If You Put This Sign on a Christian’s Lawn, You’re a Jerk December 19, 2013

If You Put This Sign on a Christian’s Lawn, You’re a Jerk

Seriously, atheists, I don’t know which one of you did this, but it looks like you did this and it’s unacceptable.

Yesterday, we learned about an anonymous note sent to a family telling them they should reconsider their “flagrant display” of Christian beliefs… because there was a Nativity scene on their front lawn. (Which, I should point out, is perfectly legal and fine.)

Now, Paul Cox of the Sacramento Freethinkers, Atheists and Nonbelievers posted on the group’s Facebook page images of signs that appeared in front of (and across the street from) his Christian father’s front-lawn display:

Again, we don’t know who did this… but stop it. Whoever it is, just stop. You’re an asshole. Christians can put whatever religious displays they want on their property and they shouldn’t have to fear any sort of response, even harmless signs like these, on their property.

If you disagree, put up those signs on your own lawn. It’s that simple.

(Thanks to Richard for the link)

***Update***: KCRA, a local news affiliate has reported on this story. Thankfully, they briefly included a well-spoken atheist:

The group Freedom From Religion Foundation recently plastered Sacramento with billboards of their own.

But members are adamant the anti-religious signs are not their doing.

“It’s OK to be an atheist is our message,” said Judy Saint, of Freedom From Religion, from inside her Roseville home. “But it’s not OK to trespass or cover up somebody’s sign.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • LesterBallard

    Yeah, I’m an asshole, and even I wouldn’t do that.

  • The second picture looks like they’re on a public field of some sort, which would make it less assholish than the first.

  • They most likely played this while driving away.

    NSFW https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrgpZ0fUixs

    Denis Leary – Asshole (Uncensored Version)

  • Whitney Currie

    There is just no good reason for this. I agree, please stop. You’re making the rest of us look horrible for no gain at all.

  • Slaughter

    See, atheists are just like everyone else. We even have our share of twerps.

  • Doesn’t make them any less of a dick though.

  • McAtheist

    Hmmmmm………I cannot tell by looking at the signs wthat they were placed there by an atheist. Should we double check the obvious ‘facts’ and the giant sign posts apparently pointing at atheists?

  • diogeneslamp0

    We’re agreed that the person who did that is an asshole. We defend the right of religious people to display anything they like on their own property.

  • If this wasn’t done by enemies of atheists, secularists, etc, just to make us look bad, I fear it won’t be long until similar things will be.

  • WallofSleep

    “You’re an asshole.”

    *ahem* I’m an asshole. Whoever did this is an abusive jerk. I know there might seem like there is no difference…. aw, screw it. Fuck those assholes. They have no more right to shove their opinions on someone’s lawn than christian assholes have the right to shove their religion down a nation’s throat.

  • McAtheist

    My understanding from the text of the article is that those signs were directly across the street from the residence.

  • McAtheist

    Typo alert: “…that they were…”

  • McAtheist

    I am skeptical m6wg4bxw:
    Were there any other similar cases around Sacramento?
    The target was the father of a member of the Sacramento freethinkers
    Was the target random?
    The signs are in ‘all caps’
    Liberal use of elipses, exclamation points, underlining, no commas.

  • TommyNIK

    “If you disagree, put up those signs on your own lawn.”

    THEN see what happens.

  • WallofSleep

    Oh shit. That is the last thing I saw coming. My hat is off to you, sir.

  • Gehennah

    If it gets defaced then, then it is the Christian (or whoever) being the asshole, not us.

    But no one should be putting stuff on other people’s property without permission like this (or defacing it, etc).

  • Andi Hollar

    shame, now your just stooping to the level of the extremists outside the planned parenthood. just stop.

  • TommyNIK

    I, personally, would not do such things.

    But isn’t it fascinating when one criticizes religion in this country excuse the expression but “hell hath no fury?”

    I’m sick of religious privilege. I’m sick of religious bias permeating our laws and our judicial process. We all know that is NOT what our founders intended. So….a few over-zealous non-believers go a little over board? Oh, the humanity!

    There’s a growing frustration and a huge backlash coming against the fundamentalist movement that is long overdue and frankly, EXTREMELY important to the principles on which this country was REALLY founded.

  • TommyNIK

    I’m glad you brought that up.

  • WallofSleep

    “See, atheists are just like everyone else.”

    No, no, no. We are not just like everyone else. We eat odd things and do weird stuff with our genitalia. We are unique, damn it, just like everyone else.

