We Could Learn a Lesson from These Christians Whose Property Was Vandalized

This was the entrance to the Christian ministry Faith and Action — right behind the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.:

(via Faith and Action)

This was the same entrance after some vandalism over the weekend:

(via Faith and Action)

The Ten Commandments monument was toppled. The steel rod that held it in place was bent. And a “For Rent” yard sign was placed near the damage.

They have no idea who did it. (Thankfully, no one’s blaming atheists… yet.)

Either way, let’s agree that this is awful and condemn it swiftly. We can fight to remove Ten Commandment monuments from government property all we want — and we should — but we shouldn’t stand for this sort of damage on anyone’s private property.

I’ve mocked Rev. Rob Schenck, the president of Faith and Action, in the past for his useless attempts to “anoint” one of the doorways President Obama would walk through during his first inauguration ceremony as well as the doorway to the room where then-Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor‘s confirmation hearings would be held.

But Schenck actually did something admirable in the wake of this damage. Check out what he said yesterday:

“… we are asking the perpetrator to come forward and confess their crime,” said the Rev. Rob Schenck… “If they can do that, we’ll invite them to the scene of the crime and will listen as long as necessary to hear their motives. We want to know why they feel as strongly as they do. All we ask is they let us [have] a few minutes to tell them what we think. After that, all will be forgiven and forgotten.”

They won’t press charges. They don’t want anyone to get in trouble. They just want a conversation.

You can say that’s just a publicity stunt — and I would agree — but what a generous thing to say. When something like that happens, you want to know why someone did it a lot more than you want to see that person get punished for it. That message of forgiveness, even for a monument the organization fought so hard to install in the first place (and ultimately put in place without a permit), makes the group look golden.

Atheist groups can learn a lesson from that. The next time one of our billboards get vandalized, before we call the cops, consider this: The billboards can be replaced. The media will be paying attention to how we react. And we would be doing ourselves a huge favor by telling the truth: We don’t know what the vandals are so afraid of. We’re not bad people. We’re kind, decent, law-abiding citizens. And we’re not looking for revenge. Answers would be nice, though.

Forgiveness isn’t just a Christian virtue. All of us are capable of it.

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.

  • flyb

    You’d need binoculars to see that tiny thing from across the street anyway. And it’s on private property. Still, it’s a shame that someone vandalized it.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    Tipped over, but appears not to be broken. They had better luck than Moses.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

      Good point. And how do the believers know that this wasn’t an act of god?

  • El Bastardo

    Even if it was an atheist, it wasn’t the atheists.

    • badgerchild

      Even if it was “an atheist” but not “the atheists”, we have to see what we can do to make it clear to everyone, atheists and non-atheists alike, that we are examining ourselves to see what practices and attitudes (if any) could have led to this sort of thing happening. We have to take responsibility even though we were not individually responsible, and to show remorse even though we were individually innocent. That’s just the same as what we expect from innocent Christians who had zero to do with priestly child abuse, for example, even though they would never think of doing such a thing themselves.

      • UWIR

        Anyone who supports the RCC is not “innocent Christians who had zero to do with priestly child abuse”. If anyone other than the vandals needs to take responsibility for this, it’s Christians, for making the Ten Commandments into a symbol of intolerance.

  • Mitch

    Agreed, Hemant. As much as we work to have such monuments removed from public and government property, vandalism is not the way to go about it. Honest conversation on such issues is much more effective than faceless, nameless property damage.

    • Aguz

      Even worse here because it was private property so it shouldn’t be remove at all unless the owner wants to.

      • rg57

        You still have to follow the rules, even on your own land. This monument required permits, and according to Hemant, proper permits were not obtained. It was placed anyway. Perhaps this was simply citizen direct action.

        • badgerchild

          Citizen direct action is done openly and according to established rules, not in secret as if ashamed of the act. If it was correct and right to remove the display, anyone could legitimately have gone up to it in broad daylight and simply removed it. The fact that it was wrong for them to put up the display does not mean it was right to vandalize it. If a church member came up to me and asked me what I, an atheist, thought of the vandalism, I would have said something amounting to, “I’m sorry someone felt that destructive act was necessary. I would instead have resorted to the law you violated when you put it up in the first place.”

