Creationist Vandalism in Florida

We found a disquieting news item in the Florida Alligator, published at the University of Florida: Vandals target professors’ vehicles. It says, with bold font added by us:

Letters, nails and vehicular sabotage haven’t kept two UF biology professors from expressing their belief in evolution. In a string of events occurring over the past four months, the professors’ cars, which were parked in the Bartram-Carr Hall parking lot, were vandalized.

How very odd. We keep hearing that it’s “Darwinists” who cause all the trouble in the world. Let’s read on:

First, religious letters were left on the cars, and then pro-evolution bumper stickers and Darwin-fish emblems were scraped and torn from the vehicles. Most recently, nails were put into the tires.

Observe, dear reader, that we’re not seeing the sudden appearance of nails in the tires. No, we detect a bit of — ahem! — evolution here. First we see evidence of a primitive ancestral form that was merely passing out religious letters. That harmless creature gradually developed until it was defacing pro-science bumper stickers and Darwin-fish emblems. Now it’s driving nails into the tires.

A clear pattern emerges from the record — this thing is evolving into a dangerous predator — Genesis Rex. The article continues:

“I can’t prove who did it and I don’t want to jump to any conclusions,” [one of the victims, Brian] McNab said. “But I think it’s obvious that it’s someone who has a strong opposition to evolution.”

Yes, rather. To put it more bluntly, it’s the work of a freak who feels compelled to drive nails into tires for Genesis. It won’t stop there. Here’s more:

The other victim, Betty Smocovitis, said in an email she is disappointed at what she called the small-minded nastiness of the individual, and she would continue to replace the Darwin fish on her car.

Okay, that does it — now your Curmudgeon is angry! Betty is a UF professor of history and zoology, and she’s an old friend of this blog. Here’s her faculty website. We wrote about her here: Kirk Cameron: “Out Of His Mind” Says Professor.

This is the conclusion of the article, and it’s not a happy ending:

University Police spokesman Maj. Brad Barber said no reports have been filed for the incidents, but professors have been encouraged to contact UPD if any another incident occurs. The perpetrators are still at large.

Be careful, Betty. Anyone crazed enough to put a nail in your tire is also capable of putting a bullet in your head. We’re serious. Don’t depend on the campus police; that’s a dream, like counting on the UN for world peace.

You have to take care of yourself, Betty. Consider driving a different car to work — and please — there’s no reason to paint a target on your car. It’s a war out there.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

19 responses to “Creationist Vandalism in Florida

  1. I personally had this sort of stuff happen to me when I lived in FL… I posted regularly at the local newspaper’s website with this screen name, and my car had a personalized plate that said Larian. It wasn’t too hard for the local rednecks and creationtards to figure out who I was, and who the red Miata convertible belonged to. I had that insipid psalm carved into the paint of my car, and when I reported it to the police, they were less than helpful…

    Typical of FL.

  2. Pete Moulton

    This kind of xian bad behavior has been going on in Gainesville for awhile. On a vacation trip there about 15 years ago, I ran across a letter to the editor of the Gainesville Sun from a grad student who’d had her car’s paint keyed because the car had a Darwin fishapod on it. The culprit also left a note on her windshield to the effect that her paint had been trashed because he/she/it didn’t appreciate her anti-xian intolerance.

  3. We all saw this coming, didn’t we? It was a topic in the comments as recently as yesterday. Darwin = Satan. Secular laws don’t apply, because a higher authority trumps them. Every unhinged, violent loon seems to have a crackpot rationalization, and a disproportionate number begin with God or Allah. Heaven and virgins await them; too bad for the rest of us.

  4. SC: “Be careful, Betty. Anyone crazed enough to put a nail in your tire is also capable of putting a bullet in your head.”

    Any surveillance cameras around? If not, a good argument can be made for having the university put some up. Whoever is doing this absolutely needs to be expelled — assuming it’s a university student.

  5. retiredsciguy says:

    Whoever is doing this absolutely needs to be expelled — assuming it’s a university student.

    I can think of stronger responses, but they shouldn’t be necessary. Why don’t those people follow the example of the Heaven’s Gate cult, and quietly move on to a higher state of existence? But no — they have to go around causing problems.

  6. I don’t know of too many “darwinists” out there causing flat tires for university professors. I also don’t know too many of them out raping and pillaging in the name of racial/ethnic cleansing or stopping vaccination in the name of Allah, or murdering men and boys because they’re Muslim.

