We in the Steel City are all familiar with the recent spat in Ellwood City where the mayor is refusing to hang the FFRF banner in the holiday display the town is sponsoring outside city hall. Warren, Michigan, on the other hand, understands that Constitutional principles are not dependent on personal likes and dislikes.
Today, FFRF announced:
FFRF’s Winter Solstice sign reads:
“At this season of the Winter Solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”
After receiving several letters of complaint from FFRF in the past year over an illegal nativity scene on government property, Mayor Fouts invited all groups to participate in the holiday display.
“All religions are welcome to celebrate their religions seasons with a display in city hall,” wrote Mayor Fouts in a letter to FFRF. FFRF points out that once a government creates a public forum it may not engage in viewpoint censorship. “The city of Warren may not create a public forum for a religion and not include us,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor FFRF co-president.
In reference to FFRF’s claims that the city was endorsing religious beliefs the Mayor wrote: “If we were doing this, other religions would not be allowed to display their religious holy seasons in our atrium. However, they have been allowed and will be allowed.”
FFRF and its local complainant have made several attempts to contact the city, but have been stonewalled.
The Mayor’s open invitation issued on Dec. 10, 2010 prompted FFRF to mail the special display for this season of the Winter Solstice.
FFRF thanks its Warren member Douglas Marshall who is placing the sign today.
Ellwood City, are you next?