A solstice nativity scene — featuring the founding fathers and the statue of liberty kneeling prior to the “birth” of the Bill of Rights — was removed from the Texas Capitol on Tuesday (Dec 22) after Gov. Greg Abbott called it “tasteless” and a “juvenile parody.”
The show was placed in the capitol on December 18 by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), a neighborhood religious liberty group, who said they received a permit for the show and an accompanying sign.
Texas governor orders FFRF Bill of Rights Display removed from Capitol – See far more at: https://t.co/uKy698PNP7 pic.twitter.com/xyOUQ64uS4
— FFRF (@FFRF) December 22, 2015
Nevertheless, Gov. Abbott wrote in a letter to John Sneed, Executive Director of the State Preservation Board, to demand that the nativity be taken down:
The Biblical scene of the newly born Jesus Christ lying in a manger in Bethlehem lies at the very heart of the Christian faith. Subjecting an image held sacred by millions of Texans to the Foundation’s tasteless sarcasm does practically nothing to market morals and the common welfare. To the contrary, the Foundation’s spiteful message is intentionally developed to belittle and offend, which undermines rather than promotes any public purpose a show promoting the bill of rights may otherwise have had.
Nonetheless, FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor mentioned that the group would “pursue legal redress.”
“Ironically, the very document that our show was honoring is what protects this form of expression,” mentioned FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Government officials can’t censor our speech because they disagree with our secular message.”