FFRF has installed a Bill of Rights “Nativity” cutout once again in a Chicago suburb.
The irreverent exhibit, displayed at Cook Memorial Park in Libertyville, Ill., 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, created by artist Jacob Fortin, 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.”
Occurring this year on Monday, Dec. 21, the Winter Solstice marks the shortest, darkest day of the year, heralding the symbolic rebirth of the sun. It has been celebrated for millennia in the Northern Hemisphere with festivals of light, evergreens, gift exchanges and seasonal gatherings. The Bill of Rights — the document on which our freedoms are based — also came into being during this season.
This display first went up three years ago to counter a life-size Christian creche and an 8-foot tall menorah have been placed in the park for several years.
“We’d much prefer that government property, judicial or otherwise, be free from religion — and irreligion,” says FFRF Co-President Dan Barker. “But if a devotional Nativity display is allowed, there must be ‘room at the inn’ for all points of view, including irreverence and freethought.”
FFRF is grateful for FFRF Metropolitan Chicago chapter (FFRFMCC) Director Tom Cara for diligently securing a permit for this display and Chicago chapter Board Member Steve Foulkes for installing the display.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national freethought association dedicated to keeping state and church separate, with more than 33,000 members and several chapters all over the country, including over 1,000 members and its Metropolitan Chicago chapter in Illinois.