An atheist group set up their own version of a nativity scene Saturday at the Iowa State Capitol building in an attempt to protest a religious one.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist group, set up a Bill of Rights nativity scene, reports The Des Moines Register.
The “nativity scene” features Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, along with the Statue of Liberty. The group looks down at a “baby” Bill of Rights. The scene sits less than thirty feet away from a nativity scene depicting the birth of baby Jesus.
“It represents the birth of the Bill of Rights. Because, to us, that’s more important than the birth of some mysterious figure,” Tom Harvey, with the Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers, declared.
Harvey even held a sign reading “‘We the People’ — Not Just — ‘We the Christians.'” Approximately twenty people joined him at the “nativity scene.”
“This is a state capitol, not a church capitol. When I see Nativity scenes being superimposed with a religious theme over a holiday, I have to object. Imposing religious separatism upon us, in my opinion, is immoral and dishonest,” Harvey said.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation regularly speaks out on Christianity and its symbols. Back in July, the group tried to get a cross removed from a public park in West Texas.
A staff attorney with the group wrote a letter to city officials alleging that the cross’s presence violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
“As long as the cross remains on public property the city is exposing itself to legal liability,” Sam Grover,the attorney, said. “They’re breaking the law and anyone within the community could sue and win in court.”
The city has yet to move the cross and Grover would not definitively say whether the group would sue or not.
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