Atheists, Christians Clash at Daley Plaza's Christmas Display in Chicago (VIDEO)

Chicago, Illinois, December 23, 2013 – In this just released video, watch as atheists and Christians clash at Daley Plaza’s Christmas Display in Chicago. Christian demonstrators had just unfurled a large banner with the words, “A is for Angels” in front of the giant letter, “A” for atheist sign.

The heckler claimed to be a “Christian activist” – GIGANTIC crucifix earrings and all. (She even had crosses on her purse). Furious, she yelled she was defending the rights of the atheists to their display, regardless of the language used on the signage to lash out practicing Christians, Jews, and people of all faiths. The Freedom from Religion Foundation’s atheist display, like most of its displays around the country, delights in mocking religious people and disparaging their faiths with hate-filled rhetoric.

“You shouldn’t be protesting the ‘A.’ Protesting the ‘A’ means you are surrendering our freedom of speech,” yelled the heckler. “Everybody should have their opportunity to speak here!”

According to the atheists – there is an exception to free speech i.e. the rights of the Christian protesters to peacefully demonstrate with their “A is for Angels” campaign.

“So you are limiting our freedom of speech!” shouted back a Christian protester.

When the heckler couldn’t figure out what to say, she argued, “I think you need to go back, go back and read the Constitution. This is the United States and you cannot abridge freedom of speech.”

Eventually, saner (and much less confused) heads prevailed and Remember America Foundation Chairman William Kelly delivered this statement:

“People don’t know what the ‘A’ stands for and when I tell them it stands for ‘atheist,’ they think it is here (at Daley Plaza) at the wrong place and the wrong time.  So what we’ve decided to do here today is to do something positive and make the ‘A’ stand for angels. As Christians, especially at Christmas time, we want to have a positive message of love. We want to pray for the atheists. We want to turn their ‘A’ into an ‘A’ for angels.”

When asked if he was offended by the “A for atheist” display, Kelly responded: “I think if you actually read the text of the atheist displays, it is hate speech.  The Daley Plaza/Christmas market is a place where families bring their children. They want to see a tree. They want to see a manger and then they come upon the atheist sign that says that Christianity or religion has produced nothing but war, hatred, and disease that, to me, is hate speech.”

Kelly has been involved in pushing back against the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s attacks on religious free speech before. In 2010, Capitol police detained Kelly after he turned a sign on the atheist display face down in Springfield, Illinois.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation’s display stated:

At the time of the winter solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is just a myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.

In 2011, he filed a federal lawsuit against the State of Illinois against the display, arguing that the sign was hate speech against people of all faiths.

“I do believe in the First Amendment. In my life, I’ve had my First Amendment rights violated numerous times,” Kelly said.  “But the message I’m bringing here today is that as Christians – especially at Christmas time – is that we are here to spread a message of love and that is why we want to turn their ‘A for atheist’ into an ‘A for angel.’ What we are hoping is that if we, as Christians, show our support for our atheist brothers and sisters that maybe they might be more tolerant of Christian values – not only at Christmas time but the entire year as well.”

Kelly may believe in Christmas miracles but you can bet the atheists at the Freedom from Religion Foundation do not.


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  • I see you found a place to post your own press release, as the rest of the press didn't pick it up.

    Especially since you are posting video of a confrontation you provoked. I'm assuming of course, that it is the same William Kelly and Laura is a tool thereof.

    Legally, either public property is a public forum and anyone has the right to use it, since the state can't censor the content of political speech, or otherwise nobody can use it.

    Are you going to go out and protest in front of the menorah next year?

  • In reply to jack:

    Don't be bitter, Jack. TV news and radio covered this event. But why stop there, eh?

  • In reply to Laura:

    I must have watched too much Bears. But you aren't denying the rest.

  • In reply to jack:

    Actually, I am only responding to your first sentence - since...why bother?

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    In reply to jack:

    Obviously those who stood in front of the big A are so afraid that their mythology is slowly dissolving that they had to cover it up, so as to make their ideas the only ones around. I suppose after they stole the best bits from all of those other celebrations and somehow masked them in their own mythology now they think they have dominion on the whole season.

    Sorry no Santa, no Jesus, no God.

  • In reply to Chad Perkins:

    No Chad Perkins...truth.

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    In reply to jack:

    I just happened upon this, but it seems to me that this kind of confrontation is inimical to both doctrines, please correct me if I'm wrong. The Christians seem to think that if they believe in all the magic jazz then they can live forever (doesn't sound like a great deal to me, but hey ho). The Atheists in the meanwhile (with their posh science and whatnot) seem to think that everything can be explained with their big bosons, or whatever (my bosons are HUGE, btw)
    But wouldn't it be be really great if the Christians and the Atheists could for ten minutes stop having this major pissing contest, grow up, stop whining like little bitches and perhaps spend some time improving the reality they are both apparently forced to share?
    Just an idea

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    In reply to Jack Hughes:

    I am fine with Christians going to their churches. Reading their book. Living their values (as long as they do not harm the public or their children). And holding an equal share of the public stage. What I am not fine with is the overbearing indoctrinating nonsense that Christians seem born again to push on the rest of us in our homes, in our classrooms, in our Doctor's offices, and in the public square. They can't be happy with their man on 2 sticks and a tree they ripped off, they have to block something they disagree with.

  • In reply to Chad Perkins:

    I am fine with atheists talking amongst themselves. Reading whatever they choose. Living their values (as long as they do not harm the public or their children). And holding an equal share of the public stage. What I am not fine with is the overbearing indoctrinating nonsense that atheists seem hell-bent to push on the rest of us in our homes, in our classrooms, in our doctor's offices, and in the public square. They can't be happy unless they attack a God they "profess" that they don't even believe in. They have to block anything and everything having to do with Him.

    Good to see you and I are on the same page. Merry Christmas.

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    How am I not surprised. Like the typical cry babies they are. "God" forbid we have people in this world that are different or have different thoughts.

  • All the whining from the atheists is just more proof they can't take what they dish out. Stop the whining!

  • In reply to Laura:

    "Whining from atheists?" There was an "A" just sitting there and the Christians had to take it upon themselves to (once again) push their beliefs while being too ignorant to realize different people believe different things. Why couldn't everyone just celebrate together and leave all the displays as is? Can you imagine if some Atheist put a banner over a crucifix that said, "T is for tacky?" You guys would go nuts!

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