Oregon atheist seeks removal of Christmas banner

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A Eugene man has threatened to sue city officials because of a banner he believes is a violation of the separation of church and state.

The banner that stretches above a downtown street encourages people to attend church this Christmas and celebrate Jesus Christ.

Rene Salm, an atheist, tells The Register-Guard he has contacted the American Civil Liberties Union and is trying to find a lawyer.

The city allows community groups and nonprofit organizations to install banners on city-owned poles and across streets for up to three weeks to promote events.

Virgil Adams of Eugene is the man responsible for the banner. He says he’s within his rights to spread his Christian message, and the man complaining can “get a permit and do what he wants.”