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Sat Dec 24, 2011, 10:53 PM

'Don't touch my manger,' says Texas town

The controversy, oddly, began more than a thousand miles north of Athens in Madison, Wisconsin, where the secular Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) is based. The FFRF had caught wind of complaints about the nativity scene from members of Athens’ community, and took it upon themselves to draft a letter requesting that local authorities have it removed from the front lawn of the county courthouse. They argued that placing religious symbols outside a government building excluded people of different backgrounds or faiths.
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We first received a phone call from an Athens resident, someone who isn’t a member of our organisation, who was looking for help. We saw a photo of the nativity and realised that it was standing alone on government property. It is against the law for the government to mount a display that focuses solely on religion. When we asked, the local authorities said it had been put up by a group, which signified to us that the land was being used as a public forum. We’re not saying destroy all nativity scenes, we’re just saying it doesn’t belong on government property, and if it does, that space needs to be opened up to different viewpoints.

We gave a banner to one of our complainants in Athens, but a banner doesn’t really cut it for balancing the visual of a nativity scene. So we’ve asked Henderson County to permit us to display what we call a ‘natural nativity’ on the grounds next year. Instead of a baby Jesus, there’s a black baby girl for equality. In the place of the wise men, there are truly wise historical figures such as Darwin, Einstein, Emma Goldman and Mark Twain.


http://observers.france24.com/content/20111221-usa-texan-town-manger-nativity-scene-christmas-athens-georgia-controversy-freedom-religion-foundation

What's funny is that Christian dominionists like Congressman Ted Poe (REPUKE) are crying "persecution":

http://poe.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8504&Itemid=

He's a flat out liar, they won't allow other displays to be put up, hence the lawsuit. (But then again, he's a Republican, so that's par for the course...)

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Reply 'Don't touch my manger,' says Texas town (Original post)
LAGC Dec 2011 OP
rug Dec 2011 #1
laconicsax Dec 2011 #2
skepticscott Dec 2011 #3

Response to LAGC (Original post)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 12:18 AM

1. If they think they have a case they should sue, not just issue a press release.

The Texas AG doesn't think they have a case.

https://www.oag.state.tx.us/oagNews/release.php?id=3944

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Response to rug (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 01:13 AM

2. Rick Perry's AG doesn't think that the FFRF has a case?

 

I'm shocked! Shocked!

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Response to rug (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 01:27 PM

3. Perhaps they feel that

publicly expressing their concerns about the illegal actions of a public, secular government was a more appropriate first step than simply getting lawyers and the already crowded courts involved. Maybe they thought that simply laying out the reasons why this was in violation of the law and a generally bad idea would have the people involved seeing sense, without the expenditure of huge amounts of time and money in litigation. Silly them.

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