‘Reason’s greetings’ in Warren, Mich.

Photo: Douglas Marshall with Stan Beattie (Life member of FFRF) and Joyce Uitti, a volunteer.


In December 2011, FFRF and Michigan member Douglas Marshall sued the city of Warren for refusing to place a winter solstice display alongside a religious nativity scene in City Hall.

No lawsuit was necessary this December. Marshall reported yesterday that the “may reason prevail” solstice language is included as part of a table display in the City Hall atrium the entire month of December.

Warren Mayor James Fouts called the 2011 request “highly offensive” and said he would not “sanction the desecration of religion” in City Hall.

While the 2011 lawsuit was dismissed, one filed in 2014 on Marshall’s behalf by FFRF, the ACLU of Michigan and Americans United was successful. It led to a federal judge ordering the city last February to pay plaintiff legal fees and to allow equal access to set up a Reason Station in the atrium to counter a Prayer Station there.

Fouts had denied the application request made in April 2014, foolishly stating that Marshall’s belief system “is not a religion.” (Considering that he’s been an atheist since age 40, it’s sort of true.)

The Reason Station, staffed by Marshall and other volunteers, offers information and opportunities for discussion from a nonreligious perspective. Marshall received a Freethinker of the Year Award in October at the FFRF annual convention in Madison, Wis.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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