What if I vandalized a banner and went on TV?

1 minute, 38 seconds Read

Yesterday, a resident of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and someone I attended high school with, Joe McDonald, climbed a structure on Public Square to slice the ropes holding the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s banner which was placed following city approval. Here’s the video.

The rope-slicing was recorded by local news station WNEP-TV, broadcasted throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania, and was accompanied by McDonald confessing to his criminal activity on television. How could someone vandalize a banner which was placed with city approval, go on television to talk about it, and walk away with what seems to be almost no attention from the city itself or the local police?

Hours ago, I initiated a police report concerning the vandalism/criminal mischief/trespassing/disorderly conduct.

…but what if I were to cut the ropes holding the Jewish banner in place and appear on television to talk about it?

Almost immediately, I suspect, I would be labeled a bigot and police may be contacted almost immediately following the news footage if the police had not already appeared at my door because they happened to see the news report themselves. Perhaps I would be charged with a hate crime. Local religionists would be calling for a heavy fine to be placed on me and justice would likely be swift.

If someone happens to vandalize an atheistic banner, though, the story seems much different. Why is this the case? How can someone appear on television, admit to vandalism, and walk away scot-free with almost no one, as it seems, caring or taking action apart from those who sympathize with the atheistic message?

It’s nice that Wilkes-Barre police had taken my report and were cooperative, but it’s sad to see my initiation — rather than the police’s initiation or the city’s initiation — of the police report after the incident had happened and appeared on television for all to see.

Updates to come…

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