    What? Fuck. *sigh*

  • Margaret Groves

    Evidently it wasn’t a “friendly” atheist who did that, so I don’t identify with him/her! Whoever did it is just as guilty of telling people what to think as the Christians, and even they are not telling us what to think with their signs, they are just declaring their own beliefs about the season. I agree – leave them alone. Some of us were there once too.

  • Proteus

    Meh, this is tame compared to the what the religious throw at atheists.

  • Rod Haney

    In the grand scheme of things,,, who cares. It’s a little sign.
    What’s the big deal? Nobody is harmed in any way shape or form.
    If anything the person who did it could be guilty of trespassing.
    So the property owner has to pick it up and throw it away. Whoopdy fucking doo.
    Of all the things in this world to get upset about, for me anyways, this is waaaaaaaaaaaaay down near the bottom of the list.

  • Guest

    I think these latest events are a reflection of a response to the waiter who faked the gay-hate receipt. Until the people who have done this have been identified, I’m remaining skeptical.

    Asshole move, regardless. Whoever put those signs up should be charged with littering, at the least. The letter is not only an asshole move, but straight up chicken shit. You’d at least risk an ass-kicking if you had walked up into someone’s yard. Or the wrath of a territorial dog.

  • Fired Up

    Looks like a kid, a high school student. Young atheists are such assholes!

  • LesterBallard

    I feel ambivalent about all the likes ;-).

  • Marc

    I feel there is a rush here to condemn. Now when will I get them to stop sending me mail invites or leaving pamphlets/knocking at my door? I think this is no worse.

    Honestly, if they knock most of the time, I’ve no problem talking with them. Not to mention at the last apartment complex I lived, there was a church posting on the bulletin board.

    Or maybe some people have just been completely trucked over as human beings and want to see the end of it.

  • paulalovescats

    People feel violated and a little scared when they know someone was on
    their property in the middle of the night. But…no profanity, no names,
    and everything was spelled right.

  • Marc

    Mind you if I did show up at the church and voice my beliefs, I’m fairly certain I’d be shown the door quickly and possibly with police involvement.

  • paulalovescats

    “You’re”. And I wish the extremists outside PP or anywhere did anything as mild.

  • I think if it were a false flag it would have been worse, like vandalizing the original sign. Keep in mind we just put up 55 billboards describing how we can be good without God. No matter how mild, this is just the counter example theists are looking for. An example that we don’t want religious freedom, we want to abolish religion. The first amendment is supposed to protect all of us. Us AND them.

  • Dave Lanson

    I like both the song and the video. I’ve always believed anyone can be an asshole sometimes.

  • The Vicar

    Yes, just as bad those extremists outside of Planned Parenthood. Why, defacing someone’s property by adding a small sign is JUST LIKE picketing every single day, throwing things at people, and occasionally firebombing the locations, and occasionally assassinating the people who work there.

    I agree that the person who left this sign is an asshole, but let’s keep a sense of proportion, please.

  • paulalovescats

    It’s common to make a sign in all caps. Everything was spelled right.

  • The Vicar

    I can’t decide which is worse: the fact that someone decided to write their opinions on someone else’s property, or the fact that they did it anonymously. Look, you want to do something which legally objectionable? Fine, go do it in person, so that you can take what’s coming to you. Don’t do it anonymously so that everyone else in the area gets to worry whether the perpetrator is someone they know. If you’re going to have convictions, stand by them, darn it!

  • WallofSleep

    “I’ve always believed anyone can be an asshole sometimes.”

    But only if you apply yourself. Behaving like an asshole is not for the under motivated.

  • Marc

    What’s legally objectionable about it? Or maybe I’m misunderstanding a key difference between this and a religious pamphlet on my door/stuck on my mailbox?

  • The problem, of course, being that someone expressing their Christianity on their own lawn has nothing to do with religious bias permeating laws and judicial processes. It’s not a church/state separation issue. It’s a free speech issue, and a pretty clear one at that. Leave people alone on their own property. Just because they have a sign on their lawn, it doesn’t mean they’re asking for discourse about their beliefs, and it certainly doesn’t warrant signs being put up on their property by some idiots who think they’re doing good work. There’s nothing fundamentalist about the guy’s religious sign, and even if there was, it’s his lawn.

  • I don’t know about a rush to condemn. It doesn’t really matter what the other side would do when faced with making a similar decision. Whoever does stuff like this is a jerk, atheist or theist. Personally, I’d rather not be a jerk to others.

  • Local news coverage http://www.kcra.com/news/sac-mans-christmas-lawn-sign-blocked-by-antireligious-message/-/11797728/23574242/-/ti53jm/-/index.html No mention of the fact that the owner of the lawn is the father of one of the billboard participants.

