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Hi-Tech Nativity Security

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the a-higher-satellite-power dept.

Christmas Cheer 110

To combat vandalism and theft of their holiday displays, many churches and cities are turning to a technological answer. After one of their cows was stolen, St. Marks Episcopal Church in Glen Ellyn, Ill. installed GPS devices in the figurines of its nativity scene. This year the village of Wellington, Fla. added security cameras to protect their display. From the article: "BrickHouse Security in New York City offered churches and synagogues free GPS and cameras to protect their displays this season. Seventy have signed up so far. About 24 of them are also installing security cameras. In Merrick, N.Y., the Chabad Center for Jewish Life is putting GPS in its 8-foot menorah on display in a park."

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Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34481470)

So, what's to keep the offenders from disabling the GPS and using it for their own non-denominational service? Why not deploy flying drones to combat the would-be evil doers? What about the effect of CMEs on the GPS unit in Baby Jesus' head?

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34481506)

We need more seminars that explain that Surveillance != Security.

Okay, you've got footage of a dozen people in ski masks trashing your nativity scene and then you use the GPS the next day to track down 12 different locations where they've been scattered in random fields.

Congrats guys, that think tank sessions sure paid for itself. And so did the electronics.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (2)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34481580)

Well, at least they get them back. Without trackers, that's not nearly as likely when they're hidden in some kid's dorm room or some frat house basement.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (4, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34481868)

Ok, I know this is a "get off of my lawn" type moment...but what the hell happened to us in this country??

When I grew up, you rarely if EVER heard of shit like this going on. Hell, as a family, we'd all get in the car on a cold winter night, like many other families, and go look at the decorations at homes, at churches and yes..even the capitol building (I grew up mostly in the capitol city of my state).

And yes..there was a nativity scene at the capitol...was common to see across the US and no one had a cow over it.

But seriously....no one worried about it getting stolen, we all kind of respected someone taking the time to put up some decorations at the very least.

WTF has our country come to...everything is target for theft or vandalism?

Hell, growing up...Halloween was about the only holiday you had to worry about that...and it was minor.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34482096)

Here's the answer no one else will tell you: it's the third world mentality seeping into everything. And, no, it's not racial: it's cultural. There's too many cultures here now that don't respect property or education or anything our country (or any modern nation) was built upon. So there you have it in a politically incorrect nutshell. We'll throw money at it, try to legislate around it, but until people, en masse, are willing to stand up and stand together to say"No more of this fucking bullshit" it will continue and get worse.

OK, time for the mods to hit me with -5 The Truth Hurts

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (0)

Creosote (33182) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482326)

Let's see... do Virginia rednecks whose great-great-grandaddies undoubtedly fought for the Confederacy count as owning third-world mentalities? Because I'm in a rural service club in central VA that puts up a Nativity scene every year, and granted a couple of years ago when someone stole the baby Jesus doll and replaced it with a bottle of beer it was a Corona beer, but I'd still bet pretty good money that it was a Morris or a Shiflett who did it rather than a Gonzales or a Gomez...

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34482644)

Well, it was a Corona...

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34483462)

Dude's point was that is was cultural, not racial, so it could be a Morris who adopted a more primitive (Vandal) culture. But to counter the original assertion that these are aspects of modern 3rd world cultures, consider the history of VA. Vandalism, banditry, untidiness, etc.. was always a problem in rural VA - forever. That's why everyone needs guns. Dependence on pensions benefits, social security, and other hand-outs haven't helped the cause of respect for property rights. More to the point, was the beer bottle empty or full? If the beer was full, it could not be vandalism.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34484956)

If the beer was full, it could not be vandalism.

Depends. Full of what?

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (3, Insightful)

Degro (989442) | more than 3 years ago | (#34483350)

I don't know, that's easy to say when you pick out one relatively short timespan as 'what this country was built on'. The dismantling of other cultures seems more accurate. So many the nativity vandals are keeping it old-school and true.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (1)

gregrah (1605707) | more than 3 years ago | (#34483580)

Anecdotally speaking, the most destructive and disrespectful groups of people that I've ever met have generally been made up of drunken white teenage men (full disclosure: I am a white male who in the past has in the past also been a drunken teenager). For example - the riots [youtube.com] that occurred in Boston after the Red Sox *won* the world series were nothing but pointless destruction.

I actually think a lot of these kids might benefit from the experience of living for a while in a third world country.

Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (2, Interesting)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482218)

...and a growing cult. Not saying the creches are being stolen by the Atheists, probably "just kids." But these days, those Atheists DO get their noses out of joint when confronted with public displays that run counter to their own belief systems.

Not all Atheists are vandalizing extremists, of course. Most of them have moderate beliefs, contribute productively to society, and love America just like you or I.

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34482308)

I'm sorry that was a real WTF comment!!!

If you substitute Atheist with "Muslim", "Jew", "Hindu", etc it's still a WTF comment.

I'd mod you -1000 wanker if I had the points.

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (1, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482450)

"Humorless"

I left out that most Atheist Fundamentalists are humorless and take themselves and their religion ver-r-r-r-ry seriously.

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34482548)

That does it. I'm declaring a Jihad on you. However, Athe certainly isn't without mercy, so if you convert right now I'll call off the Jihad.

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482878)

Gary Johnston: I was just a boy when the infidels came to my village in their Blackhawk helicopters. The infidels fired at the oil fields and they lit up like the eyes of Allah. Burning oil rained down from the sky and cooked everything it touched. I could only hide myself and cry as my goats were consumed by the fiery black liquid death. In the midst of the chaos, I could swear that I heard my goats screaming for help. As quickly as they had come, the infidels were gone. It was on that day I put a jihad on them. And if you don't believe it, then you'd better kill me now, because I'll put a jihad on you, too.

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (1)

fredjh (1602699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482342)

Yeah, I'd say it's mostly kids... kids who have no respect for other people's property. I'm not particularly religious, but I don't trash religion in front of my kids... I'm a live and let live kind of person; but children who have no respect and grow up in households where angry dad continuously trashes religion is a recipe for this kind of behavior.

And unlike the AC who responded, the fact is that if you are brought up to be a good Christian, you respect other religions; if you are brought up to be a good Jew, you respect other religions... only a complete moron thinks every church preaches hate against all other forms of worship.

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482700)

As an atheist, I don't understand the idea of good Christians respecting other religions. Why would you "respect" a practice that is sending innocent people to hell? If I were a Christian, my kid would hate the other religions but put on a calculated appearance in order to convert their followers. Sounds ghastly, really.

Likewise Judaism, where there is still a marginal (admittedly very marginal) debate on whether it is okay to break the Shabbat restrictions in order to save a goy's life.

Of course I would teach my children respect for others' possessions, but I'd also teach them the horrible things that strictly-adhered-to religion would entail. For example, as far as I can figure it, the Westboro Baptist Church is closer to real Christianity than those churches whom they rail against.

Oh, and I do love these slashdot troll articles...

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (4, Interesting)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482948)

[ Why would you "respect" a practice that is sending innocent people to hell? ]

As an Atheist why would this even concern you as you don't even believe in Heaven or Hell, or do you? Why would you care if someone somewhere thinks you are going straight to hell unless deep down you were troubled they might have the slightest possibility of being right about you possible eternal salvation?

I am Agnostic and I am not bothered at all if my next door neighbor thinks I am going to the fiery pits of Satan's backyard. I could care less what they think of me. I am not a prick either who tries to tell them how wrong they are for believing in a higher power. Instead I try to live my life the best I can and lead by example. If they try to spout any religious nonsense at me I politely tell them I am not interested and don't get into an ass hole screaming match with them. If they object I tell them that in this country we have personal responsibility and if I go to hell then I am responsible for my own soul if they think it exists and if I end up in "hell" then it was my own conscious decision and right protected by the constitution.

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34483324)

He didn't say he was concerned or cared, just confused. When the Catholics, Buddhists, Methodists etc get together with each other to talk about all the neat stuff they have in common, why aren't they all saying to each other "you're gonna burn in hell" or "you'll be reincarnated forever" or "Vishnu will eat your eyes" or whatever it is they keep telling their own followers?

I think he's right about those nutty Westboro Baptist mob being the only consistent ones, too.

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34485570)

I'm not an Atheist or Agnostic (I'm Jewish) but that's pretty much sums up my views on what other people think. My neighbors might think I'm going to hell because I don't accept Jesus as the Messiah. More religious Jews might think I'm not being the "best Jew I can be" because I don't follow all of the laws to the strict letter (as defined by them). In the end, I don't try to force my religious views on others and appreciate it when they don't try to force their religious views on me. I'm more than willing to discuss my religion with anybody who is interested, so long as it is a honest interest and not an attempt to open a "save my soul" discussion.

And yes, I've encountered the "save your soul" types. Oddly enough, the most recent encounter was in an elevator at Walmart. Did they really think they'd convert my family between the span of two floors?!!

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (1)

Chriscypher (409959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34485648)

[ Why would you "respect" a practice that is sending innocent people to hell? ]

As an Atheist why would this even concern you as you don't even believe in Heaven or Hell, or do you? Why would you care if someone somewhere thinks you are going straight to hell unless deep down you were troubled they might have the slightest possibility of being right about you possible eternal salvation?

And why would you take offense if I claimed as fact that you deserve to suffer because of your membership in an ethnic group? You are different from I, therefore it's your fault. I'm just the messenger. String 'em up boys.

It's all bigotry, plain and simple.

"Because you are [insert ethnic group here], you are subhuman and deserve to suffer" ... is no different from ...

"Because you do not believe as I do, you will suffer infinite, endless pain."

Just because someone claims to know God's will does not whitewash the fact that they are spewing bigotry.

Intolerance must not be tolerated.

Aw hell... (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34483906)

one thing I never understood about a large religion?

the Jehovas Witness believe only 144,000 are going to heaven during the rapture...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovas_Witness#Life_after_death [wikipedia.org]

why then, are they always trying for more members? there are 7.3 million members today, so a less than 2% chance of making it, and yet they keep trying for more members? if I was a jehova's witness I'd DAMN SURE try and get everyone I knew to be something else.... happily!

Re:Aw hell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34485844)

Two words: "Pyramid Scheme"

You earn soul points by converting others, and only those with a large network of soul point collectors acting under them get the magic carpet ride to hebben.

It's like Amway, only they don't bother giving you the useless crap when you give your money.

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (2)

Asm-Coder (929671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34483990)

The key word here is tolerance. Everything the GP said could equally be applied to someone who was raised to be a "good person". (and in reality, religion has very little to do with it.) Most religions put a great deal of weight on being/raising your kids to be good people, and as a result there may be a higher average number of "good" people in religious communities.

As for your comments about religions condemning followers of other religions to hell, I think you have a skewed understanding of religion. While religions frequently say that nonbelievers will be punished, most religious people (and church leaders) believe that it is far more important to be be a good person than to be a member or the correct church. (Trust me, there are bad people in all religions, and most churchgoers wouldn't have any doubts as what will happen to those people) Antecedently, basically all of the protestant friends I have are of the opinion that since God is supposed to be forgiving, anyone who is trying to be a good person will be rewarded. Some Churches don't even believe in a "hell", but rather teach that you will be rewarded according to you actions in this life. (examples: Mormonism, Buddhism) My understanding of the Bahá'í religion is that they don't regard hell as a punishment. I don't know enough about Islam or Judaism to be willing to comment on their beliefs, but I'm willing to bet that the majority of their followers are likewise tolerant of other religions and may not automatically assume nonbelievers are doomed to hell.

Remember, most beliefs are not the polarized fields that some of the media (and frequently others) would have you believe. Most people's beliefs may align with a belief system, but they don't go to extremes. Not all Islamics are terrorists bent on destroying western culture, not all open-source users are anti-close-source, and not all feminists have hair on their legs. :P

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34487598)

Why would you "respect" a practice that is sending innocent people to hell?

Because the Bible teaches that we are only innocent by our standards: (Romans 3:10, quoting Psalm 14)

As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
“Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and misery mark their ways,
and the way of peace they do not know.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Christianity has always required that the practitioner view himself as an unworthy sinner in need of salvation from God's coming judgement. Anyway, why would someone need to put on a "calculated appearance" if the intent is to offer someone something better than what they have? I'm not denying that some are obviously false in their approach, but to a believer it's as much an act of kindness as alerting them of any other danger.

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (1)

Deep Esophagus (686515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34489324)

It's not a matter of respecting other religions; it's a matter of respecting other PEOPLE. As a Baptist, I believe that those who do not accept Jesus as the promised Messiah are not getting into heaven. As a follower of Christ's teachings to unconditionally love, I am *not* to find happiness in that consequence, nor am I to abuse or disparage those who have not accepted what I believe is the only path to salvation. I am expected to make sure they know how to avoid eternal destruction, but once they have that information the rest is up to God and not my problem.

Westboro Baptist Church ignores pretty much everything Jesus said on the subject of love and respect. Unless you have read the New Testament enough to grok what Paul and the other authors have to say on Christian canon, you have no basis to back up your concept of what "real Christianity" is or who does/does not illustrate those beliefs. From what I've seen, most people who claim to speak on behalf of God fail to grasp the simple concept of "love your neighbor". The higher profile of the speaker, the more it seems he or she gets into grandstanding and political posturing and arrogance, and loses any shred of humility and compassion that might have originally existed.

And I say this with the full realization that underneath it all, I'm no better than they are. I give in to my own prejudices from time to time; God knows I can be as arrogant and elitist as the worst of them. So I really try to avoid casting the first stone, either at nonbelievers or believers whose actions and words make them out to be idiots.

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34492318)

As an atheist, I don't understand the idea of good Christians respecting other religions. Why would you "respect" a practice that is sending innocent people to hell?

Because trashing someone's menorah isn't exactly going to warm their opinions to you? When Jesus threw a fit in a temple, it was a Jewish temple, not a Roman one. Judgment and reform are practiced on the inside. To the outside, the best one can do is practice positive words and action.

Likewise Judaism, where there is still a marginal (admittedly very marginal) debate on whether it is okay to break the Shabbat restrictions in order to save a goy's life.

Jesus already solved this issue in Matthew 12.

For example, as far as I can figure it, the Westboro Baptist Church is closer to real Christianity than those churches whom they rail against.

Nope. Jesus wasn't much for trolling.

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482860)

If the displays that are being vandalized are on church property then I have no problem with them using security cameras and prosecuting the people who vandalize/steal parts from them to the fullest extent of the law. Church property = private property.

Do I think churches should be taxed like any other business, YES.

Do i think nativity scenes don't belong on public property, YES.

Do I think people can put a nativity scene in their own front yard, YES.

Do I think churches can put a Nativity Scene on their own property, YES.

Do i think they should keep the phrase "Merry Christmas", YES, mostly because it drives the rabid atheists crazy, but mostly because the foolish Christians don't realize that "Christmas" itself is a stolen pagan holiday that used to be called "Winter Solstice" or "Saturnalia"

I am a Libertarian, and an Agnostic, but I am not a rabid Atheist, and I don't condone the vandalism done by the more rabid schmuck like atheists and the stuipid teenagers or adults looking for a cheap thrill.

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 3 years ago | (#34484484)

I'm an atheist. Never felt the need to vandalize a nativity -- never even think much about nativity scenes unless one is right there in front of me, and then I just critique the quality of the representations (there are lots of lame decorations in the world). Anyway, I doubt atheists are mostly responsible -- a much more likely source of vandalism, antagonism (war and death camps) is other competing religions.

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (1)

formfeed (703859) | more than 3 years ago | (#34483424)

Atheist Fundamentalists are the counterpart to religious Fundamentalists.They both share the same image of a righteous, vengeful, narrow-minded god, who's about a half a step away from Zeus. - Which sums up both groups views on religion.

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 3 years ago | (#34484522)

Atheist fundamentalists -- all three of them? 1.6% of US citizens describe themselves as atheist ( http://religions.pewforum.org/reports [pewforum.org] ). Most atheists are "live and let live" type people having been at the wrong end of religious discrimination for just about ever. Newer atheists tend to be noisier, but that fades.

Anyway, let's be generous and say 10% of atheists are "fundamentalists" (probably more like 1% or less). That means with a 300m population, the US, there would be 480,000 militant atheists. Compared to the 78,000,000 evangelicals, I think the bible bangers have nothing to fear from those damned atheists.

Christians with a persecution complex: that's like Bill Gates feeling poor.

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (1)

Creedo (548980) | more than 3 years ago | (#34487506)

Got any data to actually back up such a stupid statement? Or do you think that some angry posts on the internet and the occasional public sign somehow match up with the centuries of religious violence? And what the fuck does atheism have with loving America or not?

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (1)

Atriqus (826899) | more than 3 years ago | (#34488538)

So in short, it's just kids, but you really wanted to go on a tangent about those evil atheists who have the audacity to point out when math and science are being abused or when non-discriminatory laws are ignored.

Re:Atheist Fundamentalists: Angry, Violent, and... (2)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 3 years ago | (#34489772)

...and a growing cult. Not saying the creches are being stolen by the Atheists, probably "just kids." But these days, those Atheists DO get their noses out of joint when confronted with public displays that run counter to their own belief systems.

Not all Atheists are vandalizing extremists, of course. Most of them have moderate beliefs, contribute productively to society, and love America just like you or I.

Typically what atheists get out of joint about is the government endorsing a particular religion to the exclusion of all others. The very same christians who say "what's the big deal" about a nativity scene seem to be VERY concerned about displays of Islam, Judaism, Wicca, Satanism, etc.

Or would you support the local Church of Satan putting up a display in the public places during whatever holiday they wanted to celebrate?

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (3, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482362)

Since I wasn't around in the 'old days' (for any reasonable definition of the term, anyway), I can't comment first-hand, but I'd theorise that the changes are based on urbanisation and corporatisation destroying the small community groups that people used to inhabit. If your action has a negative consequence to you personally, or someone you know, that obviously serves as a disincentive - basically, a person only has a direct incentive to be considerate if their actions are likely to affect someone within their 'monkeysphere [wikipedia.org] '. It used to be the case that most of the people you regularly interacted with had some level of connection to you personally, so no problem there. In general, people don't immediately default to 'asshat' as soon as they think nobody they know is watching (although there are exceptions [penny-arcade.com] ), but there's a secondary driving factor: this level of disaffection doesn't just appear spontaneously, it's engendered by the fact that those who shape the society we do live in do so in a largely impersonal manner - when the organisations we deal with every day don't care about whether they're screwing us over, it tends to rub off. People are left with no disincentive against bad behaviour, and little incentive for good behaviour. I'm not saying this excuses the people being asshats, of course, but it does provide some reasonable explanation of "what the hell happened to us" (which was quite possible meant to be rhetorical, but anyway...).

It's not all bad, though. The flipside is that the socially-enforced conformism of small communities is much more conducive to discrimination, repression of the 'out group', and ostracism of those who fail to follow the (often unwritten and/or illogical) 'rules'. Small communities protect the status quo, for better or worse. Whether it's a worthwhile trade off is a matter of personal opinion.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (2)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34483038)

urbanisation and corporatisation

Or there's governmentization and infantization. I can make up ideologically suitable words too.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34483124)

Ha! You really think the term "urbanization" is made up?

For Christ's sake, go to school. Maybe read a book even.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34483130)

I'm really not intending to push any particular ideology (given the choice I'll take the impersonal city, even with its problems), and (according to Google) I'm using both words correctly. If you think they make the post sound biased, replace them with "greater urban population" and "greater corporate power" - both factual descriptions from the data I can see.

I put forward a (IMO reasonable) hypothesis on why these changes can lead to a lowered sense of personal responsibility - pick on the logic, if you think it's flawed, not the language.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34483664)

If you think they make the post sound biased, replace them with "greater urban population" and "greater corporate power"

A big pet peeve of mine on Slashdot is that "corporate" is misused here (I rather frequently get into flame wars over this sort of thing). There's no problem stemming from corporation, but rather from people with a lot of money pursuing their interests at the expense of the general welfare. Yet I frequently read anti-corporatist Slashdotters advocate the end of corporations or limitations on the rights of corporations (under the dubious theory that a corporation has at least the rights of citizens and it shouldn't have those rights).

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (1)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34485122)

No, you get into flame wars because you're a raving idiot.

Mart

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34482392)

live in a small city and you will see nothing has changed !

Big cities sucks for living but they sure rocks for partying

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482594)

I grew up in reasonably large cities when I was young, my comments were not coming from a rural small town locale.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34482964)

Not sure when or where you grew up, but this time of year was always a great time to go around putting various figures in compromising positions, move them to golf courses, playgrounds or steal them and leave fake ransom notes. The animatronic deer are great for this, the bobbing heads are used to great effect when placed in certain positions. We did this all through jr high and high school, and it wasn't the "bad kids" or "burnouts" doing it either. generally each group would find time at least one weekend after or during a party to go out and do this, preps, jocks, stoners, geeks, pretty much everyone. This was in the late 90s through early 2000s, and it wasn't new then. I'm guessing it's as old as smashing pumpkins on halloween. Get a bunch of bored suburban kids together and they are going to FSU.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (1)

bware (148533) | more than 3 years ago | (#34483162)

When I grew up, you rarely if EVER heard of shit like this going on.

Come on. Get real. When I grew up, kids that I knew regularly did this kind of shit. Every xmas. And my dad told me about the shit that his friends did, and the shit that grandpa's friends did. You never heard of a outhouse getting put on the courthouse lawn, or a nativity scene ending up on top of a flagpole? Not us, we were all saints. But if you thinkk this kind of stuff didn't go on 50, 75, and 100 years ago, you are kidding yourself. I saw it happen in small town BFE and big town suburbia. People are the same all over, and for all of history.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (1)

bareman (60518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34485316)

No one told you "shit like this" was going on because you were three years old. The Good Old Days when everyone treated everyone else and their property with respect haven't happened yet. Temporal proximity to events tends to lead to exaggeration regarding their severity but it has always been this way. There are wonders and horrors aplenty in this world. Be thankful many of the old horrors have been vanquished, strive to remove those that remain, and enjoy.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34485526)

I don't think this is a new phenomenon. Growing up, we had a nice, big Menorah display that a local synagogue put up. It was found knocked over (while the nearby nativity scene was undisturbed). It was fixed back up and members of the community volunteered to take turns watching it during the night. I remember sitting in the car with my father watching it, making sure that no vandals tried a repeat performance. I can't recall whether or not the vandals were ever caught, but, sadly, this kind of stuff has been happening for a long time.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34485784)

Shit like this happened back then, too. It's just that a stolen nativity scene in Virginia wouldn't make the news in Kentucky, and one in California wouldn't make the news in New Jersey. We read about this shit because it sells eyeballs and subscriptions, like all bad news, and when we run out of the other shit that's been happening forever (murder, rape, etc) we cover less and less important stories further and further away.

I'm not saying that stealing a nativity scene is somehow OK, it's just that 30 years ago it would have been purely local news of local interest, not national scare-filler.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34487156)

Is anyone old enough to remember the TV show Dragnet? A priest calls the police to report the theft of baby Jesus from the altar? It turns out a little boy took Jesus for a ride in his new wagon as a way of showing thanks.
I know it seems sappy, but compared to the commercial tie-in of Christmas it was kind of refreshing.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34492234)

You forgot to add, "get off my lawn!" Yours are outdated sentiments in our entitlement culture that has been growing for decades.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (0)

Drantin (569921) | more than 3 years ago | (#34481882)

I recommend burying baby Jesus directly beneath the food trough.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482952)

I recommend not screwing with other people's private property despite how much you may loathe it.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34483770)

I recommend that you answer this question.

Tsukasa: All I really want, is to be left alone...

What Tsukasa is that? The one from Lucky Star?
I shall be awaiting your reply.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34483918)

.Hack//Sign

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34482024)

Do you have any solutions?

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (1)

gd2shoe (747932) | more than 3 years ago | (#34481538)

So, what's to keep the offenders from disabling the GPS and using it for their own non-denominational service?

I would have said secrecy (security through obscurity), but I guess the cat's out of the bag now...

OT: Your sig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34481576)

Do you have this sig all the time, or did you just change it to this today? Either way, awesome sig.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482984)

You can't steal the GPS units, because they are just using the GPS units the priests have attached to their own ankles as part of their parole for being a sex offender.

This "article" is nothing but the church trying to put a positive spin on the problem of kiddy fiddling priests.

Re:Merry xmas, thanks for the free tech! (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34483110)

You mean, the cow is out of the barn?

I think this one is better (0)

neo8750 (566137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34481544)

I dont know why but i feel this is a better example. http://pics.nase-bohren.de/schweinekrippe.jpg

Re:I think this one is better (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34481654)

Definitely not a kosher security measure.

Re:I think this one is better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34481858)

Happy Hanukkah to you too!

I would (-1, Troll)

Picardo85 (1408929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34481590)

go and just grab all the GPS transmitters and put them on city busses or something and then watch the church ppl looking stupid.

Re:I would (-1, Flamebait)

CyberBill (526285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34481632)

go and just grab all the GPS transmitters and put them on city busses or something and then watch the church ppl looking stupid.

You don't need to help them out, they look stupid on their own just fine!

Re:I would (0)

Picardo85 (1408929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34481816)

go and just grab all the GPS transmitters and put them on city busses or something and then watch the church ppl looking stupid.

You don't need to help them out, they look stupid on their own just fine!

good point ... but it can't hurt to make it worse :)

Vandalism, theft, terrorism... (2)

Ismellpoop (1949100) | more than 3 years ago | (#34481922)

(in the days of bomb this bomb that would you want to be caught putting "things" on public transportation?) All to make Christian's, who are trying to protect their property, look silly to someone with the intelligence of Beavis and Butthead.

Re:Vandalism, theft, terrorism... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482236)

Heh.. That would be funny, they removed the GPS only to replace it on the mass transit and leave without being scene. Now their prank turns into a federal investigation and a bombsquad blowing it up because they aren't sure what the device they activated actually did.

Yea, I can see that backfiring really bad.

Two eyes in the sky? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34481638)

I thought baby Jesus or whoever was already supposed to be watching from the sky... How redundant to have both of these systems in place, all to protect a plastic cow.

Re:Two eyes in the sky? (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34483802)

No, you're thinking of Santa.

Hobo Jesus (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 3 years ago | (#34481806)

Baby Jesus is just begging to take a ride on a freight train.

Not really nebrrd news. (1)

Ismellpoop (1949100) | more than 3 years ago | (#34481814)

Unless you have a raging hardon for GPS transmitters.
Also this is the second /. story today that was on http://www.fark.com/ [fark.com] yesterday. Seams lately there has been lots of day old Fark news here.

Spread the message (1)

zlel (736107) | more than 3 years ago | (#34481826)

not the cow?

Re:Spread the message (1)

anax (538795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34481904)

Jesus turns the other cheek, but the cow fights back.

Re:Spread the message (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482526)

ChristCow, ready to spread some moootilation?

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34481860)

That's certainly one way to help more people find Jesus.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. (2)

NanoGeek (1951202) | more than 3 years ago | (#34481898)

There's something wrong with people when you have to go to such lengths to keep vandals off of a harmless nativity scene.

Re:Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34483036)

Lack of respect for personal property rights fueled by an out of control class envy fed by popular media?

What ever... (1)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34481900)

Whatever happened to just putting up a claymore and a sign?

Not much faith, huh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34481912)

I'd have thought the protection of their invisible sky god would have been sufficient. Guess he's too busy putting dinosaur bones in the ground or something.

The "mangershitting" must be bad this year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34482116)

This trend started a few years back. Looks like it's continuing to pick up speed.

Other Options (1)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482154)

No style at all. How about:

+ Autonomous ruler/knuckle coupling
+ Lightening bolts from an angered God
+ A pressure sensitive switch that activates a loudspeaker issuing guilt-riddin admonishments
+ Holy water spray - IT BURNS!
+ Trap door straight to hell

jesus/beer (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482184)

"back in the day" we hired local High School football players as 24/7 security for 30 days. cheaper than tech and more effective. baby Jesus likes Beer. bet you didn't know that.

Could Be Worse? (3, Interesting)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482194)

Well, at least they're just stealing the stuff? It's not like you can sell this sort of thing on eBay or Craigslist, so it's probably a prank.

Things could be a much worse. [wikipedia.org]

Better yet... (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482270)

Hmmm, GPS tracker plus red and green dye-pack? (And a speaker, "Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!")

only solution is tsa screening for everyone (2)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482310)

everyone in the city must be naked scanned and groped several times a day to be safe from evil doers that might try to do something to the nativity scene.

whatever happened to "turn the other cheek"? (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482336)

If they steal your christmas cow, hunt them down with extreme diligence and furious haste, and give them the other cow that they left behind so that they can get a better price on ebay for the complete set.

Ok, So the GPS prevents baby Jesus from theft... (5, Funny)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34482414)

But what prevents would-be vandals from serrupticiously "Laying down" the 3 wise men in the snow, covering them up, and then placing a motion activated dancing santa with a strap on, and two yard gnomes in their place?

