Who needs snow gates when you have Jesus?

Every year the SF Public Works department allows the ‘schools’ to paint the snowplow blades.

Now have yourself an ice cold glass of Jesus Christ.




#1 Hilarious on 10.12.14 at 11:36 pm

Maybe the kids should have painted zombies on the plow blades. That would be acceptable to you. Why does Jesus offend you?

#2 l3wis on 10.13.14 at 9:52 am

Nothing against Jesus. I guess if I were a Christian offended for a number of reasons;

1) Defaming his name on a piece of construction equipment

2) Defaming his name by using a Coca-Cola logo, the irony of the ‘water quote’ being compared to corn syrup water.

3) Christians should be offended when the line between separation of church and state is blurred. Should our tax funded government vehicles be advertising a specific religion? Hmmm.

#3 Rea on 10.13.14 at 12:47 pm

1. I don’t see it as defaming. To me sacred and secular is an artificial divide that doesn’t need to exist. (As in, the sacred is wherever you see it, even in commonplace things like a snowplow.)

2. I am, however, easily irritated by turning common logos into ‘Jesus logos’. Blah. Not creative, stopped being clever after the first time someone did it. And yes, unintentional irony often abounds when people do that. (sub-point: as long as their schools are teaching them that THIS is creativity, probably not much is going to change here)

3. I don’t know that I really see a blurring. Any organization can paint a plow. The city doesn’t pay for the paint or provide the design. (Do they have to approve the designs? That might enter sketchy territory.) Presumably, the SF Freethinkers could inquire about painting their own plow next year. If they were denied, then I’d take issue. (pleasepleaseplease paint a plow?)

#4 LJL on 10.13.14 at 12:53 pm

Again, where in the Constitution is a reference to the “separation of church and state”? I can’t remember, what part of the scripture says shall not place the name of our savior on metal or write thy name in creative font?

Your fully engaged with the government embracing, subsidizing and promoting the new religion of ecoism but damn them who mention a god.

Me thinks he wouldn’t protest a muslim snow plow. This half ass sniping at christianity is just chicken shit.

#5 l3wis on 10.13.14 at 1:31 pm

LJL, I guess I could care less either way, this would qualify as something that is ‘debatable’ as to whether it crosses a line. The schools donated their time and paint to do the projects, so I guess they can paint what they want to (though I do think that the Happy Birthday Jesus one jinx us for a Christmas winter storm). My hardcore friends who like to rant about these things do take issue with it though. Maybe they will chime in. Oh, and didn’t know wanting to be environmentally conscience was a religion, I think if Jesus were alive today he would be a Ecoist.

Rea, Well when the Siouxland Freethinkers get their own private school, maybe they will submit something.

#6 Think about it on 10.13.14 at 2:40 pm

Can we get through one organized event without religious social activities being mentioned? Stop being on a constant recruitment drive. I feel about Jesus (God, Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed) like I feel about Hello Kitty; neither one bothers me until it is shoved down my throat.

#7 l3wis on 10.13.14 at 3:10 pm

Well, in this case they aren’t shoving it down our throats just on our boulevards 🙂

#8 Dan Daily on 10.13.14 at 3:28 pm

This’ll give the atheists a court date.
When Moses went for the commandments, there was a major party in the valley. Maybe this is notice to ‘get plowed’. Where’s the party?

#9 Dan Daily on 10.13.14 at 3:32 pm

Jesus in Coke font!! Hmmm, do plow drivers sell crack?

#10 Really on 10.13.14 at 3:50 pm

How is this different than a church paying for a nativity scene and then placing it on a courthouse lawn?

#11 Test4Eric on 10.13.14 at 4:28 pm

Credit where credit is due… My name is Eric Novotny, and I’m a Board Member of Siouxland Freethinkers & the statewide Coordinator for South Dakota CoR. My wife Amanda Novotny is President of SLFT & state director for American Atheists. We took those pictures.

