‘Jesus Christ myth’ banner rises again in Illinois park

The Freedom From Religion Foundation placed its second "Nobody died for our 'sins.' Jesus Christ is a myth" banner in a city park in Streator, Ill. today. The replacement banner features a new message to "sinful" Christians "P.S. your god says, 'thou shalt not steal.'"

FFRF's first banner was erected last Thursday and stolen Saturday. So far the crime remains unsolved.

"We are floored by this recent act of discrimination and vandalism against a minority group. This situation exemplifies the harm in blending city government and religion," noted Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. "We can only hope that our new banner is afforded the same treatment as the religious cross display and remains unharmed."

Both the theft of the banner and vandalism to its supporting posts are classified as misdemeanors. Because FFRF's nonreligious message was targeted, the act also qualifies as a Class 4 felony under Illinois' hate crime law. FFRF is offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s). Suspects should be reported to the Streator Police Department, 815-672-3111 or [email protected].

FFRF is a national state/church watchdog with over 18,000 members nationwide, including nearly 700 in Illinois.

FFRF's banner, placed on behalf of a local resident, countered a religious cross display that has sat on city property since early March. This is the fifth straight year that park-goers and passersby have been told via a prominent sign that "Jesus died for your sins."

City officials granted FFRF permission to erect an eight-foot by three-foot banner in a city park near the crosses.

FFRF’s newest banner will hang until at least April 13. The banner will rise again next year if the city continues to allow displays in the city park.

Read FFRF's previous press release for additional information. 

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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