The Church Vandals May Have Been Caught…

Police in Bend, Oregon may have caught the vandals who tagged a couple local churches with references to the Flying Spaghetti Monster:

Three teenagers suspected in multiple recent graffiti incidents were arrested by Bend Police shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday.

The three suspects were jailed and released.

They face four counts each of first-degree criminal mischief.

I’m not mentioning their names. They don’t deserve the extra publicity. But I hope this is the last we hear of the church vandalism story.

(Thanks to Jeff for the link!)

***Update***: The vandals appear to be commenting on this news story, admitting their guilt. I can’t confirm this is actually one of them, but if so, here’s the motivation:

We are a group of educated and dedicated adults who chose to do this knowing the repercussions. I would appreciate it, however, if many of you would understand the reality of the situation. As for the churches, we wrote accurate bible verses in washable poster-ink. None of it was vulgar or hateful, it was merely an attempt to open people’s eyes to their religion. The FSM tags were intended to bring humor to something we find humorous and were also in small quantity and easy to remove. Our other tags include things like Waldo and Smeargle (a character from Pokemon). I understand many people’s opposition to graffiti but it cannot be refuted that many of our tags brought humor and art to the plain walls of Bend Oregon.


  • JB

    I wonder if we will ever know what their beliefs are. They are probably not Pastafarians.

  • Claudia

    The three suspects were jailed and released.

    Huh? Jailed and released? How is this different from “arrested and then released”? I’m not advocating jailing people for graffiti, it just seems like an odd phrase. Seems these little pricks enjoy painting. I’m sure South Bend has a school or two that could use a new coat of paint…

  • Don Rose

    I hope that’s them. We don’t need the negative attention people like that attract.

  • Bailey

    Bad behavior aside, I have to admit to liking the phrase “first-degree criminal mischief.”

  • Gabriel

    I hope they get a lot of community service. Picking up trash, cleaning kennels at the pound, shelving books in the library. I would much rather see crap like this punished by giving back to the community. It is better than locking them up.

  • Drew M.

    @Don Rose,

    Yeah, it’s them. The dumbasses are commenting in the linked stories and basically admitted it.

    Of course, it could be impostors, but it doesn’t sound like it, IMO.

  • Claudia

    Yeah, it’s them. The dumbasses are commenting in the linked stories and basically admitted it.

    Would you mind specifying where exactly? I’d like to read that.

  • http://considertheteacosy.wordpress.com Consider the Tea Cosy

    Bailey, I kinda love that one too! It’s going into my lexicon, methinks :)

  • Drew M.

    @Claudia,

    My apologies. I was reading an article that Hemant did not link, despite my assertion that he had. Here is the story with comments from two of the perps, last I read.

    http://www.ktvz.com/news/28282260/detail.html

  • Claudia

    @Drew M. thanks! Looks like the churches weren’t their only targets, since apparently they tagged several places around town. Based on this new information, it seems unlikely that this was a specific action taken against churches due to their religious nature by atheists. It’s a relief to know that the best explanation is that they’re just immature brats.

  • Michael

    What they need is to have soup poured over them and to be made to walk home before they can wash it off. They’re not evil, they just tried to be funny and failed. Walking home covered in soup would be funny.

    Any idea what kind of penalty they have coming?

  • Anonymous

    As for the churches, we wrote accurate bible verses

    Yes they did.

    in washable poster-ink.

    Is that true? Washable protest graffiti? Those demons! lol The pastor was right; those kids surely deserve to be sent to hell for washable graffiti.

  • http://www.AtheistsHelpingtheHomeless.org Joe Zamecki

    Well this just gets more and more bizarre. Teenagers, but smart teenagers? Washable??

    My head is spinning. Seriously. Oy.

  • http://www.usagi.ca A.

    “Educated” isn’t synonymous with “intelligent,” otherwise they would have found a better way to get their point across. As it is, this doesn’t look like a protest against religion: it’s just children trying to get attention.

  • Anonymous

    As it is, this doesn’t look like a protest against religion: it’s just children trying to get attention.

    Obligatory skeptic question: how do you know?

    Hey Hemant. To my great pleasure, Lauri Apple at Gawker just picked up your (and the donators’) story.

    Even though he’s a godless Chicagoland schoolteacher who majored in math and biology-science, Hemant Mehta still has some values. I know! The world’s so complicated.

    http://gawker.com/5813430/friendly-atheist-helps-vandalized-church-raise-funds

  • Drew M.

    I feel so used. *sniff*

    Et tu, Hemant?

  • Larry Meredith

    if this graffiti was meant to be artistic they did a very poor job.

    I understand wanting to get your point across and show theists that their holy book is wrong and their opinions are inaccurate, but there’s better ways to do that other than poorly tagging their property. I’m not even totally against graffiti. Some artists like Shepard Fairey have made some really cool graffiti art. I love his signature “OBEY” graffiti that’s been popping up all over the world.

