The Sunday open line includes news that the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers is erecting a winter solstice display on the Capitol grounds for the sixth year.
The small structure depicts the science about the solstice and mythology that arose from the event.
The erection began this afternoon. It will include holiday lights and a garland and will remain up through the five-week holiday season, near the Christian creche that has been on display at the Capitol for a half-century. It took an ACLU lawsuit to give the Freethinkers equal access to the public grounds with the Christian display.
Said a release:
“We want to remind Arkansans that there are many reasons for this holiday season which predate Christianity,” declared David Bentley, President of the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers. “Many ancient cultures celebrated the return of the sun in the days immediately following the winter solstice. The ancient gods Horus, Osiris, Attis, and many others were celebrated by their followers as being born on December 25th”, said Bentley.
The Freethinkers also plan to participate in the Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday parse Dec. 6, which parades through downtown and ends at the Capitol in time for the Capitol lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. The solstice, by the way, will occur at 5:03 p.m. Dec. 21.