American Atheists monument vandalized (UPDATE: vandal has apologized).

Didn’t take long, did it?  It’s not paint or anything, some local, self-proclaimed hillbilly spit his terbacky all over the monument.  But don’t fret!  Through a logical appraising of the evidence, I feel confident we can ascertain this ruffian’s identity.  Detective JT on the job.

So what clues do we have?  First, let’s examine American Atheists’ facebook wall.

Well, that didn’t take long.  If that’s Zach in his picture he appears to be a strapping young lad: tough as a tree and, I’d wager, almost as smart.

Now, here’s a fun game to play for all the religious readers: we don’t know squat about Zach’s religious beliefs, we just know that he’s a proud vandal who isn’t exactly the sharpest crayon in the box.  We’re told that religion makes people better (more kind, more wise, etc.), so surely you think the odds that this person is a Christian are pretty low.

I, on the other hand, think it’s almost certain that the vandal is a Christian (for the same reasons that I, and anybody else with a skull, knew the swift vandalism of atheist property was a near certainty in a way that it’s not for the neighboring ten commandments monument).  I’d be willing to bet oodles of money that I’m right about Zach’s religious affiliation.  Any takers?

If not, take a moment to think about why it is that public displays of atheism, no matter how pleasant, are almost always doomed to vandalism while public displays of Christianity are left unmolested.  It’s not because god protects one and not the other.  It’s because Christianity has convinced a sufficient number of people that vandalizing the property of others is their right, and while the law may prohibit their actions that Jesus instantly forgave them (and/or gave them a celestial thumbs up).

And that’s not even taking into account all the Christians at home who didn’t vandalize the property of atheists, but who cracked a smile and praised the lord from the comfort of their home when they heard that someone else did.  I’m sure they’ll all have a splendid time at church this Sunday smiling at one another and talking about how the world is full of cruel people and how only more Christianity can save us.


The vandal has sent American Atheists an apology which they have accepted.  Good on him.

Meanwhile, as for those Christians at home who were delighted with the vandal’s work, they’re already coming out of the woodwork.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Rob

    Didn’t it take a long while? How quickly do the billboards get defaced, a lot quicker than this, don’t they?

  • Robert Madewell

    It’s just spit. It can be hosed off. I think a fitting punishment would be to spray the Zachster off along with the monument. It’s a pretty mild vandalism don’t you think? He could have knocked a chunk off with a hammer or something.

    • Compuholic

      I’m not sure sure that this will come off easily. It might be necessary to sand off the top layer.

      There are certainly much worse things he could have done but it definitely is vandalism and he should pay for the damage.

      • randomfactor

        So don’t fix it. It’s been blessed.

        • Sebring Frehner

          Atheists don’t believe in being “blessed” by your imaginary friend. Which makes this just plain old property damage. Way to disregard and stomp all over others beliefs. Very Jesus like of you.

          • Artor

            You’re new here, aren’t you. Maybe you should take a closer look at Randomfactor’s avatar.

          • Art_Vandelay

            Aha! That’s not tobacco spit. It’s clearly pasta sauce.

          • randomfactor

            That’s OK, Sebring, I forgive you.

    • Feminerd

      Tobacco juice stains. Sand blaster or pressure hose at a minimum necessary- they need to remove the top layer of stone to get those stains out.

      It’s definitely vandalism that’s not free to fix.

      • Zinc Avenger

        Also, “broken window” effect. Vandalism attracts more vandalism.

    • Good and Godless

      “Could” is quite the presumption on your part.
      A hammer is a tool.
      Bringing it would require forethought.

      Whereas his addictions are always with him.

  • randomfactor

    Update: He’s apologized.

  • eccles11

    I did done gone spit on y’all shit, I did.

  • Jeremy Shaffer

    It’s because Christianity has convinced a sufficient number of people
    that vandalizing the property of others is their right, and while the
    law may prohibit their actions that Jesus instantly forgave them (and/or
    gave them a celestial thumbs up).

