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The first hint of the Christian fundamentalist nonsense to follow was that “atheists” was misspelled (as “athiests”) in the opening sentence.

I found it in a feature titled “Crankmail” in the May edition of Freethought Today, a periodical of the secular Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF).

Here’s the lead-in to the feature:

Here is this month’s installment of Crankmail, letters from those who seem to be missing a marble or two from their collection. Printed as received (including strong language).

And by “strong language,” they mean raw. I’ll clean it up a little for you in the “Crankmail” letters to Freethought Today reprinted below, but you’ll get the idea. More disturbing to me than the cuss words (and even a bit frightening) are the abysmal English, slovenly writing and astonishing irrationality the letters expose, such as the idea that one of the writers will find “peace” knowing that FFRF staff with “burn in Hell forever.” How serene.

I’m reprinting these letters (with Freethought Today’s permission) because I worry that atheists don’t know or tend to forget the almost unfathomable unreason we’re up against in the Christian Right. It’s useful to remind ourselves, I think.

Here are the May letters. No attempt was made at editing, so they’re pure and athentic. Enjoy?

Happiness! Your organization is a joke! You are athiests in every respect! Your world is coming to an end in about 7 to 9 years! Repent & accept the GOD you can’t see! Believe on his son Jesus or perish in flames! The beast stirs! His reign is coming! All of you need GOD in your lives! If not for his righteousness & his glory & forgiveness, you would suffer greatly! I am only the messenger,— Emmanuel Torouge

Pensacola cross: You are the most hateful motherf—— on the planet. God is disappointed in my language to you but I will ask his forgiveness, later. For now I find peace believing you will not ask his forgiveness and you will burn in Hell forever. — Anthony Tommins

Fool: You want people to donate to an atheistic foundation, but you want to stop a restaurant from giving a discount to those who go to church (i.e., donating to theistic people).  What a hypocrite!!!  No wonder the Bible says, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God”. According to the Bible, everyone who says there is no God (i.e., atheists) is a fool.  Your complaint sure proves the Bible right — and also shows how there must be a God!!! — Ed Charles

Lies: Ffrf is spreading lies in the name of freedom, when in truth they want to silence anyone who has the strength of mind to speak publicly about their First Amendment protected right to speak and to believe according to their own conscience. Stop trying to bully the free populous, and return to the rock that you crawled out from under. Your billboards are plastered all over my hometown like an atheistic propaganda campaign. I’m submitting this for informational purposes only, no reply necessary. — Brian Lee

Prayer kids get to do: We Don’t tell you what to believe in and you have no right to tell us what we can do here in our country. If you don’t bwant God to be in your life that’s fine He doesn’t make you do that either. You Don’t have any Right to change our rights. If you don’t want to pray during a game or what ever your at that prays that’s find but Don’t push your stuff on us. Satan Believes in God and he trembles. Your choice. Don’t bow your head. — Linda Kroon

FFRF: Fu– you’re a– mother—– im not a christian but this website is a fu—– pot of steaming sh– — Jesse Paul

Alabama schools: You people better leave our schools in Alabama alone. We in Alabama are not going to be forced to give up our religion for 4% of the population in Alabama. I am sick of you people and if you keep pushing too hard, you are going to end up with a war on your hands that was started by you intolerant idiots. There will be enough red blooded true patriotic Americans that will become sick of your bullying and intolerant acts that are going to stand up and say enough is enough. Keep on with your crap, one day you will regret it. Oh, and I’m sure you are going to try to get your legal team on this because you think that I am threatening you, but don’t waste your time. You can’t do anything because guess what, I didn’t tell you that I am going to do anything to you, it will be every Patriot that stands up that will. — Carl Grier

Planets: Why are all the planets we know of, round? So uf you follow the big bang theory, the wouldn’t all planets be oddly shaped hunks or space rock? Who polished all the pieces and made them round? — Marcy Huntington

Jesus Christ: Question when its time for u to get sick and things are not looking to good for you WHO DO U PRAY TO ? JUST CURIOUS — Joe Schenk

Barker fail on Carlson: I demand Dan Barker’s immediate termination. He presents himsef as glibly knowledgeable, but spouts slander discredited for centuries, thus exposing his ignorance or corruption. Mark my words: he will end up destroying any remaining credibility FFRF has left. This is the best you can do?! Fire him today! — M.D. Waterloo

I met God in person: I can prove it to anybody. Everybody I talk to be lives me I have all types of proof. Just wanted you to know that. Stop living a lie. God is the most serious person that ever exsist. — Greg Stribling

Prophecies: Forget everything about what the Bible says except all the prophecies. You can’t deny prophecy because by its very definition is “history told before it happens.” The Bible has literally hundreds of prophecies both in the OT and NT. To date, the accuracy of these prophecies is 100%. This cannot be denied or overlooked. The prophecies alone about Jesus and his birth, Life, death and resurrection total approximately 300 prophecies. Do you know what the odds are of even a few of these coming to pass are? The prophecies alone land to be incredible way in which this amazing book was written over the centuries. If you can dispute these then I will become an atheist! Give it your best shot! — Norma Saib

Religion: I was just asking how do you know there ain’t no god? He’s done a lot for me he kept my babies alive when doctors said they were in critical shape. Prayers were answered. — Brian Ward


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— Richard Dawkins, author of “The God Delusion,” in praise of “Holy Smoke”

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Rick Snedeker is a retired American journalist/editor who now writes in various media and pens nonfiction books. He has received nine past top South Dakota state awards for newspaper column, editorial,...

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