Vol. 19 No. 10 - Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. -
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"Equal Time" Winter Solstice Sign Returns to Wisconsin Capitol
The Freedom From Religion Foundation's gilt "Winter Solstice" sign returned for the month of December to the Wisconsin State Capitol for the seventh consecutive year. It says:
THE WINTER SOLSTICE
may reason prevail.
There are no gods,
no devils, no angels,
no heaven or hell.
There is only our natural world.
Religion is but
myth and superstition
that hardens hearts
and enslaves minds.
"We think it is important during December that the nonreligious views held by at least 14% of the Wisconsin population be represented at our State Capitol," commented Foundation president Anne Gaylor. The capitol so often is taken over with symbols and events reflecting only the majority Christian viewpoint, she pointed out.
"It is a fact that Christians stole Christmas," said Gaylor. "We don't mind sharing it with them, but we don't like this pretense that it originates with the birthday of Jesus. It is the 'Birthday of the Unconquered Sun--Dies Natalis Invicti Solis.' Christmas is a relic of sun worship.
"I have often said I am quite willing to celebrate the fun parts of anybody's holiday, but spare me the religious schmaltz," she added.
"The customs of this time of year endure because they are pleasant customs. Correspondence with old friends and relatives, gifts, family feasts--these are not religion-based. These are friendly things to do.
"In celebrating the Winter Solstice, we celebrate reality."
The Foundation asked the Capitol police for special attention in protecting the sign, for which the Foundation has a permit. Last year, the inserts were stolen and never recovered. The Capitol Police have surveillance videos at all exits.
The back of the sign reads: "State/Church: Keep Them Separate," and carries a little caveat, advising "Thou shalt not steal."
December 2002 Excerpts