Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Tuesday ordered that a nativity scene showing the nation’s founding fathers kneeling over a manger that held the Bill of Rights instead of baby Jesus be removed from the state Capitol, a local Fox affiliate reported.
The exhibit, which went up on Dec. 18, had permission to be in the Capitol through the holiday, according to KTBC. Sponsors of the exhibit included the Freedom from Religion Foundation and Democratic state Rep. Donna Howard.
But Abbott said in a letter to Texas’ Preservation Board that the agency had “no obligation to approve displays that purposefully mock the sincere religious beliefs of others.”
The governor added that the exhibit “does not educate” and instead “promotes ignorance and falsehood as it suggests that George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson worshipped the Bill of Rights in the place of Jesus,” according to KTBC.
Earlier this month, Abbott had urged one Texas city to keep up a nativity scene outside of its city hall. Fearing a legal battle, the City of Orange removed its nativity scene after an atheist group requested a “happy holidays” sign be hung next to it.