New holiday display installed by Northern Indiana Atheists in County-City building
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A new holiday display is now up in the County-City building with a message that may be different than the one you normally see this time of year.
The sign was placed by the local non-profit group, Northern Indiana Atheists.
The two-sided display is now up in the lobby and reads “Oh Come All Ye Faithless” with smaller text that says “Even Heathens Celebrate the Season! Happy Holidays no matter how you celebrate.”
The group says the display is a message of inclusion.
“We’re a diverse community in Northern Indiana. We celebrate the Winter solstice, Festivus, Christmas, Kwanzaa...” Northern Indiana Atheists President Troy Moss said.
The group says they put in a request for equal access in December of 2017 to have the display up this holiday season, and that it took months of persistence to get the sign up.
Moss claims the organization’s request was initially ignored and eventually sent to local government lawyers for review.
The group believes when displays are allowed for one group, then equal access must be provided to people of all faiths and non-faiths.
Members of the group fight local state-church violations and defend the rights of atheists.
“We have to understand not just one group celebrates this time of season, and our message is one of inclusion,” said Moss.
The group says it has a vision for a government that represents citizens equally and a passion to serve its community.
ABC57 has reached out to officials in the County-City building regarding the process of the sign’s installation, but a response has not yet been received.