If you visit the Iowa State Capitol starting tomorrow, you will see a Christmas tree smack dab in the middle of the rotunda. But surrounding it, since there’s an open forum available to anyone who wants to take advantage of it, will be a record seven displays from atheist groups.
Seriously, look at this glorious calendar.
Considering there are only eight spots available, visitors to the Capitol will be inundated with a secular smörgåsbord of ideas.
They include a display from American Atheists that says “This season, no matter what you celebrate or why, Happy Holidays! — Your atheist neighbors.”
And one from the Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers that reads “Joy to the world, reason has come!”
And one from the Eastern Iowa Atheists saying, “Everything Distinctive of Christmas is Pagan or Secular.”
“The abundance of atheist and secular holiday displays scheduled to appear this holiday season will showcase how vibrant, involved, and connected the growing community of nonreligious Iowans is,” said Justin Scott, American Atheists’ State Director for Iowa, who liaised between the different groups to get as many atheist displays approved as possible.
“These displays represent a wide swath of Iowa: atheist and humanist, college-aged to the more experienced in life, queer and straight, transgender and/or nonbinary, Iowans of all backgrounds, races and socio-economic status, as well as from various parts of Iowa,” he added.
The displays, which overlap in timing throughout the month, will be up through December 28. Considering there were only two secular displays in the Capitol this time last year, the atheists have clearly figured out how to play the game this time around. Better to have their well-wishes than another Nativity scene shoved down everyone’s throat.