  • Art_Vandelay

    In it’s purest form, vandalism is just cowardice. I think the reverend knows that and therefore knows that this person has no intention of doing something semi-noble like showing up to have this conversation. Furthermore, if I ran into the reverend on the street and started telling him why I feel that the ten commandments are a complete moral failure and that his promoting them is dangerous and especially harmful to children…I’m guessing he’d have no interest in hearing me out. If I asked him why he lives his life by words that he reads in Exodus and Deuteronomy and then inquired as to why I shouldn’t be concerned about him as a human being given some of the other crazy as fuck commandments from Exodus and Deuteronomy…books which he interprets as literal divine truth…he wouldn’t want that conversation at all. So no…I see this as nothing more than a way for the reverend to attempt to flaunt what he perceives as moral superiority over a coward. If Dave Silverman did this after a billboard was vandalized, I’d say the same thing.

    Down-vote away.

    • Mudge

      The Rev. likely believes he can win over the person who did this crime and then use the religious conversion as evidence that with Christ all things are possible.

      • Mottfolly

        We don’t need to be making assumptions, give him a chance tolive up to his words.

    • Highlander

      You are probably right about Rev. Schenck not being willing to actually listen to any side of the conversation that didn’t agree with his world view. And really, what would the perpetrator say? People who do this sort of thing don’t have intelligent conversations, you’d probably get, “Like, you know, ’cause you guys suck,” as an answer. I’m not sure I agree with you about Dave Silverman, he would probably be willing to listen, however, the world views are still so antithetical to each other I doubt if either side could see things from each other’s perspective. So, yes, this would just be a PR move and no one will ever take up the gauntlet thrown down by such a statement. This is mostly an effort to convince other people of the reasonableness of the victim.

      • Art_Vandelay

        And really, what would the perpetrator say? People who do this sort of thing don’t have intelligent conversations, you’d probably get, “Like, you know, ’cause you guys suck,” as an answer.

        Exactly. I doubt he’s actually looking for intelligent, productive discourse.

        As for Silverman, I don’t think he would do anything like this because I think he’d see it as self-serving. Maybe though…I don’t know.

        • Baffled By Faith

          I wonder what the reverend would say if the perp came forward and said he did it because God told him to.

          • JohnnieCanuck

            It is, after all, the wrong set of commandments according to several of the other Judeo-Christian sects. Someone claiming his was the True version might have heard his god whispering in his ear about heresy and decided this was required. Possible, I suppose, but not likely.

            • Baffled By Faith

              Agreed. Though I was thinking more of some random schizophrenic who thinks one of the voices is that of God. Your scenario works too though ;-)

          • Art_Vandelay

            I almost want to take the blame just so I can do this now. We’ll call it “substitutional atonement.” It’s a novel concept.

  • Michael

    Good move.

    It reminds me of when protesters set up outside York Mosque and got invited in for tea and a chat.

  • Matt D

    Considering the scene, the vandal(s) could just easily be the Rev doing a publicity stunt, or children/teens, disgruntled atheists/theists, tourists, etc.

  • Tainda

    This kind of thing makes me sick. It’s private property. Everyone has a right to have their beliefs and opinions. As long as it’s on private property and isn’t hurting anyone, leave it alone!

    • rg57

      About that, it was apparently placed in violation of permits.

  • A3Kr0n

    The article keeps mentioning they needed permission for the monument. Where I live they wouldn’t need a permit. I’m confused.

    “The cross does not require a municipal permit. Its installation is federally protected on religious grounds.”

    http://www.channel3000.com/news/Janesville-church-to-install-60-foot-cross/-/1648/19736094/-/8eadqc/-/index.html

    • JohnnieCanuck

      If you go to the ‘fought so hard…’ link you’ll learn that it is in a historic district and needs approval from the Historic Preservation Review Board not based on it’s religious nature but whether it clashes with the original nature of the neighbourhood. That and the DoT believes it needs a ‘public space permit.

      If that article is to be believed, Shenck didn’t really try all that hard to get approval. An application was made to some unspecified city department in 2001 and neither the DoT or the HPRB spokespersons knew anything about it until reporters followed up with them after Shenck announced the installation of the monument.

      Seems like this might be more a way to ensure that no-one in those departments dares make an official demand that it be removed.

  • God’s Starship

    It could just be some idiot kid who likes to knock things over.

    • Mario Strada

      There is a better than even chance that’s the case. Could be a bunch of drunken or stoned teenagers just passing by and seeing an easy to topple slab of marble.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Couldn’t be stoners, knocking that over would require waaay too much effort.

