Monday, December 3, 2012

Christians Find ‘Creative’ Loophole in Atheist-Inspired Santa Monica Nativity Ban & Secure Permit for ‘Live’ Display

For the past year, atheists and Christians have been battling over the presence of nativity displays in public parks in Santa Monica, California. In an effort to temper the bickering, the city inevitably implemented a ban on all religious speech in local parks, thus ending a nearly-60-year tradition of having a display in Palisades Park. Just when all hope for Christians who wished to see the nativity tradition continued was lost, local believers found a loophole — one that will allow them to, once again, host a nativity.

According to a press release, Santa Monica’s atheist-inspired ban on nativity displays only applies to those which are “unattended.” This essentially means that displays which are not “live” and involve figurines may not be utilized, however there is no provision or ban on religious displays that are “attended” (displays that involve human beings).

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition posted a press release in which he announced that a faith coalition in Santa Monica applied for a live nativity display — a request that was granted by the city. The news release calls the development in a case that seemed all but hopeless for local believers “a major victory for religious freedom, the First Amendment and the public display of nativity scenes.”


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