Skip to comments.City censors nativity scene but not menorah
Posted on 12/16/2003 3:59:12 AM PST by JohnHuang2
City censors nativity scene but not menorah
Residents sue officials who allow Jewish observance on public property
Posted: December 16, 2003
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2003 WorldNetDaily.com
Two residents of Palm Beach, Fla., filed suit against the city yesterday because officials there allow the display of Jewish menorahs on public property but do not allow Christian nativity scenes.
The Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center, a public-interest law firm, brought the suit on behalf of Maureen Donnell and Fern deNarvaez.
According to the law center, the suit demands the city immediately allow a nativity scene to be placed on city property, just as two menorah displays are currently permitted.
The suit claims for two years the city has refused to review requests to have a nativity scene placed alongside menorahs, a practice Thomas More claims demonstrates hostility toward Christians. The suit also alleges Palm Beach has deprived the plaintiffs of their right to freedom of speech and equal protection of the law guaranteed by the Constitution.
Plaintiff Maureen Donnell made four requests in October and November for the town to allow a privately financed display of a Chistmas nativity scene along with the menorahs. According to the law center, she received no response from city officials.
"It is not our intention to remove the menorahs, but to have a Christmas nativity scene equally displayed alongside the menorahs to acknowledge the celebration of Christmas," Donnell said in a statement. "The refusal to review my repeated requests is discriminatory and an insult to every Christian in this town."
Said Richard Thompson, chief counsel of the law center: "Christian residents of Palm Beach are being denied the right to express their religious message in a public forum that is open to other religious faiths, and the Thomas More Law Center has filed this lawsuit to stop this injustice. This is but another example of the national movement to remove Christ from Christmas."
The Law Center filed a similar lawsuit last year against the New York City public-school system whose written policy permits students to display the Jewish menorah and the Islamic star and crescent, but prohibits students from displaying nativity scenes. A ruling on that case is expected soon, the organization said.
"Only" is a bit overstated - Roy Moore denied inclusion for others who asked to put displays alongside his, for example. So the non-inclusiveness thing is not something unique to non-Christians. Be that as it may, it's clearly the right thing to do to allow this display along with the others.
(now where did I put that pole?)
Unless you happen to be one of the four billion people who aren't Jewish, Christian, or Muslim. BTW, the Catholic version of the Decalogue differs slightly from the Protestant version - guess which version Roy chose?
If you said "the version that comports with his personal beliefs," give yourself a prize ;)
...or an establisment of religion.
It became one the instant Roy Moore refused to allow others the freedom to express their own views in a similar manner. The state, in the form of Roy Moore, has no business restricting the public forum to one favored viewpoint.
A controversy over holiday decorations at a school in Montgomery County continues over the removal of a nativity scene where other holiday displays were allowed to remain.
There's a Christmas tree in the lobby of Horsham's Dorothea Simmons Elementary School, along with a Menorah and items representing Kwanzaa.
Around the corner, a holiday display is complete just in time for the school's first holiday concert in 12 years.
But there's a problem, because the decorations originally included a nativity scene.
A committee of parents showed it to the principal. She asked them to remove the nativity scene.
"I thought that it went over the top and overboard," said Principal Karen Davis. "I thought it was especially inappropriate for a public school."
Some parents don't agree, especially since the principal didn't change the Kwanzaa or Hanukkah sections.
"I don't see why it had to be taken down, if you are an atheist or whatever you are," said Carol Stevens. "It's a part of life, a part of history."
Davis said Kwanzaa isn't a religious holiday and the Menorah is much of a cultural symbol as it is a religious symbol.
"Judaism is not just a religion, it's a culture, also," Davis said. "I felt that the nativity scene was definitely promoting Christianity."
Dawn Reynolds's son attends the school and she agrees with the decision.
"It shouldn't necessarily be in the school if you don't go to a Catholic school," Reynolds said.
Officials said the school's superintendent will be meeting with parents to discuss their concerns and talk about what is the best way to represent all the different traditions during the holiday season.
Have a happy chanukwanzmas!
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