Atheist Anti-Christmas Messages Appear Near Nativities in Illinois

Atheists in Illinois are taking direct aim at Christmas by posting numerous public displays in an effort to combat nativity scenes and other religious sentiment.

“Once again this year, the non-religious will have a voice in the Chicago area countering the religious symbolism widely present on public property during the the month of December,” reads a press release from the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s Metropolitan Chicago Chapter.

The group has posted a large, illuminated scarlet “A” along with banners celebrating the winter solstice and the Bill of Rights in Chicago’s Daley Center Plaza.

The organization also collaborated with the Chicago Coalition of Reason to unveil a separate set of messages over the weekend inside North School Park in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

The atheist displays will outnumber religious symbols intended to commemorate the Christmas holiday, according to the press release from the secular group’s Metropolitan Chicago Chapter.

….the nativity has been displayed at Daley Plaza since 1985 when the “God Squad,” a group of locals, advocated its placement at the site. Every year, these individuals volunteer their time to both assemble and disassemble the display.

By Billy Hallowell – The Blaze –


In a lawsuit settlement with the atheist Freedom from Religion Foundation, the Internal Revenue Service admitted it had monitored churches for allegedly illegal political activity, but the details never were released because the group withdrew its complaint.

Now, Washington watchdog Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the IRS seeking any records relevant to IRS monitoring of churches and other tax exempt organizations regarding alleged political activity.

The suit requests access to the communications that went on between the IRS and FFRF about the issue.

The atheist organization filed a lawsuit in 2012 alleging the IRS ignored its complaints about the speech of churches that cite the Bible regarding issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.

FFRF said the statements violate the law, because the moral issues were being addressed in a political arena.

The atheists also complained of what they called “blatantly political” newspaper ads on the religious and moral issues.

Then, in June, an agreement was reached in which the IRS admitted it had been monitoring churches and other houses of worship for “electioneering and other political activity.”

By Bob Unruh – –

Pastors endorse candidates, IRS looks away


A record number of rogue Christian pastors are endorsing candidates from the pulpit this election cycle, using Sunday sermons to defiantly flout tax rules.

Their message to the IRS: Sue me.

But the tax agency is doing anything but. Although the IRS was sued itself for not enforcing the law and admitted about 100 churches may be breaking the rules, the pastors and their critics alike say the agency is looking the other way. The agency refuses to say if it is acting.

At the same time, the number of pastors endorsing candidates in what they call Pulpit Freedom Sunday jumped from 33 people in 2008 to more than 1,600 this year, according to organizers, Alliance Defending Freedom. And this year, they’ve stepped up their drive, telling pastors to back candidates any Sunday up until the election, not just one Sunday as in past years…..

At issue is the churches’ tax break as tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations. They don’t pay taxes, and donations to them can be deducted from contributors’ taxable income.

But with that break comes limits on political endorsements. Charities are barred from engaging in political campaigns.

So while pastors can discuss abortion, gay marriage and other controversial issues in their sermons, they’re not allowed to back candidates or use church money to fund campaign activities, and keep their tax break.

“You can’t have a tax-exempt entity engaged in politics because that involves using tax-exempt money for political purposes, so it’s an unfair playing field,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the organization that sued the IRS in 2012 for failing to enforce electioneering restrictions on churches. The group settled this summer with an understanding that the IRS would eventually take action.

So far there’s been no evidence they have.
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