        • Artor

          Or stumbling & falling on it. “Dude! Hold my stash and watch this! I’m Moses!!!”

          • JohnnieCanuck

            Couldn’t have been that they were Masons.

            Stoned Masons.

      • SabsDkPrncs

        Here’s my prediction as to how it went down:
        “How heavy do you think that thing is?”
        “I don’t know, go push on it.”
        “Anybody looking?”
        “No…oh fuck you broke it! No, let’s not run. Just be casual dude. So was it heavy?”
        “Yeah, but I’ve been working out a lot lately.”

      • rg57

        850 pounds, additionally held in place by a steel rod, is easy?

    • GubbaBumpkin

      we’ll invite them to the scene of the crime and will listen as long as necessary to hear their motives.

      “Well Reverend, it involved alcohol.”

  • Andrew Bufalo

    At least Rev. Schenck doesn’t need his son nailed to a cross in order be able to forgive the perpetrator. That makes him better than the god he worships in my eyes.

  • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw/ m6wg4bxw

    I understand the importance of communication, but when something on our side is damaged, we pretty much know what the culprit thinks and why it was done.

  • Baby_Raptor

    There’s nothing wrong with reporting a crime. Doing so doesn’t make us any less decent than if we were to take these peoples’ routes and just listen to the people shit-talk us in the name of forgiveness.

    And frankly, I don’t see how taking this route would help us anyway. It’s not going to win us any points with the population that hates us. At least if the crime gets reported and the criminal punished, there’s hope of deterrence.

  • Jimmie Love

    kids did it, and he knows they wont show up, makes him look like he being gracious …. etc etc etc….

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    Good call Hemant. I agree 100%

  • ufo42

    right on! Rev. Rob Schenck is doing something noble and worthwhile and everyone regardless of belief or lack thereof should applaud him for it.

  • Rationalist1

    I agree with Hermant. We need to keep it classy, keep it civil, be the first to denounce this is it was atheists who did this and when our sign and billboards are defaced know that for the many of people out there, particularity the people we want to influence, being above all those antics and reprisals puts us on the side of the angels (metaphorically anyways).

  • godlessveteran

    But we DO know what the billboard vandals are afraid of. People who aren’t like them. People who think for themselves. People who threaten their position of privilege.

  • http://shitmytoiletsays.blogspot.com/ Crud O’Matic

    10 to 1, this is another example of Christians attacking themselves and blaming it on atheists – you know, like the vet’s memorial cross that was supposedly the target of an “atheist” bomb – a bomb that went off 10′s of feet from the cross, so as to not destroy it.

    Just like the cross, these 10 commandments would have been DESTROYED if this was an atheist attack. Instead, like the cross, great care was taken NOT to destroy them. They were tipped… in a flower bed… and didn’t even touch the ground.

    Such violent, murderous atheists! Or, more than likely, such grimy, greasy, dishonest Christian bullshit where they make a lame attempt on themselves and blame atheists for it.

    • Artor

      No, I suspect it probably was either an atheist, or a pissed off anti-theist responsible. False-flag operations are not nearly as common as they’re made out to be. There’s plenty of people with good reason to be offended by the trapping of Xianity popping up everywhere. The thing I’m still wondering, and hasn’t been made clear in any of the articles I’ve read; was this on private or public property? If it’s on public property, then it needs to be gone, and the people who put it there should be fined.

      • JohnnieCanuck

        According to that link in the OP, it’s likely private. However the Historic Preservation Review Board claims jurisdiction as it’s in a designated Historical neighbourhood. Also the DoT requires publically viewable signs to be approved by them first.

        Neither has given approval nor do they officially care about its religious aspects. These were two concerned agencies that the media were able to dig up, there could be others as well.

        • Artor

          Ah, so this is another case of Xians who feel like the rules everyone else has to go by don’t apply to them. I’m not a fan of vandalism, but I’m less a fan of Xian privilege. If I had a house in a historical neighborhood, I couldn’t even paint it without approval from the board, but the Xians think they can put up ugly monuments without any approval at all? Seriously, fuck those guys.

      • http://shitmytoiletsays.blogspot.com/ Crud O’Matic

        What, the cross? I believe that was on public property. You’re missing the point however – if the bomb was set up by someone who wanted the cross gone, then why not strap the bomb TO THE CROSS? Why have it detonate almost 20 feet away?

