Thursday morning, the Chester County (Philadephia) Commissioner’s Office will vote on whether to “rescind all private, unattended winter holiday season displays on the Chester County Historic Courthouse property.”
Passage of this bill, Resolution 58-10, would mean private groups could not put up any holiday displays.
That may not seem like such a bad thing, but it seems clear why this bill is up for a vote right now: In the past, the local Freethought Society has put up a Tree of Knowledge and the commissioners are trying to put a stop to that.
The Tree of Knowledge is a tree with covers of classic freethought/science books on it instead of ornaments.
“The Tree of Knowledge represents the many contributions nontheists have made to society and has become an anticipated tradition,” said Margaret Downey, founder and president of the Freethought Society. “The Tree of Knowledge display conveys to passersby that there exists in America a strong united minority of nontheists which include freethinkers, atheists, secular humanists, agnostics, skeptics, rationalists, ethical culturalists and humanists.”
I could go both ways on this — if they’re saying no to the atheists, they’d have to say no to the religious groups as well… and that’s always a plus.
But I really like the tree!
Contact the officials and let them know how you feel. The vote is tomorrow morning so you don’t have a lot of time!