***Update***: The sign has been replaced and the Springfield Nativity Scene Committee (SNSC) has condemned the person who stole the original FFRF plaque:
“It is truly unfortunate that someone decided to express their displeasure with the disturbing sign by stealing it,” said Daniel Zanoza, Chairman of the SNSC. “Of course, our entire committee would encourage the return of the sign to its rightful owners. Judeo-Christian teachings tell us ‘Thou shalt not steal’ through the Ten Commandments. I know SNSC members are in unison in their condemnation of this act.”
It’s déjà vu all over again, as the Freedom From Religion Foundation writes in a press release.
As a reminder, the same plaque was stolen — then found hours later — in Olympia, Washington only a week ago.
The sign, which cost about $80 to print, read: “At this season of the winter solstice may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”
The sign was securely taped to an easel.
“It had to take an effort (to remove it),” [FFRF co-president Annie Laurie] Gaylor said. “Atheists never engage in vandalism. We don’t go around stealing the Baby Jesus. They don’t follow their own commandments.”
Gaylor said the group hopes to have a replacement sign in place by today. “We’ll put a ‘Thou Shall Not Steal’ sign with it,” Gaylor said.
She’s making two mistakes there.
First, we don’t know who stole the plaque so we don’t know if “they” are breaking their own commandments. It might seem like a Christian did it, but let’s not jump to conclusions without evidence.
That’s un-atheistical of us.
Second, I’m sure there are atheists who have vandalized something before. We’re not any better or worse than religious people when it comes to morality. (Though there could be a case for us being more moral…)
There’s no need for retaliation. Atheists don’t need to go around stealing Baby Jesi. Let’s keep the moral high ground when it comes to these displays.
Perhaps a parallel: A Baby Jesus was stolen in Sandusky, Ohio. It was found later… hanging from an apartment’s ceiling fan.
Sandusky police say they went to Joshua Martin’s apartment on Friday acting on a tip. The 22-year-old has been charged with receiving stolen property, and 23-year James Arwood is charged with theft.
Police say Martin and Arwood blame each other for the statue’s theft and blame one another for the idea to hang it from the fan.
Again, I don’t know if they’re atheists. I hope they’re not.
Either way, both guys deserve a penalty.
(Thanks to Ashley for the link!)