Religion In The News

Graffiti For God Causes Trouble in Chicago

by Elroy Willis -- November 28, 1998


CHICAGO (EAP) -- Four vagrants were arrested in downtown Chicago yesterday after they refused to allow a cleaning crew to remove some religious graffiti painted on the side of a local Chinese restaurant.

"Jesus Was Here and He'll Be Back," read the graffiti before it was finally removed with a sand blaster.

The group of four vagrants had apparently been camping out for the last two weeks in the alley next to the wall, eating out of the dumpster behind the restaurant, waiting for Jesus to come back.

"Those people refused to let me do my job, so I was forced to call the police," said John Ingram, who was hired by the owner of China Inn restaurant to remove the graffiti from its back alley wall.

"I thought they were just joking around at first, but they were serious," Ingram said. "They actually thought Jesus wrote the graffiti, and that he'd be returning again to that spot any day now."

The group of vagrants claims that Jesus was a homeless drifter, just like they are, and say that this would be the perfect place for him to come back when he returns to Earth to help feed the poor and starving people.

"They got down on their knees and started praying for me to go away, but I had a job to do," Ingram said. "When I started up my sand blaster, they stood up and blocked the wall, making it impossible for me to clean off the graffiti without spraying sand in their faces, so I had no choice but to call the police."

"They told me that I'd go to hell if I removed the graffiti, and were really starting to get on my nerves," he said.

When police arrived on the scene, the group got down on their knees again and prayed for the police to go away.

"They seemed pretty upset," said officer Allan Pierson. "We had to use force to get them into our squad cars, and we'll be adding resisting arrest charges to the current loitering and vandalism charges being pressed by the restaurant owner."

Jack Chen, owner of China Inn, was unavailable for comment at the time of this reporting.


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