'There are no gods': Group displays anti-religious sign next to nativity scene in public park

A sign declaring “Religion is but myth & superstitition” is being displayed amongst Christmas decorations and a nativity scene in a California park, in order to start a debate on freedom of religion and freedom from religion, according to the organization that placed it there.

According to KGTV, residents who were wandering Balboa Park in San Diego were surprised to see a new addition to the usual holiday display, with the message: “There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world.” The banner signed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation continues: “Religion is but myth & superstition that hardens hearts & enslaves minds.”

A photo of the banner was posted on Twitter by KGTV anchor Jared Aaron, who asked his followers if they had seen it in the park. People replied with a variety of perspectives.

“It’s a little bit on the selfish side,” one resident told the outlet, while another said the sign “speaks to polarization, division, squaring off people into different camps.” One commented, “I object to the nativity stuff because I feel it’s very partisan and doesn’t belong on public land,” while adding that this explicitly conflicting statement is “equally egregious.”

According to a spokesperson from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, it seems that juxtaposing the religious displays with an opposing viewpoint was just the statement the organization was trying to make. Its own nativity scene features the Founding Fathers, the Statue of Liberty and the Bill of Rights, which enshrines the separation of church and state.

“FFRF agrees religion is a divisive force and religious displays don’t belong on public property,” the spokesperson shares with Yahoo Lifestyle. “But if cities insist on opening up public property for private displays celebrating a particular group’s religious beliefs, they must make room for dissenting viewpoints.”

Representatives from Balboa Park and the City of San Diego did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. However, an FFRF member told KGTV that the organization had obtained a permit from the city.

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

• Catholic author draws ire for calling decorating gingerbread houses ‘effeminate’
• ‘Jesus Christ did not silence women’: Female theologians saw biblical texts as ‘problematic’ – so they wrote their own version instead
• Church reimagines Nativity scene featuring caged baby Jesus

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