The Freedom From Religion Foundation is delighted to be bringing a secular presence back to the Iowa Capitol.
FFRF’s Bill of Rights “nativity” display has been installed in the Hawkeye State’s seat of lawmaking for the sixth year in a row. The display shows the Founders alongside Lady Liberty as they gaze in adoration at the Bill of Rights, in honor of its adoption on Dec. 15, 1791. A sign beside the tongue-in-cheek nativity reads:
At this season of the winter solstice
Join us in honoring the Bill of Rights, adopted on December 15, 1791, which reminds us there can be no religious freedom without the freedom to dissent.
Keep religion and government separate!
The exhibit was erected as a response to a Christian nativity scene that went up six years ago in the Capitol, with then-Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad at the opening ceremony. FFRF first sought a permit to put up a secular display to represent freethinkers in Iowa at that time.
“Secular voices deserve to be heard this holiday season, too,” FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor says. “As we always say, if a governmental body creates a public forum for religion, there must be ‘room at the inn’ for dissenting viewpoints.”
FFRF extends thanks to FFRF Lifetime Member and State Representative Paul Novak for his help in putting up the display. It will be available for viewing until Jan. 1.
FFRF is a national nonprofit organization with more than 38,000 members across the country, including hundreds of members in Iowa. FFRF’s purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between church and state, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.