I Wonder What It Said…

Last night, an atheist in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina was attacked and robbed by some guys who objected to an inflammatory phrase that was on the back of his car. According to police reports:

The victim told police he was getting out of his car in the parking lot of the Crabtree Gym in Myrtle Beach about 8 p.m. when the men pulled up beside him and inquired about a derogatory statement on the back windshield of his car…

The victim told police he wrote the statement as a “rebellious act against the National Day of Prayer,” the report states.

As they argued over the comment, the atheist was robbed, his wallet stolen.

I’m hard-pressed to think of any phrase/bumper-sticker that would condone such an attack.

Still, I wonder what the phrase was…

***UPDATE***

The statement on the vehicle was “Fuck the skull of Jesus.” This case is being prosecuted as a hate crime.

Here’s an excerpt from the police report describing the incident:

UPON SPEAKING WITH THE VICTIM, HE STATED HE PULLED INTO THE PARKING LOT OF THE GYM, AND AS HE GOT OUT OF THE CAR, A CAR WITH SEVERAL SUBJECTS INSIDE STOPPED HIM AND ASKED WHY HE HAD A STATEMENT WRITTEN ON THE BACK GLASS OF HIS FORD EXPLORER. THE STATEMENT IN QUESTION WAS “FUCK THE SKULL OF JESUS”, THE VICTIM WIPED IT OFF OF THE WINDOW AFTER THE ALTERCATION. VICTIM STATED HE TOLD THE SUBJECT THAT IT WAS HIS CAR AND HE COULD WRITE IT ON THERE IF HE WANTED, VICTIM THEN BEGAN WALKING TOWARDS THE FRONT DOOR OF THE GYM. VICTIM THEN STATED HE WAS THEN SHOVED FROM BEHIND TO THE GROUND BY A BLACK MALE, POSSIBLY A TEENAGER SIXTEEN TO TWENTY YEARS OF AGE, WEARING A WHITE T-SHIRT, WITH SHORT BLACK HAIR, AND WAS SKINNY. ONCE ON THE GROUND THE VICTIM STATED THE SUSPECT FIRST PUNCHED HIM IN HIS RIGHT EYE THEN KICKED HIM SEVERAL TIMES IN THE RIGHT SIDE NEAR THE RIB CAGE. VICTIM ALSO STATED HE WAS UNSURE OF HOW MANY TIMES HE WAS STRUCK. THE STRIKE TO THE RIGHT EYE OF THE VICTIM CAUSED A LACERATION BELOW HIS EYE, THAT DID REQUIRE STITCHES. DURING THE ALTERCATION THE SUSPECT STOLE THE VICTIM’S WALLET WHICH CONTAINED HIS SOUTH CAROLINA DRIVERS LICENSE, SOCIAL SECURITY CARD, AND ONE DEBIT CARD FROM WACHOVIA. THE WALLET WAS A TRIFOLD, BLACK IN COLOR NAUTICA WALLET.

VICTIM STATED HE WROTE THE PHRASE “FUCK THE SKULL OF JESUS” AS A REBELLIOUS ACT AGAINST THE NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER. HE ALSO STATED HE CONSIDERED HIMSELF TO BE AN ATHEIST/ AGNNOSTIC.



[tags]atheist, atheism, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Crabtree Gym, National Day of Prayer[/tags]

  • TXatheist

    F*** the skull of Jesus

    [link removed]

    on page 3

  • http://www.skepchick.org writerdd

    I have a sticker that says “Smile, God is Make Believe.” If I lived in the South, I’m sure it would cause problems. Even so, I live in a purple part of Colorado.

    As it turns out, there are more atheists where I live than polls reveal. Yesterday, I was talking to a kid who works at Borders and I mentioned that I write for Skepchik. I told him that I write about atheism. He asked, “Are you an atheist?” When I said “yes,” he blurted out “All Right! Me too.”

    Does anyone think we just don’t find other atheists in our area becuase we are too silent about our identity?

  • http://emergingpensees.blogspot.com/ Mike C

    F*** the skull of Jesus

    I’ll admit, that is pretty offensive, but nothing justifies violence of this sort. Mr. Heyd has every right to express opinions like this on his own car. If these two thugs thought they were standing up for Jesus (the person who said “turn the other cheek” and “love your enemies”) they are sorely mistaken and an embarrassment to the way of Christ.

    Though I’m not a big fan of classifying any crimes specifically as “Hate Crimes” (seems to violate the principle of free speech and free opinion), I am glad to see that the police report at least recognized that this was a “hate crime” against atheists.