  • To a much, much lesser degree. These signs would need to be much bigger and have, like, nothing but pictures of Jesus all bloody and dying or something. Although…that’s pretty much their actual symbol of Christianity, so….yea. That made me lose my train of thought a bit.

  • Marc

    Well, there certainly are extremes. I got a postcard from a church that said, literally “understand that you deserve to die.” I’m pretty sure that’s harassment, but the police said so long as it isn’t specifically target to me it isn’t. They told me to write a cease and desist letter, which I promptly did.

    Versus something like that…this is extremely minor, imho (and that’s just one church..)

  • Bernadette

    Thank you for pointing out atheist privilege. We each have a human right to believe or not believe in a higher power. The boundary line is when people take their beliefs into someone else’s home and family structure. We as atheists are very good at pointing out when believers cross the line into our homes and family when believers in god(s) want law and public space to support their religious belief but we often fail to see when we violate the very ideals we are asking other to follow. Atheist sure can be our own worst enemy.

  • But you’re one of my favorite assholes here, Lester ; )

  • Laffer

    “they shouldn’t have to fear any sort of response”

  • LesterBallard

    Merry Fucking Christmas.

  • To the person who placed the signs:
    I agree with everything you said on them. Just put them in your own fucking yard!

  • rebecca

    calling people jerks and aholes is hardly Christian (and this is coming from a Christian

  • Alice Gordon

    I think what he did was more than fine.

  • B Dallmann

    And now fundies will jump all over this. Too bad they don’t address their fellow fundies in a similar manner when they scratch off a freethinker’s bumper sticker or throw coffee on atheist students’ signs.

  • Jeff

    Agreed, though it at least appears to me that being an asshole is a lot easier if you are evangelical and watch Fox. And white. And over 50 or so. And live in a Southern state.

  • Jeff

    Wasn’t your home, or your sign. I get there are more important things, but you are generalizing. It is hard to generalize when it happens to you.

  • I might have been misunderstood, so I’ll try again. I wasn’t speaking about this case, but more generally.

    Most people will see a sign like that and assume it was written by an atheist, secularist, etc, merely because of the content. Anyone wishing to make us look bad could fake it. It’s such an easy thing to do. I hope such a tactic won’t be employed, but I fear it will.

  • Jeff

    And that is the third graders on a playground response of “they started it”. You are more effective against the religious by demonstrating higher moral ground. It makes for a particularly hot burn.

  • Cloe

    They should’ve just put atheists pamphlets on their doors, car windows…or told their kids to “give these to your parents”. Maybe knock on their doors and tell them about evolution. Build athiests structures next to schools…offer special classes after school…maybe call it “The atheists goodnews club”. Put atheists logos up on the walls of public schools (check out schools in Arkansas when you have some time). These weren’t “assholes”…perhaps it was someone sick and tired of eloi mindsets, attempting desperately to get them to think just a little of how it feels to have someone push back. So what if it’s their property, that never seems to stop them from pushing. That sort of mentality may possibly suggest support for hate acts, such as putting up horrific statements…”hey…it’s their property!”.

  • LesterBallard

    Everyone can stop piling on now.

  • Rod Haney

    Just like everyone, I’ve had things happen to me that I wasn’t impressed with.
    The phrase “pick your battles” really does apply here. As I said no one was hurt, nothing was damaged. There is really nothing to be upset about.
    So yeah, whoopdy fucking doo. I stand by that.
    I see this as nothing more than another shining example of the rampant “Woe is me” syndrome that has plagued our society. Everyone looking for an excuse, no matter how ridiculous to be a victim.

  • Marc

    Well, ever since I watched Team America, I prefer to think of myself as a dick:
    “We’re dicks! We’re reckless, arrogant, stupid dicks. And the Film Actors Guild are pussies. And Kim Jong Il is an asshole. Pussies don’t like dicks, because pussies get fucked by dicks. But dicks also fuck assholes: assholes that just want to shit on everything. Pussies may think they can deal with assholes their way. But the only thing that can fuck an asshole is a dick, with some balls. The problem with dicks is: they fuck too much or fuck when it isn’t appropriate – and it takes a pussy to show them that. But sometimes, pussies can be so full of shit that they become assholes themselves… because pussies are an inch and half away from ass holes. I don’t know much about this crazy, crazy world, but I do know this: If you don’t let us fuck this asshole, we’re going to have our dicks and pussies all covered in shit!” — Gary Johnston, TEAM AMERICA

  • Roger Peritone


  • Oh, for sure. That’s actually interesting. Why is it totally acceptable as long as they don’t include your name in the threat of deserved death? And what are they supposed to cease and desist if they’re not doing anything “wrong”?

