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Atheist, Agnostic Sign Stolen from Manassas City Park

Placed near a nativity scene, the sign was reported missing to police on Dec. 29.

A sign encouraging freedom from religion was stolen from Nelson Park in Manassas just after Christmas — one of five similar signs legally placed in public spaces across the nation that disappeared over the holiday.  

With the slogan, “Let Reason Prevail,” the local sign was placed in Nelson Park near a Naivety scene, officials from the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation said Thursday.

Thieves stole the sign, leaving only the sign-securing zip ties behind, according to the foundation. The sign was reported missing to Manassas Police on Dec. 29, two days before its city-issued permit expired.

A supporter of the membership-based foundation comprised of agnostics and atheists obtained a permit from the city and put the sign in the park.

It’s not unheard of for the banners to be burned or spray painted, Freedom From Religion Foundation attorney Patrick Elliott said in a phone interview.

Twelve of the “Let Reason Prevail” signs were erected in public places across the U.S. — five of those were stolen, Elliott said.

Nativity scenes and freedom from religion signs are divisive during what is supposed to be a joyous time a year for both Christians and non-Christians, Elliott said.

It really doesn’t bring out the best in people, he added.

The foundation is against any religious display in a public place and places its signs beside such displays in protest and to offer an alternative point of view, Elliott said.

The nearby Christmas crèche or, nativity scene, placed in the park by the Women’s Club of Manassas, remains in place, Manassas city officials said. That display was reportedly vandalized in early December.

A Manassas city permit allows the crèche to stay until Friday, two days before the Day of Epiphany on Sunday. Orthodox Christmas is on Monday.

Any group is allowed to put a display in the park, if they obtain a city permit and follow the city’s guidelines, Manassas officials said. The "Let Reason Prevail "banner was permitted to stay in the park until Dec. 31.

Displays are allowed to stay in place for five days with the option to renew for another five days.

Gus Guzzman January 05, 2013 at 09:37 PM
To Ms. Smith - I agree that Matthew’s and Luke’s genealogies of Jesus are contradictory. Your suggestion that Matthew traces Jesus’ bloodline through Joseph and Luke traces the bloodline through Mary seems attractive but has a fatal flaw; Luke explicitly states that the family line is that of Joseph, not Mary (Luke 1:23, also Matthew 1:16). So you are saying that Luke named Joseph, but he meant to name Mary? Are you suggesting Luke is a liar? Show me the passage that says Luke intended to trace Jesus’ bloodline through Mary. Your theory has other serious problems. According to Jewish law (which Jesus was still under), genealogies are only traced through the male bloodline (Genesis 49:10, I Kings 11:4, and I Chronicles 17:11-19). Therefore, Mary’s genealogy is completely irrelevant as far as claiming Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. Matthew’s genealogy is also pointless because Joseph was not Jesus’ father. One cannot pass on a genealogical line through adoption. There is simply not a shred of evidence to support your idea. Indeed, there is every indication that your theory contradicts the bible itself.
John Smith January 07, 2013 at 07:51 AM
It's about time that somebody struck back at the Godless.
Gus Guzzman January 07, 2013 at 06:41 PM
So you are condoning vandalism and theft in the name of Jesus? That figures. Throughout the bloody history of Christianity, church authorities have commanded that nonbelievers be tortured, beheaded, burned, or otherwise slaughtered by the millions. Ever hear of the Inquisition, the Holy Wars, or witch hunts? Why have religious leaders committed such atrocities? Because they have not a shred of evidence for the existence of their god, so the only way they can prevail in a dispute is to threaten or kill their opponents.
DebyWine January 07, 2013 at 10:28 PM
We have Faith.
ow lafaye January 13, 2013 at 06:17 PM
Faith, a cup of coffee and a dollar bill are all entertwined. Faith is the substance of nothing, a dream, a longing. Faith in the supernatural and miracles is for children. Faith comforts the lazy.

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