Freethought Sign Returns to Wisconsin Capitol for Tenth Year

Sign of the Season

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Photo by Brent Nicastro

(MADISON, WI) The Freedom From Religion Foundation's gilt "Winter Solstice" sign is back in the first-floor rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol for the month of December.

Composed by the group's founder, Anne Nicol Gaylor, the sign reads:

"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."

The back of the sign reads: "State/Church: Keep Them Separate," and carries a little taped-on caveat, advising "Thou shalt not steal."

This marks the tenth year the national freethought association's sign has been placed in the Capitol. The Foundation seeks to balance the yearly nativity pageant which takes over the Capitol, the many Christmas activities, a menorah with a religious sign and other displays of religion at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

The sign reminds citizens of the "real reason for the season, the impending Winter Solstice (Dec. 21)," said Annie Laurie Gaylor, Foundation co-president. The Winter Solstice, the shortest and darkest day of the year, signals the return of the sun and the new year.

Gaylor noted that the Winter Solstice has been celebrated for a millennia in the Northern Hemisphere by festivals of light, decorations of evergreens, gift exchanges, parties and feasts.

"Freethinkers don't mind sharing the season with Christians, but we think there should be an acknowledgment of the natural origins of many of December's customs," she added.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., is a national association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics) that has been working since 1978 to keep church and state separate.
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The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

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