Magician Penn Jillette, from Penn& Teller, has received death threats for his anti-religious beliefs. He has written books titled God, No! and Every Day is an Atheist Holiday! Penn is, and always has been, outspoken about his beliefs which has caused numerous death threats over the years.
In an interview with Seven magazine, Penn said “I think that 9/11 made a lot of atheists more vocal. A lot of us…Just took that as a sign of how dangerous it was to be quiet at all. I don’t think anybody became an atheist because of that event. But a lot of people who were atheist decided to shut up less about it. But I’ve been an outspoken atheist for 40 years. "
He joked about comparing death threats with Richard Dawkins and South Park creator Trey Parker. Penn continues on with the interview saying the death threats he receives are from mentally ill people, who may also happen to be religious.
He said “And all of a sudden it came to me that we weren’t really talking about religion at all. We were talking about mentally ill people we happen to label in a certain way. And the number are so, so, so small…yeah, once in a while the police are called on someone who’s written something that crosses a line, and that’s sad – and that person could just as easily be an atheist, or anything. You can talk all you want about the violent imagery of religion – but it’s not the violent imagery of religion that’s making people send out death threats. It’s a mental illness."
Penn says basically anyone could be giving him the death threats, but that fact that he is an outspoken atheist happens to be the cause it it, such as many other people in Hollywood have become victims of death threats because of their religious beliefs.