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Atheists Demand End to Decades-Old Christmas Tradition — but Residents and Politicians Aren't Backing Down


"If people don't like the look of it I think they can look the other way, or don't look at all."

With Christmas just weeks away it's no surprise that annual battles over nativity displays are in full swing, with the latest "War on Christmas" clash emerging in Brookville, Indiana, where atheists are once again demanding that a creche on display for the past five decades be banned from public land.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist activist group, has reportedly threatened the community with a lawsuit over the past four years, claiming that the nativity's presence next to the Franklin County Courthouse is a First Amendment violation, according to WLWT-TV.

Commissioners, though, have been ignoring the atheist group's demands.

Image credit: WLWT-TV

Consider that in 2010, Franklin County commissioner Tom Wilson said that it would take a court order to get him to approve removing the decades-old manger scene, which is owned by the town, the Christian Post reported at the time.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation argued, though, that it is "unlawful for a government body to maintain, erect or host a holiday display that consists solely of a nativity scene, thus singling out, showing preference for and endorsing religion."

Officials haven't relented, though. Some residents, too, have no problem with the nativity's placement on public land.

"If people don't like the look of it I think they can look the other way, or don't look at all. It’s been a tradition here for many, many years and I hope it’s for many more years," Wayne Monroe, a local resident, told WLWT-TV. "I think we deserve the right to put up what the community wants and I don't think anybody else should tell us what to do."

Others apparently agree with this sentiment, as a candlelight walk is planned for December 15 at 5:30 p.m., when residents will come together to rally around the nativity. For now, the battle continues.

Read more about holiday battles raging in recent weeks here.


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