Yesterday the Humanists of Rhode Island (HRI) placed a 2’x5’ banner on the second floor of the RI State House celebrating the birth of Rhode Island’s founder Roger Williams and the separation of church and state. The banner is intended to be a counterpoint to the various and sundry religious displays now scattered throughout the State House, and to serve as a reminder that the government of the United States, and in particular the state of Rhode Island, is secular by nature and design.
“Roger Williams was a radical in his time, and a visionary,” says Steve Ahlquist, president of HRI, “He would have been appalled by the faux controversy being generated around the Christmas Tree/Holiday Tree debate and against any kind of holiday inspired religious displays currently on display in the State House. Rhode Island boasts the first government formed, anywhere in the world, that specifically protected freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. We should be proud of our heritage.”