How Do You Feel About The Utica Fire Station Christmas Sign?
During the Holiday season last year, this obviously Christian sign went up at Utica's Fire Station #4 on the corner of Shepherd Pl and Sunset Ave and months later, fire chief Brooks got a letter from an attorney
in Wisconsinasking that the fire department not repeat the display this year.
Chief Brooks responded that he was well within his rights to put up his sign and displayed it again for 2014 which of course drew the repeated ire of the lone complaining Utica resident and the FFRF (Freedom From Religion Foundation) who represents them. This past Wednesday a second plea was sent straight to Mayor Palmieri to get the sign removed. Two days later, the FFRF Co-President weighed in too with an official public response finally catapulting a tiny piece of cardboard in Utica, NY into a national viral debate.
In case you don't have time to read the linked letters above, the FFRF is citing legal grounds and feels that city officials should remain neutral in matters of religion or at the very best, somehow be inclusive of the myriad of other religions that exist.
Regardless of who is right, one can't help but wonder if this is really worth the amount of energy that's being directed at it. The squeaky wheel definitely gets the grease and the nation now watches as the fate of a tiny sign in Utica remains undecided during a time we're encouraged to unite despite our differences.
We'll see what the good mayor decides, but one thing is for sure: people really OWN their opinions in matters of religion, politics or sports. That said, I have a hard time imagining that the fire chief would've gotten anything more than a friendly jab from opponents had he put up a sign of his favorite contender for the Superbowl.