        It was because whoever set up the bomb DIDN’T want the cross gone, but wanted a “terroristic” event so they could point their finger at their enemies. Why else would they INSTANTLY blame the FFRF if there is no evidence who did it? AMAZING how they immediately “knew” who was the suspect…

    • guest

      Unless you have proof, you shouldn’t be speaking in such definite terms. No-one knows who vandalised the memorial cross. Could’ve been an atheist. Could’ve been a Muslim. Could’ve been a Native American who resented a symbol of white imperialism on their ancestral lands. Could’ve been a buddhist. Could’ve been a bored teenager who got drunk or was dared to do it. The point is, no-one actually knows, and for you to blame Christians for it is just as bad as them blaming atheists.

      • vincent findley

        Excellent point oh God free one.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          It’s much too early for you to be slapping out ego-ridden gibberish. Get some lunch in you and come back revved up and ready to squawk in complete sentences.

    • AxeGrrl

      10 to 1, this is another example of Christians attacking themselves and blaming it on atheists

      more than likely, such grimy, greasy, dishonest Christian bullshit where they make a lame attempt on themselves and blame atheists for it.

      ~~~~~

      Uh, did you miss this bit from Hemant’s post?

      Thankfully, no one’s blaming atheists… yet

      The last thing we need is disingenuous martyrdom.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    “They won’t press charges. They don’t want anyone to get in trouble. They just want a conversation.”

    What’s the catch? There’s always a catch…

    • James Stevenson

      They’ll have identified the people who did it TO press charges? The sly buggers.

    • rg57

      I think the catch is that pressing charges isn’t necessarily their choice.

      If a crime has been committed, the victim may be this organization, but the crime is against the state, and the state will decide what to do about it.

    • guest

      Jesus.

  • vincent findley

    You Godless ones are freekin hilarious!!! Of course it couldn’t have been a Godless one that caused this, yet if it was an atheistic monument you’d all be screaming Christian a…..holes!!

    • http://shitmytoiletsays.blogspot.com/ Crud O’Matic

      If it was an atheist that done it, the fucking thing would be destroyed. Just like the veteran’s memorial that was supposedly attacked by atheists setting up a bomb – almost 20 feet away from it.

      Yea.

      Tell me how that wasn’t set up by someone who didn’t want the memorial destroyed – just slightly damaged. Then with no evidence at all – as soon as the cops show up – the Christian scumbags blamed the FFRF.

      Very interesting.

      Moral of the story: If you have to lie for Jesus, then Jesus never told the truth.

      • rg57

        I don’t think we should jump to conclusions about who did it.
        If you’re wrong, it’s going to devalue anything you might later say.

      • vincent findley

        And just like I said above, if an Atheistic monument was destroyed the first thing an asshole like you would say is Christian Assholes!! never Muslims or Baptists, just Christians.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Muslims almost never cause trouble in the U.S., because they know what good Christians will do to their families if they rock the boat too much. Statistics demonstrate that American vandals, thugs and terrorists are likely to be Christians well beyond even the normal percentages among believers.

          Baptists are Christians. Jesus wept, but you are as stupid as you are dishonest.

          • vincent findley

            Say that to the families of the people who perished in the 9/11 attacks. Also like I get from time to time on this blog “citation” please on those statistics.

            • vincent findley

              “I’m as stupid as I am dishonest”. Didn’t think you would rebut. One question C.L. How many Christian suicide bomber killings will your authentic statistics show?

              • baal

                McVey (christian identity movement) and Breivek were right wing christians.

    • Matt D

      “Of course it couldn’t have been a Godless one that caused this”

      Where did Atheists make this claim, Hector Projector?

      • vincent findley

        Hey Matt D, where did I say Atheists did? Hector Projector? What am I dealing with a 12yr old?

        • Matt D

          vincent findley • 12 minutes ago
          “Hey Matt D, where did I say Atheists did”

          vincent findley • 18 hours ago
          “You Godless ones are freekin hilarious!!! Of course it couldn’t have been a Godless one that caused this

          • Whodunnit

            Can anybody guess who’s name should top the suspect lists of any enforcement agencies which deal with so much vandalism of atheist exhibits and billboards?

            How would a real Jesus (one who fits the popular modern-day description) respond to Vincent Findley’s comments on this blog? Does anyone else get the notion that any such Son of God (for real) must really hate himself for consistently choosing such awful friends (and I’m not referring to their social station)? If it’s because his dad is so bad a control freak, he would have my sympathy on that count!

