FFRF display returns to Chicago’s Daley Plaza for secular Easter greetings

The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s Windy City chapter has put up a display in downtown Chicago to ensure secularism is represented.

On Thursday, April 6, FFRF’s Metropolitan Chicago Chapter (FFRFMCC) placed colorful banners in Daley Plaza promoting the secular views of the Founders.

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 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 has returned, erected on April 6. In past years, Catholic supporters have also held 24-hour prayer vigils, distributed thousands of prayer cards and hosted anti-abortion rallies in front of the Jesus painting.

Rather than place such displays on church grounds, the Thomas More Society explicitly seeks to take over public property for its purposes, claiming that at Daley Plaza it encounters “militants, feminists, Satanists, radical Muslims, just about everybody.”

Pictured alongside the display are supporters that helped erect the display. From left to right: Rick Schuch, Bob Hunter, Shane Stapley and Steve Foulkes.

“This is to counter and protest a religious prayer shrine that’s placed annually on government property by a private Catholic organization during the so-called ‘Christian holy week,’” says FFRFMCC Chapter President Steven Foulkes.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national state/church watchdog with more than 40,000 nonreligious members and several chapters all over the country, including 1,100-plus members and the Metropolitan Chicago chapter in Illinois.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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