|I can now count myself among the vandals of this world...|
No, not the 5th century East Germanic barbarian type of vandal...
Well, I performed my first-ever act of vandalism today at Penn Station. I was on my way to the subway train du jour, when the poster below caught my attention. I didn't really pay attention to the advertisement itself. It was the graffiti that caught my attention. At first glance, I took it for an anti-Semitic scribbling. I saw the J at first and thought that it read and was directed against "Jewish People." You can imagine my shock and anger. Upon doing a double-take...I saw that it wasn't anti-Semitic at all. Unfortunately, it was just as bad. It was anti-Catholic. If you can't read the green words markered onto the poster, it reads "Kill every Jesuit Priest on site." For the record, the actions that follow would have been the same even if graffiti was anti-Semetic or anti-enter religious group here....because I do not stand for any form of religious intolerance. Period. Even if it means partaking in a bit of vandalism.
Whoah. To think this type of anti-religious garbage can still be seen in broad daylight (or even in artificial, fluorescent light)! Oh, for the love of all that is good and Catholic in this world!
My reactions, in chronological order, once it sunk in were as follows:
Oy vey....could be some misguided and disgruntled Fordham drop-out who doesn't really mean it.
Uh. oh. What if it's some underground satanist cult?
Oh dear. It must be one of those fundamentalist anti-Catholic groups I thought no longer existed.
Who in the world would want to kill anyone on site....especially a padre?
Well, I can't just let this message stay up there...regardless of the intentions behind it.
Figures I am one of the people that end up walking past this atrocity. Maybe God put me there at that time and place as a test. Would I be courageous enough to do something about it...or would I just walk on, too afraid to do what was right? Naturally, I could not let this sit. I don't stand for any form of religious intolerance or anti-life messages...especially something this violent and just plain evil. Therefore, I resolved to fix the problem by writing "Don't" in the beginning. That way it would read "Don't kill every Jesuit Priest on site." I know it doesn't sound like the best idea ever....but, well, I couldn't just leave it as it was...even if it did mean my adding to the graffiti. Unfortunately, I did not have a permanent marker on me. All I had was a bunch of pens and pencils. I tried one pen, to no avail. It just would not write on the surface of this poster (it had the texture and surface of a bumper sticker). I then tried my awesome handy-dandy insert pharmaceutical company here pen. It has a bit of a felt tip to it, so I figured it would work. Nope.
Not one to give up, I resolved to scribble hard until I got a legible "Don't" written down. Unfortunately (or very fortunately, depending on how you look at it), my pen dug in through the poster. I then realize that the poster is just some huge sticker. I resolve, therefore, to just tear off the part of the message I find most offensive (mainly the part about killing). I proceed to tear at the poster, and a piece comes off. This piece rips off clean, taking with it the "Kill every" as well as part of the "J" in Jesuit. Therefore, the poster now looks like this and I am now a vandal.
I can just see Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Saint Francis high-fiving each other right now.