SPOKANE, Wash. - According to Seattle news outlets, the atheist sign that had been put up next to a nativity scene at the Capitol has disappeared.
The sign's sponsors tell The Olympian newspaper they didn't take it down. Trooper Ron Somerville says the Washington State Patrol is investigating.
‘The War over Christmas,' cable host responds to atheist placard OLYMPIA, Wash. - Earlier this week an atheist placard joined a ‘holiday tree' and Christian Nativity scene on display in the state capitol. Not only did the sign generate statewide attention, but the host of Fox News Network's The O'Reilly Factor Bill O'Reilly picked up the story and is now asserting that Governor Gregoire has "insulted Christians all over the world" by allowing the atheist sign to be posted.
Building managers say the atheist display was seen intact at about 6:15 a.m., but reported missing at about 7:30 a.m. The sign was put up by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. It says, in part, that "religion is but myth and superstition." The Capitol also has a Christian Nativity scene and a Christmas tree.
A little later in the morning, the sign turned up at Seattle radio station KMPS. The receptionist says a man dropped it off and asked her to give it to show host Ichabod Caine. She says the man did not say how he came by it before he left.
A spokeswoman for Freedom From Religion, the group that posted the sign, in Madison, Wis., Annie Laurie Gaylor, says she was told a Washington state trooper is returning their solstice sign to Olympia and says she's requesting special protection for it at the holiday display in the Rotunda.
Conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly of Fox News has rallied his viewers to call on Gov. Chris Gregoire to pull the atheist sign. Gregoire says the law mandates access for all views.
Meanwhile, the anti-religion sign is drawing protesters to Olympia.
Redmond pastor Ken Hutcherson of the Antioch Bible Church called an 11 a.m. news conference Friday. The Olympian reports he'll place his own pro-Christian sign in the Rotunda to mock atheists.
A Federal Way man, Steve Wilson, plans a protest at 2 p.m. Sunday on the Capitol campus. The Tacoma News Tribune reports he became involved after hearing Bill O'Reilly of Fox News say displaying the sign alongside a holiday tree and a Christian nativity scene is "political correctness gone mad."
The sign from the Freedom From Religion Foundation calls religion "myth and superstition."
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:27 AM EDT2013-05-22 04:27:35 GMT
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