Though some like to refer to the efforts of groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) as a "war on Christmas," what it really is is an on-going battle to get politicians to heed the US Constitution and keep state and church separate.
For some reason, people across this great country of ours like to feign ignorance when addressing this point by saying that the term "separation of church and state" does not appear in the Constitution. While this is true, the Founding Fathers' intention has been made clear on this point more than once by the signers of that amazing document. But, no matter how many times this is pointed out, certain people persist in ignoring the truth, perhaps because it doesn't fit in with what they believe or what they want to be true.
So, to combat the perpetuated lie that the US is a Christian nation and that it is okay for government agencies to represent themselves that way. FFRF has once again put up their Winter Solstice sign in the Wisconsin Capitol. Following is their press release of the installment:
'Tis the season . . . for the Freedom From Religion Foundation's gilt Winter Solstice message, which returns for its 15th visit to the first-floor rotunda of the Wisconsin Capitol for the month of December.
The solstice message in the Capitol was composed by Anne Nicol Gaylor, Foundation co-president emerita, and says:
"At this season of 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."
On the back of the sign is a poem by celebrated Wisconsin poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox (famed for "Laugh and the world laughs with you").
Her poem, "The World's Need," says:
So many Gods, so many creeds,
So many paths that wind and wind,
When just the art of being kind
Is all this sad world needs.
The line "Keep State and Church Separate" also appears on the sign's back. FFRF started placing the sign to counter numerous religious events and postings in the Capitol.
"FFRF's sign is a reminder of the real reason for the season — the Winter Solstice," says Annie Laurie Gaylor, Foundation co-president. The Winter Solstice, the shortest and darkest day of the year, takes place Dec. 21. This natural holiday signals the return of the sun and the new year, and has been celebrated for millennia in the Northern Hemisphere with festivals of light, evergreens, feasts and gift exchanges.
"We nonbelievers don't mind sharing the season with Christians," Gaylor added, "but we think there should be some acknowledgment that the Christians really 'stole' the trimmings of Christmas, and the sun-god myths, from pagans." Dan Barker, Foundation co-president, said Christians tend to think "they own the month of December. We don't agree. No month is free from pagan reverie!"