The Anti-Defamation League notes the pernicious creep of judicial activism allowing extremist views (anti-Semitism, religious proselytisation, racism, &c) to be vented in public library spaces.
In this particular case, a Penna. library was required by a judge to allow an anti-Semetic Christian church to proselytise on its particular brand of hate-religion.
Few are fighting this trend. Atheists of course have already ceded the field in politics, choosing to allow others what they can say, hear, read, see, &c, as they do not think politics is an appropriate place to advocate for separation of church and state.
My question is: then what area of society is the appropriate place?
I am always very hesitant to paint the ADL as the "good guys," even if we happen to come down on the same side of a particular issue. They aren't exactly known for moderation in promoting their views, and they certainly are not in favor of a secular society.
The article states this event occurred in 2002 - 11 years ago. Mate Hale has since been convicted of solicitation to murder a federal judge and was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison in 2005. His release date is 2037. And, a careful reading of the article shows that the library never went to court to try and block his group. They just assumed they would lose if they did. I don't necessarily think a 11 year old incident constitutes a "trend."
And, I'm not sure what you mean when you say, Atheists of course have already ceded the field in politics, choosing to allow others what they can say, hear, read, see, &c. WHat choice, under the 1st Amendment, does anyone in our society have to do anything other than "allow others what they can say, hear, read, see, &c"? Freedom of speech is not meant to protect popular speech. The majority generally need no protection. Just the opposite. It's that which is unpopular, and even considered despicable, which is protected. Once you silence a scum-bag like Matt Hale and his followers, you're probably next.
That is the point, as far as speech goes. If the library opens itself up to be a public forum, it is a public forum - it cannot limit speech.
It becomes a public forum and not a library.
You silence folk like Matt Hale in the same way public prayer was silenced in school: by focusing on being a library, not a forum.
In the meantime the Christian Librarians' Association is working very hard to ensure libraries are public fora.
As for ceding the field: my petition to acknowledge the civil rights of atheists: 70 signatures. There are more atheists than that here.
The petition to build a death star at a cost of $150 quadrillion: 38,000 in three days, and the government addressed it. (They are not interested in blowing up planets, nor in a weapon which has a fatal flaw that can be exploited by a single fighter pilot, and are not interested in expanding the debt that much.)
The only atheists I know that have run for office openly as atheists are Herb Silverman for governor (defeated) and me for city council (appointed). The flappadoodle over the woman recently elected to Congress who listed herself as none for religious affiliation was pilloried here for not claiming the term atheist. She said it was not indicative of her life's work, which got her more guff here. Her life's work is as an LGBT activist, not an atheist activist.
I wrote my letter urging my representative to vote against the repeal of the Johnson Amendment. I wonder how many other atheists and agnostics did. (That is the amendment that prevents churches from politicking and donating money to candidates while being non-profit organisations that don't pay taxes.)
The petition to build a death star at a cost of $150 quadrillion: 38,000 in three days, and the government addressed it.