Florida Capitol Building Now Houses Nativity Scene, Festivus Pole, Atheist Signs, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Christians wanted and got a Nativity Scene in the Florida Capitol Building… and they’re getting loads of atheism-tinged displays in return.

First, there was the Festivus Pole:

You can see from the picture above that there’s also a sign from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

There are also two other signs from atheist groups:

And now, adding to all that, comes an homage to the Flying Spaghetti Monster:

(Ben Wolf – Department of Management Services)

A desk chair with a shredded cardboard representation of its deity — an eyed blob of noodles grasping two meatballs — with a sign reading: “A closed mouth catches no noodly appendages.” — ProvHerbs 3:27,” arrived Tuesday and now joins four other holiday displays in the marble rotunda.

“The point is to show that we are a part of a pluralistic society,” [Pastafarian Amanda] Richard said. “If you’re going to have inclusion of one religion in a public space, then it encourages all the others as well.”

Ben Wolf, Department of Management Services director of communications, said as long as there is real estate in the Capitol and the display meets the guidelines for public exhibition, there is nothing stopping its placement.

And that’s not the end of it. The Satanic Temple could have a display in the Capitol before long, too :)

Which brings up the very important question: How many non-theistic displays does it take to balance out a Nativity Scene?

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.

  • $84687101

    The way they’re blocking that hallway looks like it might be a fire code violation.

    Please, Florida, you’re a lot of fun and all, but can we just go back to not having religious displays in the Capitol Building instead of all this tacky crap creating fire hazards?

  • http://www.dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    The nativity display is the only one that appears to be an actual fire hazard itself, however!

  • Roy Gamsgrø

    I love how the atheist signs are flanking the nativity scene. 😀

  • sam

    “How many non-theistic displays does it take to balance out a Nativity Scene?”
    I’ve crunched the numbers: it takes 7.4 non-theistic displays to balance a model nativity scene.
    For a live nativity scene, it would take 3 psychiatric wards and 2 Scientology orgs all engaged in nude chess to balance everything out.

  • rwlawoffice

    Didn’t take long for the atheists to go from trying to get balance to mocking. And you wonder why there is a negative impression of your “movement”.

  • Mick

    You little scallywag, you

  • John Lev

    Mocking? If I had a nickle for everytime I heard “A fool saith in their heart….”

  • http://www.dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    The “negative impression” is amongst those whose opinions are not important to me. The bottom line is that this sort of “mocking” works. It sends a very powerful message, that is apparently being well received by many, many people.

    The whiners aren’t the ones who are determining the direction that secularism will take in the future. They aren’t the ones moving in droves away from religion. They aren’t the ones who will stop voting for crazy fundies who can’t separate their religion from their politics.

    These displays are doing exactly what they are intended to do, and they are doing it well.

  • Spuddie

    Because they make sourpusses like yourself annoyed using humor. Uptight theocrats don’t like it when others refuse to take them seriously. I would welcome humorous responses which don’t smack of sinister intent. But somehow dogmatic religious beliefs tends to weaken one’s funny bone.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    Shredded cardboard stands in for actual spaghetti – I’ve eaten in restaurants like that.

  • eric

    Sadly, none of the other additions (IMO) have the artistic quality or professional craftmanship of the nativity scene. This is not the fault of the people putting them up – they are at a big disadvantage in having to make their displays, whereas christians can just go out and buy a big, high quality creche. Stil, the overall impression doesn’t say “equal” to me as much as it says “one professional display and a buch of add-ons.”
    I expect this problem will solve itself over time, with bigger (nonchristian) organizations getting involved and having the resources to build or buy more impressive displays. But still, its a bit bothersome.
    Maybe what we need is our own basic “pandenominational panorama, ” and then we invite people from all religions (and none) to add figures to it. So, a big dinner table where different groups are invited to place a figure around the table, in some gesture showing fellowship. Or a tree (which is pretty much already a generic holiday symbol) with figures placed around it dancing or holding hands. It doesn’t even have to be focused on religion. Figurines could be used to represent racial or ethnic minorities, people of different ages, gay families, etc…
    Right now the separate displays send a message of many different people speaking different messages at once; a visual cacophany. To show acceptance of plurality, ideally we want the displays to send a message of many different people ‘singing in harmony,’ so to speak. This would also send a pretty powerful message if there is one display of lots of religions and groups coming together…and look there’s the christian display, standing apart from all the others.


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