Atheists Will Protest Teenager’s Arrest for “Desecration” of Jesus Statue

American Atheists: “Blasphemy is Not a Crime”

Bedford County, PA—On Thursday, three atheist groups—American Atheists, Pennsylvania Nonbelievers, and Truth Wins Out—announced a joint press conference and protest in Bedford County, Pennsylvania on Saturday, September 27 at 12:00 PM on 200 South Juliana Street at the steps of the Bedford County Courthouse.

The demonstration is in protest of the September 10 arrest of a 14-year-old child, who will be tried in juvenile court on October 3, for “desecrating” a statue of Jesus after the teen posted pictures of himself simulating a sex act with the statue on his personal Facebook account. The teen did no damage to the statue, and the religious organization that owns the statue does not wish to prosecute. However, a rogue district attorney has chosen to press charges under a questionable interpretation of a Pennsylvania law which bans “desecration” of religious objects, including “physically mistreating [objects] in a way that the actor knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the action.”

Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins, the prosecutor, made a clear, taunting reference to American Atheists and its famous legal fights for separation of religion and government when he stated about the current case: “This troubled young man offended the sensibilities and morals of our community. His actions constitute a violation of the law, and he will be prosecuted accordingly. If that tends to upset the ‘anti-Christian, ban-school-prayer, war-on-Christmas, oppose-display-of-Ten-Commandments’ crowd, I make no apologies.”

“In America, separation of religion and government is one of the foundations of the law,” said American Atheists President David Silverman. “While this teen’s action may have been distasteful to some, prosecuting this case at taxpayer expense is a clear abuse of the district attorney’s legal authority, and is a clear symptom of his personal bigotry against atheists, an alarming attitude for any prosecutor, and especially one in a state where 30% of the population is not religious. Blasphemy is not a crime and freedom of expression is a human right.”

In addition to Silverman, in attendance will be Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen and Pennsylvania Nonbelievers President Brian Fields.

The statue, located outside Everett, Pennsylvania, is owned by the Love In The Name Of Christ organization.

Dave Muscato, Public Relations Director 908-276-7300 x7, [email protected]

AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that defends civil rights for atheists, freethinkers, and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of religion and government; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy. American Atheists was founded in 1963 by Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

American Atheists, Inc.

P.O. Box 158

Cranford, NJ 07016

Tel: (908) 276-7300

Fax: (908) 276-7402

  • fallenstar

    You should also look into the so called ‘free press’ in Bedford. They’re little gossip site released the kids name and then continues to pour gas on the fire. Yet when some people post rational comments they get quickly censored, if you anger them too much they will post your criminal records on their ‘news’ website.

    • It’s my understanding they plan to interview us at the protest. We’ll see how it goes. 🙂

    • Vox clamantes

      Perhaps you should avoid having a criminal record in the first place.

      • fallenstar

        I agree with the avoid having a criminal record but not just your criminal records though, I’ve seen them post records of peoples family members, ex spouses, ect. Just because someone disagrees with ur point of view does not give you the right to try and publicly shame them so that their point of view gets dismissed. Its petty bullying BS we tell ouu kids not to do and then we do it anyway

  • I don’t know guys, that did look like statue-tory rape to me…

  • quartz

    can anyone counter sue this prosecutor? I mean seriously, can we counter sue for him stripping this boy of his rights? or even the threat from him pushing forward?

  • Double Standard

    If he had done the same thing to a statue of a civil rights leader, Eric Holder would have delayed his resignation in order to prosecute him for “hate crimes”

    I agree this is a stupid lawsuit, but if it were a statue of MLK (whom I greatly admire and respect as well), the feds would be investigating and it would be all over the national news.

  • Pootis Spencer


    • Cthulhu21

      I belive he (Stalin) did what he did for his version of communism, not atheism. Why you praise a megalomaniac for killing people, I will never fully understand.

      • Le Red


        • Cthulhu21

          I’ll just chalk that up as “not giving a shit”.

  • GibbyD

    The law is needed , not only to protect the desecration of the statue depicting Jesus , but also all statues and monuments that are venerated for the people and or ideas they represent . Without this law other memorials and monuments would be fair game for abuse . Think what that would mean . Would you want , for instance , radical Muslims desecrating the Lincoln memorial , Arlington Cemetery and or The Statue of Martin Luther King ? Many of them would be lining up to pose as this youth did but on other statues and monuments that possibly you respect and or hold in awe and reverence . If the kid would have used a statue he owned and or on his own property , then his 1st amendment rights would apply . This law is to protect from abuse those publicly displayed venerated statues and monuments be they secular or religious .

    • pazu

      those statues are based on real people. this statue is based on adult fairy tales written by goat herders in the bronze age. try again. lol at that statue being abused smdh….