    Years ago an an acquaintance of mine tried to convert me to Christianity* by playing me recordings of various Christian broadcastings. It was mostly songs and skits of the lowest quality imaginable that were interspersed by answers to letters sent in to the presenters. A few of the letters were about how the writer was concerned for some friend, relation or just someone they knew in passing that was engaging in activities that they found troubling, such as D&D, witchcraft, listening to certain types of music and practicing (or just learning about) other religions. In all cases the answer, beyond hard-core and invasive proselytizing, was to outright steal the person’s possessions that pertained to the activities mentioned (books, tapes, records, CDs, what ever) and destroying them, usually with fire. The letter-writers were even encouraged to break into homes and cars if need be to get to the items in question.

    * I was, at that time, Catholic but that didn’t count in his book.

    • Zinc Avenger

      Did anything of yours go mysteriously and unaccountably missing during this period?

      • Jeremy Shaffer

        Not that I noticed. Of course my house was a Catholic household (i.e a den of inequity) so he never really came over and when he did he never stayed long.

        • Zinc Avenger

          So it had Jesus, but the wrong Jesus.

          I’m suddenly reminded of a woman I once knew who was absolutely uncompromising in her belief that Christian denominationalism was divisive and wrong.

          She had to find a particular church from a group of anti-denominationalist churches which had banded together due to common Scriptural interpretation and the convenience of sharing administrative burdens.

          • invivoMark

            Dammit, my irony meter just broke.

          • Zinc Avenger

            Even the strongest irony meters fail to give a reading; they just point towards her.

          • Jeremy Shaffer

            That reminds me of a joke a friend of mine told me once.

            A man is shipwrecked and alone on a deserted island for several years. When he is finally rescued, the rescuers notice three structures that he’s built and ask him about them.

            He points to the middle one and, “That’s where I live, that’s my house.” He then points to the one on the right and says, “And that’s where I go to Church.”

            The rescuers ask about the building on the left and he responds, “Oh, that’s where I used to go to church but the pastor said something I didn’t like so I stopped going to that one and started going to the new one.”

            The friend that told me that joke was raised in the Church of God. If what she says is half way accurate I’d say most of the Christian denominations around today are Church of God offshoots based on the fact that one person disagreed with what their preacher said one Sunday morning.

  • YolyK

    It seems to me that someone else incited him to vandalize the monument taking advantage of his low IQ. He looks like a retarded guy, I think someone just a little less stupid than him is behind this.

  • Nicky Grimms

    What a turd… but who cares really?
    As atheists, we don’t hold monuments such as this near and dear to our hearts because we know what truly matters.

    Actually I take that back, we DON’T necessarily know what truly matters but what we DO know is that religion does not.

    Anyway… You do this same thing to someone’s cross, wether it’s a giant sculpture of the crucifixion or a little plastic trinket made by 5 year olds in China and all of a sudden, you’re a vile, evil, baby killer.
    (Not that there is such thing as a tobacco chewing atheist… Is there???)

    It’s good to see that his name is out there though, he deserves to pay for whatever, if any actual property damage was done, and he deserves to have his actions publicized just so that those of us who have a life can look at him and laugh at him for being a moron… and those of us who don’t have a life can STILL look at him and laugh just knowing that we are still more worthy of one than that guy. :)

    So congrats everyone, There’s at least one sorry excuse for a human being to add to the large list of people who suck at life more than you ever will and his name is Zach Osborne.

  • Jasper

    How many 10 commandments monuments get vandalized?

  • Mick

    I wouldn’t accept his apology. He’s just trying to avoid a court appearance – and if the case got to court he would use that apology during his plea for a light sentence.

    Right now he’s probably boasting to his friends how he fooled the atheists into dropping the case. He’s probably also telling them that you can do no wrong when working for Jesus.

    • Good and Godless

      Oops I guess I’ve spit on their god’s creation several hundred times, not mentioning what I’ve done behind those trees.

      Apology withheld pending outcome of judgement day.

  • Zucca Xerfantes

    Spoken like a man who doesn’t try to understand where the other side is coming from.