Seen Inside the Illinois State Capitol Rotunda

Yesterday, the Springfield Area Freethinkers put up the following sign in the Capitol Rotunda:

I love the fact that, the way things are placed, the Holy Family is turning its back on the solstice sign :)

The displays will be up there through January 11th.

(Thanks to Janet for the images!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • SeekerLancer


  • GloomCookie613

    I like. :)

  • anniewhoo

    “There may every one of us light a torch of truth and find our own way to wisdom.”

    I’m having a hard time understanding this sentence. Is it a typo, or am I missing something? I love the sign. The picture in the background is just perfect.

  • m6wg4bxw

    The place looks cluttered and trashy to me. No displays is definitely the way to go.

  • freethinkingteacher

    In case anyone is curious, the statue (which the display is on the east side of and which faces the visitors’ entrance) is entitled “Illinois Welcoming the World.” The resonance there is pretty nice, I think. (And for the record, we didn’t choose that location.)

  • Christopher Buchholz

    “there” = Reason’s Hearth, where people go to light their torches.

  • nakedanthropologist

    Nice, very nice.

  • Ubi Dubium

    Looking at the photo of the rotunda, what catches my eye is that wreath in the background, with the ends of the ribbon hanging down. I want to add another piece of red ribbon and turn that into a big red “A”! Think any of the xians would notice?

  • Santiago

    Nice sentiment. Now what is the deal with the lights?

  • Janet Factor

    You can’t see it here, Santiago, but the lights are the kind that twinkle, and the fabric draping the easel is midnight blue panné with a pattern of reflective dots. So the combination gives a very nice night sky effect as the lights twinkle on and off and are reflected at various angles. It really goes very well with the image on the placard, essentially enlarging it.

  • Janet Factor

    Exactly, Christopher.

  • Jennifer

    I <3 that sign!

  • freethinkingteacher

    The picture really doesn’t do it justice. The setup is actually quite nice in general, and it’s worth seeing in person in part because the rotunda has incredibly beautiful architecture.

  • Blacksheep

    Very nice! It’s a sign that celebrates something, is positive, and doesn’t criticize anyone else. It stands on it’s own merits.

  • Janet Factor

    For those who love the image: it is a professional high-res image that we purchased from David Nunuk, whose work is lovely and useful at the same time.

  • David Tiffany

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

  • WoodyTanaka

    Poor Springfieldians. Crappy poetry and a crappy light show.

  • Richard Wade

    Very nicely done display. An excellent sentiment paired with a beautiful illustration.

    I’m amazed at the “pantheon” so to speak of multiple cultural co-opting in this picture. The architecture of the rotunda is an American co-opted version of the French Renaissance style, which co-opted Roman styles, which co-opted Greek styles. Dominating the center is an American co-opted, Roman co-opted Greek style female figure that represents “Illinois Welcoming the World.” The word Illinois is the American state name co-opted from the French co-opted version of an Algonquin Indian word for “warriors” or “tribe of superior men.” In the background is a secular co-opted, Christian co-opted, Roman co-opted, Greek pagan co-opted animist wreath of evergreen, and to the right we see a manger, a European co-opted version of an early Christian holiday about a messiah co-opted from Judaism, and celebrated on the co-opted pagan winter solstice.

    The recipe for cultural goulash just keeps getting longer and longer.

  • Richard Wade

    Grouchy Smurf.

  • freethinkingteacher

    Thanks for saving me the trouble of figuring out whether you’re the kind of person I’d buy a drink for, Woody.

  • starskeptic

    Woody just needs his diaper changed is all – he’s fixating again…

  • Thackerie

    And now a crappy troll trying to pretend he feels sympathy, or something, for them.

  • Blahger

    Congrats Free Thinker! Now you’re all officially going to hell :(

  • peekaboo

    It means that everyone is right because they think they are right and have no universal standard set before them to judge or say otherwise.

    Someone answer this question for me: What is truth?

  • anniewhoo

    Thank you! It makes sense to me now.

  • peekaboo


  • TCC

    No, it doesn’t mean that truth is entirely subjective like you’re implying. Truth is determined by correspondence to reality, which is of course a universal standard.

  • IMHO

    Great sign. And the sentiments expressed don’t have anything to do with atheism per se.

  • WoodyTanaka

    LMAO. Oh, I’m crushed.

  • WoodyTanaka

    Nope. Just commenting on this crappy, useless display.

  • WoodyTanaka

    There’s the depth of reasoning I expect from the likes of you.

  • WoodyTanaka

    Some times. But so what? Is the value of a truth dependent upon the mood or the niceness of the person delivering it? The fallacy that you are invoking is used all the time by the theists who deliver their evil garbage wrapped up with a warm handshake and a “thoughtful, concerned” expression. No things. I’d rather be a grouch.

  • starskeptic

    …and being just as useless doing it…

  • starskeptic

    No grouch – pure 100% troll all the way…

  • starskeptic

    no reasoning needed Woody, it’s you – remember?…
    “the likes of you” – twice in one day? You stuck on some kind of pirate theme today, Woody?