The Unfriendly Atheist

John Richards, a retiree living in Boston (in England), decided to put the following sign on his door:

Religions are fairy stories for adults

Seems harmless. People display their religious beliefs on their property all the time — a cross in a window, a “god loves you” welcome mat, etc.

But, because he’s an atheist, the police are telling him he could be arrested for his “threatening” message:

[Richards] told The Standard: “The police said I could be arrested if somebody complained and said they were insulted, but the sign was up two years ago and nobody responded or smashed the window.

“I am an atheist and I feel people are being misled by religion. I wanted to show people that if they thought they were alone there was at least one other person who thought that.

“I accept that the police emphasised the words could lead to an arrest but the implication is a threat to free speech which surely should be fought.”

The Public Order Act dictates that it is an offence to display any sign which is threatening, abusive or insulting, and could cause distress.