Atheist Sign in Streator, Illinois Has Been Stolen

I can’t confirm this yet, but commenter Hizakigp says the sign put up in Streator, Illinois yesterday by the Freedom From Religion Foundation has already been stolen. The posts it rested on are “bent badly.”

The sign in question is the yellow one in the background of the picture below:

The backstory is here. Updates are coming as I get them…

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Marguerite

    How sad that some are so frightened of people having viewpoints different from their own.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001627228091 Alexander Ryan

    Put another one up and add a camera nearby. Nothing says God won’t save you from a vandalism charge like your face being plastered all over the internet as someone that spends their time stealing signs, thinking they’ll help end Atheism with petty vandalism.

    • http://www.facebook.com/maik.both Maik Both

      Considering the burden the human race has supposedly placed on Jesus for his ‘sacrifice’, adding petty vandalism probably won’t bother Him.

      Of course we don’t know for sure it was a Christian – it’s possible it was just kids messing around. 

      • Anonymous

        A criminal record might slow their future down though. They may be forgiven, but even in Christian doctrine, they still have to deal with earthly consequences.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001627228091 Alexander Ryan

          That’s worthy of an amen right there.

        • http://www.facebook.com/maik.both Maik Both

          There is a commercial opportunity being missed here – atheist signs and onsite security should be sold as a package. Perhaps with the catchphrase “There’s no god to help protect your sign, so we offer CCR, guards and dogs to do it instead”. :^)

          • parv

            “Make it so, No 1.”

  • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

    This was so predictable there must have been someone on site with a camera? Surely?

    • http://www.zazzle.com/godless_monsters The Godless Monster

       No, that would have made sense.

      • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

        Seriously though – a handful of folks, with cameras and take-away, keeping an eye on things from inside cars. It’s fairly safe, thanks to the being inside a large metal box that can make its own quick get-away, and you get to nail the bastards responsible for this.

        Am I missing something, or should this actually be a fairly easy thing to pull off?

        • http://www.zazzle.com/godless_monsters The Godless Monster

          It looks easy until you have to do it. It’s mostly a boring, mind-numbing pain in the ass. My professional background is in security and investigations. If you are talking about having non-professionals monitoring the site from a distance with video cameras, etc. that would work just fine. I would suggest, however, that if such stakeouts are undertaken, that you advise local law enforcement of your activities and ensure that you are not violating any federal, state or local laws or trespassing on anyone’s property while doing so. FYI, there is a high probability that they will discourage a stakeout by civilians.
          One more thing…NEVER, EVER approach someone who is in the act of committing a crime. Document what you see as thoroughly as you can and call the police. They’ll need the following info: subject description including clothing, last known direction of travel and subject vehicle description including plate #. Give them Who, What, When, Where, Why & How.
          Do NOT attempt a citizens arrest and do NOT confront them or antagonize them. All it takes is one bullet or stab wound to fuck up your whole day.

          • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

            “If you are talking about having non-professionals monitoring the site from a distance with video cameras, etc. that would work just fine.”

            Sure, I wouldn’t want anyone putting themselves at serious risk, hence the whole ‘sit in a car’ idea. And I’m sure you’re right that it’d be boring, but I’d have thought the pay off would be worth it, and also, the watchers probably wouldn’t have to be watching for too long, sadly.

            It just seems to be that if it’s worth the time and effort to put the sign up in the first place, it’s worth some time and effort to keep an eye on it.

            • http://www.zazzle.com/godless_monsters The Godless Monster

               …”and also, the watchers probably wouldn’t have to be watching for too long, sadly.”

              That’s pretty much a certainty. The vandalizing turds just can’t resist.

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    This is why Christianity is so popular. You can commit a criminal act, a sin against another person, and then just have the slate wiped clean. What a system.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    How fragile and flimsy one’s faith must be to be so easily intimidated by a differing opinion. If God needs to be protected by such pathetic hoodlums, then he isn’t the almighty he’s said to be. If your religion has to be defended by cowardly criminals skulking in the night, then your religion is so decrepit it should be allowed to dry up and blow away.

    • Jchealey

      It’s wrong to judge an entire faith upon a handful of a group of people.

      • george.w

        Yeah, you’re absolutely right Jchealey. And this is the only example of this kind of behavior that we’ve ever seen, too.

