Pittsburgh church’s Black Lives Matter sign vandalized: ‘Blue Lives Matter More’

Rev. David Herndon said he plans to report the incident to police today.

First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh / Facebook
Sarah Anne Hughes

A Shadyside church says its Black Lives Matter sign was vandalized to read “Blue Lives Matter More.”

Rev. David Herndon, minister with the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh, told The Incline he discovered the vandalism shortly after 10 a.m. As a photo the church posted to Facebook shows, the word “Black” was crossed out and the words “Blue” and “More” were added.

Herndon said he hasn’t reported the incident to Pittsburgh police yet but plans to do so today. He believes the sign was vandalized overnight.

When he first saw the sign, Herndon said he took a photo and posted it to Facebook. “My sense was, ‘Oh, this kind of vandalism happens all the time.’ ”

But then he started to see reactions from church members, horrified and disturbed by what had happened. The more Herndon thought about it, he said, he began “feeling more unsettled and troubled by the fact that this happened.”

He’s especially troubled by the vandal or vandals decision to add “More” to the sign.

“That’s what really turns it more into a hate crime,” he said, “to say that some lives are more valuable than others, that there’s a hierarchy of value for human life.”

Herndon said the church began discussing posting the sign this summer. Both Unitarian Universalism and this particular congregation have a history of “standing up for racial justice” and for being “visibly supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement,” Herndon said.

“We wanted to make a more public statement of our values and our commitment to justice in all kinds of forms,” he said of posting the sign originally.

Herndon said this Sunday’s sermon will be focused on Advent. But for his Dec. 4 sermon, he plans to discuss the “revolution of the spirit” in the wake of Donald Trump’s election “and the new political climate.”

“I will definitely make reference to this particular incident,” he said, as well as “the importance of standing up for our values.”