Free Thinkers Put Up Their Holiday Display

Reported by: David Goins

Updated: 12/17/2009 8:35 am Published: 12/16/2009 3:35 pm

“We feel great about it, we’re ecstatic that we could get this up,” Tod Billings with the Free-Thinkers said.

There’s a little more to see at the state Capitol this holiday season. The Arkansas Society of Free-Thinkers putting up a winter solstice kiosk just feet from a nativity scene.  “I am very proud to see the two of them standing side by side,” Billings said.

But not everyone is.  The Arkansas Family Council watched its construction and says the display is actually an attempt to get rid of the nativity scene.Winter solstice 1 - ch 16
“What they’re doing is coming in through the back door trying to create controversy in hopes that the government officials here in Arkansas will just say, ‘ok no displays whatsoever,” Jerry Cox with the Arkansas Family Council.

Winter solstice 2 - ch 16“That is absolutely not the case.  We weren’t as worried about how other people celebrate it.  We just wanted to be allowed to share public land on a federal holiday that is for all Americans and not just people of a certain religious faith,” Billings said.

“This atheist display simply doesn’t fit with the spirit of Christmas,” Cox said.

That’s clearly up to Capitol visitors to decide.  Assuming they want to at all and visitors will have plenty of time to decide.  The winter solstice display will be along side the nativity scene on the south lawn through the first week of January.  An atheist group puts up their own holiday display on the capital grounds days after they took Secretary of State Charlie Daniels to federal court over his decision to block the display.

The display is on the south lawn of the Capitol right next to the nativity scene.

Winter solstice 3 - ch 16


Arkansas Society of Freethinkers
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