An atheist activist group took out a controversial ad in the Wednesday edition of the New York Times calling for the separation of church and state by reimagining the Nativity scene.
The ad, titled “Joy to the World … A Bill of Rights is born,” was placed by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) in honor of the 230th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791.
FFRF is placing a whimsical ad with an urgent message in Wednesday ’s New York Times to honor the 230th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights Day on Dec. 15. The full-page ad appears in the main news section. https://t.co/wu8Rj6JTrX pic.twitter.com/bAFQyAEzdP— FFRF (@FFRF) December 15, 2021
According to Faithwire, the group is using the artwork to make a point about “Nativity scenes on government property.”
In the illustration, a copy of the Bill of Rights is placed in the trough where Jesus would traditionally lie. Mary, Joseph and the three Wisemen were also replaced by three of the nation’s founders and the Statue of Liberty. The artwork was created by Jacob Fortin.
“The scales of justice have been alarmingly tipped in favor of a privileged status for religion in our country. The capture of the Supreme Court by Christian nationalist forces is complete,” the ad states. “A third of our high court and almost a third of our federal judiciary were appointed by Trump, and their influence and decisions are imperiling the precious American principle of separation between religion and government.”
“All personal and civil rights – including the right to abortion – are in jeopardy,” it continued.
According to a press release by the FFRF, the group hopes the ad will encourage people to call for the separation of church and state.
“One of the biggest myths we have to surmount in this country is this misconception that the majority rules in matters of religion,” Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president, explained. “The Bill of Rights places individual liberties and freedom of conscience above the fray of tyranny of the majority. And that is something to truly revere – and celebrate!”
The FFRF was established in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1978. The group has several chapters across the nation with over 30,000 members, including atheists, agnostics, and religious skeptics.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/lukbar
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.