Making Room for Baby Jesus in the Illinois Rotunda
Making Room for Baby Jesus in the Illinois Rotunda
Written By Monte Larrick   |   12.07.17

The Springfield Nativity Scene Committee (SNSC) recently held its annual opening day ceremony for their privately sponsored and funded display depicting the birth of Jesus Christ.  This display marks the 10th straight year that this display has had spot in the center of the State Capitol Rotunda, right next to the Governor’s “holiday tree.”

Tom Brejcha, Esq., founder and chief counsel of the Chicago-based Thomas More Society, a member of the SNSC and its legal counsel, explained the constitutional rights of private citizens to erect Nativity Scenes as a form of free speech and free exercise of religion in America’s “public square.”  Pastor Greg Wooten of Hope Chapel in Lincoln and Father Charles Edwards of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield also spoke during the opening ceremony.

The SNSC is encouraging those who would like to sing Christmas carols in the Illinois State Capitol Rotunda at the site of the Nativity Scene to contact Salli Chernis at the Secretary of State’s office, Dept. of Special Events, at (217) 782-8996 for permission to do so. Choirs and/or groups may perform on weekdays from 12 noon until 1 p.m. The Thomas More Society will provide free legal help, if any is needed, at (312) 782-1680, to any individual or group of private citizens interested in putting up a similar Nativity Scene — privately sponsored and funded — in any “traditional public forum” in their own town, village or hamlet in Illinois or elsewhere, whether it’s for this year (if time permits) or for next year.

IFI thanks Julie Zanoza, Beth Rogers and the entire SNSC for their dedication in this public witness and free exercise of religious speech in this very “public square” at the state capitol.

Become a Sustaining Partner of our Work

You can become a Sustaining Partner with automatic monthly deductions from your checking account or credit card. Click HERE to access the Sustaining Member form. Your gift will go even further than ever because:

  • Our paperwork will be reduced.
  • Our income will be more predictable, leading to improved cash management.
  • Our administrative costs will be reduced, putting your gift to work immediately.
  • It is simpler and saves time for you!

Monte Larrick
Larrick, an award winning broadcast journalist, retired from Moody Broadcasting in Chicago after more than 30 years of service. In 2014, he joined the IFI team to use his news gathering experience to help inform IFI supporters about issues that impact their lives. Mr. Larrick and his wife have been married 33 years and have two daughters. ...
IFI Featured Video
Every Child Deserves to be Loved
Get Our New App!