Each year in Chicago’s Daley Plaza, displays are erected for religious holidays occurring in December.
This year, the usual Hanukkah menorah and Christmas Nativity scene are present, along with another display this year, a large “A.”
The new sculpture is the contribution of nonreligious group Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). The 8-foot “A is for Atheism” display uses a a design created by the Richard Dawkins Foundation and is adorned with red lights.
FFRF Co-President Dan Barker says, “If the government is going to open up a public forum to religion, then it has to permit the nonreligious — nearly 20 percent of our nation today — to express our point of view as well.”
Accompanying the display are a sign and a banner. The sign explains the reasons for the the display, which include a desire to build awareness for the nonreligious community and “eradicate the negative stereotypes of non-believers,” while the banner takes a scientific and political stance, mentioning the Winter Solstice as the reason for the season and the birth of the Bill of Rights, stating it “reminds us there can be no freedom OF religion without having freedom FROM religion in government.”
The displays will all remain up until December 29.
Banners about the Winter Solstice are also on display in the Wisconsin State Capitol and Springfield, IL.