From Zero to Vandalism in Three Weeks

Everyone knew that the atheist monument in Bradford County, Florida would be vandalized. That’s like predicting that the sun will come out in the morning. We didn’t know that the person who did it would so perfectly fit every stereotype one might expect of the kind of person who would do it. Zach Osborne, who refers to himself as Hillbillyboy, spit chew on the monument — then took a picture of it and left it on the American Atheists facebook page with his real name and photo.

AAmonumentvandalism

It turns out that he’s a 15 year old kid and he apologized after AA said it was going to report him to the police for it. But as someone in the comments pointed out, in his Facebook profile under books it said “books are gay.” So I think he’s not really off to a good start and there’s a limit to how much stupid behavior can be excused away by being a teenager. I was a Christian at 15 and I sure as hell would never have acted that way.

And here’s something worth noting: Nearly every time an atheist display goes up anywhere in this country, it gets vandalized — billboard, displays, monuments, ads on buses. Most of the time they are vandalized. Can you remember a religious display getting vandalized by atheists? I’m sure there are one or two examples of it, but I can’t think of a single one. But remember, Christianity makes people more moral and atheism makes them evil and destructive.

20 comments on this post.
  1. embertine:

    Wow, he looks a bright spark. Future Republican senator?

  2. Chiroptera:

    Heh. I’m betting that it’s against the law for a minor to use tobacco products in Florida. And it wouldn’t surprise me much if that rather than the vandalism is what gets the authorities to act.

  3. composer99:

    So I think he’s not really off to a good start and there’s a limit to how much stupid behavior can be excused away by being a teenager. I was a Christian at 15 and I sure as hell would never have acted that way.

    With respect to this particular comment, I do think there should be some immediate legal consequences. Like, say, a fine for restitution (payable by himself or his legal guardians to American Atheists) and/or community service.

  4. culuriel:

    Report him anyway. If there are no consequences, he’ll just do it again.

  5. raven:

    And here’s something worth noting: Nearly every time an atheist display goes up anywhere in this country, it gets vandalized — billboard, displays, monuments, ads on buses.

    QFT.

    Fundies never, ever miss a chance to show how intellectually and morally bankrupt their religion is.

    I do hope that American Atheists have a lot of spares and the plans. Sooner or later, someone is going to really destroy it. They also should have it under video surveillance. It will make a great Youtube video some day.

  6. Modusoperandi:

    Typical Athiests! Always putting non-Ten Commandments monuments in places where Patriotic Americans spit.

  7. frankb:

    This brings to mind the saying that ends with “For good people to do bad things…that takes religion,” But is it really cause and effect? As some have noted not all Christians do stuff like that. Perhaps those who do not learn empathy or experience love are attracted to the strict and arbitrary rules of religion. But I think that many fundies don’t teach their children empathy. IMHO both scenarios happen. But the end result is the same, bullying.

  8. vicvanity:

    Restitution for what exactly ? a good rain is going to wash it off . .. what the kid did was stupid and disrespectful but certainly it caused no damage to it

  9. Trebuchet:

    I’m actually surprised that a) it took so long; and b) the vandalism was so trivial. I was expecting someone to take a hammer, or at least spray paint, to it the first night.

  10. reasonbe:

    Y’alls know the security cameras are watching.
    Digital at eleven.

  11. beergoggles:

    Yes we know each time we put up an atheist display or billboard or advert it gets vandalized and all the atheist organizations wring their hands and scratch their heads and whine about it without actually learning from it and sticking hidden cameras all around it.

  12. zippythepinhead:

    It might be wise to have 2 monuments: one, bold and brash that attracts the vandals, and another that’s understated but thought provoking.

  13. rhebel:

    On a parallel, every time I put out (liberal) candidate campaign signs at my previous home, they were vandalized (wrapped around my mailbox, torn up) in the middle of the night, while my neigbors’ conservative signs went untouched. Imagine that! Police didnt care.

  14. janiceintoronto:

    Yep. Report him. Otherwise it’s just going to happen again.

  15. Doug Little:

    It might be wise to have 2 monuments: one, bold and brash that attracts the vandals, and another that’s understated but thought provoking.

    Having to have an understated 2nd monument is thought provoking enough.

  16. Larry:

    His parents must be proud.

  17. howardhershey:

    I recommend that he be required to clean up/pay for any and all grafitti/vandalism to the monument for the next year or until he catches the next vandal. After that, said next dumb vandal caught can take his place. Perpetual care will result.

  18. JD:

    Ed sets up a false comparison.

    “Every time an atheist display goes up anywhere in this country, it gets vandalized…”

    Compared to

    Can you remember a religious display getting vandalized by atheists?

    Religious displays are frequently vandalized, like the 4,500 crosses stolen in one night in Colorado just a few weeks ago, or the World War I memorial in Mojave, the Mojave Cross, that was stolen (even though the Supreme Court ultimately let it stand).

    Just as there is no proof “every time an atheist display goes up” it is vandalized by Christians, there is no proof that every time a religious display goes up it is vandalized by atheists. In fact, sometimes vandalism might just be…vandalism.

    In truth, it is probably just that you are more aware of one than the other, as evidenced by the fact you weren’t aware of either a recent one or a nationally publicized one.

    The persecution complex does not become you.

  19. Doug Little:

    JD @18,

    Hey what do you know the 4500 crosses were on public land illegally same as the Mojave Cross.

  20. Pieter B, FCD:

    The foot-tall crosses were organized into the pattern of a cross on a hillside.

    “There were some complaints to the city about allowing all those crosses there,” said Durango Police Sgt. Rita Warfield. “Some people thought it was a religious statement, but it was actually to recognize childhood poverty. It could be that someone who was really offended by it did it.”

    Warfield could understand why somebody might have been confused about the crosses. “I don’t know how you differentiate between putting a cross out to get somebody to go to church or to support a cause,” Warfield said.

    Crosses are non-denominational symbols of childhood poverty. Uh-huh. Have you ever considered what a wonderful investment a toll bridge represents?

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