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'A' is for atheist sign: Stands between Nativity scene and menorah in Chicago

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After the Christmas tree was lit and the annual Nativity scene display was erected in Chicago’s downtown Daley Plaza as well as the menorah display, the atheists added their beliefs – or non-beliefs – to the public mixture of displays, according to Fox on Tuesday.

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Via the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a big cursive “A” has been displayed for atheists - or agnostics - in Chicago. The group’s display is right in the center of a huge Hanukkah menorah and a Nativity scene for the Christians’ celebration of Christmas in the city.

Allegedly, atheists chose to have their sign displayed in December to celebrate the pagan holiday of the winter solstice. Rather convenient, it is being said, for atheists to choose a celebration that occurs the same time as Christmas for the Christians and Hanukah for the Jewish people. According to the signage near the large “A,” the pagan holiday of the winter solstice is the birth of the unconquered sun. It also says that the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution reminds us there can be no freedom of religions without having freedom from religion in government.

Dan Barker, the co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, says that if the government is going to open up a public forum to religion, then it has to permit the non-religious – nearly 20 percent of our nation today – to express their point of view as well.

Tom Cara, the director of the Metropolitan Chicago Chapter of the foundation, has explained that an attorney for the group got Chicago to allow the display at Daley Plaza.

Tom Alexander, a spokesperson from the Chicago mayor’s office, said that the group filed for a permit to put up the display last spring. It was reviewed and approved in October for being displayed from Nov. 26 to Dec. 29.

Reportedly, similar displays are now located in Springfield – Illinois’ capital – and in Madison, Wisconsin where the foundation is based.

In spite of the signage stating that the winter solstice on Dec. 21 and the Bill of Rights ratification are the dates being honored, an “A” for atheists is displayed instead of a “W.S.” winter solstice or a “BR” for the Bill of Rights.



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