Religion In The News

Freethinkers Attacked by Angry Christians

by Elroy Willis -- January 2, 1999

CHICAGO (EAP) -- A Chicago-based group of freethinkers was attacked yesterday by a group of fundamentalist Christians who think the freethinkers are a danger to our country and children.

The freethinking group whose motto is SPONG (Smart People Object to Nonexistent Gods) was passing out their literature outside a local restaurant when they were assaulted by a group of angry Christians who proceeded to forceably confiscate the pamphlets that the SPONG group was handing out to the restaurant's patrons and people passing by.

They then proceeded to set fire to the literature, all the while praising God and cursing free speech and free thinking.

"This group is very dangerous," said Herman Thornton, leader of the radical Christian group. "We can't have people passing out information like this to the public. God dosen't want people to think for themselves, he wants them to follow His Holy word as it is written down in the Bible."

"Their motto implies that people who believe in God are stupid, and we simply won't stand for it," Thornton said.

"My son came home from school with one of the SPONG pamphlets last week, and I immediately tore it up and flushed it down the toilet where it belongs," said Susan Overland, another member of the Christian mob. "My son and daughter have both been saying SPONG with increasing fervor the last few days, and I think they're brainwashed," Overland said.

"This SPONG word is quite catchy and dangerous," says Fred Palmer, another member of the Christian group. "I've even found myself saying it a few times, and I seem to be saying it more lately, even though I have no desire to say it."

The Christian group believes that SPONG is evil and the work of Satan, and are apparently prepared to fight the freethinkers with everything they've got.

"We don't care what the Christians think. We have every right to pass out our information," said Gilbert Williams, spokesman for the SPONG group. "If they can pass out their religious propaganda, then we can pass out ours, it's as simple as that," he said.

"When the Christians grabbed our pamphlets from us, we just about started to physically retaliate, but decided to remain calm and use the situation to our advantage," Bobby Adams, 20-year-old member of the SPONG group said.

The SPONG group stood back and shouted "Look at the Bible burners! Look at the Bible burners!" as they attracted a small crowd of restaurant patrons and people passing by.

The Christian group tried to stamp out the burning pamphlets, but all that was left was a pile of ashes. The SPONG group then pointed to the ashes and shouted out to the growing crowd of onlookers "Look! Those people burned our Bibles." Several fist fights broke out at this point between members of the crowd and members of the Christian group.

"We just stood back and laughed at the Christians fighting among themselves," said Randall Blackman, longtime member of the SPONG group. "It was quite funny when the people involved were yelling out 'I'm a true Christian, I'm a true Christian' to which their attackers replied 'Sure you are, that's why you burned those Bibles, right?'"

"We all got a good chuckle out of it," Blackman said.

Chicago police arrived on the scene soon thereafter and broke up the angry mob of fist-throwing Christians. They were all charged with disturbing the public, and fined $500 each. The SPONG group was found innocent of any wrongdoing, and will be allowed to continue passing out their freethinking pamphlets.


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