The War on Christmas Displays: Atheists, Confederates and City Councils


Controversial Christmas Displays around U.S.

A sign proclaiming “Winter Solstice” was erected by The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) at Springfield, the Illinois capital during the weekend. The FFRF argues that religion enslave minds and hardens the heart and heaven, hell, gods and angels do not exist. This sign is not new and has been displayed in a number of counter Christian displays.

The nearly 20,000 member group said that it celebrates the occurrence of Winter Solstice, which occurs on December 21. This day is the darkest and the shortest in any year. It also heralds the New Year and return of sun. According to Annie Laurie Gaylor, Co-President of the FFRF, the members of the organization believe that there is no place for religion, or irreligion at state government works, but in case religious displays will be put up in the state capitols, then their display symbolizing free-thought will be installed too. The FFRF was active in the posting of atheist themed billboards all over the country.

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A councilwoman in New Jersey who reportedly quit after her colleagues gave their consent and voted to add “Christmas” as a word to the name of the tree lighting ceremony of the town has taken back her resignation. Charlene Storey, the concerned councilwoman, walked out of Roselle Park council meeting after her colleagues approved the change. She soon submitted her resignation letter where she said that adding the word “Christmas” to the tree lighting ceremony makes it favor one particular religion and non-Christians does not become part of loop.

Carl Hokanson, the Mayor, contacted Storey and made her the leader of the committee on diversity. She then took back her resignation. However, the event on Friday will continue to be named “Christmas tree lighting.” The councilwoman, who was raised Catholic, but now considers herself a non-believer will not attend the ceremony.

In other news, the Roanoke City Council, despite misgivings and significant opposition from a few of its members, said that it cannot prohibit the Confederate flag from the annual Christmas parade to be held in the city. It said that banning it will violate the first amendment rights. The issue was raised by the NAACP Roanoke Branch during the public comment session held at the regularly scheduled council meeting. If one goes by the law, it is permissible for the confederate flag to fly.


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