The fact that Christians keep going on about how this is a Christian country is pretty clear evidence that's how you see it too.

How about if the crosses were replaced with a big sign that gave the name of the officer and a breif decription of how they died? Wouldn't that be a better memorial?

4/01/2006 12:58:00 PM  

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