            • vincent findley

              I would like to know myself seeing I never knew my father.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          You have before. Does Jesus love that you lie for Him?

          • vincent findley

            Don’t give a shit what I said before, I was asked a ? about this thread. So seeing you wouldn’t be able to say what i suggested to the 9/11 families please shut that hole in your face until you have a clue.

    • guest

      I prefer the term ‘Godfree’.

      • vincent findley

        Duly noted.

      • Matt D

        I would suggest using the term “Godsfree”. That’s more accurate, unless you want to pretend the thousands of other religions in the world don’t exist.

    • scroogleu

      I’m not “godless”. That word implies a lack of something which exists, and is necessary. Your side has wasted enough of my time while I patiently humored your attempts to prove the above!

      As for “screaming” – your “brothers and sisters” in post-Soviet Russia did more than scream when no damage was committed at all! The punk group “Pussy Riot” did no worse than mount the stage and play their song, and for that your sibling “a**holes” sent them to the Gulag, where they may easily die! This is how evil Christians will be where they aren’t the overwhelming majority, but they have the power of government!

      • vincent findley

        Who gives a flying f…k about post Soviet Russia and any other third world country. You’re comparing apples and oranges. Always going to then scenerios of years GONE PAST to make the same pathetic f….king argument. That was then this is now. When it happens here then piss and moan. Third world countries have been doing it to themselves forever. Go there and piss and moan about it,see how far you get. That’s why this country is great, you can piss and moan like you all do and don’t have to worry about the Gulag like in those still communist like countries.

        • Spuddie

          Who gives a fuck? Anyone concerned with real religious based oppression. Not just the whining people in the US do when they can’t use Christian privilege to run roughshod over the beliefs of others. The Pussy Riot thing was only a few years ago.

          We can look at what is happening RIGHT NOW in Russia where the government and Orthodox Church are commencing a pogrom against gays. We can look at Uganda’s attempt to execute them under the color of law, with MAJOR SUPPORT FROM AMERICAN EVANGELICALS.

          I don’t see American atheists calling for people to die or to make obnoxious offensive protests at the family events of others. But we see this on a regular basis by people who are “following the path of Christ”.

          The only reason our country has not turned into a theocratic shithole is we keep our religious fundies in check through the law and vigilance in enforcing it.

          • vincent findley

            Again you and the above rebuttest are comparing apples and oranges. When you all have a real argument that can be integrated in OUR country let us theists know.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              It’s American fundamentalists supporting these things and only being held at bay at home by secularists.

              When you aren’t so soaked in your ignorant egotism that it prevents you from stringing words together in your brain and understanding them, come ask for a seat at the grown-up table.

              Interesting how you had to change the argument from your previous post when rebutted, s**tbag liar. Does Jesus love your dishonesty?

              • vincent findley

                Can the person who threw Hector Projector at me come to Da Da?

                • Matt D

                  Sorry, your sexual advances do not interest me Hector.

                • vincent findley

                  Ok now 14? Just for reference, you’ll never see a set of testicles resting on my chin.

                • Matt D

                  Don’t worry, with your attitude and trolling habits, it’s more likely a set of knuckles will be resting on that chin before any teabagging occurs.

                • vincent findley

                  Ok so you know what teabagging is so I’ll move you up to young adult. Wow, quite a violent thought process there Matt. Is that your thought process to solve all problems? I like a good debate whether or not others like my thought process and take the back and forth verbal abuse with a grain of salt because we are all allowed to have an opinion. If you can’t take the heat stay out of the freekin kitchen! As far as that statement(which is definitely you) about the knuckles, like someone just recently said to me, when you grow up you can have a seat a the big boys table.

                • Matt D

                  Yes, I know you were intentionally baiting me by being insulting, just so you could then gloat about my emotional reactions.

                  Still, I needed to confirm that so I could be certain speaking to you is a waste of time.

                • vincent findley

                  Far from baiting you Matt. What did you expect after Hector Projector accolades?

                • Matt D

                • Matt D

                  Far from nothing, as you began using “Godless” accolades before I used one of my own.

                  So let me reiterate your words….”If you can’t take the heat stay out of the freekin kitchen!”

                  Oh, and I’m done talking to you, so feel free to have the last word. I doubt you can help yourself.

