Unusual Vandals Tag Two Bend Churches
Updated On: Jun 17 2011 12:50:18 PM CDT
"Praise the FSM": These are the words written, spray-painted and tagged across not one, but two churches on opposite sides of Bend Sunday night.
When Pastor John Bluebaugh of Christian Life Center got the news Monday morning, his first thought was, "Not again."
"Really, what went through my mind was, about six months we were tagged as well," said Bluebaugh. "It was the same kind of deal -- different symbols, different sayings, but the exact same places."
There are markings left six months ago from vandals who drew Harry Potter-type slogans across the church.
Now, they've got a whole different mess to deal with. The graffiti apparently refers to The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a group of people who claim they do not believe in religion but rather in what they call Pastafarianism.
Local church groups say it's one thing to not pick a religion, but it's another for these vandals to pick a fight.
"It's a disruption, and if you have to repaint, it's extra cost for the paint," Bluebaugh said. "It's a violation. You just feel violated."
Across town, the Westside Church was tagged with the same graffiti overnight.
More 'Praise The FSM' and hateful Bible messages were sprayed across their brand new expansion -- some even on the bricks, which now will have to be cut out and replaced.
"Yeah, it's a bummer what we have to go through and redo all this for a brand new facility," said Rod Kirk, the director of facilities for Westside Church. "But the bottom line is that God is the one that's going to get revenge -- we aren't."
As the potentially costly clean-up process begins, so does the process of finding who did it.
For now, "Pastor John" is keeping the faith.
"Maybe we can put an end to this, and hopefully nothing escalates," Bluebaugh said. "These kinds of things have potential to escalate and become worse than just tagging on the wall."
Deschutes County sheriff's deputies said whoever's caught could be charged with criminal mischief and intimidation -- both misdemeanor crimes that come with possible jail time and fines up to $2,500.
If you have information that could lead to the vandals, you're asked to call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-877-876-TIPS. You can remain anonymous, and could be eligible for a cash reward.
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