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Surrender, hell!

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"High Noon" would not be so uplifting a movie if Gary Cooper had decided to back down from the bad guys because people told him there'd be trouble if he didn't. Things would have been different and better at Little Rock in 1957 if authorities had announced in the beginning that they'd enforce the Constitution even if troublemakers objected, instead of caving in to putative mobs in the street.

Sometimes you have to confront the bullies. Government officials at Little Rock, of all places, should know that. Yet here is the Central Arkansas Transit Authority refusing to sell pro-atheism advertising on its buses, and offering as its excuse the fear that non-atheists would vandalize the bus company's equipment. Advertising on buses by churches is common, and nobody worries that atheists might be offended. We rely on the police and the prosecuting attorney to deal with any law-breaking nonbelievers. The same should be true for pious thugs.

The group seeking the atheistic advertising has gone to court, but it shouldn't have to. Run the ads, CATA, and if vandals cause trouble, punish the vandals. Don't let them run the bus company. Non-vandals have rights too.

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