Fri December 5, 2008
Having said that, I understand that intent is certainly not an arbiter of the expression of free speech. However, manipulating some obscure interpretation of equal opportunity in order to attack Christmas, is certainly a unique approach to attempting to be compelling and persuasive about one’s cause…
NEW: Placard from Washington state Capitol found in a ditch, radio station says
Atheists' place placard was next to Nativity scene in Olympia, Washington, building
Sign calls religion a myth that "hardens hearts and enslaves minds"
Some residents, Christian groups say atheists attacking celebration of Jesus' birth
Don't Miss: iReport.com: Over-the-top holiday displays?
(CNN) -- An atheist sign criticizing Christianity that was erected alongside a Nativity scene was taken from the Legislative Building in Olympia, Washington, on Friday and later found in a ditch.
An employee from country radio station KMPS-FM in Seattle told CNN the sign was dropped off at the station by someone who found it in a ditch.
"I thought it would be safe," Freedom From Religion Foundation co-founder Annie Laurie Gaylor told CNN earlier Friday. "It's always a shock when your sign is censored or stolen or mutilated. It's not something you get used to."
The sign, which celebrates the winter solstice, has had some residents and Christian organizations calling atheists Scrooges because they said it was attacking the celebration of Jesus Christ's birth.
"Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds," the sign from the Freedom From Religion Foundation says in part.
The sign, which was at the Legislative Building at 6:30 a.m. PT, was gone by 7:30 a.m., Gaylor said.
The scene in Washington state is not unfamiliar. Barker has had signs in Madison, Wisconsin, for 13 years. The placard is often turned around so the message can't be seen, and one year, someone threw acid on it, forcing the group to encase it in Plexiglas.
In Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association began a bus ad campaign this month questioning belief in God.
"Why believe in a God?" the advertisement asks. "Just be good for goodness sake."
That ad has caused the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to field hundreds of complaints, the group said, but it has heard just as much positive feedback, said Fred Edwords, the association's spokesman.
Edwords said the ad campaign, which features a shrugging Santa Claus, was not meant to attack Christmas but rather to reach out to an untapped audience.
Read the entire article here: Missing atheist sign found in Washington state By Mallory Simon CNN
20081205 Missing atheist sign found in Washington state