New York Fire Department with “Happy Birthday Jesus” Sign Out Front May Now Have Company: A Festivus Pole December 25, 2014

New York Fire Department with “Happy Birthday Jesus” Sign Out Front May Now Have Company: A Festivus Pole

The Utica Fire Department Station 4 (in New York) already has a sign out front saying “Happy Birthday Jesus”…

… but it may finally have some company: A Festivus pole:

About 10 people gathered for a Festivus celebration at the fire station, lending their support for keeping the religious sign posted, while also urging the fire department to accept symbols of other religions as well.

“There’s definitely an argument to be had about religious symbols on public property,” said Kevin Nugent, an organizer of the event. “We feel that if they post the Festivus pole, as well as symbols from other faiths, that will put to rest the notion that they’re endorsing a single religion, which is the main argument against this sign, that it’s a tax-funded institution endorsing a single religion.”

Umm… yeah. That’s kind of the whole point. The fire department can’t show preference for Christianity. If they wanted to make their building an open forum, I’m sure atheists and Satanist and Hindu groups would love to offer up displays of their own.

What’s unclear is whether the Festivus Pole was actually accepted by the fire department and if it was placed out front in the same area as the Jesus sign. A picture that accompanied this article said a tiny celebration in honor of the pole took place on a nearby street corner, not on firehouse grounds. If department leaders aren’t allowing other groups to put up displays on their property, we’re right back to where we started.

(Thanks to @CarlieP for the link)

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