Santa Monica, CA – Atheists were successful in implementing a nativity scene ban for all unattended Christmas displays in local parks. Notice the “unattended” part. This is where Christian groups have found a loophole, allowing for the ban on all religious freedom to be overcome.
As reported by The Blaze, atheist groups have been battling the city government over the presence of Christian nativity displays that has endured as a 60 year tradition in Palisades park. It used to be that booths were set aside in the park for displays, with a city-sponsored lottery deciding who won the right to set up displays. Last year, atheists won two-thirds of the available booths and they used the opportunity to set up insulting messages targeted at Christians and all theists.
In an effort to stop the bickering that resulted, the Santa Monica city government decided to ban all nativity displays, an idea that only atheists mightily approved of. This decision was then upheld by a California Judge after Christian groups sued, asking that the tradition continue anyway.
This is where the loophole comes in. Santa Monica’s religious ban on nativity displays only applies to those which are “unattended.” However, there is no provision or ban on religious displays that are “attended” by live human beings. While the traditional nativity set will gather dust, Christian groups are hosting an event they call The Birth of Christ. The Birth of Freedom. The Santa Monica Nativity.
Reverend Patrick J. Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition says the acceptance of a live nativity display is “a major victory for religious freedom, the First Amendment and the public display of nativity scenes.”
“We are so thankful that a Nativity Display will be seen in Palisades Park for a 60th Consecutive year,” Mahoney said in a press release. “It is critical that the faith community did not allow the City of Santa Monica and the federal court to crush the First Amendment and religious freedom by banning a nativity display in Palisades Park.”
The faith leader encouraged Christians across America to “speak out with passion and courage” and to stand up for their free speech rights:
“By finding a way to creatively address this injustice, the powerful message of Christmas and religious freedom will continue to be heard and [seen] in Palisades Park.”
What do you think about the atheist’s nativity scene ban and the creative loophole that Christians have found in order to celebrate Christmas traditionally?