WI Freedom from Religion Foundation To Setup “Winter Solstice” Display in Response to Nativity Scene

Why does it not surprise me this is happening in Madison, Wisconsin?

A tiny figure of baby Jesus is surrounded by Mary, Joseph and the three wise men in a new nativity scene in the state Capitol rotunda.

The conservative group Wisconsin Family Action set up the manger scene on Sunday, and its president Julaine Appling said they plan to display it through the end of the month. But the move angered the Madison-based Freedom from Religion Foundation, which is now planning its own “slightly blasphemous” Capitol nativity display celebrating the winter solstice.

“It’s distressing to me that we have a manger scene on top of all of the religion at the Capitol,” Freedom from Religion co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said. “Every day it’s religion, religion, religion.” [Wisconsin State Journal]

Scrooge would be proud.



24 thoughts on “WI Freedom from Religion Foundation To Setup “Winter Solstice” Display in Response to Nativity Scene

    1. Francis says:


      I am pretty sure the Freedom From Religion goof-balls are anti-Muslim, too.

  1. Francis says:

    One year, amid all the hoopla of who was putting up what on public property, one group of Wiccans put up a pentagram (pentacle?) well, you get the picture – a five pointed star. Then another fellow petitioned to put up a Festivus pole. I was looking forward to that, (I even had a list of grievances prepared for airing) but apparently the city council voted it down. Frankly, I don’t like to see religious symbols that are important to me (the Holy Family) used as a gauntlet to instigate an argument every year. They don’t need to be on government property, and if they are, then include everyone. I think the creche looks great on the church lawn, and I definitely have several in my own home. Why do we have to go through this argument every year? What if people just didn’t put them on public property, and then suddenly the Freedom From Religion nut cases wouldn’t have any public axe to grind? It would be a win-win, as far as I’m concerned. People would be able to view the Holy Family displays around town, and the Freedom From Religion people would have their microphones taken away so we wouldn’t have to listen to them.

    1. ragingcatholic says:

      I love this idea Francis. Our Church puts up a Nativity scene (although not until it’s actually appropriate timing). It’s on our property, but visible from the road of course. Other churches similarly do the same. I don’t see a need to use the statehouse to display additional religious symbols when we all have so many opportunities to express our religion in ways that don’t create a distraction. Public property is for things that everyone can appreciate. It doesn’t need to become a source of combat during this most cherished holy day.

  2. AuthenticBioethics says:

    Nativity scenes are a traditional Christian display with 800 years of history.

    I wonder what kind of traditional Winter Solstice religious displays atheists have.

    They’re becoming more and more ridiculous every year.

  3. Stephen E Dalton says:

    The Freedom From Religion folks are just Anti-Christ bigots. If they had the power to do it, they would eliminate Christianity from the public square, just like their kind did in the USSR for decades.

  4. GREG SMITH says:

    Dear Thomas ~ The two models for separation of church and state in America are “wall of sepration” and “no preference.” The former would mean that in this situation, the nativity scene in the rotunda would be prohibited. Under the latter, it would be allowed, especially if put up by private citizens. However, it seems to me it follows that within reason, space permitting, etc. a group of Jewish families could contribute a menorah, the Islamic Community Center a scene of a family breaking the fast at Ramadan, the local Hindu temple a .. you get the picture. However, the “freedom from..” people seem to be on thin ice here. Arguably, atheism isn’t a religion and moreover the solstice is a Pagan festival. I have a good friend who is a Pagan and I don’t expect she’d want the atheists representing her faith.. Hope this is helpful. Pax tecum, Greg

    1. ragingcatholic says:

      A wonderful reply Greg, and it made me think for a minute – is atheism a religion? I found this post that seems to indicate that atheism meets all the tests to be called a religion. http://creation.com/atheism-a-religion.

    2. Bruce says:

      Greg, have you evangelized your pagan friend? If you love her, you would have already. If you don’t, you’d allow her to wallow in falsehoods and lies.

