Take time to celebrate this happy and festive time of year

Last week, a local Freedom From Religion Foundation member placed a sign in the Prineville City Hall plaza expressing hers and the organization’s atheistic views.
   This marks the first time since the nativity scene controversy began two years ago that a Prineville member has come forward, and we commend Sarah Fierbaugh for doing so, particularly given the backlash she will likely endure from nativity scene supporters.
   That being said, we disagree with the approach she has chosen to take given the time of year. By her own admission, her sign and others provided by the FFRF take an antagonistic stance regarding religious faith, with the intent of protesting the nativity scenes displayed at the plaza.
   While we support free speech and lawful protest, we feel this is the wrong time to stir up anger and dissent in the community. Whether you believe in Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanza, or celebrate the winter solstice, this time of the year has become an unofficial time for joy and celebration among friends and families. Many people choose to give more to others than they normally do, make special trips to visit loved ones, adorn their homes with eye-catching décor, and more.
   This is a time for people of all beliefs to come together and celebrate the season in a positive fashion. This is a time when people of all beliefs should take the opportunity to fill the plaza with decorations that further enhance the festive atmosphere, not a time to resort to divisive tactics.
   We would love to see the plaza so crowded with displays of all kinds that it becomes a must-see display, like other cities boast. This will take effort from the whole community. During this time of giving, take some time to dress up the heart of Prineville.
   We feel that nativity scene supporters and FFRF members can settle their differences any time. Let’s take a break and enjoy the unique and festive atmosphere that truly only comes once a year.