Published Sep 05, 2014A Kentucky man recently spent eight days in jail after being charged with "terroristic threatening" due to posting a violent set of lyrics lifted from an old Exodus song on Facebook.
NBC affiliate 14 News [via Billboard] reports that 31-year-old James Evans of Muhlenberg County, KY, was picked up by the authorities after posting a few lines from the band's Exhibit B: The Human Condition track "Class Dismissed" on August 24.
The selection read, "Student bodies lying dead in the halls, a blood splattered treatise of hate / Class dismissed is my hypothesis, gun fire ends in debate."
Various agencies were reportedly alerted to the post, according to Muhlenberg County school resource officer Mike Drake, with a warrant later issued for Evans' arrest over claims that "he threatened to kill students and or staff at school."
Evans was released on September 3, with a court deferring the case for six months and Evans ordered to undergo a mental evaluation. He has dismissed the arrest as "nonsense" and a blow to freedom of speech
"I feel like my civil rights have been violated," he told 14 News. "You know first amendment freedom of speech out the window. Even all the guys I was in the cell with they thought it was nonsense themselves. I had several officials tell me it was nonsense that there was no reason why I should have even been here."
Exodus, meanwhile, issued a statement on the matter, with guitarist Gary Holt explaining that the song was written in response to the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre at the hands of shooter Seung-Hui Cho, which resulted in the death of 32 people. While he admitted that the band have since stopped playing the song live, due to the 2012 shooting at Newtown, CT's Sandy Hook elementary, the musician stood up for Evans' rights to post the lyrics.
"Exodus does not promote or condone terrorists, threats or bullying," Holt wrote. "James Evans was simply posting lyrics to a band he likes on Facebook, and he was locked up for it. The song 'Class Dismissed (A Hate Primer)' was written as a view through the eyes of a madman and in no way endorses that kind of f--ked up behavior."
He added of Evans' arrest over the Facebook post, "when we start to overreact to things like lyrics by any band, including Exodus, and start arresting people, we are caving in to paranoia and are well on our way to becoming an Orwellian society."