For the eighth straight year, the Freedom From Religion Foundation has put up the following sign in the Illinois State Capitol rotunda:
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.
“We don’t think religion — or irreligion — belongs in state capitols,” noted Dan Barker, FFRF co-president and author of the recent book, “Life-Driven Purpose: How an Atheist Finds Meaning.” “But if a state is going to permit a nativity display and create a public forum, then we want to be sure that the views of the 23 percent of the U.S. population that is not religious are also represented.”
“This sign is a reminder of the real reason for the season, the Winter Solstice,” says Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president, “which is the shortest and darkest day of the year and takes place on Dec. 21 this year. The natural holiday heralds the rebirth of the sun and the natural new year, and has been celebrated for millennia in the Northern Hemisphere with festivals of light, evergreens, feasts and gift exchanges.”
If any Christians are upset by the sign’s placement, they can lobby their elected officials to change the rules so that no religious or explicitly non-religious displays are allowed in the building… but that would mean banning Nativity scenes, too, so there’s no way that’s going to happen.