December 5, 2008

Atheist sign stolen from Wash. capitol

A sign calling religion a myth that was on display in the Washington state Capitol was stolen and taken to a Seattle radio station overnight.

The sign was grouped with holiday religious displays including a menorah and a nativity scene in the Capitol rotunda, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer said. Employees noticed it was missing Friday morning and then found it was at KPMS, a country music station, Sgt. Ted DeHart of the Washington State Patrol.

Media reports about the sign had made it a national issue. This week, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, a Democrat, and state Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican, released a joint statement saying that the Constitution requires that all viewpoints must be represented if religious symbols or statements are allowed on government property.

DeHart told the Post-Intelligencer that investigators are unsure whether the sign was taken while the area was open to the public. But he said he is sure of one thing -- whatever the rights or wrongs of the sign, its removal was a crime.

They're taking something that's not theirs, he said.