The exhibit is a Bill of Rights “nativity.” The cutout depicts the Statue of Liberty and Founding Fathers Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington gazing in adoration at a “baby” Bill of Rights.
A sign beside the nativity reads: “Happy Winter Solstice. At this Season of the Winter Solstice, we honor reason and the Bill of Rights (adopted Dec. 15, 1791). Keep State & Church Separate.”
At the bottom it reads: “Thou shalt not steal, please.”
The exhibit is permitted to be up through the end of December.
“We’d much prefer that government property, judicial or otherwise, be free from religion — and irreligion,” said FFRF Co-President Dan Barker in a press statement. “But if a devotional nativity display is allowed, there must be ‘room at the inn’ for all points of view, including irreverence and freethought.”
In Texas, however, the governor was extremely upset by the display, and had it removed:
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott has asked the State Preservation Board to immediately remove a Bill of Rights-themed nativity display in the State Capitol. It was removed Tuesday afternoon.
In a letter to the board’s executive director Monday, the governor called the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s display “juvenile” and “tasteless sarcasm.”
Abbott says the display does not serve a public purpose, adding that activities that promote a specific viewpoint are prohibited in the public areas of the Capitol. “Far from promoting morals and the general welfare, the exhibit deliberately mocks Christians and Christianity,” the governor says.