  • Marc

    Apparently, the same kinda thing applies, like if i were a street preacher, so long as I tell more than one person they are going to hell, it’s not a threat. (why?)

    The cease and desist was leaving any messages/letters or otherwise trying to communicate to me.

  • lmao, that makes zero sense.

  • Psycho Gecko

    I think our objections are less about the content of the signs and more about the placement, which involves messing with someone’s stuff on their own lawn. It undermines our advocacy of the 1st Amendment to have us do stuff like this, even if we agree with the message they’re trying to send.

  • Cake

    I see that at the same level as those christian twits that leave pamphlets under my windshield wipers or wrapped around my door handle.

  • NonCompassionateLiberal

    Inappropriate and unnecessary.

  • LesterBallard

    Screw you guys, I’m going home.

  • Pofarmer

    I dunno, why not? Atheists need to see that there are more like them out there, and Christians need to know that not everyone buys what they are selling.

  • Adam J. Reizner

    Much like Lester said. I am an asshole. I would never begrudge a neighbor having a nice Christmas display sharing their beliefs. I have the right to disagree. Decency dictates i do not deface something on private property. If their delusions make them happy then so be it. When I lived closer to it I would drive through Sauganash, a suburb of Chicago to see the beautiful displays. Just because I’m an atheist doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the beauty and hard work.


  • Jeff

    Um, sorry, these folks were a victim. They were vandalized. That makes for fully qualified victim status. Here in Texas, it can result in dead perp status, because we’re a bit bat-shit crazy with our gun laws.

  • WallofSleep

    Not fer nuthin’, but tu quoque fallacies make for lousy arguments. Just sayin’.

    If it’s wrong, it’s wrong; no matter who does it, who they represent, or what point they may be trying to get across.

  • The Vicar

    Let’s see… just off the top of my head, possible charges which could be made if you did this in the wrong place or in front of a cop who wanted to make a point:
    1. Littering
    2. Defacing private property
    3. Harassment
    And since this is necessarily a premeditated crime, and motivated religiously, it would potentially be prosecutable as a hate crime, depending on where you live.

    Just because the laws are spottily enforced and often ignored entirely doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

  • The Vicar

    …I’m not sure downvotes would exactly be cheering, either. 😛

  • WallofSleep
  • Brodestar

    Why stop at placing it in front of the display? Why not nail to the front door? This is just completely unacceptable behavior.

  • Rod Haney

    Please explain how they were “vandalized”. What property was damaged, defaced, marred in any way?
    Because by your definition of vandalism, the mailman is a vandal.

  • Brodestar

    Yes but we need to be above this crap. We can’t complain about this behavior and then do it ourselves.

  • Brodestar

    Signs on your own property, or the signs like the AA put up, will do that not this crap.

  • I agree. Was this meant to be in reply to someone who was arguing that it wasn’t bad?

  • WallofSleep

    Not specifically, but there do seem to be a few ‘yeah-buts’ here and there. And right now I’m too tired and lazy to address any of that specifically, so I threw out a “Not fer nuthin'”.

    Please don’t hate me for it, that’d ruin my christmas for sure. ;P

  • Oh noes, the ruination of Solstice! Let that be avoided at all costs!

    Here, have a cup of mead. That’ll fix it.

  • Just Passing By

    OMG, whoever did this is literally Hitler! This is the worst thing anyone has ever done, behead those assholes!

    Seriously though, it’s nothing to completely flip shit over, just saying.

  • WallofSleep

    The pain is a little more to the left, and sort of throbbing. I think it’s gonna take at least four cups, please. And at least twelve steins. Not to be greedy, mind you.

  • Heh. Have a drinking horn. Think that’ll do the trick?

  • Nomad

    Nicely done reporting on this and condemning it. I admit, I would have laughed if I had seen this in person, but I can’t argue with the principles you’re upholding here.

  • Rod Haney

    It must have been a slow news day, because I fail to see how this story is really news worthy.

  • Guest

    No, they are not “a jerk”. You are an asshole for calling whoever it was (probably not an Atheist because an Atheist wouldn’t give a shit) a jerk. Listen, these superstitious imbeciles have been killing the planet long enogh. Every person of good conscience should be resisting them and speaking against them. Do not (deliberately) misunderstand me, I am not against the gurgling of the religious as long as it is in support of love and peace, but it is common knowledge that the xian uses its religion to justify hate and killing. More people should be speaking up against them, not less.

