Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. FFRF.org

Another FFRF banner vandalized

Vol. 35 No. 01 January/February 2018
FFRF’s Winter Solstice sign outside the Washington Capitol was vandalized.                                                                                                                                                                                               

Please join FFRF’s Resurrection Pledge Fund campaign
at
ffrf.org/donate/resurrection-pledge.


In what has unfortunately turned into an annual tradition, one of FFRF’s Winter Solstice banners was vandalized at the state Capitol in Washington.

Darrell Barker, president of FFRF’s chapter Unfettered Freethinkers of South Sound, got a call on Dec. 20 from someone at the Washington Capitol in Olympia saying that FFRF’s Winter Solstice sign was damaged. The banner sits not far from a nativity scene. On inspection, Barker saw that the ties had been cut and the frame twisted and toppled. Barker quickly restored the banner and frame.

The FFRF banner has been erected the last few years to counter a large nativity display that has appeared in recent times at the Capitol. In 2008, FFRF installed its sign inside the Capitol building to counter a life-sized nativity exhibit allowed for a second year within the Statehouse. Placement of the sign that year set off such a firestorm, when Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and others condemned its presence, that the governor ended public forums inside the Capitol. That was FFRF’s goal. However, the state is now permitting displays outside the Capitol, and a nativity scene has been placed there by a private group in a number of subsequent years. That’s why the FFRF banner is also on the scene.

The vandalism to the Washington display is just the latest in a line of misdeeds done to FFRF’s signs and banners. In early December 2016, one of FFRF’s signs was covered in spray paint in Boca Raton, Fla., within 24 hours of it being put up. Shortly thereafter, a Winter Solstice “Let Reason Prevail” banner Manassas, Va., was stolen. And in Shelton, Conn., a banner was slashed by a vandal a few days before Christmas.

To alleviate some of the problems with the vandalism, beginning in late 2015, FFRF created a Resurrection Pledge Fund so that those displays can be “resurrected” in a timely manner. Donors may pledge any amount, but would pay only if any of FFRF’s displays are stolen, vandalized or destroyed. Donate at ffrf.org/donate and select “Resurrection Fund” in the drop-down menu. With your help, we can ensure that thieves and vandals cannot censor FFRF’s freethought message without triggering a donation that will fund even more FFRF displays.

“Our sign is a reminder of the real reason for the season, the Winter Solstice,” says Dan Barker, Foundation co-president and brother of Darrell. “Christians don’t own the month of December.