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Old 11-21-2012, 08:34 AM   #1935
trefoil's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: with a whiney cat
Posts: 2,315

Have you folks been following the uproar about the nativity scene displays in Santa Monica?

From what I've read, several Christian churches in the area have put up large nativity scenes for many years in a public park in Santa Monica. One year, an atheist also requests a spot, gets it, and puts up a sign regarding atheism. The next year, he organizes other atheists and, together, they get the majority of the spots. Then, the atheist signs are vandalized. Headaches for the city ensue. So, the city says, "Never mind. No spots will be made available to anyone this year." A group of the Christians (the atheists were not a part of the suit) sue the city because the city isn't willing to deal with the extra expense and headache that this has turned into. The judge agrees that the city has a right to not allow any groups to put their displays up.

The nativity scenes being allowed doesn't bother me; the city had a lottery system set-up to deal with requests for the spaces. On the other hand, I can see why the vandalism, the increase in request for the spaces, and the complaints caused the city to rethink making those spots available. Some people seem to believe that this is a "war on Christians," but everyone is being treated the same here. The atheists aren't allowed to put up their displays either.

Here's a few links (depending on your source preferences):
Nativity Scenes in Santa Monica Parks May be Thing of the Past | Fox News Latino
Santa Monica Nativity Scenes At Palisades Park Will Be No More, Rules Federal Judge
Judge denies bid for nativity scene in California town | Reuters
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