Atheist signs and billboards get vandalized for all sorts of reasons — like when the culprits see the message as “too aggressive,” even when it’s something as innocuous as “Are you good without God? Millions are.”
But this is a new one: Someone has ruined the Western North Carolina Atheists’ “Adopt-a-Street” signs:
Why target those signs? Who knows… maybe they hate atheists. Maybe they love litter. Maybe they think atheists will disappear if you smudge the A-word off of signs?
Or maybe someone’s just trying to intimidate the atheists.
That would explain the “threatening phone call” that was made to the Asheville GreenWorks offices wanting the signs to be removed.
Whatever they try to do, though, it’s not working. Not only is the atheist group not bending, the city is standing firm in support of the group. Replacement signs will be up shortly.
The leader of the group, James Childress, writes:
I’m happy to report that Asheville GreenWorks and the City of Asheville are firmly on our side. They have filed a police report about the vandalism, and they will be replacing the sign as soon as the new one is printed.I’d like to publicly thank GreenWorks for the support they’ve given us, and for keeping me up-to-date about this whole affair. North Lexington is one the coolest streets in downtown Asheville, and we’re more than happy to keep it clean.
It’s a shame that vandals have to waste the time and money of GreenWorks, who put a tremendous amount of effort toward keeping this city looking beautiful.
Childress also wrote an op-ed piece for the local paper asking why anyone would do this. He also issues a challenge to the vandals:
I would like to take this opportunity to ask the vandals: what were you hoping to accomplish? What does it say about your belief system that atheists are picking up litter while you deface city property?
The folks at Asheville GreenWorks spend a tremendous amount of time and effort to keep our city looking beautiful. New signs are already being printed. All you have done is waste the time and money of an organization that is trying to better our city.
I wish to extend an invitation to the vandals and to those making the threatening phone calls: if you truly believe that your worldview is superior, then prove it. There is no shortage of streets in Asheville that need litter control. Call Asheville GreenWorks and adopt a street of your own. Show us all that your convictions are so strong, and your constituents so dedicated, that you can keep a cleaner street than a ragtag bunch of atheists.
You’ll get your own signs, and we promise not to hurt them.
What a perfect way to handle the situation, don’t you agree?
(Thanks to Mark for the link!)