Every Holiday season is the same thing. We are told by conservatives that there is a ‘war on Christmas’ where saying ‘Merry Christmas’ isn’t allowed and public schools aren’t allowed to sing religious Christmas songs and how this will destroy our world… yadda yadda. The ‘war’ is poppycock but why is it that atheist or freethought holiday displays seem to be the only ones vandalized during the season? If there is a ‘war’, it is on inclusion not Christmas.
A 300-pound metal sculpture of a satanic pentagram, erected as an atheist protest to a public park’s Nativity scene, was severely damaged on Tuesday when it was pulled to the ground by vandals.
Atheist Preston Smith’s 10-foot tall sculpture lay broken in Sanborn Square at noon. Tire tracks led from the twisted metal to the street.
Boca Raton police officer Sandra Boonenberg said the overnight strike was the third attack on Smith’s sculpture and its explanatory banner since he erected the display earlier this month. Someone painted the once-red sculpture black on Monday. Earlier, someone damaged the banner. Detectives are investigating.
A group of local religious leaders — 14 ministers, two rabbis and the president of the local mosque — placed a banner next to Smith’s sculpture criticizing its placement.
“The use of satanic symbols is offensive and harmful to our community’s well-being,” the banner reads. “We find it a shameful and hypocritical way to advocate for freedom from religion.”
This most recent attack on inclusion for the holiday isn’t an isolated incident.
Atheist decorations also have become a target for destruction after their addition to some public forums in recent years as a counter-argument to menorahs and creches, a Wisconsin-based secularist group said on Friday.
“It’s not unusual at all to run into these heavy-handed tactics,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Of a dozen FFRF displays erected in winter 2012, five were stolen or vandalized, Gaylor said. In 2013, 14 displays were put up, and two were vandalized.
An atheist banner in a park of the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights vandalized twice, in 2013 and 2014, and the Chicago FFRF chapter is offering a $2,000 reward to find the culprit.
The now-repaired banner asks “Are you good without God? Millions are.”
Last year in Pitman, New Jersey, someone tried to set an atheist billboard on fire.
Gaylor said the banners and lighted “A” for atheist signs are in response to religious displays, which the foundation said should not be in public places such as parks or government buildings.
One of the foundation’s displays is a “Bill of Rights” nativity scene, to commemorate the Dec. 15 ratification of the first 10 amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
Does seeing a religious display in a public space make me upset? Sure does.
There should not be any religious displays in public spaces but if there is, then all points of view must be allowed and not be vandalized.
I get upset when I see just a religious display but you know what I don’t do? I don’t vandalize or destroy the religious display.
I wish some people who claim to be more moral than me because of a ‘god’ would do the same – just walk away instead of imitating the Taliban.
Why do some religious people hate it when non-believers exercise their civil rights?