Reid Gets Attention for Calling Atheist Group Terrorists

Leesburg supervisor later apologizes for remarks in response to courthouse holiday display debate.

Loudoun has again managed to make its decisions regarding courthouse lawn holiday displays a hot topic this year.

The county has for several years debated what types of displays would be permitted and how individuals or groups could apply to create the displays. The long tradition had been for a local group to place a nativity scene at the Loudoun County Courthouse in Leesburg, but in recent years, that arrangement has been questioned as the state potentially sanctioning religion.

At one point, unattended holiday displays were permitted on a limited number of spaces at the courthouse by application. The resulting so Loudoun’s Board of Supervisors assigned a committee to make recommendations on the display shortly after taking office in 2012. They voted in February to restrict unattended displays. In July, they approved a county-sponsored, taxpayer-funded Christmas tree, menorah, nativity scene and Santa Claus

As this holiday season rolled around, opponents of that decision have been critical – most notably, Supervisor Ken Reid, who called an atheist group terrorists in a recent Washington Times article.

A Washington Post blog and local media organizations picked up the story, along with the Huffington Post. Reid later apologized for the remarks.

Patch received letters to the editor this weekend about the controversy. One letter criticized Reid for his comments, while the other criticized the atheist group involved in the controversy.

What should the county do about the holiday displays? How do you feel about the attention the issue has brought to Loudoun?

Jerry Palmer December 04, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Please no more displays next year - make this nonsense stop! We are embarrassing Leesburg once again!
Carmen Pretopapa December 05, 2012 at 04:21 AM
The fact is that it IS the Christmas season! If it weren't for Christmas, we would not be celebrating anything. Why are these people trying to negate the holiday? We have been celebrating Christmas forever. What is so wrong with Christians celebrating out holiday? If you are not in agreement with our national Christian holiday, look the other way. We don't tell you to not celebrate your holidays, (read, holy days). We respect yours, please respect our....
Cathy December 09, 2012 at 04:21 AM
I don't think the atheists are gonna win the holiday decorations contest this year. Maybe they should look into some lights, trees and tinsel...music...Yay! Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas...
Barbara Munsey December 09, 2012 at 09:54 PM
jaxman, the narrative that the "christian HS student" put up a display that was his personal belief that Christmas has become overcommercialized was busted last year, even on HuffPo--his mother wrote in the atheist discussion group that he was presenting with her (the letter from Jesus), neither lived in Loudoun, he had already graduated from Fauquier HS at the time, and so on. I understand that it makes a much better story to frame him that way, but it simply wasn't the case, as even relatively disinterested parties who investigated the contrived hoopla from elsewhere noted last year: http://bainwaves.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/a-weighin-a-manger/ Apparently the community college/hs student's mom had already discussed SkeleSanta with the group as an appropriate display for the atheist offerings before an application was ever submitted in his name.
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