A “mock nativity” scene placed in the Texas State Capitol by the Freedom From Religion Foundation was removed Tuesday after Gov. Greg Abbott urged the State Preservation Board to take it down.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a statement he supported the order to remove it, stating it violated “the State Preservation Board’s regulations for Capitol displays and purposefully mocks the religious beliefs of others.”
The display shows Benjamin Franklin, the Statue of Liberty, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington around a manger containing the Bill of Rights.
“I believe this mocking exhibit was approved in error and the State Preservation Board is under no obligation to support or allow displays intentionally disrespectful to others,” Patrick said in his statement.
A sign next to the display said, “At this season of the Winter Solstice, we honor reason and the Bill of Rights (Adopted December 15, 1791). Keep State & Church Separate. Placed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation on behalf of its state members.”
According to KVUE’s news partner the Austin American-Statesman, Abbott complained in his letter to the Preservation Board that the “exhibit places the Bill of Rights in a manger and shows three founding fathers and the Statue of Liberty worshiping one of America’s founding documents as a replacement for Jesus Christ. This juvenile parody violates the Preservation Board’s regulations and should be removed immediately.”