  • Either way, the point is that it was on their own lawn. If you had a sign proclaiming your atheism and some person came up and believed they had the right to cross boundaries of your own personal space in order to be a complete dick and place a sign over yours, you wouldn’t be pissed?

  • Matthew Elswick

    I love the “It’s on private property” baloney. The best way to keep property private is to not splash offensive superstitious messages in public view.

  • Matthew Elswick

    This brand of xian thought nothing of burning crosses on other people’s lawns. Its karma…or as they would put it, doing unto others.

  • Nomad

    Because, had a Christian done this kind of thing to an atheist who had put up an atheist specific Christmas decoration in his yard it would have been relayed here. It would have been bad if the Christians did it. It is also bad if the atheists do it, and policing our own is useful to set an example for the theists who often seem to prefer to overlook such excesses *if* they come from within their own tribe.

  • Rod Haney

    No, I wouldn’t get upset at all. It’s a stupid piece of paper, not hurting anything. I’d pick it up and throw it away. And that would be the end of it.
    What I certainly would not do is call the media, and act like a cry baby. The home owner , Chris Cox says he feels harassed and that he should move from his home of 38 years. I say he should grow a pair and stop acting like he’s been physically attacked or had his house spray painted or torched.
    As I said, it’s really not that big of a deal. It’s certainly nothing worth getting upset about.

  • Rod Haney

    still not news worthy

  • midnight rambler

    Yes, and doing that is being an asshole.

  • rg57

    I agree (because this post is written better than your previous effort).

    While we should not overlook or downplay the statement of hostility (Hell for non-Christians, to begin with) that is inherent in any publicly-viewable Christian display, a person’s own front yard is a place where they ought to be able to communicate their ideas to the public, even if they are to some degree offensive. (Somehow penises are more offensive than the Hell threat, but one glorious day …)

    Still, by starting the conversation in public, people can not then claim there shouldn’t be a similarly public response. So what responses are acceptable? One acceptable response is to counter that message using a display at another home. But if there’s a disparity in the popularity of the counter-message, it could be that the message wouldn’t get out into the same forum (perhaps the only responder lives on the 8th floor, or on another block).

    As anyone walking by clearly knows the address of the person with the Christian display, any counter response should include the new person’s full address so that nobody is at a disadvantage, and everyone remains accountable. Perhaps one approach would be to write an address in chalk, on the public sidewalk in front of the Christian display, simply directing people to a display with a different message.

    Even if you agree with the content (and we likely all do, for the three statements shown here), putting an anonymous note on someone else’s property is a threatening thing to do. I’m sure we’d regard something like this as unfair if the anonymous messages were Christian and directed at non-Christians, and we’d speak out against it. So should we here.

    Having said all that… I’m confused by these reports. There are so many Christian displays. Why are only a handful drawing the attention of these anonymous note-writers? It makes me think something more is going on.

  • B Dallmann

    The person who downvoted you obviously is upset that he/she doesn’t know any Latin XD

  • John Jaie Palmero

    I wouldn’t put it past the owners to put this sign up themselves just to be perceived as martyrs.

  • UWIR

    This isn’t vandalism. Comparing it to vandalism is absurd.

  • Rod Haney

    I’ll give you littering.
    But Defacing private property, no.
    1. spoil the surface or appearance of (something), e.g., by drawing or writing on it; mar or disfigure.
    “he defaced library books”

    One piece of paper in front of another, that doesn’t even cover up the original message is not defacing anything.

    Harassment??? ,Seriously? if expressing a differing point of view is now “harassment” I guess I’m guilty too. Better call the police.

  • The Vicar

    You have a lot of things wrong here for such a short post:

    1. Legal definitions do not necessarily equal dictionary definitions. If you add something to someone’s property which gives it a message, then that can still count as defacing it in a court of law.

    2. The only point at which the percentage of the original property which was covered would be important would be in assessing the penalty, not determining whether a crime was committed. If you put graffiti on 0.01% of the outside of a skyscraper, the judge doesn’t say “oh, it was only 0.01% of the surface, so this doesn’t count”.

    3. The government can’t prevent you from expressing a point of view — but it can prevent you from doing so by altering someone else’s property. If you want to display a sign on the outside of your OWN property which says “there are no gods neener neener” then that’s fine (and, depending on the design you used, might be kind of neat) — but deliberately putting such a sign in front of someone else’s sign? That’s harassment.

    4. For that matter, the person who placed that sign necessarily was trespassing on private property, which is another charge.

    5. And finally, acting as though the illegality of the action is a surprise is disingenuous and off-putting. On behalf of atheists in general, please stop. Acting like an a**hole doesn’t help at all.