  • Karen

    F*** the skull of Jesus

    Yikes. That’s really asking for trouble …

  • Richard Wade

    Thanks for the info, TXatheist. Is that kind of record available online to anyone? It’s disturbing that the victim’s address and phone number are out there for all the other “Defenders of the Faith” to see. His victimization may have just begun.

    As for the inflammatory phrase, here’s an example of the difference between someone deserving trouble and someone asking for it. Of course he didn’t deserve it, he should be able to speak freely and the perpetrators should be punished. That’s the principle of the thing. Then there’s the practicality of doing that anywhere in the U.S. What was he thinking? He might as well have written, “Please beat me,” or “Please vandalize my car.”

    writerdd, you’re taking a risk.

    I’m bracing myself for comments from “devout” people saying he had it coming.

  • TXatheist

    I can only speculate but I know Texas has an open records policy. There are databases for everything from child molesters to crimes. You can look up this personal stuff with a license plate number. You should see everyone in the office go nuts when they look up their address and find out a child molester lives down the block.

    Hemant,
    Maybe we should remove the link?

  • http://bjornisageek.blogspot.com Bjorn Watland

    I spoke to someone from Germany lately, and he mentioned that he thinks it’s funny that atheists have to “Come Out” here, like being an atheist is a big secret. In Germany, it’s no big deal.

    I don’t think I ever liked the concept of using a car as a billboard for a message. You can’t have a dialog with a car, you either say, yay! one of us, or, I don’t like that guy because of his bumper sticker. Then again, I have pacman decals on my car, so I’m a hypocrite.

    One feeling I got when I started attending atheist meetings, or theology debates, is that it was some secret club, like everyone here knew what was up, and the rest of the world was under some kind of spell. I don’t get that feeling anymore, but once was neat.

  • Anthony Rasmussen

    The local newspaper today headlined “Christians leaders assail hate crimes legislation”. My take away is that these Christians don’t support government efforts to reduce criminal hatred.

    Hate crimes do not punish thoughts and opinions. You can say and think whatever you want. They punish crimes caused by hatred. They are similar to the degrees of motivation in murder and rape. Hate is a degree of motivation that our society considers when passing judgment. Hate crimes punish the lynching and the crime-level racism. The murder and the crime-level homophobia (until Bush vetoes the upcoming legislation).

    Darryl was much more eloquent than I on this subject, check it out:

    Richard Wade is concerned, as am I, about the idea of hate crimes. I agree with him that we ought, as much as possible, to limit crime and punishment to deeds (harmful actions and destructive speech) and not to thoughts. Freedom of conscience is a precious liberty that no government has the right to limit or deny. But, our law rightly adjudicates motivations for violent crimes. If you planned and coolly executed a murder, you have committed as worse crime than if, in a blind rage, you killed a man whom you found in your bed with your wife after a hard day at the office. Perhaps we should consider that, in this day when anti-discrimination messages are everywhere, and we as a people publicly denounce racism and bigotry, someone who commits a hate crime has done a worse thing that the action or speech alone because they have had plenty of time to eradicate their own discriminatory biases and plenty of exhortations to treat all citizens equally. Can anyone who hates blacks for the color of their skin give a justification for the hatred? We should not interfere with bad thoughts that do not spill over into criminal deeds; but we have an interest in bad thoughts that do. If a citizen harbors such bad thoughts, they have to know that the wider community condemns them. To fail to keep these thoughts under control may be a salient factor in determinations of degree of guilt. Vigorous prosecution of hate crimes per se also sends a strong message to bad thinkers, and openly expresses the mood of the people.

    Religion has been protected by hate crimes legislation since 1969. Imagine if we tried to revoke that now.

  • Karen

    Does anyone think we just don’t find other atheists in our area becuase we are too silent about our identity?

    Definitely. Whenever I’ve mentioned something like, “Oh, I don’t believe in god,” to people (if a religious topic comes up), I’ve been surprised by how positive the response is – or at least neutral. Of course, I’m lucky to be in L.A. I’m sure the responses would be much more alarming if I was in a more conservative, religious area.

