May 19, 2013
Judge Sides With Atheists, Rules City Can Ban Nativity Scenes
Posted on Nov 20, 2012
A federal judge Monday ruled that Santa Monica, Calif., may ban seasonal displays in parks and other public places, including the prominent Nativity scenes that are put up every holiday season in the city’s Palisades Park. The tentative ruling was a victory for atheists, who brought the lawsuit against the city.
“The atheists won on this,” said attorney William J. Becker Jr., who represented the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee. He added that the outcome marked “the erosion of First Amendment liberty for religious speech.”
Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, had a different take. “Religion is innately divisive and just doesn’t belong in public parks,” she said. “There are tax-exempt churches on every other corner. Why isn’t that good enough?”
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—Posted by Tracy Bloom.
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