FFRF brings secular display back to Indiana


The Freedom From Religion Foundation and local member Geoff Snyder have brought a Bill of Rights “nativity scene” back to South Bend this Solstice season.

The scene is actually a cutout of Founding Fathers Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, along with the Statue of Liberty, gazing adoringly at a “baby” Bill of Rights. It is on display at the County-City Building in South Bend, Ind.

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 Dec. 15, 1791, which reminds us there can be no religious freedom without the freedom to dissent.” It ends with: “Keep religion and government separate!”

The display was installed on Dec. 10 and will be up through the end of the year.

Snyder first placed the exhibit in the lobby of the County-City Building in the winter of 2015 after St. Joseph County allowed a Christian nativity scene to be prominently showed off there.

“South Bend citizens shouldn’t be subjected to religious proselytizing on public property,” says FFRF Co-President Dan Barker. “And if a devotional nativity is allowed, there must be ‘room at the inn’ for all points of view, including irreverence and freethought.”

FFRF is a national nonprofit organization with more than 31,000 members across the country, including over 400 members in Indiana. 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.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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