Complaints have been filed privately & with the city of Sioux Falls. National organizations in the Atheist & Secular community have also been alerted publicly & privately.

It’s great that the city encourages the arts and creativity of youth organizations & schools in Sioux Falls. However, these 2 plows are explicitly religious and having them in use by the city is an unquestionable endorsement of religion. This is no different than if someone put a Jesus bumper sticker on a police car.

#12 l3wis on 10.13.14 at 6:16 pm

Thank You Eric for the photos.

That is how I explained it to someone today, and their eyes glazed over.

It’s not that I think people are trying to ‘sneak’ religion onto us (using a snowplow) I just think that midwesterners are so ignorant of the constitution, they really don’t understand why advertising Christianity on a tax payer funded public works vehicle is a problem. Really they don’t. And even when you try to explain, they get confused even more. It’s like when Alan Greene was offended about Amanda’s comments during the innvocation to the city council using Harry Potter. He just had to retaliate, typical of Christian Hypocrites. Instead of trying to SAVE Amanda, they had to attack. And they can’t figure out why for thousands of fucking years the Jews, Muslims and Christians are beheading each other on YouTube.

Grow up.

The other thing that bothered me was “Does the Lutheran HS teach civics?” Apparently not.


Jesus paintings on the church snowplow. OK.

Jesus tattoo on your bicep. OK

Jesus paintings on a snowplow that is paid for by tax payers of multiple religions, atheists and non-believers, not OK.

It’s not that I am even mad about it. It just baffles me how little people know about the foundation of our country, and how our founding fathers wanted separation to protect the ‘religious’ not the ‘non-believers’. Freaking grow a brain already.

Maybe I should teach civics at the Lutheran school. I might even remind them of a radical named Luther (and guess what? He was the white one.)

#13 LJL on 10.13.14 at 8:04 pm

Eric. You’re an adult now. Mom and dad aren’t forcing you to got to church. There is no reason to be offended by something you don’t believe.

Scott, What a rant, too bad little of that makes any sense. You are the one who needs a history lesson. Our founders were seeking a place to practice THEIR religion not a religion chosen by the state. Hence the first amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

THOMAS JEFFERSON advanced the idea of Separation of Church and State, believing that the government should not have an official religion while at the same time it should not prohibit any particular religious expression. He first expressed these thoughts in an 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists in Connecticut

No Where does it say that the government must remove all indications to the beliefs of a god.

How about this. Lets be fair and paint snowplows based on the majority of those who believe and those who don’t. So next year you godless folks can have 1 snowplow. My advice is to leave it blank as you tend to be offended by everything.

WAS THERE ANY UNICORNS ON THOSE SNOWPLOWS!?!?!?. I will alert the great pumpkin and the entire Unicorn NonBeliever Society. We have santa claus on retainer to litegate this all the way up to the Wizard of Oz if need be.

#14 LJL on 10.13.14 at 8:17 pm

BTW… Martin Luther had a legitimate grievance against a corrupt pope and I will be the first catholic to tell you Martin Luther took christianity to masses but he also started the revolution which broke Europe into a religious holy wars and initially sparked the first beliefs of atheism. He also hated jews and wanted them wiped from the earth. Therefore he knew very little about Jesus Christ(a Jew) so really he himself wasn’t much of a christian.

Leave the teaching to those who know what their talking about.

#15 Me on 10.13.14 at 8:54 pm

You ask for painted plows (art) from a religious school and you get religiously inspired art. Is any one really surprised??? What is surprising is your willingness to promote censorship of art. Art has many inspirations, one being religion. The city asked for art and they got it. It is unfortunate people are so closed minded they cannot appreciate different forms of art, especially free thinkers.

#16 anominous on 10.13.14 at 8:58 pm

Man, them 2 trucks woulda been great in “Maximum Overdrive”.

#17 scott on 10.13.14 at 9:38 pm

i think what people should really be complaining about is that about half of those painted snow plows won’t be used at all, rather the city will just get the sander out and wait for the spring thaw. if anyone drove by the maintenance shop out on cliff this summer, you’d see plows that were painted last year and never used.

