Last Night, the ‘Keep Saturn in Saturnalia’ Billboard Was Nearly Set on Fire

Who knew the most controversial atheist billboard of the season was the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s “Keep Saturn in Saturnalia” one in Pitman, New Jersey?

Over the weekend, one family tried to attach their own banner (of a Nativity Scene) on or underneath the billboard — and it was caught on tape.

But last night, it got even worse:

An off-duty police officer from another municipality was in Carolina Blue with a number of friends when they looked across the intersection of Lambs Road and Holly Avenue at about 11:45 p.m. and spotted two men underneath the billboard, which proclaims “Keep Saturn in Saturnalia.”

Pitman police said they were told that the off-duty police officer spotted the men tossing gasoline on the billboard or its supports and then lighting it. The fire did not stay lit and the men, spotting the people approaching them from across the street, fled in a possibly blue-and-silver Chevrolet Model 1500 pickup truck with ladder racks, said police.

If the same near-crime happened to a Nativity Scene, the national media would be all over this. But, you know, atheists.

No word yet on who the suspects were but the police might want to dispatch someone to watch over that area tonight…

***Update***: FFRF is offering a $2,000 reward for anyone with information about the potential arson.

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.