It's been on again, off again for a controversial anti-Christian Facebook page at the center of a heated First Amendment debate. Just days after a pro-life group claimed victory in having the "Virgin Mary Should've Aborted" page removed for violating Facebook's standards, it is once again active.
The contentious page, which pokes fun at Christian theology and organized religion, was apparently removed Friday following new-found complaints from the leader of Project Wildwire, a pro-life group that opposes Planned Parenthood.
Cary Bogue, the organization's CEO, took credit for the removal in a press release, noting that he finds the "Virgin Mary" page offensive and a violation of Facebook's standards.
A screen shot of the page taken in August 2013 (Image source: Facebook/Virgin Mary Should Have Aborted)
"This is not a First Amendment issue but rather an issue of [Facebook's] own standards regarding hate speech," Bogue said. "According to Facebook standards, 'we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.'"
Indeed, the full section of Facebook's hate speech standards reads:
"Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition."
But the "Virgin Mary" page is back once again -- and it's apparently the second time that it has been removed and subsequently reinstated; it was first taken offline last year after Bogue waged his initial campaign against it, he claims.
"If this is not the exact definition of hate speech directed at a religion, I am not sure what is?," he added in the press release. "We all know Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is an avowed atheist, pro-abortion and a strong advocate for the LGBT, but that does not excuse him from continuing to allow this page to remain."
On a separate Facebook page run by Bogue called "Catholics & Protestants United Against Christian Discrimination," he responded Thursday to the page's reappearance.
"They are back, no surprise. Unlike the wishful thinking by the atheist pro-aborts my head is not exploding, lol," he wrote. "Their pitiful disappearance and reappearance only means that now we have have another event this Saturday. Will they run again? Stay tuned."
It's unclear what this event will entail, but it's clear that Bogue and his supporters plan to continue battling the "Virgin Mary" page.
Lilith, one of the individuals behind the anti-religion page, also responded, quipping, "Like Jesus, we have risen from the grave."
She continued, "If you need a god to tell you what's right or wrong, please lock yourself away from the rest of society. That, to me, makes me feel that without your god, you would be a murdering, raping sociopath."
TheBlaze covered this issue extensively last year, noting at the time that a quick look at the page offered up a litany of anti-religious sentiment. Founded by two individuals known as Z and Lilith, the Facebook page seemingly intends to spark controversy.
The founders have noted that anyone who finds themselves offended should consider themselves among their “target demographic.” But in addition to rabble-rousing, they have claimed that they also want to spark a discussion.
A screen shot of the page as of May 2014 (Image source: Facebook/Virgin Mary Should Have Aborted)
"The purpose here is exposing the heinous absurdity that is organized religion, and its detrimental affects on seemingly reasonable human beings," a description of the site read. "We call religious bigots on their blatant hate, rustling their jimmies with obvious satire."
Z and Lilith made a point to note that, despite lambasting Mary, they were really against all organized religion. Here were just a few of the messages they posted last year:
- “Future historians will look back on this embarrassing culture and laugh. Theocracy is complete idiocy.”
- “Organized religion is not only an evidently harmful to humankind, but indoctrination removes love, empathy, compassion, intelligence and reasoning from seemingly ‘civilized’ humans – which allows for this brainwashed barbaric behavior to even occur. It continues to divide and destroy us, holding us back from universal equality, peace and progress.”
- “Has anyone ever listened to a theist describe the first time they felt a presence of their ‘savior’ or deity? Usually its a voice. Their experience generally entails some extent of mental breakdown, typically out of frustration.”
- “According to [C]hristians, slavery is not wrong. How can they think this way? They honestly believe that all humans are slaves of ‘god’, and proud of it.”
It's unclear what will happen next. What do you think? Is the page a violation of Facebook's standards -- or should it be allowed to remain? Take the poll: