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-Santa Monica CA: Judge Rules Against 60 Year Nativity Tradition

by Dr. D ~ November 20th, 2012


And so the ‘war on Christmas’ 2012 begins.

For 60 years nativity scenes graced the Palisades Park in Santa Monica, California bringing folks from near and far to see the festive religious displays. However, on Monday a federal judge ruled that there was no longer any room in the park for the Baby Jesus and his parents.

The 60 year nativity tradition had become embroiled in a controversy between atheists who were trying to shut it down and churches who wanted to continue the Christmas displays. Last year, atheist groups had ‘stacked the deck’ in the lottery for the park display spots and ended up with 18 out of 21.

This year the Santa Monica City Council decided to shut it all down claiming that the costs had become too great. A coalition of 13 churches sued to keep it going but now it is all but over with the final bell ready to ring on December 3 when the judge renders the final ruling.  However with the ruling yesterday it is but a forgone conclusion that the 60 year tradition has come to an end and the atheists have won.

Here’s the LA Times article on the ruling yesterday: 

Santa Monica may bar Nativity scenes in public areas, judge rules

Response: Christians lose, atheists win and so the opening battle for the ‘war on Christmas’ 2012 begins. We will be covering most of the major stories of battles and assaults on religious freedom during this Christmas season just like we have in the past.

However this is not just a battle over freedom of religion but also over free speech. Will religious conversation of any type be allowed in public spaces in the future? That is where we are really headed. Many would like to put any kind of speech or displays with any kind of religious ties out of the public forums and assign them to be kept only within the four walls of a designated building code approved worship center. 

Yet to be determined- does the Constitution really support religious freedom like most have assumed for over 200 years or can the document be used to enforce a policy of ‘freedom against religion’ instead? Also, does the Constitution really support free speech or only that which is not somehow offensive to others?  And the battle goes on……               *Top

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