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The Freedom From Religion Foundation is deploying its full-court press again this Christmas season at the Iowa Capitol. It is planting what it called its “free-thought flag” in the “legislative heart of the Hawkeye State.”

This year’s seasonal display will feature a record seven displays from atheist groups. There are eight total displays in the Capitol.

This comes on the heels of Iowa Safe Schools flying the transgender pride flag above the Iowa Capitol in November.

Its proudest piece is a Bill of Rights “nativity.” It depicts three Founders along with the Statue of Liberty looking on at a “baby” Bill of Rights. The display reads, “At this season of the winter solstice, join us in honoring the Bill of Rights, adopted on Dec. 15, 1791, which reminds us there can be no religious freedom without the freedom to dissent. Keep religion and government separate.”

“We’re delighted to be part of a strong secular movement in Iowa that’s flexing its muscles,” said FFRF co-president Dan Barker. “This shows that free-thought is a rooted movement that has a strong base in the Midwest.”

Justin Scott, the Iowa State Director at American Atheists, shared the story.

“You god damn right Dan Barker! So proud of Freedom From Religion Foundation and all other atheist and secular groups that came together in this effort at the statehouse this year,” Scott posted.

Scott also shared a story from the Sioux City Journal, which he said covers the “very religious and conservative northwest corner of Iowa.”

American Atheists, Dubuque Area Humanists, Eastern Iowa Atheists, FFRF, Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers, the Iowa State University Atheist and Agnostic Society, and Secular Students at Iowa all applied and were granted permission for the holiday displays.

“The abundance of atheist and secular holiday displays scheduled to appear this holiday season will showcase how vibrant, involved and connected the growing community of nonreligious Iowans is,” Scott said.

Scott said when he went to make sure his application was received and approved, he asked how many displays could go up, along with other questions.

“When I realized there was a huge opportunity to make this happen, I ‘got on the horn’ and got as many groups on board as I could,” he said.

Jacob Hall

Author: Jacob Hall