    There has to be some line though doesn’t there? There’s a difference between being artistically thought provoking and being a dick. I’d put this in the “being a dick” column. 4 seperate “PRAISE FSM” tags all over a church’s property is not “small quantity”. They could have made the same point with just tagging it once.

  • Luther

    Even though he’s a godless Chicagoland schoolteacher who majored in math and biology-science, Hemant Mehta still has some values. I know! The world’s so complicated.

    Would it be more likely Hemant would have some values if he:
    - Believed in some god(s)?
    - Lived far from Chicago?
    - Did not major in Math, Science, or Biology?
    - Was not a school teacher?

  • Brice Gilbert

    These people sound like rogue 4chan idiots.

  • Anonymous

    Luther, lern2joyfulsarcasm/satire.

  • Larry Meredith

    @Luther
    I think they were just being funny. You’re taking that article too seriously.

  • Anonymous

    And there goes the neighborhood:

    Gawker commenter:
    I’d like to get “friendly” with that atheist.

    Do not let this shameful sexual harassment go to your head! :)

  • Edger Alien Poe

    … but it cannot be refuted that many of our tags brought humor and art to the plain walls of Bend Oregon.

    Well, “adults,” it also cannot be refuted that you did not own the walls, and did not have permission to deface them. Enjoy your time in jail. You should educate yourself about property law, and dedicate yourself to something legal and worthwhile.

    P.S. Your public comments are going to go over great when it comes time for the sentencing. I’m sensing a clear lack of remorse.

  • Edger Alien Poe

    Michael: What they need is to have soup poured over them and to be made to walk home before they can wash it off…

    What kind of soup?

  • Chris aka "Happy Cat"

    What kind of soup?

    Minestrone, of course. It goes well with the body of The Noodly Lord. RAmen.

    So this was about young people defacing using washable poster paint on sides of buildings to be humorous (or maybe out of boredom)? Yes, it was stupid. Build the gallows!

    Is anyone surprised, other than people who wanted it to be evil atheists? This doesn’t excuse the act. Far from it, but they obviously didn’t intend to cause serious damage. Some comments on Gawker are calling it a hate crime. Oh the evil hate that results in water-soluble scribble and Bible verses. The horror!

    I agree that public service is a good punishment.

  • Leeloo

    That’s….art?

    I mean, objectivity and all, but all I see is poorly written graffiti. If that were called a hastily-written prescription, I’d agree.

    But…ART?

  • Anonymous

    Some comments on Gawker are calling it a hate crime.

    Gawker, and especially Jezebel, can over-correct hard in their attempt to be inclusive and not be “bigoted.” I would guess that almost all of the writers are atheists, or at the very least apatheists, but they strive to not be exclusionary. This leads them to occasionally make a mistake in judgment by giving a nod to a faith which holds unforgivable beliefs. They would be doing a public service by taking a strong stance between beliefs and ethnicity. (My pet peeve: Jezebel likes to celebrate pictures of veiled women, though they have the sense to reject Christian misogyny)

  • Larry Meredith

    That’s….art?

    I mean, objectivity and all, but all I see is poorly written graffiti. If that were called a hastily-written prescription, I’d agree.

    But…ART?

    that’s exactly what I was thinking. I realize art is subjective, but I highly doubt many people wound find this artistic. That excuse is a disgrace to the good graffiti artists out there that get a bad rap because of people like these.

  • http://pinkydead.com David McNerney

    They should be made to dress up as pirates and publicly apologize for their heinous crimes. That way everyone is satisfied (and it does a bit for the environment too).

  • Neil

    Hello,

    I just saw this story and I wanted to say “Thank you”. What you have done to help that church is very kind. I am a Christian myself [not going to lie, I hope you join our side one of these days :)] and it is very refreshing to see kindness like this being extended to the church from an atheist.

    Thank you very much for doing what you have done. You have shown yourself to be a classy and kind individual.

    Take care,

    Neil

  • Raven

    Anonymous Says:
    June 19th, 2011 at 7:28 pm
    And there goes the neighborhood:

    Gawker commenter:
    I’d like to get “friendly” with that atheist.

    Do not let this shameful sexual harassment go to your head!

    This cracked me up LOL! Next… Hemant voted sexiest atheist of the year by People Magazine :-)

  • http://www.venganza.org/ Jo Freddie

    I have seen no support for these idiots within The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster I think this quote from our forum sums up our opinion of them

    You’re dead right, Mrs Ubi: this does our faith no good at all; these are plain moronic vandals.

    That said Hemant, I would like to take issue with one of your comments in your appearance on Fox News

    an atheist online joke, the flying spaghetti monster

    The Pastafarian is a lot more then that. For instance on Kiva we have loaned over $620,000

    RAmen
    Jo Freddie, Third Council of The Olive Garden.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X