  • The Vicar

    You’re only a few steps away from “Dear Muslima”. Keep it up; Dawkins can’t make everyone think atheists are jerkwads all by himself, after all!

  • Just because I used the words ‘vandalizing’ and ‘like’ in my comment doesn’t mean I was comparing it to vandalism. Since it appears to be unclear, let me try again:

    If I were a Christian trying to do something to make atheists look bad, I would vandalize the original sign (or at least put up a more nasty counter-sign).

    Big if, because I’d never vandalize any sign.

    I’m just trying to point out that I really think this was put up by an atheist, not by someone trying to make atheists look bad.

  • Cake

    But that’s it. I don’t complain about the behavior. I throw it in the trash/fireplace/recycling pile and “meh”. I don’t need to fall down weeping, or gnash my teeth in frustration while getting my martyr jollies off.

  • Rod Haney

    OK, then. Since this happened in Sacramento, I’ll use the California State Penal Code,

    Penal Code Section 594

    594. (a) Every person who maliciously commits any of the
    following acts with respect to any real or personal property
    not his or her own, in cases other than those specified by
    state law, is guilty of vandalism:
    (1) Defaces with graffiti or other inscribed material.
    (2) Damages.
    (3) Destroys.
    Whenever a person violates this subdivision with respect to
    real property, vehicles, signs, fixtures, furnishings, or property
    belonging to any public entity, as defined by Section 811.2 of
    the Government Code, or the federal government, it shall be a
    permissive inference that the person neither owned the
    property nor had the permission of the owner to deface,
    damage, or destroy the property.

    The rest of the code deals with penalties, in relation to dollar
    value of the property affected. Not anything to do with

    By that definition, nothing was defaced, therefore nothing was

    As far as Harassment, I just spent a few moments glancing
    over the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 525-534
    and I cannot find anything that makes the distinction of using
    a sign over another in any of the descriptions of harassment.
    If you can find language that supports that, then I’ll stand

    I had already pointed out the possibility of trespassing in
    another post.
    But none of it really matters, because I highly
    doubt you would find a city police offer who would bother to
    pursue this, and less likely a metropolitan prosecutor or even a
    judge who would bother with such a nuisance case. I think
    they have bigger fish to fry. Maybe in some backwards
    redneck hillbilly christian county, but not in a city.

    And finally, I’ll say speak for yourself.
    Saying you speak for anybody in general, in this case atheists
    which includes me, is extremely presumptuous.
    If you choose to sink to the level of passive aggressive
    insults, that tells me all I need to now about the character of
    the person I’m debating.
    Have a nice day.

  • Rod Haney

    beyond laughable,,,,

  • David Irons

    ATHEIST HATE. They don’t care about living in peace. They are no different than the Islamist and the westboro church loons. Atheist tyranny.

  • Rob

    Let us stay careful not to sow seeds of division amongst ourselves. They weren’t “assholes”, they were misguided and need to brought round. They’re NOT as bad as people who go much, much further in foisting their beliefs etc. on others, and we need to maintain this perspective as a community of self-described right-thinkers.

    The counter-signs on the yards aren’t nearly as bad as the letter. The letter carried the appearance of representing a number of nameless individuals (neighbors) and was therefore intimidating to a degree that should have been obvious to the sender(s). That was a lot worse than adding a counter-sign to a sign. This is my strong opinion!

    “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
    -Hanlon’s Razor.

    50% of the world’s population is of below average intelligence. Hating them makes nothing better.

  • Rob

    Can I just add: The Golden Rule is in full effect, all the time, everywhere, for everyone, even though according to the bible Jesus said it and we don’t think Jesus is likely to have existed, or that the bible has any intrinsic authority. According to Common Sense, it’s still totally bloody correct!

  • We’re upvoting along with you, not at you, or some such shit.

  • wabney

    LMAO – you’re funny. Keep being funny please. Here’s a plush unicorn for you.

  • tsig

    I’ve seen no evidence that an atheist put those signs there. It’s possible the homeowner put them there himself to get a little attention.

  • It’s possible the homeowner put them there himself to get a little attention.

    In which case, it probably would have read, I’m an athiest and I hate you’re God!

  • Aguz

    Acting like a Jerk, because that has always worked so well!

  • skwerl

    Rod, while I agree with you on many points, I think the issue is really that atheists get enough crap from people without doing douchey things that draw more negative attention to us. That’s all.

