Winter solstice and Bill of Rights ‘nativity’ displays 2017

FFRF is again proud to be celebrating the winter solstice season by placing signs and “nativity” scenes on public property to counter Christian displays.
At the Wisconsin State Capitol, FFRF’s Andrew Seidel, Annie Laurie Gaylor and Sam Grover stand with the FFRF’s Winter Solstice sign, which is being displayed for the 22nd consecutive year. The sign features FFRF’s traditional message by its principal founder Anne Nicol Gaylor. It reads:
“At this season of the Winter Solstice, may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell.
“There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”
FFRF erected for the first time a lighted “A” (for atheist, agnostic) display outside its office in downtown Madison, Wis., in early December.
The 8-foot display is in the Rose Zerwick Memorial Courtyard and Garden visible from the street. FFRF thanks staffers Roger Daleiden, graphic designer, and Colin McNamara, legal fellow, for putting up the eye-catching display.
The Bill of Rights “nativity” and winter solstice sign was set up by FFRF Member Will Meyer at the Grundy County Courthouse in Illinois on Nov. 26 and will be up until the end of December.
For the first time, FFRF’s Bill of Rights “nativity” display went up in the Public Square in Cleveland. FFRF Members Marni Huebner-Tiborsky (in the open blue coat) and Sam Salerno (far left, kneeling), director and secretary/vice president of the Northern Ohio Freethought Society, respectively, sponsored the display.
For the third year in a row, the “May Reason Prevail” statement by Anne Nicol Gaylor is displayed at the Reason Station in the atrium of the Warren, Mich., City Hall.
In 2011, the city of Warren banned the sign. After two court cases, Reason Station director Douglas Marshall was allowed to place the wording on the Reason Station table as a display.
FFRF’s Metropolitan Chicago Chapter, directed by Tom Cara, set up a solstice display at the Daley Center Plaza. It was erected Nov. 21 and will remain up until Dec. 28. The display includes the light-up “A,” which sits above the Winter Solstice/Founding Father “nativity” signs. This is the fourth year for the display, countering a Christian nativity scene on display since 1984.
On Dec. 1 in the Atlanta area, FFRF placed a “Reason’s Greetings” message on a lighted 14-by-48-foot digital billboard on Interstate 75. FFRF member Jack Egger was pivotal in getting the billboard up, paying the cost.
This Bill of Rights “nativity” display was put up at North School Park in Arlington Heights, Ill., and will remain until Dec. 30. “FFRFMCC has been placing a display each year since 2012 in the public forum area of the park to counter a privately-erected creche by the Illinois Nativity Scene Committee,” Tom Cara noted. “This is an organization which had pressured the Arlington Heights Park District to allow them to place a nativity in the public park, threatening the Park District with a lawsuit if they tried to prevent them from doing this.”
FFRF’s Winter Solstice display is back at the Illinois Capitol for the ninth year in a row. The exhibit was installed by FFRF Member Kathryn Koldehoff in Springfield on Dec. 1 and will be up until Dec. 31.
In 2008, Illinois members asked FFRF to erect an equal-time display in protest of a decision to permit a religious group to plant a nativity scene in the Capitol during the holiday season. A manger scene and Christmas tree were already set up in the Capitol when FFRF installed its display this year.