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Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:41 PM

Santa Monica can ban Nativity scenes, judge rules

... n a closely watched case that has attracted national attention, Judge Audrey B. Collins denied a request from the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee to erect multiple large displays depicting the story of the birth of Jesus in the park overlooking the ocean. The coalition of churches has erected the displays every December since the 1950s.
But last year, after requests for display spots exceeded the space allotted, the city held a lottery to allocate spaces. Atheists won 18 of 21 spots. A Jewish group won another. The traditional Nativity story that used to take up 14 displays was crammed into two.

Controversy erupted, and as a result, the city decided the lottery would become increasingly costly. Last June, the City Council voted to ban all private unattended displays.

In October, Nativity scene proponents filed suit in federal court to allow the traditional Christian displays to continue. In a 27-page tentative ruling, Collins denied the group permission to erect their displays this year while the case is pending ...

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/11/santa-monica-can-ban-nativity-scenes-judge-rules-video-discussion.html

98 replies, 5352 views

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Reply Santa Monica can ban Nativity scenes, judge rules (Original post)
struggle4progress Nov 2012 OP
Cleita Nov 2012 #1
Starboard Tack Nov 2012 #2
skepticscott Nov 2012 #4
Cleita Nov 2012 #11
skepticscott Nov 2012 #13
Cleita Nov 2012 #14
Warren Stupidity Nov 2012 #16
Cleita Nov 2012 #17
Warren Stupidity Nov 2012 #20
skepticscott Nov 2012 #90
skepticscott Nov 2012 #21
skepticscott Nov 2012 #22
JimDandy Nov 2012 #61
Cleita Nov 2012 #64
Moonwalk Nov 2012 #8
Cleita Nov 2012 #9
Moonwalk Nov 2012 #19
Cleita Nov 2012 #23
skepticscott Nov 2012 #24
Cleita Nov 2012 #25
skepticscott Nov 2012 #26
Cleita Nov 2012 #47
skepticscott Nov 2012 #73
Cleita Nov 2012 #75
skepticscott Nov 2012 #89
Cleita Nov 2012 #91
skepticscott Nov 2012 #92
Cleita Nov 2012 #93
CBGLuthier Nov 2012 #55
Cleita Nov 2012 #58
CBGLuthier Nov 2012 #66
Cleita Nov 2012 #67
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #69
Cleita Nov 2012 #72
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #76
Cleita Nov 2012 #78
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #80
Cleita Nov 2012 #83
kestrel91316 Nov 2012 #62
Cleita Nov 2012 #65
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #77
Cleita Nov 2012 #79
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #81
Cleita Nov 2012 #84
trotsky Nov 2012 #97
kestrel91316 Nov 2012 #85
Cleita Nov 2012 #86
Goblinmonger Nov 2012 #28
Cleita Nov 2012 #31
Goblinmonger Nov 2012 #37
Cleita Nov 2012 #39
cbayer Nov 2012 #3
rrneck Nov 2012 #5
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #6
rrneck Nov 2012 #7
Cleita Nov 2012 #10
polichick Nov 2012 #12
Cleita Nov 2012 #15
polichick Nov 2012 #33
Cleita Nov 2012 #34
polichick Nov 2012 #35
Cleita Nov 2012 #36
polichick Nov 2012 #38
Cleita Nov 2012 #40
polichick Nov 2012 #42
Cleita Nov 2012 #44
kwassa Nov 2012 #70
Cleita Nov 2012 #71
Cleita Nov 2012 #74
kwassa Nov 2012 #94
Cleita Nov 2012 #95
onager Nov 2012 #18
edhopper Nov 2012 #27
Cleita Nov 2012 #32
trotsky Nov 2012 #41
Cleita Nov 2012 #43
trotsky Nov 2012 #45
Cleita Nov 2012 #46
trotsky Nov 2012 #51
Cleita Nov 2012 #53
trotsky Nov 2012 #60
Cleita Nov 2012 #63
trotsky Nov 2012 #96
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #98
Taverner Nov 2012 #29
Cleita Nov 2012 #48
Taverner Nov 2012 #49
Cleita Nov 2012 #52
Taverner Nov 2012 #54
Cleita Nov 2012 #57
sdfernando Nov 2012 #59
Cleita Nov 2012 #68
hrmjustin Nov 2012 #30
Taverner Nov 2012 #50
regnaD kciN Nov 2012 #56
doc03 Nov 2012 #82
Cleita Nov 2012 #87
doc03 Nov 2012 #88

Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:46 PM

1. Are they at this again?

I'm not a religious person but, as a once thirty year resident of Santa Monica, those nativity scenes have been part of the Santa Monica landscape every Christmas since I can remember. Really, it's just a tradition. I wish they would give it a rest. Don't Atheists and Jews have other holidays to put their displays up? Maybe the Wiccans have a claim to compete with the Christians, but surely no one else does.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:53 PM

2. The ban was against everyone. I guess the party poopers win again.

Such silliness.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:17 PM

4. Yeah, darn those party poopers

who think that the Constitution should be enforced.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:55 PM

11. Then why aren't they working for getting the religious right out of our government

especially women's uteruses instead of worrying about some paper mache crap that goes up once a year?

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Response to Cleita (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:32 PM

13. Who's "they"?

The City Council that banned nativity displays, or the religious group that filed suit against them? If that "paper mache crap" is so inconsequential, why are those people fighting so hard and wasting so many dollars and court hours on it?

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:36 PM

14. The people that started this to begin with.

It wasn't the City Council. They are reacting to this whole BS from the pressures they received from special interest groups. It's been going on for forty years. The fact is those displays have been up for sixty years that I can remember. Why are they any different than the Christmas decorations on the Third Street Mall? Since they are also close to the business district, it's really something the merchants once started a hundred years ago to get people in the holiday season mood and do some shopping and not anything really to do with religion and church and state issues.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:56 PM

16. Actually the atheists and Jews were fine with the lottery system.

It was the Christians who were upset about the sharing and the city council that petulantly banned the whole thing.

It seems that Christians think they should be treated with special rules just for them.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:06 PM

17. This started with an anti-Christian group. I was living there when it first came up. The display had

already been put up for decades before then. Up until then no one had objected. I'm sure the objections have gone through a thousand permutations in the twenty years since I have lived there. Since the Christmas holiday was the one being celebrated to begin with, I don't understand what dog the atheists have in this fight. I might agree that the Jews can put up Hanukkah displays if they want to, but why does it have to be instead of? Frankly, I don't really care. I have always considered the whole affair silly and childish so I'm just putting in my two-cents of disgust.

Maybe a new display should go up with Mary and Joseph lighting menorahs and the baby Jesus playing with a draydel. They were Jewish after all. There can be an atheist shouting at the Holy Family to get off his lawn from the side. I'm out of here!

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Response to Cleita (Reply #17)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:52 PM

20. So you're Otta here? Or more exactly incapable of coming up with

any sensible rational defense for why one religion should be given exclusive access to public space.

Oh, perhaps the jews, but not those nasty atheists.

Nativity scenes can be displayed to the exclusion of any other form of religious expression, but not on public land. To establish a special right for one religion would be a direct and obvious violation of that pesky establishment clause.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #20)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:40 PM

90. Guess she's not

as outta here as she pretended...

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Response to Cleita (Reply #17)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:40 PM

21. As already explained

the "dog" that atheists and any other sensible people have in the fight is the Constitution. Specifically, the part that prevents governments from supporting or promoting religious dogma, which is what a nativity scene represents. Sorry if the law is such a pain in the ass for you, but there it is.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:42 PM

22. Oh, you're blaming the atheists?

Who were just fine with everyone having an equal shot at displaying their point of view? Rather than the Xstians and their government lapdogs who were happy to pay lip service to "fair and balanced" until it went against them and their hypocrisy was exposed?

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Response to Cleita (Reply #14)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:22 PM

61. Private vs Public lands

"Why are they any different than the Christmas decorations on the Third Street Mall?"

The mall is privately owned and the park is publically owned and therefore protected under the constitution from the promotion of religion.

