Christmas is fast approaching, and with the holiday season comes a barrage of attacks on religious expression. Specifically, in the past several years we have seen one of the most popular, beloved symbols of Christmas come under fire – the Nativity scene.
This year is no different. On November 19, a federal judge ruled that the city of Santa Monica is allowed to ban seasonal displays. This includes a Nativity scene that has been displayed in Palisades Park for approximately 60 years.
The controversy began three years ago when a member of the American Atheists, Damon Vix, was granted a booth in the park next to the longstanding Nativity display. According to the Christian Post, Vix then recruited other members of the atheist group to apply for additional spaces. The increase in permit requests led to the city implementing a random lottery system to hand out spaces. This meant the Nativity Committee had to cram their display into two spaces, as opposed to their previous 14. Ultimately, the city decided the process was too costly, and chose to eliminate the displays altogether. Although the Nativity Committee sought to reverse that decision, Monday’s ruling by the federal judge sides with the city.
This recent incident in Santa Monica is a frightening example of the lengths these atheist groups will go to eliminate public expression of faith. Liberty Institute is committed to helping cities and counties across America who are facing similar situations, and we are currently advising several counties that have already received baseless, threatening letters from groups like Freedom From Religion Foundation that demand the removal of public Nativity scenes.
Please continue to pray with us. Pray for our country and our attorneys as we work tirelessly to be one step ahead of these radical groups so we can educate and inform local governments about their true constitutional rights.
Also, please continue to financially support our mission. Every dollar you can give goes a long way in the defense of Americans’ religious freedom.
About Liberty Institute
Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our nation’s Founders. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.