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Atheist Street Pirates
Atheist Street Pirates
Why are they called Pirates since they are cleaning streets from illegaly dumped garbage?

Quote:Clark is part of the Atheist Street Pirates, a team of lookouts who track and occasionally take down illegally placed religious material on public streets and overpasses around the city of Los Angeles and neighborhoods in the county. They’re a subset of the LA-based Atheists United, a nonprofit that’s been in the city for nearly 40 years and that seeks to “empower people to express secular values and promote separation of government and religion.”

The idea for the street pirates first emerged as a joke during an Atheists United meeting where members bantered about what to do with religious signage they encountered across the city. Calling it “religious rubbish removal,” the alliteration inspired the Atheist Street Pirates. That led to Clark creating a public Google map database where they upload photos and locations of the signage they encounter during their commutes. The map currently shows about 70 signs across LA County, including material taken down by the pirates or others. They’ve been officially active since 2021.

If signs are “illegally marooned, our pirates will report or plunder,” Atheists United declares on its website.

Street pirates don’t mind paid billboards or signage on church property since that’s within separation of church and state, Clark said. It’s the explicitly religious signs on public land that they take issue with. There’s a difference, Clark notes, between people standing on a highway overpass holding a sign and posters left behind as public nuisance.

It’s unknown where these signs come from, whether they are part of organized church efforts or individuals doing this on their own, but Atheist Street Pirates has collected about 30 signs that range in size and design.

teachings of the Bible are so muddled and self-contradictory that it was possible for Christians to happily burn heretics alive for five long centuries. It was even possible for the most venerated patriarchs of the Church, like St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, to conclude that heretics should be tortured (Augustine) or killed outright (Aquinas). Martin Luther and John Calvin advocated the wholesale murder of heretics, apostates, Jews, and witches. - Sam Harris, "Letter To A Christian Nation"

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