(Bonus, "replace" Joseph with a white lawn jockey. [gotta be PC, afterall.])

I suppose the camera would be a deturrant, but the enterprising geek could still deploy a portable EMI/EMP generator from the back of the panel van they use to perform the vandalism with. (You can get plans on the internet.)

Other amusing vandalism ideas (non-inclusive):

Put obviously fake dynamite bandoliers on all the male nativity characters. (Bonus if you put a burkha robe on Mary)
Put a fake beard on Mary. (A santa beard is acceptable, but a dark black one is better due to increased visibility)
Put suet balls in strategic locations so the indemic pidgeon population does the defacement for you
Make an FSM snowman that totally obstructs the view of the nativity scene from the road.
Put pink flamingos in the scene, then put brightly colored hawaiian shirts and hoola skirts on everyone.
Wrap all the nativity figures up in toilet paper like mummies
Load an electric paint sprayer with water and green food coloring; Spray "We accept cash and credit", "Salvation at LOW LOW PRICES!" on the snow of the church's lawn

etc, etc.

Stealing the nativity characters is boring in comparison to the many MANY different ways you could fuck with a church this time of year!

Re:Ok, So the GPS prevents baby Jesus from theft.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34482714)

Ohh, great. Just like Wikileaks revealing terrorist targets, you've gone and given ideas to vandals. Once the government figures out how, they will prosecute you for that!

Re:Ok, So the GPS prevents baby Jesus from theft.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34482884)

Hopefully the same thing that prevents me from shitting on your lawn... decency.

Re:Ok, So the GPS prevents baby Jesus from theft.. (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34483418)

Feel free- The neighbor's dog does it all the time and I dont complain. Makes the grass greener.

(You, sir, are forgetting that I am a geek and almost never go outside anyway.)

Re:Ok, So the GPS prevents baby Jesus from theft.. (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#34486754)

If people had decency they wouldn't need the GPS in the first place, this story wouldn't have been written and you wouldn't have made that comment! Does that count as a paradox?

Re:Ok, So the GPS prevents baby Jesus from theft.. (1)

koan (80826) | more than 3 years ago | (#34483450)

You're expecting to much from these thieves as they are most likely so drunk thinking isn't an option.

Re:Ok, So the GPS prevents baby Jesus from theft.. (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34487746)

...Which itself is almost more of a meta comment on society than you intend.

I mean, yes, there are many, many ways one can 'fuck with a church'. Congratulations?

Let's see: a building that houses an organisation that you might indeed disagree with, but whose members find comfort, solace, and peace in their participation. An organization whose impact is overwhelmingly positive, and you want to 'fuck with it'.

You kick down little kids' snowmen too?

Why is the planet so overpopulated with assholes? Is it the narcissism inherent in the atomization of society?

Re:Ok, So the GPS prevents baby Jesus from theft.. (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34491182)

Like with all overtly negative activities, the target must be truly deserving.

Take for instance a certain sect of baptist churches in the US recently... The ones that like to "petition" at people's funerals?

Yeah. Not all churches are clean, pure and white like you paint them above. Some might actually be deserving of a little vandalism, (However, it should be pointed out that this was a devil's advocate type joke post, not an edict for vandals to go do those things. EG, it was meant to point out that the security measures taken by the church only address a very narrow aspect of the vandalism issue. The reasons for vandalism were never addressed. Thanks for painting me as a jackass by the way. So nice when people pull an ad hominem on me.)

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You know, I have one simple request. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34483372)

And that is to have baby Jesus with frickin' laser beams attached to his head!

OK (1)

koan (80826) | more than 3 years ago | (#34483432)

My frat brothers and I would like to know if you could be a little more specific as to where the GPS on the menorah is actually placed.

This could happen... (3, Funny)

az1324 (458137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34484040)

"What do you mean he's not in there? The GPS tracker clearly shows Jesus should be inside the tomb."

Figures. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34484552)

So it's the usual bullshit of "blame the atheist" if it happens to a church, eh?

I guess none of the religious retards have heard of "internecine strife"?

Pfffttt .... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34489184)

Just fire up one of these babies [slashdot.org] .

Problem solved.

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