Last week, an atheist-themed banner (next to a giant Satanic pentagram) in Boca Raton, Florida was vandalized when someone spray-painted it…
The display was eventually restored, though it remained a mystery who ruined the originals.
Now, however, someone has stolen the banner altogether:
The Foundation is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators responsible.
“This is a disgraceful expression of intolerance toward dissenting ideas,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “People need to show respect for minority viewpoints, however unpopular.”
Theft of this nature would normally be considered petit theft of the first degree under Florida law, punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000. However, because the actions were motivated by prejudice against atheists, under the state’s hate crime statute the crime may be reclassified as a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000.
This wouldn’t be acceptable if it happened to a Nativity scene and it shouldn’t be okay when it happens to an atheist banner. It’s unclear if the Satanic display was stolen, too.