Christian Post recently reported on a disturbing situation in Santa Monica, CA, where a federal court upheld the city’s decision to bring an end to a Nativity scene in a local park. Though the tradition had lasted for almost six decades (59 years), the annual display fell victim to the conniving machinations of an active atheist group. Last year, the atheists overwhelmed the process used for obtaining space in the park by submitting numerous requests, all geared toward eating up space and blocking the Nativity scene.
This year, the city decided to save themselves the headache and foreclosed the process altogether.
This sad affair reminds us that the war on Christmas isn’t a figment of our collective imaginations (as some in the media suggest) – it wages on. The Center for Religious Expression (CRE) stands on the front lines of this war, ready to defend public expressions of the Christian faith, wherever the need may arise.
I recall another matter that happened several years ago in Bartlett, TN. There, a local church, Broadmoor Baptist, and their music director, Brandi Chambless, wanted to promote an upcoming Christmas program at the church by making use of a community shelf at the Bartlett public library. The shelf existed for anybody who wanted to advertise a local event. Brandi anticipated putting up a poster about the event, along with a nativity scene. The library director informed Brandi that they could use the shelf, space was available, but imposed a limitation on the presentation. The director said the poster was okay, the sheep, donkey, and cows could stay, but Joseph, Mary and especially baby Jesus HAD TO GO because of a policy that precluded items deemed “overtly religious.”
Brandi contacted us about the incident and we wrote a letter to Bartlett officials, demanding a policy change. Though resistant at first, the Bartlett Library eventually stood down, agreeing to let Broadmoor present the full nativity scene in the shelf.
To win a war we have to realize we’re in one. Broadmoor Baptist was able to prevent a Nativity scene from transforming into a barnyard by acknowledging the affront and then asking for help. During this Christmas season, remember, CRE is here is to help you as well.