The Freedom From Religion Foundation, with the help of a Pennsylvania member, has placed its Winter Solstice banner in Wilkes-Barre's Public Square to counter religious displays set up there.
The 7½-by-3 foot banner states: “At this Season of the Winter Solstice, LET REASON PREVAIL. There are not gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth & superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”
The Madison, Wis.-based national state/church watchdog has over 19,000 members nationwide with more than 670 in Pennsylvania. FFRF has two ongoing federal lawsuits in Pennsylvania over Ten Commandments in front of public schools.
The banner, which was attached by city of Wilkes-Barre employees to a display structure, joins "The Seven Universal Laws For a Better World" (No. 1: Believe in G-d) and an ad for a religious event attached to a looming menorah.
"It is our hope that one day government spaces will be free from religious — or irreligious — displays, but until then we will do our best to counter these unlawful displays and remind passersby of the 'real reason for the season' — the Winter Solstice," said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.
"Christians don't own the month of December,” added Co-President Dan Barker.
FFRF thanks local supporter Justin Vacula for his great help and initiative in getting the banner placed. Justin, a student, received a $250 honorable mention award from FFRF for his graduate student essay this year.