The Freedom From Religion Foundation's gilt "Winter Solstice" sign is back in the first-floor rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison for the month of December.
It bears a message composed by the freethought group's founder, Anne Nicol Gaylor. The back of the sign says: "State/Church: Keep Them Separate."
This is the ninth year the national freethought association's sign has been placed in the Capitol. The sign seeks to balance the yearly nativity pageant which takes over the Capitol along with many other Christmas activities, a menorah with a religious sign, and other displays of religion.
"The nonreligious are 14% of the U.S. population," according to Annie Laurie Gaylor, Foundation co-president. "If religious activities are going to take place in the Capitol, then there should be representation of the views of Wisconsin's nonreligious citizens as well.
"Our sign reminds citizens of the real reason for the season, the impending Winter Solstice (Dec. 21). The Winter Solstice has been celebrated for many millennia in the Northern Hemisphere by festivals of light, decorations of evergreens, gift exchanges, parties and feasts.
"Freethinkers don't mind sharing the season with Christians, but we think the real reason for the season should be acknowledged."