      1. GREG SMITH says:

        Bruce ~ I’m not sure that AmP/CV is a place to go back and forth between you and me about personal practices. However,should I also evangelize my Jewish wife? How about our next door neighbor who is Buddhist? The Russian Orthodox priest I see in the coffee shop? I try to live my life as a Catholic in such a way to show those around me how the Church has made me a better child of God, flawed though I might be. ~ Pax, Greg

        1. Bruce says:

          Not good enough, Greg. You’re supposed to go out and make disciples of the whole world. Why are you keeping your lamp under a basket? Not very loving nor very Christian.

          1. Francis says:

            Bruce: Does the way in which you treat people inspire them to pursue the faith that you claim to love?

          2. Bruce says:

            Francis, yes it does! Those who are unbelievers are impressed that someone who truly believes has the cahones to correct his so-called fellow believers when they misstep. Do you need correction too? Lord knows I do! It is not a sin to correct fellow Christians. It is a sin to allow them to remain silent in the face of lies, sins, and falsehoods. :)

          3. Francis says:

            Based upon Greg Smith’s posts here, I have the perception that he does not hesitate to share his faith, when appropriate, with those around him. Based upon your posts, Bruce, I believe you would have no trouble taking Mother Teresa to task for not converting more non-Christians during her ministry to the poor of Calcutta.

          4. Brian C says:

            Perfect question Francis. Let’s see if he answers it, as his past posts indicate that he believes direct questions posed on this blog must be answered without hesitation or any hint of misdirection.

          5. Bruce says:

            Hi Francis and Brian C – here is your response as you requested! 😉 I take issue with “when appropriate” as if Christ is not appropriate at certain times or in certain places. Why are you ashamed of Christ? Why hide your lamp under a basket? Proclaim and praise Him always – unless you are ashamed of Him…so are you?

          6. Francis says:

            Bruce: Take issue with whatever you like. It’s just that I don’t see much “proclaiming and praising” of Christ in what you say. I see someone who takes pleasure in treating others poorly over issues which can plainly be handled in a variety of ways. I see someone who has one agenda, and that is to “impress” others by continuing to act on the belief that he has “cajones” to “correct so-called fellow believers when they misstep”. You do this for your own sense of superiority (misguided as it is), not for the glory of God. Stop deluding yourself. So, what about Mother Teresa, was she a supreme failure (in your mind) for not converting the many poor, sick and rejected of Calcutta? Or was she acting as the face of Christ for them by her kind and compassionate service to them?

  5. ragingcatholic says:

    I’m very confused. I thought the Supreme Court had already ruled that religious symbols could not be displayed on public property without running afoul of the Constitution. Regardless, if we can set up a manger with a bible verse to express our religious viewpoint, certainly the City has to allow atheists the same right to set up one of their own. This country was built on freedom of expression and religion and here you are advocating that it should be suppressed for people that have beliefs that are different from yours.

    1. Brian C says:

      I would have no problem with all religions requesting public displays during their religious holidays, with the decisions to be made by local elected officials on a case by case basis. My beef with this is that it appears to be a satiric response to a Christian display as opposed to a sincere request for a religious display.

      1. ragingcatholic says:

        Why do local officials get to decide who get freedom of speech and who doesn’t? Doesn’t sound very free at all.

    2. Bruce says:

      I would like to point out that this country is less than 300 years old. The Church is over 2000 years old. America is but a fart in the breeze compared to her, and will be gone sooner or later.

      1. TrueCatholic says:

        Very Christian, Bruce. One can tell you are certainly a man of breeding and good manners.

        1. Bruce says:

          You do realize that by “her” I was talking about America. Or did you not read the entire comment? If it is the latter, the post is directly above yours and it is always a good idea to remember “context.” In addition, isn’t it a capital offense for folks like you to make assumptions? For me, I could care less, but the liberal glitterati you hang out with will probably frown on your comment.

    3. Lori Pieper says:

      Just where do you see Thomas advocating suppression of anything? He was commenting on the attitude behind what the atheists were doing, that’s all.

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