                • Matt D

                • Matt D

                  Oh, so it was just my imagination that you used “Godless” accolades before I returned the favor?

                • vincent findley

                  No it wasn’t your imagination Matt,but please explain to me me where the sarcasm was? “Godless”- having or acknowledging no God or deity; Athestic. Godless sounds like a pretty reasonable adjective to me for this blog.

                • Matt D

                  You’re a troll, so I don’t care to explain anything to you. Goodbye.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Fuck off, troll.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Eat shit.

            • Spuddie

              What part of AMERICAN EVANGELICALS working to execute gays abroad did you not get?

              Its a perfect example that if AMERCIAN fundies are given the opportunity to impose violent repressive measures against those they deem as opponents, they will do so.

              We have constant attacks on our 1st Amendment rights and civil liberties by the same group. Where they constitute a voting majority, they inevitably BREAK THE LAWS OF THE LAND to enact their agenda.

              If that is all you have, go home. You’re done.

              • vincent findley

                Not even close to being done here Godzilla. There could be a whole new ballgame come october, when the high court rules in Town of Greece v. Galloway.

                • Spuddie

                  You got nothing. All you are saying now is there are still laws to be broken, Christian privilege to be exercised and more cause to treat fundamentalism like the enemy of democracy that it is.

                  SCOTUS is probably going to punt it. As of late they have looked for a procedural reasons to dismiss Establishment Clause cases to avoid making rulings on the subject.

                  “”A proper respect for both the Free Exercise and the Establishment Clauses compels the State to pursue a course of `neutrality’ toward religion, favoring neither one religion over others nor religious adherents collectively over nonadherents.”
                  Antonin Fucking Scalia!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                  Brd of Ed of Kiryas Joel v. Grumet (1994)

                  Even the most conservative (and intellectually dishonest) judge on the Supreme Court doesn’t like it when religious people hijack the reins of government.

          • vincent findley

            As far as the last statement it’s the other way around. The reason this country hasn’t turned into a theocratic shithole is because of religion and the first amendment which gives you and I an avenue to vent and keep non-theists and theists in check so to speak. I wish you non-theists would go to these still communist like countries in a group to push your agenda and see how far you get. If religion ever isn’t a part of American culture then you mine as well kiss your free asses goodbye.

            • Spuddie

              Bullshit.

              Every time people of religious authority have the reins of power, they abuse it and attack people of other sects and/or atheists. Wherever religious authority has been intertwined with absolute political authority, atrocities are committed in the name of faith.

              People of fundamentalist faith are always looking for excuses not to respect the faith of others and to attack laws which protect free exercise of religion. Somehow they interpret religious freedom to only include their sects, to the detriment of everyone else. I have never seen you respect a religious belief besides your own. No reason to expect it either.

              ” I wish you non-theists would go to these still communist like countries
              in a group to push your agenda and see how far you get.”

              You mean go to sunny Cuba. Communism is dead. It was proof that substituting religious nonsense with absolute power with political psuedo-religious nonsense with absolute power gets you in the same boat. Oppression. Of course its telling that modern day Russia has gotten into bed with fundamentalists in the Orthodox Church to revive pogroms against its citizens.

              • vincent findley

                Well then do as I asked and go to cuba in a group and push your agenda! You’re a sorry ass if you think communism is dead. You need to look no further than our own country and President O’bummer as proof.

                • Spuddie

                  They already have socialized medicine and are not big fans of organized religion. Agenda met! =)

                  In a couple of years, they will either go all China-like and be Commie in name only or go all Russia-like and run wild with Catholic theocrats horning in for power.

                  I think you are an idiot if you equate our president with communism. Then again, given your responses I think you are an idiot on general principle.

                • vincent findley

                  “Agenda met”, if they are such a socialized country as you claim you moron, why are there thousands upon thousands of defections from that country? Because when you have a kid in that Barbaric country the Government comes into the room and tells you what the fuck it’s going to be if it grows up, that’s why.

                • Spuddie

                  If you haven’t guessed by now, I am not taking your argument seriously. Is Cuba any better than Saudi Arabia or Pakistan? How about Spain under Franco?

                  Dictatorship of any stripe is bad. Only an idiot would care about the difference between one or the other.

                  The fact you can equate our twice elected leader with a dictator shows how far from reality you are. Go Godwin somewhere else.