    I do unfortunately see an awfully lot of “gawd feerin'” Bible thumpers and folks with towels on their heads screamin’ Allahu Akbar and doing said misdeeds. Maybe these folks should pay less attention to the bs parts of their scriptures and more attention to the love thy neighbor parts.

  7. Any surveillance cameras around? If not, a good argument can be made for having the university put some up.

    All that will be good for is the after-action report. “See, this is where the perp comes out and starts whacking the professor on the head with the baseball bat… here…. here… and here…”
    I think SC called it earlier; the two professors need to look after themselves. Different routes, different times, be alert of your surroundings, keep your head moving constantly to see what’s happening all around you. And if something happens, “get off the X” quick.

  8. Gary said about surveillance cameras: “All that will be good for is the after-action report.”

    They also have a deterrent effect. True, a perp can disguise himself, but unless he’s really crazed, he probably won’t take the chance. Perhaps an anti-abortionist would be worked-up enough, but I don’t think evolution gets creationists quite that nuts.

    That being said, I wouldn’t put a Darwin fishapod (like that term, Pete Moulton) on my car. Not only is that asking for trouble in parking lots, but I bet a lot of cops are creationists who would just love to hand a ticket to “Satan”.

  9. good points sciguy. I learned after I got assaulted at age 17 by some folks from a rival high school that it’s best not to put too many distinguishing marks on your car.

  10. @retiredsciguy & TJW: I understand what both of you are saying. Don’t stand out. Don’t make waves. Don’t incite anyone.
    But I cannot agree with it. Once you start down that road, where do you stop? The people perpetrating this are cowards, pure and simple. You cannot appease them. You cannot debate with them. You have to stand up to them. The battle for “freedom of speech” is not just something that occurs with armed troops in foreign lands. It happens here, at home, everyday, in small battles such as these two professors are now involved in. I applaud Betty’s statement that she will continue to replace her decals.
    I will now quietly step off of my soapbox.

  11. Pete Moulton

    Thanks, retiredscienceguy, but I can’t claim it. Neil Shubin coined that word in his book, “Your Inner Fish,” which I can highly recommend. I don’t have one on my car either, BTW, because I live in the Bible Belt West™ (Arizona), and I don’t trust xians even a little bit.

  12. Gary: You cannot appease them. You cannot debate with them. You have to stand up to them.”
    Kinda hard to stand up to them when they’re vandalizing your car, unless you’re still in it, or standing guard nearby. But of course then they won’t be vandalizing it — as you said, they’re cowards. Putting a fishapod on my car is not going to change anyone’s mind, but it might cause my wife a lot of grief when she has to confront a vandal in the supermarket parking lot.

    I prefer to choose my battles. Besides, as you said, “You cannot appease them. You cannot debate with them.” So what’s the point in engaging them? They are too dim to understand your arguments, even if they were to listen.

  13. retiredsciguy: Let’s just agree to disagree on this one. I think it’s a battle worth fighting.

  14. Gary, what part of the country do you live in? I’m afraid you’re gonna be awfully busy unless you live in one of a few enclaves of sanity in this great land of ours.

  15. retiredsciguy: Peoples Republic of Maryland. You don’t hit the creationists til you get as far west as Fredneck (aka Frederick).

  16. Oh, and I forgot to mention that fishapods around here are thicker than bugs on the bumper of a Freightliner after its driven through a hot Georgia summer night.

  17. Gary,

    I agree about standing up for yourself, but I also would rather not make my car a target for vandals. I’m happy to proudly proclaim in a crowd that I’m kin to a monkey, but would rather not have someone screw up my $20k investment because they’re too cowardly to do something while I’m around.

  18. Gary: “Oh, and I forgot to mention that fishapods around here are thicker than bugs on the bumper of a Freightliner after its driven through a hot Georgia summer night.”

    Nice analogy. Around here (Indiana), you could say the same about cross-eyed fish. Also, the State of Indiana offers as a no-extra-cost option the “In God We Trust” license plate. Unfortunately, we still have highway fatalities.

  19. TJW: I understand. I’m saying that that is not how I would react. Now we’re down to something subjective. Do you consider it worth the hassle? No. Do I? Yes.
    retiredsciguy: I’m originally from the northside of Indy myself (born and raised there). I moved here in ’90 because this is where the job was. I still get back there at least twice a year (was just there a few weeks back, as a matter of fact).