The Springfield Nativity Scene Committee (SNSC) will again erect a Nativity Scene that will stand in Illinois’ state Capitol Rotunda Building.
Opening day ceremonies regarding the Springfield Nativity Scene (SNS) will take place between 12 Noon and 1 P.M. on December 1st in the state Capitol Rotunda located at South 2nd Street & East Capitol Avenue in Springfield, Illinois. The public is invited to attend the event.
The Springfield Nativity Scene--which was originally underwritten by the Chicago-based Thomas More Society--is meant to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. This year the display is co-sponsored by Isringhausen Imports of Springfield and the Illinois Family Institute (IFI).
The SNSC’s Nativity Scene display is also an exercise of liberties guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Previous court rulings have upheld expressions of free speech, including demonstrations of faith, which are legal in the public square, as long as such religious displays are privately-funded.
"The right of private citizens to proclaim their religious faith and faith-based values in the public square was upheld in 1989 when Chief Judge James B. Parsons of the federal district court in Chicago held there could be no discrimination against religious expression on Daley Plaza in Chicago where, ever since, a Nativity Scene has been displayed annually," said Thomas Brejcha, legal counsel for the SNSC and President of the Chicago-based Thomas More Society. "As political speeches and rallies are commonplace at our State Capitol, free speech rights encompass religious speech on equal terms."
The Joyful Senior Singers & Ringers from Decatur’s Tabernacle Baptist Church will perform during the Noon hour event. Rev. Nancy Cahalan of the Grantfork United Church of Christ will give the invocation. Short speeches will be given by Daniel Zanoza, Chairman, SNSC; Thomas Brejcha; David Smith, Executive Director, IFI; and Beth Rogers, a Springfield resident and member of the SNSC.
“This year’s second annual Nativity Scene display is a celebration of Christmas, which is a federal holiday,” said Zanoza. “In recent years, there has been a clear and blatant attack on our rights to express faith in the public square. The SNS is not meant to be political in any way. The Nativity Scene standing in the Illinois state Capitol Building demonstrates religious liberty does not end at the doors of a public building, a school house or anywhere in the public square.”
The Nativity Scene will be on display from Dec. 1st through Christmas.
For more information on the SNS, contact:
Daniel Zanoza: (217) 314-0211
Thomas Brejcha: (312) 782-1680
Or e-mail the SNSC at: firstname.lastname@example.orgSpringfield Nativity Scene Committee
Thomas Brejcha, Esq.
Chicago-based Thomas More Society
Eunice Conn, Polo
Karl Fritz, Chicago
Pastor Dustin Fulton
Jefferson St. Christian Church
Daniel Gura, Lake Zurich
State Sen. Chris Lauzen, Aurora
acting as a private citizen
Beth Rogers, Springfield
Arlene Sawicki, South Barrington
David Smith, Illinois Family Institute
Julie Zanoza, Lincoln
Daniel T. Zanoza, Chairman