FFRF’s Solstice exhibits on display in greater Chicago area


The Freedom From Religion Foundation and its Metropolitan Chicago chapter have again erected two secular holiday displays around the Chicago area.

The first, a colorful cutout invoking the Founding Fathers, has returned to North School Park in Arlington Heights, Ill. It pictures Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and the Statue of Liberty gazing adoringly at a “baby” Bill of Rights in a manger. 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!”

This is the ninth year of the display, intended to counter a Christian creche and a Jewish menorah placed at the location. A public forum area was created at the park by the Village Park District in 2012, after a Christian organization that wanted to put a Nativity scene in the park threatened a lawsuit.

The second display, pictured below, went up Monday, Dec. 7, at the Village Hall in Glenview. This is the second year for FFRF’s exhibit in this location, which debuted last year also to counter Christian Nativities.

Both of these secular displays will be available for public viewing until Dec. 28.

“We’re delighted to have a freethinking presence in these parks,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Religious displays can’t be allowed to monopolize the public space. As we always say, if a governmental body creates a public forum for religion, there must be room at the inn for dissenting viewpoints.”

Warm thanks to FFRF Metropolitan Chicago chapter Director Tom Cara, who puts up the displays, for ensuring that the views of the 26 percent of the population that is not religious are also heard in the month of December.

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.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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