Atheists United SLO Highway Sign Cut Down, Defaced
The Atheists United San Luis Obispo (AU/SLO) Adopt-A-Highway sign on south-bound Highway 101 was sawed off from its post and spray-painted sometime on Tuesday, the second time the sign has been vandalized in the past three weeks.
A California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) official informed AU/SLO that the sign was sawed off and that the first and last letters of “Atheists” had been painted over. The sign was new, having recently been replaced after a large red “X” was spray-painted on the sign on September 19.
“Despite this act of vandalism,” said AU/SLO president Steven Arkowitz, “AU/SLO remains dedicated to making it acceptable to be a non-believer in this county.”
Caltrans has offered to move AU/SLO to a different stretch of highway, but the group has said it would like to stay in the same location.
“Almost every week we have new members join AU/SLO and tell us how happy and relieved they are to find our group,” said Arkowitz. “We are proud of the positive work we do in our community and the sign represents a small part of that work. Regardless of whether you share our beliefs, I hope that everyone would agree that we have a right to be here and that perhaps AU/SLO plays an important role in our community.”
Atheists United has been cleaning up of the stretch of Highway 101 just south of Atascadero, California since May of 2014. The group also participates in local charity events, provides scholarships to students, and runs a public library book donation program, among other events and activities.
AU/SLO is a non-profit community organization with over 400 members in San Luis Obispo County. The group is dedicated to providing a community for non-believers, educating the public about the positive aspects of atheism, and performing community service. For more information, visit www.AUSLO.org