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Freedom From Religion Foundation Buys Full Page NY Times Ad for Their Own ‘Nativity’

Image from tweet @FFRF.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), a nonprofit organization that seeks “to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism,” has taken out a full page ad in the NY Times depicting their own version of the nativity scene. 

FFRF tweeted in an announcement of the advertisement that ran on December 15, the 230th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution. FFRF referred to the illustrated ad as “whimsical” but carrying “an urgent message.” 

The illustration, which was created by Jacob Fortin, depicts Lady Liberty and what appears to be American founding fathers Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, standing over the newly “birthed” Bill of Rights document, which has been placed in a manger. Positioned in front of a shining star, the four embrace one another as they gaze down at the Bill of Rights.

The headline text reads, “Joy to the World, the Bill of Rights is Born.”

The advertisement also wishes readers greetings during “the Winter Solstice Season” and cites the Bill of Rights as “the real reason for the season,” in contrast to Christmas greetings and in reference to the oft repeated phrase “Jesus is the reason for the season.”

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Below, the ad offers this warning: “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. A third of our high court and almost a third of our federal judicary (sic) 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.”

FFRF’s words are in reference to the three conservative Supreme Court Justices nominated by former president Donald Trump, as well as his other appointments to federal courts. Many believe that Trump’s appointments may result in pivotal wins for the pro-life movement, particularly as it relates to Supreme Court decisions

The Freedom From Religion Foundation was founded as a 501(c)3 organization in 1978 and has chapters around the country. The honorary board includes, among others, Richard Dawkins and Ron Reagan, son of former president Ronald Reagan and “unabashed atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.” Both Christopher Hitchens and actor Ed Asner were on the honorary board until their deaths in 2011 and 2021, respectively.

In a press release regarding the ad, FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said, “One of the biggest myths we have to surmount in this country is this misconception that the majority rules in matters of religion. 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!”