It seems the Olympia Statehouse atrium is getting a little crowded these days. Not only is there a giant "Holiday Tree" and a large nativity scene, there is also the controversial FFRF sign. Now they're getting requests from all over to display even more things - signs, displays, protesters, etc. Now the controversy has gotten even worse, because the absolute bottom of the barrel religious protesters -- the Westboro Baptist Church -- has gotten into the act.
The last thing a federal, state or local government needs is to appear like it's supporting/advocating for the hatred and bitterness spewed by Fred Phelps and his notorious clan. Yet, based on the precendents set in the last month by the government in Olympia, they'll probably have to allow Phelps to add to the chaos.
Given that there is probably a church right down the street with a nativity scene, I wonder why there also has to be one in the building that houses the representative government of ALL people -- not just Christian, but Muslim, Jewish, Atheist, Hindu, Buddhist and every other belief and worldview? When it was just a nativity or menorah, it was easy for the governor and legislature to ignore the protests and complaints about lack of acceptance and diversity of views. But once they opened the floodgates, they're going to drown in the cesspool of their own making.
Phelps is the worst of the bunch so far, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the KKK, the Nation of Islam and many other divisive, aggressive and obnoxious groups lobby to post their own signs. Add in the protests and counter-protests that will ensue, and the entire statehouse will become a madhouse.
It seems like there is a very simple, easy solution to all of this -- leave the religious displays out. Rather than put up ANY displays, simply point out that individuals and groups are free to put any and all such displays up on PRIVATE property (such as a church, house, business, etc), and leave the arena of public representation open and free for ALL to feel welcome and undisturbed by sectarian displays and platitudes.