The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s Winter Solstice display has proudly been on view at the Illinois Capitol for 10 years running.
The exhibit was installed by FFRF member Kathryn Koldehoff in the heart of the Illinois state government in Springfield and will be up till the end of December.
FFRF is the largest national association of freethinkers (atheists and agnostics) with 32,000 members and several chapters all over the country including almost 1,000 members and a Chicago chapter in the state of Illinois. The organization works to protect the constitutional separation between religion and government. Back in 2008, Illinois members asked FFRF to erect an equal-time display in protest against a decision to permit a religious group to plant a nativity scene in the Capitol during the holiday season.
“We believe that all perspectives should get space at public venues,” notes FFRF Co-President Dan Barker. “And what can be a more prestigious venue than the statehouse in the Land of Lincoln?”
The pretty green and red sign contains a secular message, composed by the late Anne Nicol Gaylor, FFRF’s principal founder:
“At this season of 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.”
FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor adds, “This sign is a reminder of the real reason for the season, the Winter Solstice,” which is the shortest and darkest day of the year and takes place on Dec. 21 this year. The natural holiday heralds the rebirth of the sun and the natural new year, and has been celebrated for millennia in the Northern Hemisphere with festivals of light, evergreens, feasts and gift exchanges.
FFRF and its members are ensuring a space for freethought at seats of lawmaking around the country.