Updates on Church Vandalism

What a depressing topic to write about.

1) A church in Kingsway (Toronto) was vandalized Friday morning. It wasn’t tagged with an atheist symbols, but it was pretty bad:

Police found a ripped-up Bible, paint splashes all around the two-level building and multiple fire extinguishers set off. Damage has been estimated to be upwards of $40,000, not including cleaning fees for an antique pipe organ.

“It’s been pretty tense,” said programming intern Rachel Pisani, adding she’s never heard of vandalism in nearby churches in her eight years as a congregant.

I’m not raising funds for them at the moment. But if any atheists are in the Toronto area, please consider volunteering to help with the cleanup. More information on that is here.

2) Regarding the church in Irmo, South Carolina that was vandalized with atheist graffiti… you all raised an incredible $4,000+ in the wake of that incident (check out the fundraising widget in the sidebar). The plan was that the pastor and I would figure out a good secular charity in the area that we could donate the money to in a show of support/unity/whatever you want to call it.

I’ve been trying to get in touch with the pastor for the past week. He doesn’t seem to be returning my phone calls or emails.

So next week, I plan to send the money to a local charity by myself, on behalf of all the donors. Once all that happens, I’ll let you all know (and provide proof).

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • A3Kr0n

    If the pastor won’t even talk to you  I’d rather see you put the money toward a scholarship, or the FFRF. But then again, maybe he was on vacation last week?

  • Lenore May

    If you are looking for a good secular charity in that area, I would recommend Camp Quest South Carolina.

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

    The second a Church is vandalized, it’s just more ammo for the people against Atheists. We’re decent people though, and we help clean it up, because petty vandalism never solves or will solve anything. And even as we’re doing that, billboards and ads put up by us are getting the same kind of lovely vandalism from the people against us. And it’s extremely rare that you’ll see anti-Atheists acknowledging that we helped pay for the clean-up/repair of a Church. Sigh. So many hypocritical things from all sides it hurts. (And I am aware I started some sentences with and. While not being grammatically correct, I’m too lazy to think of a better way to word it.)

  • Drew84

    Thing is the suspect (or suspects) could be anyone. It may be someone of a different religion, it may be someone who is not religious or it may be a Christian trying to frame non-Christians but it is only ammo for Christians to badmouth anyone who isn’t. I wouldn’t be surprised that they will say that it was Atheists who done cause if there is one thing that all theist religions have in common is their hatred for us.

    • brianmacker

      Exactly, well except the last part about all theist religions. I don’t think the Unitarians are guilty.

  • Nigel

    I know this is anecdotal, but I’m an atheist who works in a church, and we had a case of vandalism that turned out to be an emotionally disturbed member.   Churches tend to attract the unstable.  Ah, that’s actually not an insult to everyone who goes there, it’s just logical.  It’s a place of last resort for some pretty messed up folks looking for answers.   

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FDGYHBEWVNGUG763L5X4TON3JQ Nazani14

    Sounds like kids trying to impress each other, or, as on commentor has suggested,  one or more disgruntled church members- or somebody on drugs who didn’t care where he was.  If the vandals are caught and claim to be atheists, I predict they will be “atheists” in the same way that death metal fans are “satanists.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=35702181 Christopher Check

      …or the way S. E. Cupp is an atheist.

  • CanadianNihilist

    I agree with Nazani14
    Sounds like stupid kids wanting to wreck something. If it was then I doubt that they even took notice that it was a church. just an easy target at the right time. Alcohol was probably involved as well.

  • brianmacker

    Any evidence that actual atheists did it? With the other case anyone can draw an “atheist” symbol, like that woman who put a noose on her own door to attract attention. I really don’t feel in any way responsible for this because, of course, I’m not. Even if they turned out to be atheists there is no dogma that atheists believe in that tells them to destroy the property of others. I don’t believe in anything or advocate any teaching that might result in these actions.

    I’m not planning on paying to build churches every time some arsonist gets mad at a church for some reason.

  • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

    I have to wonder, however, if these Christians would lend the same sort of support if atheists or gays experienced the same kind of terrorism…


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