The Freedom From Religion Foundation has ensured equal space for secularism at an Illinois courthouse.
A Bill of Rights “Nativity” display has been installed by FFRF Member Will Meyer (pictured above) next to a Christian Nativity scene at the Grundy County Courthouse, not too far from Chicago, and will be available for public viewing through the beginning of January.
The irreverent cutout by artist Jacob Fortin depicts Founders Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington gazing adoringly at a “baby” Bill of Rights in a manger while the Statue of Liberty looks on. A sign beside the tongue-in-cheek Nativity states:
“Happy Winter Solstice. At this Season of the Winter Solstice, we honor reason and the Bill of Rights (adopted Dec. 15, 1791).” At the bottom, it reads: “Keep State & Church Separate.”
The display exemplifies the take-charge spirit of members of the freethought organization, who often assemble such installations in their hometowns to counter religious tableaus on public land. FFRF helps out by providing the materials. With the help of its ever-vigilant membership, the Freedom From Religion Foundation is making freethought’s presence felt around the country in December — especially when there’s religious intrusion into the public sphere.
“When a particular religion is allowed to be highlighted on a governmental property, there has to be room at the inn for a freethinking display, too,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “We’re proud that the initiative of our members around the country makes this a reality.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is the largest national association of freethinkers (atheists and agnostics) with over 30,000 members and several chapters all over the country, including more than 1,000 members and a Chicago chapter in the state of Illinois. The organization works to protect the constitutional separation between religion and government.