‘Atheist group’ suing Gov. Abbott for removing Bill of Rights nativity display

The controversial display had three of the Founding Fathers next to the Statue of Liberty standing over the Bill of Rights which was depicted in a manger.
Nativity display by Freedom From Religion Foundation (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Governor Abbott is facing a lawsuit from a group who organized a Bill of Rights themed nativity display at the Capitol.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation claimed Abbott violated their first amendment rights when he ordered the removal of their display. The foundation works to ensure the separation from church and state.

Nativity display by Freedom From Religion Foundation
Nativity display by Freedom From Religion Foundation

The group claims the display was to celebrate the anniversary of the Bill of Rights, winter solstice, and inform the public about diversity of religion. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and the Statue of Liberty were depicted in the display circling around the Bill of Rights in a manger.

The manger was ordered to be removed by Governor Abbott who referred to the display as “tasteless sarcasm.”

The Governor’s office responded to the lawsuit saying “This atheist group based out of Wisconsin has consistently messed with Texas. The First Amendment does not require Texas to allow displays at its Capitol building that mock and satirize an entire religion. The lawsuit is completely baseless.”

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