FAIRFIELD (KCBS)— A group of atheists, stationed at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, have won the right to display their own holiday message.

After some back and forth, it was decided the sign will be placed next to the traditional nativity scene and menorah.

For years Travis Air Force Base and other military bases across the country have displayed the baby Jesus and the menorah to recognize the holidays for people of both the Christian and Jewish faiths.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

This year a group called Military Atheists and Secular Humanists (MASH) has raised concern, specifically the use of government money to pay for public displays that seem to endorse two forms of religion.

“We have nothing against the plastic Jesus. It’s the concept behind this that can’t allow one without allowing the other,” said Dan Rawlings, a staff sergeant at the base who emphasized that he only speaks for himself and MASH.

He said there was some initial backlash when the request was made, but that base officials have come around.

Rawlings said the sign will read “Stay safe for the holidays from the atheists at your Travis Air Force Base—MASH”. The sign goes up on Monday.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (6)
  1. dv20090903 says:

    G-O-D thats what we cheer!


  2. LIsa says:

    I think it’s great that people are finally starting to acknowledge the Atheists, Agnostics and Free Thinkers of the world. As an Agnostic myself, I have nothing against people practicing religion or believing in whatever they want to believe in. I still put up a tree and decorate for the season. I enjoy watching all of the Christmas specials on television, listening to holiday music, baking cookies, etc. It’s what I have done since I was a child and I like the tradition of it. I just don’t believe in Jesus Christ and am uncertain about the existence of a higher power. All beliefs should be respected.

  3. sf-raised says:

    Happy Festivas! The holiday for the rest of us.

  4. frank says:

    First – there was never any backlash. Since the MRFF requested a move, the instruction was to move/change nothing until legal review of the entire display. Second, no group was ever restricted from displaying anything…the request was never even made until all this blew up. Third, I highly doubt 120 people complained about the display…in the past 20 years not a single complaint was lodged. This is simply the case of the MRFF using a poor kid as a pawn in a greater battle. Lastly…when given the chance to be included…MASH chose to display an image on their banner (the flying spaghetti monster) that is akin to telling people their faith (regardless if they are Muslim, Pagan, Wiccan, Jewish or Christian) is false and they believe in myths. No other display was allowed to denegrate another faith….why was MASHs? And why can’t the Atheists just accept that people have the right to believe what they want. So do Athiests. You don’t see my putting a sign up saying they are wrong. Pawns…SSgt Rawlings, you’ve been played as a pawn by people with agendas.

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