Press Release: FFRF Plaque

On Monday, Dec. 2, Dan Barker, Co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. (FFRF) placed a sign in the Olympia Capitol rotunda adjacent to a nativity scene, which reads: “At this season of the Winter Solstice may 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.”

We at Seattle Atheists feel that the sentiments expressed in the sign are unfortunate.  We cannot endorse the language or sentiments expressed on this sign.  We feel it was divisive, hostile, and does not represent a good-faith attempt to promote the separation of church and state.  In fact, we feel it has done damage to the public perception of atheism.

Seattle Atheists feel that a statement relating directly to the separation of church and state, or a seasonal gesture of universal goodwill and equality would be appropriate if a non-religious sign is to be placed on public property.  While the State of Washington is ultimately responsible for giving permission to place private holiday displays on public property, we place a high value on the separation of church and state and support the removal of *all* private displays from the rotunda in Olympia, including the Winter Solstice plaque.

The FFRF is a nationwide organization is based in Madison, WI. It was founded to promote the separation of state and church. Its purposes are to promote the constitutional principle of separation of state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to non-theism.

Seattle Atheists is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to education and community. Through education, we strive to educate the public and change the image of atheism. We strive to promote understanding and respect toward all freethinkers by opposing discrimination and emphasizing reason and critical thinking. Seattle Atheists provides community services, including blood drives, participating in public radio pledge drives, and gift wrapping, of which 100% of the proceeds benefit the Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Seattle Atheists, 11008 NE 140th St., Kirkland, WA 98034, (206) 729-0327

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