  • TXatheist

    Why I get so hot under the collar about xianity. And then I really blow steam when I see statements like “common sense.”

    http://www.statesman.com/news/content/gen/ap/TX_XGR_Texas_Pledge.html

  • http://emergingpensees.blogspot.com/ Mike C

    TX, I had no idea that school children in Texas were required to say the pledge (unless they have a note from their parents). That’s awful! First off, why can’t kids make their own decisions about whether or not to say the pledge? (is this required for high schoolers too?) And secondly, as a Christian I have a moral objection to pledging my alliegance to any nation-state or forcing my kids to do so. It goes against my religion.

    I can’t believe this law is “legal”. Hasn’t anyone tried to take it to the Supreme Court yet?

  • Anthony Rasmussen

    In ‘Jesus Camp’, the kids gave this version of the Pledge of Allegiance:

    I pledge allegiance to the Christian Flag
    and to the Savior for whose Kingdom it stands.
    One Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again
    with life and liberty to all who believe.

  • TXatheist

    Yes, it’s required for all kids. Supreme court? It would go through the Texas courts first. Nope, but I just filled out the Texas ACLU form about my complaint. I’ve sent a letter and called both my rep Dan Gattis and Debbie Riddle who brought up the bill. I’ve had my cousin and friend in Houston write letters as well since they are in Riddle’s district.
    I can’t begin to tell you my level of irritation.

    On a funny note I was hangin out with some youths I’ve mentored since we met. I was with the mom and her kids while visiting in Houston and I’ve known them since my Navy days, 19 years, and the oldest one (19) saw my Darwin emblem on my car and asked me “Who’s Darwin?”. I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry :)

  • TXatheist

    Mike,
    If you were asking about getting the Texas courts to step in and halt the required pledge process I gotta say it’s not worth it. They will say that kids can be excused by written authorization and that will be the end of it.

  • Darryl

    I’m not surprised about Texas and the Pledge. I’m sure there are many fine people and institutions in the Lone Star State (see Austin–the Paris of Texas), but hang me if that state doesn’t lead the nation in being the most politically screwed-up on account of religion. Lord help you if you ever make a mistake and get arrested in Texas. Forget about Christian love and forgiveness, their God is from the Old Testament. In Texas Lady Justice is surely blind, but only in the Texas way: they treat all people the same–they hang ‘em all! Where do you think George Bush learned his ethics and his tactics?

  • http://www.righteouspath.org/ Tim

    Well, this got me so disappointed I made a blog post about it, too. Thanks for posting this, Hemant!

    I hope, though, you aren’t supporting what the man said but rather showing how some Christians act. I wouldn’t think what he said was a very good thing, even for a non-Christian it is offensive with the language used.

  • Jen

    God forbid (pun intended) that someone have a different opinion.

    I really hope the perps get into actual trouble, and this isn’t swept under the rug.

    The thing about Hate Crimes is that they don’t just hurt the victim(s) but also scare the group they represent. Burning a cross on a black person’s yard, for instance, sends a message to all the nearby black people. Hating black people, wearing white power crap, making speeches, having picnics with your Klu friends, all that is protected, as it should be. But crossing that line, and making people not involved afraid, that is where it crosses the line. This? Would make me afraid.

  • http://www.katsscratch.blogspot.com Kat

    Hey! Don’t knock Texas too hard – the food ROCKS. Of course none of it is good for you.

    My son came home from New Braunfels Middle School with a shiny, new New Testament bible. Evidently some church group does this every year (we’re new to New Braunfels – have been Texans all our lives except for last year in which we lived in Virginia – Brunswick stew is totally overrated, by the way). I called the school to ask who authorized what, and come to find out this group sets up on the sidewalk which is considered public property so the school won’t run them off.

    What a waste of resources. Middle school kids are the least likely bunch to bother reading such boring, confounding stuff.

    Oh, we also have the good fortune of having the bible taught at high school under the guise of being a ‘literature’ class. So far it’s an elective, but just wait and see…

  • anti-nonsense

    There is no justification for such violent acts.

    That said, I think putting “**** the skull of Jesus” on that back of one’s car is perhaps, not the best judgment in the world. If you must have an anti-religious bumper sticker, at least pick one that’s actually funny and not just rude.

    Me if I had a car, and I bought bumper stickers for it, I’d probably get pro-evolution or pro-freethinking bumper stickers rather then anti-religion bumper stickers, less likely to offend people.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com FriendlyAtheist

    I removed the original link to the police report (in the first comment) , but added the relevant parts to the actual posting.

  • Brett

    May I be the first (or not) to say it, but…

    What a genuinely odd thing to write! Does that even make sense? I’m trying to work it out in my mind…

  • Siamang

    Just someone trying to provoke.

