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Secular display returns to Chicago

Shane Stapley and Steve Foulkes of FFRF’s Metropolitan Chicago Chapter helped put up this display in Daley Plaza on April 3.

FFRF’s local chapter again put up a secular display in downtown Chicago on Easter weekend to counter a Catholic shrine there.

On April 3, FFRF’s Metropolitan Chicago Chapter (FFRFMCC) placed in Daley Plaza two colorful 8-foot banners on a 12-foot structure promoting the secular views of the Founding Fathers. The display was on public view until April 10.

One banner reads, “In Reason We Trust,” and pictures Thomas Jefferson, highlighting his famous advice to a nephew: “Question with boldness even the existence of a god.” The other side proclaims, “Keep State & Religion Separate,” and pictures President John Adams, who signed the Treaty of Tripoli, which assured that “the government of the United States is not in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”

The FFRF display is designed to balance a period of prayer and evangelism that occurs annually in Daley Plaza by a Catholic group, the Thomas More Society, that has preached in the plaza every Easter since 2011. The group’s aim, through its “Divine Mercy Project,” is to seek the “conversion of Chicago, America and the whole world.”

The Thomas More Society’s Catholic shrine, including a large wooden Latin cross, a 9-foot banner of Jesus, and “kneelers” for people to pray, also returned. 

FFRF warmly thanks FFRFMCC Executive Director Tom Cara for securing a permit for the display and two board members of the active local chapter, Shane Stapley and Steve Foulkes, for their assistance in putting it up.