N.Y. freethinkers group displays FFRF banner in park

Patrick Randolph Bell

A New York freethinking organization has unfurled a Freedom From Religion Foundation banner to balance religious displays in a local public park. The Freethinkers of Hastings-on-Hudson recently put up FFRF’s “Reason’s Greetings” banner in VFW Park in the New York village. Next to the banner, the group has also displayed its own sign depicting Rodin’s “The Thinker” in contemplation of the village’s water tower. A Festivus pole, invented and made famous by the TV show “Seinfeld,” is also in the park between the two displays.

It is the third year in a row the local organization has created a public exhibit for the winter.

The secular displays have been crafted in response to two religious holiday presentations traditionally hosted in the park that are again there this year: a Catholic Church’s nativity scene and a menorah put up by the local Chabad organization. The nativity scene is an elaborate depiction of baby Jesus being visited by the Three Wise Men, while the electrically lighted menorah stands adjacent to the exhibit.

“It is our hope that one day government spaces will be free from religious — or irreligious — displays,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “But until then, there has to be ‘room at the inn’ for dissenting points of view.”

FFRF, a state/church watchdog, has 25,000 members all over the country, including more than 1,300 in New York. 

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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