American Atheists Condemns Violence, Media Censorship in Ferguson

Cranford, NJ – American Atheists joins with local and national religious groups and community leaders to express our deep distress at the situation in Ferguson, Missouri—the violence, arrests, and threats to the freedom of the press and the freedom to peacefully assemble.  

The rights to assemble and to seek redress of grievances from our government are central to the functioning of a democracy. Failure to recognize these rights, even and especially during an emergency, is an unacceptable failure of the promise of our Constitution. Commitment to ensuring that basic human rights are protected transcends religious lines and should unite us all.

Free expression, whether it takes the form of religious worship, religious criticism, peaceful protest, assembly, reporting by journalists, or public debate, is one of these basic human rights. We are gravely disturbed when any government uses force to stifle such expression.

Violence and censorship are never the appropriate response to speech the government may find disagreeable. This is as true in the United States as it is in countries which criminalize blasphemy or apostasy. We condemn such violence and censorship here just as we would violence and censorship abroad.

Overwhelming data makes it clear that race profoundly impacts the experience people have in their interactions with our nation’s criminal justice system. As an organization that values evidence-based policy making, it is clear to us that this structural crisis must be addressed immediately.

American Atheists urges all involved to end the violence and ensure that the fundamental rights of protesters, the press, and the citizens of Ferguson are protected.

• • •

AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that defends civil rights for atheists, freethinkers, and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of religion and government; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy. American Atheists was founded in 1963 by Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

Dave Muscato, Public Relations Director
908-276-7300 x7
[email protected]

  • Atheist Cowboy

    Very well said!

  • Warren Norfleet

    I don’t disagree with anything stated here in this commentary; but, I do take exception as to what is only barely hinted at in it’s closing lines. When the article “urges all involved to end the violence” it’s emphasis is not on the word “all”, and the general tenor seems far more critical of law enforcement than of the violent protesters. The public does NOT know Exactly What Happened in this tragic event, but there’s little public criticism of the fire-bombers & looters even as the involved cop is being openly convicted of murder in the social media, TV, etc. I’d like to think A A News would be the beacon of unbiased reason & objectivity in this, or in other similarly emotional issues we may surely be confronted with.

    • DanV

      I found the emphasis to be on, “All”.

  • Amanda Brown

    What religious organizations/institutions have you aligned yourself with for the tragic event in Ferguson, MO?

  • 67Dutchman

    We should take issue with the entire U.S. Media DEMONIZING each and every Policeman, each and every Law Enforcement Agency. The violent mob behavior is being HONORED and reinforced by the Media. Outrageous assumptions about ALL White Policemen being racist, and ALL young black men are innocent angels. When ALL the undistorted, un-Politically Correct facts come out, Ferguson will BURN. Atheists should GET this easily, it’s all about making ASSUMPTIONS because of Mob Rule.

  • 67Dutchman

    This article is shameless pandering to Mob Rule. Shameless. Atheists know better than to make ASSUMPTIONS, based on the Political Correctness of the LOUDEST.

  • No News

    And what does this have to do with atheism? Absolutely nothing.

  • Pingback: How Mormons & Republicans Do Affirmative Action()

  • Pat Kittle

    Non-Jewish straight white males are the primary target of those who own the “mainstream” media.

    They do have an agenda.

  • Lilly Munster

    American Atheists also condemn the Rush to Judgment, biased media coverage, and most of all, the Thug behavior of so many of Ferguson Parasites. We are a nation of laws. Mob rule and ethnic anger will NOT solve anything. The kid has a long juvenile record of violence, and he DID rob that store. Blacks have no claim to being above the laws. OUR laws.

    • Philip Rivers

      So, the police officer had every right to kill the kid, because the kid had a record and the officer thought the kid robbed the store? (There hadn’t been a trial yet) But, hey! The suspect was black and the officer white. Why should anyone protest a white police officer shooting an unarmed teenager, even though it’s a Constitutional right to protest?

      • Pat Kittle

        If I go for a cop’s gun, I expect the same fate — whether I’m armed or not, whether I’m white or not, and whether I’m a violent 294 lb., 6’4″ criminal thug (“kid”) or not.

        Black-on-white violence is epidemic (FAR greater that white-on-black violence!) but the tribe that owns the media covers that all up.


        • DanV

          No one went for the cop’s gun.

          • Pat Kittle

            Of course not — he was just going for the cop’s sandwich.

            Now answer my question.

  • Pootis Spencer


    • Philip Rivers

      Hail God, the all mighty, who allowed Stalin to murder millions. Where was your god when he was so desperately needed?

      • Pootis Spencer


    • DanV

      The way you read about ISIS and hate all Muslims reminds me of why I cannot say I hate all Christians just because of fanatical beliefs like yours. Thank You.

  • Mo Fo

    atheists are good Communists… it worked well in the Soviet Union….

Copyright 2013 American Atheists