The Freedom From Religion Foundation and local members placed a sign Dec. 17 in the Rhode Island Capitol in Providence that says there are “no gods” and declaring “At this season of the winter solstice, may reason prevail.”
FFRF, a Madison, Wis.-based national state/church watchdog with nearly 20,000 members, placed the sign to counter the numerous manger scenes now appearing in the Capitol. FFRF’s sign, with a stained glass motif, joins other secular displays by the Humanists of Rhode Island and the Secular Coalition of Rhode Island.
The sign, composed by Anne Nicol Gaylor, FFRF co-president emerita, reads in full:
“At this season of the winter solstice, may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”
“We don’t think religion, or irreligion, belong at the seat of state government,” said FFRF Co-President Dan Barker. “But there has to be ‘room at the inn’ for dissenting points of view once the state opens up its government buildings to religious displays.”
Barker added that FFRF’s sign celebrates the winter solstice, “the real reason for the season.”
Saturday, Dec. 21, the shortest, darkest day of the year, traditionally is a time of “pagan revelry” in the Northern Hemisphere since it heralds the “rebirth” of the Sun.