Chris Douglas

Yard Signs Defaced

Filed By Chris Douglas | October 14, 2006 4:24 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Democrats, Indiana, local politics, Republicans

Driving on the North side of Indianapolis today I was witness to many defaced yard signs of Katherine Densborn, Republican challenger to incumbent Democrat David Orentlicher. The signs were defaced literally, as each sign's picture of Katherine had an image of Jesus slapped over it. At best, the message is that Densborn is Christian. At worst, the message is that to be Christian is repellent.

This kind of activity is no more impressive than the theft of Orentlicher yard signs from yards in May. Both are unconscionable acts. Followers of both candidates who may engage in these activities demean their own candidates and assault all of us who are going about the peaceful process that sets Democracies apart from both anarchist and totalitarian societies.

As a statistical matter, Orentlicher's electoral majorities in a Republican district have necessarily drawn support from Republicans and Christians alike. How could such an act generate a positive response for David Orentlicher? (And before summoning too much indignation, conservative Christian Republicans might reflect, once Christ has been introduced into politics, how easy it becomes to depict Him as a symbol of intolerance, for that is how they themselves represent Him.)

Those who stole Orentlicher signs in May could not have realized the anger such acts generate. Likewise, those who use Jesus to deface Densborn's image must not realize how offensive this act is to all but themselves. For our civil society to proceed, the Christian majority must exercise a restraint which is respectful of the religious diversity of our country; so must everyone. Those who act otherwise would transform us into the warring societies we see elsewhere.

(From the Principles of the First Republicans: "FIRST REPUBLICANS BELIEVE the separation of church and state enables people of all faiths and beliefs to coexist peacefully and religion to flourish in America, freeing us from religious strife and affording us domestic tranquility that is enduring and historically unprecedented. Religious principles must not be legislated.")

(This message has been cross posted from the First Republicans Forum.)

Recent Entries Filed under Politics:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.

Wilson46201 | October 14, 2006 4:41 PM

"Defacing" yardsigns with images of Jesus in a race where the opponent wears a yarmulka sounds like an Eric Miller AmeriTaliban trick. Will swastikas on David Orentlicher's signs be far behind?

for some reason, I can't wrap my head around Orentlicher's supporters (or Dem supporters in general) doing this kind of defacing. It seems to me to be more like a backhanded insult to Orentlicher himself. Strange.

I agree with Kaj. What does it mean? That she is like JC? That she is not JC, and therefore should not put up her likeness? I just don't get it as a political statement.

Chris Douglas | October 15, 2006 9:36 PM

Kaj (kay?): Oh, I can. Of course, I'm positive that David Orentlicher would completely disapprove of this activity, for it hands Densborn an issue. Just as Densborn supporters stealing signs hand Orentlicher an issue.

I tend to disagree with Wilson; the right wing I don't think grasps that they have been turning Jesus into a symbol of hatred, and that placing His image on a sign would have a chilling effect to some viewers. Only those both chilled by the impositions of the Christian religious extreme, and highly irreverent, would think of placing it on a sign as an insult, in my opinion.

(I'm sure it would not be a member of the Jewish community, for it is too dangerous an act, an act which would promote anti-semitism. I see it as the act of an ex-Christian.)

I've seen plenty of folks in our community who can't understand the difference between, for instance, a healthy protest chant and a counterproductive, damaging one. Sound minds can't imagine how these things happen, but it is unsound minds that produce them. (Alas, unsound minds know no partisan boundaries.)

I remember Bill Oesterle, Daniels campaign manager, who was incapable of duplicity, a person of great integrity in my judgement, observing of the fraudulent e-mails that were sent from Democratic campaign headquarters in 2004: "Somebody had to get cute." It backfired.

Somebody has gotten cute. This time, I suspect it was somebody unaffiliated with official Democratic strategy, somebody who has no ability to think through the ramifications, somebody who has no ability to comprehend or influence how Republicans might think or react, somebody who would resist the input of sound minds, somebody who is just plain stupid. Unfortunately, the world has such people, and though their numbers are few, their impact can be disproportionately damaging.

If such a person should happen to be reading this blog (and I generally hope he or she doesn't patronize Bilerico, then here's my thought: Accept that you are an idiot, likely to do your cause more damage than good, and stay as far away from politics as you possibly can. Just a thought.

The most productive protests are not destructive as versus theatric. Defacing anyone's signs wouldn't be appropriate - it's their property and not yours. It's what we teach children, but you'd be surprised how many "grown ups" don't get it. :(

We have a Russell Brown for State Senate sign in our front yard. Our only sign story is that the day it was so windy, our sign stopped being stuck out by the street and ended up further up in our yard. But it was stuck in the ground like it had been put there! (We think it blew out and a neighbor rescued it for us.) Russell came to our neighborhood block party and walked our street and he's pretty popular here.

Douglas, as bilerico can confirm, Kaj is not kay.

I am kay, was your rant intended for me?

'Tis true, 'tis true.

Kaj is a local blogger from Resisting Inertia (one of Indy's better blogs!) while Kay is a faithful reader (and frequent commenter). We love 'em both! :)

Media coverage of this race and most others has been sad and lacking. How to change a silent media? David O. sends out a controversial piece of mail, and bang, a whiney Densborn gets on Ch. 13. Her signs get "defaced" and bang again, she gets coverage.

For the Pavlovian theorists among us, the lesson is clear: scream foul, and at least Ch. 13 will report on it. If a sign gets defaced in the forest, will anyone hear...? What's next--a report on someone mocking Densborns' kids' Halloween costumes?

This sign thing would be a ridiculous activity for an intellegent man like David to allow or tolerate. It is the antithesis of his career in public service and his character.

It reaks of a self-imposed publicity trick.

By the by, just for giggles, I read Densborn's platform and some written materials. She's more than a little scary. Let's jkust say Cindy Noe would have a real good friend in the legislature, if Densborn is somehow elected.

Hate to bother everyone with real issues, but hey, the media's not paying attention. The dearth of good coverage on any of these races speaks to the sorry state of media in this town.

Unless five of your signs get defaced.
Issues, please. Signs elect no one.

Chris Douglas | October 16, 2006 12:27 PM

Kay, affectionately, if it was a rant, it wasn't intended either for you or for Kaj, but for the miscreant or any others contemplating such counter productive actions.

(I know you've had it out for me for a long time, Kay; Sorry for the confusion. Didn't mean to provoke you.)


Egad, Douglas, how long have you been having these feelings about me :O

Seriously, disagreeing with your politics doesn't mean I have it out for you. it just means I don't care for your politics.

Kaj, I wasn't confused still, thanks for your concern.

Oh, bout those defaced yard signs, I'm also wondering if it was an inside job ... earned press maybe.

Last year, btw, we had yard signs stolen every night until we finally filed a police report AND then started taking them in and out every night and morning. We're planning to do the same this year--we're at the entranceway to our neighborhood and across the street from our poll site--very little action matters, hey!