  • Ewan

    “nothing to do with religious bias permeating laws and judicial processes. It’s not a church/state separation issue”

    No, it isn’t, but shouldn’t peoples’ standards of behaviour aspire to something higher than “not actually unconstitutional”? There is this odd downside with the USes laws that people often seem unable to see anything beyond them and actually consider whether something is reasonable. The original signs are clearly far from the worst example of this sort of thing, but they are an unpleasant mixture of both boasting and haranguing. It’s perfectly legal to treat your neighbours that way, but it’s still gauche and rude. A little gentle social push back is about the right sort of response.

  • We have our share of some types of twerp. Other types, we’re disproportionately low on. And a very few types, we have an extra share of.

  • newavocation

    Everyone is in a rush to judge! A little evidence of the offender would be nice. I would bet the odds are 50/50 that some War on Xmas fundamentalist could have done this.

  • bmorejoe

    There is a fundamentalist here. It is not the christian.

  • And by the sidewalk, which looks to be a public right-of-way, and thus in a traditional public forum. Considered as placing a rebuttal to the private forum message in the nearest possible open forum, those two seem much more defensible than the one on the lawn — which pretty much just isn’t.

    (It’s also possible the town has a viewpoint-neutral general ban on sidewalk signs in place, which would change the analysis for those two.)

  • TommyNIK

    Too many logical fallacies here to list for your vapid comment.

  • bmorejoe

    The big deal is that religious folk do not have a lock on the potential for angry, intolerant, persecutorial behavior. I think we do not want to go there. Best to nip signs of going there in the bud.

  • TommyNIK

    The Golden Rule has variants, all with the same sentiment, that appear in all major civilizations all the way back to ancient Egypt and, some historians say, China.

  • TommyNIK

    You missed my point.

  • TommyNIK

    That’s ridiculous.

  • $84687101

    What the hell is wrong with people?

  • Signs like these don’t really engage people in honest, thoughtful debate… it’s just being an asshole.

    Plus, going onto someone else’s property to put up a protest sign is a really dickish thing to do.

  • baal


  • bmorejoe

    you think atheists are not capable of intolerant, self-righteous, aggressive behavior? That would make them quite unique in human history. The comment was not directed at you fyi. I agree about backlash. And possibly backlash to the backlash. No need for pogroms against the religious, let history and science take their course.

  • baal

    Yes, we hate so much that we’re telling each other to be better than xtians and not stoop to their level. Unless you’re a poe in which case /salute.

  • I think the homonym panic was intentional.

  • Sondra Carr

    1. This is definitely an asshole move.

    2. Additionally, it is on the exact same asshole level as religious folks knocking on doors to sell their religion, walking up to homosexuals displaying affection or living in certain neighborhoods, and the other similarly boundary pushing actions that we’ve all become accustomed to.

    3. That doesn’t excuse this.

    4. Jeff is correct, aim higher.

    5. And finally, it’s worth noting that it appears MOST of the freethinkers posting in response ARE aiming higher and calling this out as what it is – a dick move that should not be tolerated. We’re not banding together to justify it. Most other groups would do that. It would be nice if those other groups would call out their own assholes like we do and make them stop representing the group that way.

    Then maybe we all COULD get along.

  • KMR

    That’s one of the many perks of not being Christian. We feel perfectly comfortable calling a spade a spade 🙂

  • The homeowner’s son, who is on one of the 55 FFRF billboards, reported this. No, it was not the homeowner.

  • Tobias 27772

    I kind of like the messages on the signs, but I agree – these have to go on your own property.

  • Stephen Doggart

    I agree in the free expression of faith, where ever and when ever it be . As long as no offence was intended by it. (Ie.Star of David painted on a Mosque, that’s just nasty.)

  • A3Kr0n

    That is wrong, and so is requiring a vagina ultrasound to get an abortion as required by Christians. Or having “under God” on our money and in our pledge as required by Christians. Or having national religious holidays as required by Christians.

  • Economist2011

    if it is on public property that kind of religious sign deserves a rebuttal. It’s not right to do it on private property.

  • bearclover

    Or how to Googly

  • bearclover

    I think you make a good argument. This is no different than when religious people cross the treshhold of my private property to sell me on their superstitions. Both they, and whomever did this to this person’s Christmas display, are wrong.

  • Matt Ranson

    I’m not too ashamed by this. Just a few days ago a politician compared our billboards to the Nazi Holocaust.

  • Richard Labus

    I can’t be the only one to think that christians may be responsible and are just trying to throw some bad press our way. I have met many assholes and none of them were atheists. I have never met an atheist that was an asshole. I know they exist but to me this just seems to perfect.