#18 l3wis on 10.13.14 at 11:06 pm

I knew when I posted these pictures the whiners on both sides would come out. LJL, I agree with you, you are saying exactly what I am, the separation of religion from government is there to protect the religious, not the non-believers. Duh. That is why this whole debate often makes me laugh, and on top of it, it is over snowplows.

#19 l3wis on 10.13.14 at 11:12 pm

Me, there is a difference between ‘ART’ and ‘Marketing’ to some it is a fine line, I don’t see it that way.

Take Sculpture Walk for instance, while a private non-profit takes care of mostly all the details (including the selection process) the sculptures sit on public land and are insured by the city and the organization. We also purchase sculptures. Many of these ‘art pieces’ are religious in nature. I used to call it ‘Bible Walk’. But you make and excellent point, “Is is art or marketing to promote religion?” Great question. Many great artists throughout history used religion to inspire their art (mostly because they were getting paid by churches to do so) I often wonder if the Catholic Church was broke what the ceiling of a certain chapel would look like, it also didn’t hurt that Mikey got daily beatings from the Pope to create something ‘Heavenly’.

#20 l3wis on 10.13.14 at 11:14 pm

Which makes you wonder if the Catholic Church also gave Mikey ‘Hazard Pay’ 🙂

#21 Karma on 10.14.14 at 8:44 am

Gosh – I just don’t think it is that big of deal. Religious school – religious plow. Who cares? I understand people’s different points, but really, is this the biggest thing that people have to deal with at the end of the day? If so, I will feel very lucky.

#22 Dan Daily on 10.14.14 at 10:30 am

They could advertise MMM for chancellor (aka governor) of South Dakota. Then, no reference to either religion or constitutional liberty.

#23 teatime on 10.14.14 at 8:59 pm

Maybe we should turn our attention to eradicating poverty (like Rich asked @ the city council) and not worry about painting anything, unless it is a home for someone who needs help or a hand up, or instead of paint, buy milk and give it so someone who needs it. Just sayin’,

#24 Waste of It All on 10.16.14 at 8:20 am

What a waste of time painting snowplows. Teatime is right. The effort put into the plows could have been better used helping neighbors or neighborhoods.

The kids would have had a life lesson and earned a sense of pride in helping others.

The thought occurred to me as I read about this, are they telling us Jesus Christ just scraping by?

#25 anominous on 10.16.14 at 12:44 pm

Interesting… are the paintings on city property or do these blades belong to the machinery contractors?

#26 Jason Weisser on 10.23.14 at 10:58 am

Stupid idiots harassing school children and their school project.
Idiots all need to move to a commune somewhere far away from civilization and drop dead.

Unbelievably ridiculous bunch of jerks.

#27 l3wis on 10.23.14 at 12:32 pm

“Idiots all need to move to a commune somewhere far away from civilization and drop dead.”

No, that is what religious nuts like Jim Jones does, not atheists.

#28 Jason Weisser on 10.23.14 at 12:35 pm

Freakshows should not be harassing school kids. Period.

#29 l3wis on 10.23.14 at 1:07 pm

Jason, did you read the article? Eric simply called the city and complained. He DID not call the school or contact any school kids. Besides, it is not the school that is at fault, it is the city. They should have not allowed religious messaging on government owned property. If I was the school, I would be upset with them, not a citizen who had to point out they were breaking the law.

As for freakshow, I have yet to meet an atheist that is a freak, in fact, many of them are very intelligent. There are even a few prominent doctors in SF that are atheists. Would you consider them ‘freaks’? I think the best line I heard from an atheist was, “I’m too intelligent to be a Christian.”

#30 Jason Weisser on 10.31.14 at 6:48 pm

l3wis, I hope you’re not allowed anywhere near a school or kids.

#31 l3wis on 10.31.14 at 6:55 pm

Well, Jason, me to. See, we can agree on some things.

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