Attempt to torch atheist group's billboard fails in New Jersey

Dec. 19, 2013 at 3:32 PM

PITMAN, N.J., Dec. 19 (UPI) -- An atheist group is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the vandals who tried to burn a "Keep the Saturn in Saturnalia" billboard in New Jersey.

The Foundation for Freedom From Religion, which erected the billboard as a counterpoint to the "Keep Christ in Christmas" banner in downtown Pitman, said it is offering $2,000 for information leading to the arrests of two men seen attempting to set fire to the billboard, Philly.com reported Thursday.

The billboard references the ancient pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice, which honors the Roman god Saturn.

Pitman Police Chief Robert Zimmerman said an off-duty officer saw two white men in a pickup truck pour gasoline on the steel supports of the sign and attempt to ignite them. The men succeeded only in charring the support beams.

Zimmerman said police are attempting to identify the two men, who he said would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

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