Jesus depiction damaged in Chicago's Daley Plaza

FFRF: Vandalism of religious display 'cowardly'

The Freedom From Religion Foundation and its Metropolitan Chicago Chapter condemn the vandalism of the Divine Mercy display in Chicago. The display in Daley Plaza was damaged April 23 when a vandal or vandals punctured a painting of Jesus and broke the glass covering an explanatory sign.

"For many years, FFRF has been on the receiving end of vandalism when we have gotten a permit to place secular displays to counter religious messages on government property, and we know how it feels,” said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “FFRF has never resorted to criminal acts to express its views, but has gone to great trouble and expense through the proper channels to be sure our views were also represented. We condemn suppression of speech by criminal act as cowardly.”

Tom Cara, chapter director, said, "We empathize with all others who are on the receiving end of vandalism. Our display was also defaced in a nondestructive manner a few days earlier. Additionally, the FFRF office received a phone call last Friday from someone issuing a threat that our display would be torn down.”

Cara added, “As we seek to promote rationalism, we certainly do not consider such acts to be rational and strongly decry this. Yet they underscore our belief that religion is divisive, and that religious displays do not belong on public property.”

FFRF supports the prosecution of the criminals who damaged the Divine Mercy display.


The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

FFRF has received a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator

Contribute to Nonbelief Relief

FFRF privacy statement