  • Little_Magpie

    Okay, yes it’s trespassing and…not exactly vandalism but sort of… and it’s not-cool. And assuming it was done by an atheist, we should be better than that.

    But, as other people have said, this is really not the biggest deal in the world.

  • SeekerLancer

    It’s not only Christians who refuse to understand public vs. private and it’s just as wrong when atheists don’t understand it. Whoever put up this sign, stop being an idiot and giving Christians something legitimate to complain about.

  • freethinker57

    Well said Friendly Atheist. The whole point is that we can all practice our faith or lack of same without interference. Religious display in public buildings = wrong. Displays on private property = perfectly acceptable. I take pride our nation came up the the idea that it was ok to practice whatever your faith might be. I feel bad for these families who put up something that may well be part of their families’ way of celebrating this holiday season, and I think if I put something up & had it vandalized in some way, I’d feel very violated. Not cool. Call me crazy, but I think we should be above the antics of the ignorance we seek to reveal, not sink to it’s level.

  • Bec

    Or light a burning cross in their front yard…

  • LesterBallard

    70 likes on this comment; maybe I’m the reason that library wouldn’t accept the money.

  • Matt D

    How many assholes have we got on this ship, anyhow? 😉

  • Matt D

    Do you plan to respond to criticism of your….position, or are you satisfied with proving immediately that you don’t have the guts to continue the conversation?

  • Darrell Ross

    There is substantial amount of pressure within the atheist movement to confront theists about their beliefs and the damage those beliefs cause. I think these signs are an incredibly benign manifestation of that pressure. I certainly wouldn’t put signs up like that. And I dislike the trespassing nature of the sign on the lawn. But condemning the action as that of assholes feels obligatory to me.

    I see many complaints about trespassing. If the trespassing sign were not present, what would the reaction of folks be?

    The atheist movement at large welcomes and encourages the sentiment from those signs in public spaces like billboards.

    I’m also skeptical that the signs were placed by atheists and not by attention seeking theists. If people don’t believe a war on Christmas exists, why not manufacture one?

  • Kohoutek

    Whoa! Going onto someone’s property and posting signs? And not having even the courage to leave your name? NOT COOL! I want to give the homeowners a hug.

  • The Vicar

    How so? Dawkins’ “Dear Muslima” boiled down to “people with a grievance which does not involve physical harm, no matter how serious, should just shut up because there are others who have worse problems in this world”. You’re doing essentially the same thing, except that you haven’t phrased it in the form of a snarky mock-letter. You and Dawkins seem bound and determined to provide an illustration of Burke’s famous “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” saw. If I come across any illustrated dictionaries of quotations, I’ll make sure to pass your name along.

  • The Vicar

    Oh, gosh, I didn’t realize I was talking to Rod Haney, the guy who, up above, said we should ignore this entirely because there are worse things going on elsewhere.

    I think, in terms of backing away from debating a person who is too horrible to be considered an equal, it’s more for me to wish YOU a good day.

  • Rod Haney

    So what’s the problem? I prove my point with the law backing me. You’re wrong and I’m right. Just be a man and move on. Don’t cry about it.
    Yes, my name is Rod Haney. And I do think this is a stupid fucking excuse for a news story.
    I said good day to you, to the guy who doesn’t have the balls to post in his own name.

  • Rod Haney

    What a douche.

  • Rod Haney

    Blah blah blah,,, look at me all self righteous, says the guy hiding behind a pseudonym.

  • Rod Haney

    I respectfully disagree.
    With all the horrible things that go on in this world every single day, I find it incredibly ridiculous that some jackass prank in which no one was harmed, or any property was damaged in any way shape or form is somehow news worthy.
    I know of several incidents where people had those Darwin fish on their cars and found them broken and had nasty notes left, but yet I can’t recall any of them being an item on the 6 O clock news. (but then I haven’t seen every news cast, so who knows,,,,)

    With all the debates going on here, I still don’t find this worth getting upset about.

  • Rod Haney

    I hear we eat babies,,, where do I get one???

  • Mike Hitchcock

    Last para – possible, but unlikely IMO – too subtle.

  • The Wise Wizard

    Christians can complain the day they stop littering my yard and car with their bullshit propaganda.

    Until then, I say turnabout is fair play.

  • The Starship Maxima

    That’s not very mature.

  • The Starship Maxima

    I’m a Christian and there still isn’t anything to complain about. Douche atheists are 0.00006% of the total. If anything,I pity their passive-aggressive nonsense.

  • Greisha

    I would not do it, but it is not much different from multiple fliers we are getting including ones with religion, mostly Christian propaganda.

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