By Ellyn Fortino, Communications Intern

The holidays are here. Have you thanked the First Amendment lately?

The Springfield Chapter of the ACLU of Illinois recently featured a display in the rotunda of the Illinois State Capitol celebrating the First Amendment. The rotunda is a classic example of an open public forum, allowing the display of competing views. Some religious groups are displaying a nativity scene in the rotunda, there is a menorah celebrating Hanukkah and even a "natural world" poster showcasing an atheist group.

The Springfield Chapter took advantage of the viewpoints shared in the public forum to celebrate the First Amendment. Because of the First Amendment, all these viewpoints are acceptable in a public space like the capitol rotunda.

We thank Springfield Chapter President Don Hanrahan and Julie Hubbard, who was responsible for the creation and organization of the display, for defending and celebrating the rights of all Americans to express their views freely this holiday season (and always!).

The inspiring display includes memorable quotes about the importance of the first amendment from religious leaders and presidents, as well as multiple cases where the ACLU has defended the freedom of religion.