[FONT=Arial]An atheist organization has set up its own version of the Nativity scene in Madison, Wis., replacing the traditional Christian depiction of Jesus’ birth with figures and objects honored by secularists.
“We nonbelievers don’t mind sharing the season with Christians, but we think there should be some acknowledgment that the Christians really ‘stole’ the trimmings of Christmas, and the sun-god myths, from pagans,” said Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor.
Emma Goldman, the goddess Venus, the Statue of Liberty, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Thomas Jefferson replace the magi, or wise men, in the atheist’s Nativity version, while the baby Jesus has been replaced by a baby girl.
The display is set up on the first-floor rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol now through the month of December, and officially celebrates Winter Solstice, which falls on Dec. 21, when the sun will appear at noon at its lowest altitude above the horizon.
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A display including Venus the sun goddess has been put on display in the Wisconsin State Capitol building Rotunda section by the same group, Freedom from Religion Foundation, who pushed for a Manger Scene to be removed from the lawn of city hall in Athens, Texas last year and often pushes for the removal of religious displays from government and public buildings. I find this extremely hypocritical and ironic. They are supposed to support freedom from religion and they have put a religious display, a figure of Venus the sun goddess, in a governmental building in Wisconsin. I am offended by this violation of separation of church and state. This religious display has no business in a governmental building, especially by a group which is supposed to work for freedom from religion. What if not everybody accessing that building or walks by that display believes in Venus the sun goddess? Those who don’t are made to feel like second class citizens.
[SIZE=3]**Wisconsin Capitol Building
**Capitol Bureau Building ManagementFacilities Management Group 1
John Hunter, Buildings and Grounds Supervisor
Telephone #: (608) 266-5044
FAX #: (608) 264-6684
E-mail address: **[COLOR=#000099]firstname.lastname@example.org**
Freedom From Religion Foundation
**[/SIZE]PO Box 750
Madison WI 53701