FFRF ensures equal time for freethought at home base

1Brodhead 2017

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is making sure that freethought is being given equal representation in small-town Wisconsin.

When a crèche scene went up at Veterans Memorial Park in the city of Brodhead, not too far from Madison, the state capital and FFRF’s hometown, the state-church watchdog replied in the form of a freethinking display of its own.

The mainstay of the display is FFRF’s playful Bill of Rights “nativity.” The irreverent cutout by artist Jacob Fortin depicts three Founding Fathers gazing adoringly at a “baby” Bill of Rights in a manger while the Statue of Liberty looks on. It will be up through the beginning of January. 

A sign beside the tongue-in-cheek nativity states: “At this season of the Winter Solstice, join us in honoring the Bill of Rights, adopted on December 15, 1791, which reminds us that there can be no religious freedom without the freedom to dissent.” At the bottom, it reads: “Keep religion and government separate.”

The winter solstice display exemplifies the hands-on attitude of members of the freethought organization, who often assemble such installations in their hometowns to balance religious tableaus on public land. FFRF helps out by providing the materials

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation is the largest national association of freethinkers (atheists and agnostics), with roughly 30,000 members and 20 chapters all over the country, including more than 1,300 members and a chapter in its home state. The organization works to protect the constitutional separation between religion and government.

“If there is a religious display on public land, you can be sure that we’ll be there, too,” says FFRF Co-President Dan Barker. “And why would you expect us to remain silent on our home turf?”

The Bill of Rights “nativity” has also gone up in the Wisconsin Capitol in Madison, where FFRF is headquartered. For more than 20 Decembers running, FFRF has installed an engraved sign saluting the Winter Solstice that proclaims there are no gods, only our natural world. This is the third year for the Bill of Rights display.

1Brodhead2 2017

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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