    If I had a punk rock band, MAN would that be the title of my next hit single.

  • Darryl

    The message, if you can call it that, that the victim scrawled on his window was intended to provoke a response and it did. The poor fella took a chance on his first amendment right in the wrong place and time. Am I wrong or are there three or four churches in the Southern states for every one over here in the West? The message was crude, offensive, and hardly well-suited to make a statement about the day of prayer. I would be embarrassed to have such a thing on my vehicle–what would people think? There’s is no telling what the perp made of this message, but it would be a safe bet that alongside his religious fervor he would harbor a distaste for its homo-erotic tinge.

  • Richard Wade

    What a genuinely odd thing to write! Does that even make sense? I’m trying to work it out in my mind…

    “Coitus cranius” has a long history. The earliest known example was about 700,000 years ago by Glok the Stinky, a warlike Homo Erectus tribal leader who expanded his territory to as much as six square miles which later became known as the “Empire Between the River and the Dead Hyena.” He was known to chew off the heads of his enemies and have his way with them up their necks. Paleoanthropologists differ sharply on the details of his life because at the time the records were kept by throwing dung on the walls of caves.

    Much later, cuneiform clay tablets tell of a group of ruffians called the Urnahntoot, or “Bad Boys of Ur” who terrorized the Sumerian city and its environs. To demonstrate their virility they would dance while supporting human skulls on their erect members. This becomes less impressive when one considers that the skulls were empty and dry. The foramen magnum, or hole in the base of the skull is not conducive to erotic stimulation so it probably wasn’t much fun. Scholars of Mesopotamic history differ sharply over the details of the group’s exploits because in 1926 a fire sprinkler malfunction in the Berlin Museum turned the clay tablets to mud.

    There are several other examples of craniophilia, such as Bjorn Shmjorn, a minor Flemmish prince widely thought to be the inspiration for the main character in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Literary historians differ sharply about anything involving Shakespeare because that’s how they keep their names in the journals.

    You can read more about this fascinating subject in the definitive work, “The History of Disgusting Practices” by Falsetto Spurious, B.S.

  • Brett

    Wow….

    I couldn’t but think of this while I was reading. :-)

  • Richard Wade

    Brett, LOL! Humanity comes up with endless variations on its favorite themes.

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  • Red

    Well I’d be that atheist in the police report, and I’m just coming to find it a little wierd that my police report is on just about on every blog in myrtle beach and then some. I found out after posting my story on exchristian.net that my police report was on the net. I’ve no idea how it got there and what not but it’s a strange and a little unnerving. I’ve already put my mom through enough with this, I just don’t want anymore “Retribution” from anymore fundies…

  • Karen

    Well I’d be that atheist in the police report, and I’m just coming to find it a little wierd that my police report is on just about on every blog in myrtle beach and then some. I found out after posting my story on exchristian.net that my police report was on the net. I’ve no idea how it got there and what not but it’s a strange and a little unnerving. I’ve already put my mom through enough with this, I just don’t want anymore “Retribution” from anymore fundies…

    Red, are you okay? I hope so.

    A police report is technically part of the public record, so there’s nothing that could stop someone from looking it up and posting it online. As to who did that – that’s a good question. Do you think someone in the police force may have posted it? Or do you have any other ideas?

  • TXatheist

    I posted it here. I also am very damn tempted to write F*** the skull of Jesus on my car but I almost never cuss so I’m really not willing to use that word.

  • http://www.myspace.com/beliol Red

    I’m fine, I’m just pissed that the little pissant couldn’t face me if he didn’t feel like conversing in a civil manner. But I didn’t know it was public, I’m wondering where the author of this post first found it, as I found it at nullifidianblog. Nullifidian is an atheist blog and I’m sure they must have found my report as has a reporter…

  • txatheist

    Red,
    If you want me to tell you how I did it I will.
    md457@hotmail.com

  • http://www.myspace.com/beliol Red

    Yes I would, I’ve already e-mailed you…

  • http://www.myspace.com/beliol Red

    by the by there was an update, the police found my wallet, apearently they threw it somewhere on the airforce base…

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  • MAK76

    Lol i guess he should have started going to the gym earlier I mean I have written anti-religous things like that and say that sorta stuff all the time but then agian i’m a 330 6’5 line man for a academy lol get a flipping gun next time bub

  • Martin

    wow, what a nice way of showing good christian morals

  • http://gartendekoration24.com/ Bea@Gartendeko24

    I really like this webpage. I admire your work! :)


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