Activist Opportunity for Illinois Students December 6, 2008

Activist Opportunity for Illinois Students

Are you a college student in Illinois?

The Secular Student Alliance and the Freedom From Religion Foundation could use your help.

As it turns out, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office has decided to allow a Christian nativity scene to be displayed in the state capitol building.

Since there can be no government endorsement of religion, this opportunity should be open to everyone. Including atheists.

Here’s what the SSA’s Campus Organizer Lyz Liddell writes to Illinois students:

… The Freedom From Religion Foundation is already filing for permission to put up a nontheist display to show that there are people like us in the state. Once they have permission (TBA: Will the Illinois administration allow ALL viewpoints or just the ones it likes?), FFRF will be setting up a display representing the nontheist viewpoint.

Here’s where we need your help! If we get this display up, we’ll need some help in two ways.

1. We would love to have a representation of student nontheists present at the installation of the display to show our support and our numbers. Once we have a date, I’ll send the info out to your groups. Obviously it might not work out for everyone due to finals and holiday travel, but we’d love to get as many people as we can!

2. We need someone (or a few someones) in the Springfield, IL area or nearby who would be willing to keep an eye on the display over its duration — make sure no one has removed it, defaced it, covered it up, etc. Does anyone in your group have plans to be in Springfield over the break? Passing through for travel? Willing to drive down once or twice? We can spread out the “watch duty” over several people just as well as having one person keep an eye on it.

There might be other ways you can get involved — let me know if you’re interested and I’ll keep you posted as things come up.

We have a great opportunity here in our own state to make our voices heard! Please share this information with your groups and mailing lists — anyone who is interested can email me directly at

Yep, this is similar to the scene in Olympia, Washington, though it’s not clear whether the sign would say the same thing.

Here’s hoping you can help.

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  • johnb300m

    What’s with it recently with all these government locations putting Nativity scenes up? Are they that stupid to not see what a blatant endorsement of a certain religion that is?

    They’d be much more “PC” if they just decorated a freakin’ tree. I know Christmas trees are a symbol of…well… Christmas too, but they’re also a Winter Holiday symbol.

    It’s either a Nativity scene along with all other religious and non-religious symbols, or nothing at all.

  • Lyz

    News flash!

    We have gotten permission to put up the Freedom From Religion Foundation display in Springfield, IL, starting … Monday! Yep, that’s right, the 8th, the first day after this weekend! So here’s our game plan for anyone who wants to come get involved!

    If you’d like to meet us down there, plan to meet at the Capitol Building near the nativity scene at 11am. Send me an email or call and let me know you’re coming so I know to look for you! We’ll be taking lots of pictures and may end up attracting some news media.

    If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line. Email is great (, or you can call me at 309-208-7565 (texts ok too). It should be a good time!

  • Chas

    Would it be snarky to suggest that the help FFRF needs is a good copy writer?

  • llewelly

    I know Christmas trees are a symbol of…well… Christmas too, but they’re also a Winter Holiday symbol.

    The Christmas tree is a fertility symbol.

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