        • baal

          I give one fuck. Us atheists are a little afraid of what will happen if religionists get even more power than they have now. Other religionists provide examples of what might happen. Turns out in the mideast, political rule by the religious leads to failed societies that are brutal and cruel. The very recent rise of the Russian Church has lead to a horror movie level of abuse towards gay folks. Pay attention a little to stuff like that Vincent and you get a sudden awareness coming over you on why we need to not have folks like you in charge.

        • scroogleu

          Your an idiot – had you been literate enough to read on, you would have noticed that I’m talking about the “post-Soviet Russia” and it’s Christians of RIGHT NOW!!!

          As for “not worrying” about gulag politics, such evils have pervaded American history. Slave-labor camps existed throughout the South as recently as Steve McQeen’s generation, and if the South had ice there’d be a gulag at Guantanamo. While such conditions were at their worst, thousands of people were destroyed by Sen. Andrew McCarthy’s “anti-American” witch-hunt. No doubt some of the assholes in your family took part in that witch-hunt!

        • scroogleu

          You are a serious idiot! Had u been literate enough to read on, you would have noticed that I was alluding specifically to PRESENT DAY “post – Soviet” Russia, the Christians who are there right now, and the prisons which they are operating there now!

          As for “not worrying” of Gulags in America, they already pervaded the American South in the form of the infamous slave- labor camps which you may have heard of (if you have at least 3 decades on this earth they were open during your time). They were particularly bad when thousands of innocent people were destroyed by Sen. Andrew McCarthy and his “anti-American” witch-hunt – maybe some of the assholes who helped perpetrate the abomination of you on America were helping him disgrace this country!

  • rg57

    It’s not right, of course, and I don’t recommend it.

    But awful? Hardly. This isn’t much more than gum on the sidewalk, and probably easier to clean up. And even you admit that the monument was not legally placed there, anyway. Comparing this to atheist billboards is absurd.

    Let’s not forget the significance of the so-called 10 commandments. Half of them are about putting a particular deity (and therefore its followers who invented it) above the law of the land. And judging by the numbering of the commandments (because there aren’t actually 10, so they get broken up differently by competing religions) it is even picking a particular Abrahamic religion ahead of the others.

    Regardless of what these people do, atheists should be sure to sue when our property is vandalized. This rarely, if ever, happens to billboards of religious groups, and even if it did, there are so many that it would still be a drop in the bucket compared to what happens to us.

  • CATMAN

    “Whoever did this was determined to get it done because it’s not something you
    could easily do,”

    Maybe these folks don’t believe in GRAVITY–this thing looks a little top heavy to me

    • John

      But gravity is just a THEORY!

  • scroogleu

    Sorry, but I don’t quite agree on wanting to know what vandals are “so afraid of”.

    I don’t think vandalism has anything to do with fear – contrarily, it’s the lack of any healthy dose of the same. With the above comes respect, when a child matures. It’s noteable that vandals are almost never adults! This is because it takes the raging hormones of a teenager who still hasn’t learned to be respectful of private property to do such senseless acts as to knock things over. I should know – I ran with some bad ones!

    While it may be true that the opposition to a punk kid’s object in a vandalism attack is rooted in fear, how he deals with it is not. For that reason I could give a rat’s ass on the point of view of the punk who vandalizes atheist billboards. But if you want to set up a publicity stunt with the sort of person who is (categorically to the human species) the least capable of responding to reason, knock yourself out!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    Would the local zoning board similarly approve an 850-pound sign on someone’s front lawn espousing that there is NO god who should be honored (either before other gods, or on any particular day of the week, etc.)?

    If not, how does this government body decide which religions to approve for personal display?

  • Mairianna

    “All we ask is they let us [have] a few minutes to tell them what we think.” That part scares the crap out of me.

  • UWIR

    There is nobility in forgiveness, but its effectiveness depends on the other side having a sense of shame, which is not evident. On the contrary, rather than acts of atheist forgiveness shaming Christian, they simply reinforce their sense of entitlement. It sends the message that what they’re doing isn’t that bad.

    Christians have the luxury of being of the winning side of majority oppression. If every atheist in the country got one free pass to destroy one Christian monument, there’d still be plenty of them left. If every Christian in the country got one free pass to destroy one Atheist monument, there wouldn’t be enough to go around.

  • baal

    I’m not sure it didn’t just all over. Even with a rod for support, it looks like the soil is bedding for plants i.e. not all that stiff.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Excuse me, you dropped this “f”.


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