  • george.w

    I understand “The Ten Commandments” is on TV tonight. Maybe the thieves should have stayed home and watched it.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Wait a minute.  It’s a public forum, right?  So who pays for the spotlight?

    • Annie

      Ooh.  Good eye! 

      • Annie

        I just went back to the original post, and it appears there are also three spotlights for the three torture/execution devises that were erected in the park as well.

  • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

    I wonder how well a “Gay is not Evil” or “Black (Brown?) is Beautiful” sign would do instead. I’d wager it comes down to the same thing: “Be Like Us or Die.”

  • Dale

    Wow, what took the christian vandals so long….?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-A-Anderson/100000016895400 John A. Anderson

    Thou shalt not steal.

  • FSq

    There are your christian values in action. Again, ACTION. WOrds are cheap, we know that, and it is actions that speak….and here they are.

    And, in yet another classic, did anyone see this gem from Texas today?

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/story/2012-04-06/pray-to-hurt-others-mikey-weinstein/54084880/1

    Ah yes, christians praying for their god to kill and smite….how loving and forgiving….

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORRVVC5R2QWLTXEM6SX5L6BORE Jay Arrrr

       Yet we Atheists are the “scary ones” because we don’t have an invisible friend in the clouds to keep us in line.

      One of those god-bots gets it in his head that “god” just commanded him to smite the sinners…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

    Stealing is a sin, but I’m sure their god will forgive them for it since it was an atheist sign. 

  • http://twitter.com/bastionofsass Bastion Of Sass

    I think there are already rules in place to determine who caused the sign to disappear and the poles to be bent. Under the God of the Gaps rule, we must assume God did it–until we find evidence that he didn’t.

  • roz77

    If anyone is interested, there’s some interesting conversation on the local newspaper’s facebook page.

    http://www.facebook.com/mywebtimes/posts/275760099175218

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      “If at first you don’t speak up, then forever shut up” seems to be the general message.

      Gotta love the argument from tradition.

      • roz77

        I’m from a town about 15 miles north of Streator and I have to say, I was surprised that there were as many positive comments on that post as there were.

  • http://www.facebook.com/potorch John Perkins

    how sad that I am not surprised…

  • Anonymous

    If only Christianity imbued adherents with a sense of morality and a prohibition against theft.

  • Anonymous

    This is my shocked face.    :O

  • James Gibat-Thoroski

    Whomever they were, they were not Christan…thou shall not steal and all that.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Based on that standard I doubt if there are any Christians.  Thou shalt not covet and all that.

    • Drew M.

       If they believe in Jesus, then yes, they were. Regardless of how you wish it were otherwise.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Rhoades/100000175617377 Scott Rhoades

    It’s funny that the Christians think they are under attack from secular liberals but I don’t remember ever having seen one of their signs or holiday displays vandalized by us “evil” atheists.

    • FSq

      PRECISELY THIS.

      And THIS is what needs to be pointed out to ANY member of the fourth estate. At every opportunity, we must illustrate this and make sure every news story has this included.

      There is HUGE amounts of truth to this. And it is so important to show that the religious doctrines claimed by the idiots to be so important are the first things they break to steal, break, vandalize and remove property of others, where we simply ask to get a seat at the grown-up table.

      GET THIS POINT OUT THERE!!!!

  • Onamission5

    Hey, maybe someone took it to edit in, “There is no such thing as sin. Sin is a guilt based religious construct meant to make you feel insecure about normal human behavior.” Then they’re going to put it back.

    One can dream, right?

  • Hizakigp

    There is an MSNBC story about it now.  FFRF is offering $1500. They came and put up a new banner today, which I had the pleasure of driving by about 20 minutes ago.
    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/10/11125523-reward-1500-for-arrest-in-case-of-stolen-atheist-banner

  • Joe_kewl2003

    Someone probably needed to wipe their ass with it.

    • The Godless Monster

       Brilliant. Sheer fucking genius.

  • Robin

    I wonder how many Christians are secretly (or not so secretly) glad the sign was taken and agree with that act, compared to how many Christians disagree with it?

    For those that agree with the act, and I’m sure that’s many if not most, why is it they don’t see the obvious hypocrisy?


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