An atheist hung an anti-religion banner next to a nativity scene, sparking anger among some Manassas, Virginia locals.
The nativity scene, located in Nelson Park, now has a banner decrying religion next to it, reports WJLA.
“At this Season of the Winter Solstice, LET REASON PREVAIL. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth & superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds,” the banner reads.
A member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation hung the banner to remind people that atheists still exist.
“I think that’s important to let the American public know that we’re out there and that we have opinions as well,” the man said. He grew up in a Christian home but became an atheist later on in life.
The group itself said they are hoping for a time when they will no longer have to hang the banner.
Some locals are upset by the banner and found it offensive.
“Atheists’ unwillingness to believe in God. That’s their problem. But they can’t inflict that upon those of us who live by those virtues,” Percy Brown said.
One woman told WJLA that she was going to take the banner down because it angered her that much.
Manassas spokeswoman Patty Prince said the group and its member got a permit to be able to hang the sign in the park. Prince also said that the city cannot restrict the content of a banner unless it is profane language.
The city only has the power to regulate the duration the banner stays, its location, etc, Prince explained.
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