      • GibbyD

        Paza , word for word you have parroted a lie that has been told too many times but has never been backed by ANY facts or evidence whereas The Truth of the Bible can be verified and proved mathematically , historically , geologically , archaeologically, through testimonial , manuscripts , fulfilled prophecy , changed lives , etc. etc. You can be a puppet or parrot if you like , but you got nothing to back up what you have rehashed and you are probably too lazy to actually do some real study and research to check out the claims of The Bible and The LORD Jesus . If you got some honest questions about the Bible , one site that I think is ok ( mostly) and that can answer some is carm dot org . Otherwise you are going to let the devil and his followers, drag you to a place for all eternity , a place that you will forever regret going to . God did not want you to go there but , you will , unless you, ‘..repent toward God and place your faith and trust toward The LORD Jesus Christ ” ( Acts 20:21; I John 5:13; 2 Corinthians 5;17 )KJB.

        • pazu

          smdh….. please spare me your bible thumping gibberish. Jesus Christ Allah, all hand me down adult fairy tales written by uneducated desert people in the bronze and iron age. grow the hell up.

          • GibbyD

            Instead of quoting something you heard , use you own mind and site me sources for your information and document . And no , you cannot . For the sake of time , let me site you some facts I will cut and paste a site that gives solid reasons why you can trust the Bible to be truly God’s Word and why you can trust it’s message of how to be saved and gain everlasting and abundant life and love .

          • DesertPenguin

            Using your own theory, please give us these examples of “The Truth of the Bible can be verified and proved mathematically , historically , geologically , archaeologically, through testimonial , manuscripts , fulfilled prophecy , changed lives , etc. etc” The bible contradicts itself and therefore is proof of NOTHING!

          • Jonathan

            A ton of evidence exists. For example, the Catholic Church has a vial of His blood taken from when Jesus was nailed to the cross. Also they have a vial of milk from The Holy Mother’s Blessed Breasts and even the foreskin of His Holy Blessed Penis (actually there are more than a dozen Holy Tips held in various churches around the world, but if you’re a God then I guess you can have as many foreskins as you want …).

            As if all that concrete evidence isn’t enough to convince you, consider the True Cross found by Helen, the mother of Emperor Constantine. She travelled all the way to the holy land and after waterboarding a few locals to get them to speak and a little excavation found the very cross our Blessed Lord Jesus was crucified on. Although there were three crosses found together (remember he was crucified alongside two thieves) she was able to identify the right one by dragging a dead corpse over all three of them. When the corpse was moved over the right one, the corpse came back to life!! All this was well documented of course.

            So tell me, you evil mocker, how else could this corpse POSSIBLY have come back to life if she hadn’t found the actual cross of our Blessed Lord and Saviour?

            I wish you heathens would educate yourselves to the facts before claiming there is no proof of the Holy Word of God.

    • Scotty K

      Should every person who ever used the Washington memorial as a boner be sent to jail?

      • GibbyD

        I don’t know but most of those were off site , not actually on the monument (if that were even possible ) and did not depict a person . Nobody of reverence is being defamed or humiliated in derision by those photos . I would suspect that none of those photos actually occurred ON the Washington monument .

    • Kevin Bruce

      none of those other monuments or statues noted are under Pensivanai jurisdiction. and therefor the law does not apply. most states do not have a law of this nature. and this “crime” is victim-less

      we live in a country where our free speech rights allow us to burn the flag, surely it allows us to simulate tea-bagging jesus

      • GibbyD

        The Statues and monuments in Pennsylvania are under the Pennsylvania law. Other states have similar laws and so does the federal government covering the nation’s memorials . If you want to burn a flag or desecrate a statue , do it to one you own and not one that belongs to another .

  • Philip Rivers

    Pennsylvania consists of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with the deep South in between. I’m surprised Bedford County hasn’t lynched this youth.

  • Dan

    Why is it that anything religious is a cause for attack? There is a law that currently protects the community from behavior that incites mob mentality (essentially). The kid should respect the freedoms of others and show a bit of self control. The behavior is not healthy, should not be encouraged, demonstrates intolerance and prejudice. I think the atheist agenda should be more clearly thought out instead of reactionary to every fault of religion. It makes atheism look radical, out of control and negative to its agenda to “love all men” and make “heaven, here on earth.”

    • Cthulhu21

      People should realize that this kid (however much of a dickhead he may be) didn’t harm this statue and shouldn’t be prosecuted.

  • Anthony Romano

    They have to use their imagination to conjure up a god. Now they are inhibited by their imagination of their imaginary god being raped. And for that we have or should have no laws what so ever. Appeal this to the supreme court I say.

  • Jonathan

    Obviously a satanic, communistic atheist. I think he should be stoned to death in the public square lest the demons and evil spirits inside him escape into the environment and bring God’s wrath down upon all Americans in the form of tornadoes and floods and pestilence. Praise Jeeezusss!

  • Zach

    Everyone has rights, but if you’re defending what he did think about this. What if I was an open supporter of the KKK, and made it obvious I was a racist. Then, I went and found a statue of MLK and simulated raping it and posted it all over the internet. How long do you think it would take for me to be arrested?

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