FFRF’s solstice display at Virginia Capitol for first time

Virginia members of the Freedom From Religion proudly brought secular cheer to their state capitol building in Richmond, in the form of FFRF’s popular Bill of Rights “Nativity” display.

Volunteers Daniel Hogan and Patrick Hogan appropriately traveled to the Capitol State House in Virginia on Dec. 21, to install the display on the actual date of the Winter Solstice — the real reason for the season.

The display features three Founders and Lady Liberty gazing at a manger containing the “baby” Bill of Rights. The display proclaims “Joy to the world — the Bill of Rights is born.” Text next to the image 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 display was up for one day in accordance with Virginia’s rules for public forums at the state Capitol.

“We’re always pleased to spread our secular message, and even more pleased when our displays reach new locations,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “As we always say, December is not owned by Christians.”

FFRF is seeking to place its Bill of Rights display everywhere Christian nativities are placed in government-owned spaces and facilities, especially including state capitol buildings. In 2023, the display also appeared at state capitols in Arkansas (for the first time), California, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, Minnesota (for the first time), Washington (for the first time with this particular display) and Wisconsin, as well as at several other parks or city halls.

FFRF, a national state/church watchdog, thanks its members and volunteers for erecting the displays. The original artwork was contributed by Jake Fortin.

Pictured is Patrick Hogan (left) and Daniel Hogan (right).

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with 40,000 members and several chapters across the country, including over 900 members in Virginia. 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.

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Freedom From Religion Foundation

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