By (Haljackey) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

By (Haljackey) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Adopt-a-Highway signs sponsored by Orange County Atheists of Texas have been vandalized in a number of ways.

In an effort to become more active and to fully integrate with the society, a group of Atheists in Orange County, Texas participated in a project called Adopt-a-Highway last October. The cause involved the sponsorship of highway signs by individuals or groups.

But just a couple of weeks since the two signs sponsored by the Atheists for Highway 1135 were erected, the signs got vandalized. The word “atheist” was erased through spray painting and the words “I Love God”, “I Love Christ” and “Christ” were superimposed above the original message. In an effort to catch future culprit(s) and to protect the signs after they get repaired, the group raised money to be able to mount cameras for the signs.

The Texas Department of Transportation has already cleaned and repainted the signs on December 9 but in less than a week, the restored signed where again attacked. Right before the cameras are installed, the signs were riddled by bullets.

Clara Luna was among the first Atheists who saw the damaged signs and was able to take photos of the mishap. She can’t help but express her deep anger over the incidents “My feelings on this are that of frustration and now a little afraid. Considering no other sign out that stretch of highway was vandalized it’s not hard to realize they singled our signs out.”

Suspecting that the culprits are Christians, Luna questioned how such acts can be justified by the religion “how is this loving ad godly? If you are Christian and find this wrong then I ask that you publicly speak out against this. Shame and ridicule those doing this. Make it known that this hatred and behavior isn’t right.” She continued by saying that “I would ask them to show me where in the Bible God says to show their love for him by destroying other’s property.”

Since the bullet marks are difficult to repair the Atheist group will have to decide whether to replace the signs or just leave them as is. The Orange County Atheists are also discussing the idea of moving the sponsored signs to a more populated stretch of the highway.

Such form of discrimination is not the only incident experienced by the group this year. In their desire to participate with the ongoing Christmas celebration, the Atheist group has made a request to put up their “Happy Holidays” greeting near the nativity in the City of Orange. Right after the request, the city government decided to remove the nativity scene which according to them would avoid legal complications.

In response, Texas Governor Greg Abbott asked the city to redisplay the nativity scene urging the city government to “stand up to the demands of a select few who wish to see God thrown out of the public square.”

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