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Response to JimDandy (Reply #61)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:51 PM

64. The Third Street Mall. My bad. I meant the Third Street Promenade that is city owned.

There is a Third Street Mall at the end of the Promenade. They all sport Christmas decorations.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:44 PM

8. As an equally long resident of S.M. I am so GLAD they finally did away with those sucky, awful---

...stupid, obnoxious, ugly dioramas that block EVERYONE's view of the ocean to no purpose other than to proselytize ONE religion over all others. Do the S.M. Islamics get to put up displays in the park for Ramadan? No? Why not? Do the Hindus get to put them up for Diwali? No? Why not? Do the Jews get to put up any to tell the story of Passover? No? Why not?

I'm sorry, but either everyone gets their chance to preach their story with dioramas and signs and ads that block the view whenever they want or no one gets to. Fair is fair. And tradition isn't a good enough excuse, especially when the tradition involves fifty-year old mannikins in ugly settings. Put up renaissance paintings if you want to go that way. At least they're pretty. I mean, seriously. Are you going to say that THIS:



was what you liked looking at every December rather than this:



Which is one of the views what that chicken-wire monstrosity obscured? And yeah, you bet I've strong feelings about this. I've been in S.M. longer than you and EVERY FRIGGIN YEAR I've hated having those things in MY park for the better part of a month for no better reason than "tradition" and the power of the Christian churches who put up those things. Churches that don't pay a dime in property taxes--like I do--to maintain that park! Why did they get to create that tradition for this city? Was a vote taken?

And speaking of which--who's stopping these people from putting up all the dioramas they want--ugly as they want, in any and every church parking lot or Christian school playground that they can get their hands on? Let some good Christian donate a nice area where they can be put up, and visitors can stroll on by, gazing at them and learning the whole story of Jesus' birth; there's no reason for Christians to be deprived of them...any more than there's any reason to force them on the rest of us who would much rather gaze at "God's" beautiful beaches. This decision is a Win-Win to my mind--and I am cheering it from the rooftops.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:52 PM

9. Hyperbole much? They aren't big enough to block a view of the ocean.

Your last picture was taken from a high rise apartment building window, not the Palisades Park where the displays go.
Renaissance paintings would be nice but people like you would object to them anyway because of the religious content. I'm so glad I don't live there anymore. With real problems of homelessness, over development and ocean pollution facing the city, you residents would rather focus on this.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:51 PM

19. Hyperbole much yourself? Like taking care of this problem stopped anyone...

...from dealing with real problems like homelessness, over-development and ocean pollution ALL of which we ARE dealing with and taking care of right now. You may not be able to walk and chew gum at the same time, but those of us who still live here can and do. There's no reason we can't deal with getting rid of sucky, ugly, useless, pointless traditions while also taking care of the more important stuff.

You want to argue that the tradition should have been left in place, go argue that. But don't give me a false dichotomy and say it proves anything other than that you're as hyperbolic as you seem to think I am.

And yes, the view of the beach is not one taken from the ground floor of the park. Here you go. This one is special, just for you, right from Palisades Park.



Still want to look at this as you drive by the park:

?4

...instead of that gorgeous sunset over ocean waters?

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:04 PM

23. For a few weeks out of the year, yes.

It's traditional Santa Monica and just because a bunch of yuppies moved into Santa Monica in the 80s displacing many of the working class residents, who liked the Christmas display, doesn't mean they have to accept that they now want them gone.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #23)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:28 PM

24. Well, and slavery used to be traditional New Orleans

Just because something's been done for a long time doesn't mean it's ever been right or that it should automatically continue.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #24)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:00 AM

25. Nice straw man.

No one is victimized by paper mache.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #25)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:19 AM

26. Not the point

Do you need the point explained to you, or are you the only one who didn't get it?

And no one is victimized by lack of paper mache either, by your logic. But there doesn't need to be a "victim" for there to be a violation of the law.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #26)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:22 PM

47. Yes, here we have the legal vs. moral argument.

If it's legal e.g. vulture capitalism, then it's okay no matter the number of victims. If it's harmless like smoking MJ in your own house and there are no victims, it's a violation of law. Please explain to me how this logic solves everything?

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Response to Cleita (Reply #47)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:04 PM

73. The people who wrote the Constitution knew

that government promotion or endorsement of religion has the potential for great harm. That's why they wrote the law to keep them as separate as possible.

And no one here has said that just because something is legal, then it has to be okay. No one is using that logic or claiming that it solves everything. That's just something you made up to try to bolster a failed argument.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #73)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:07 PM

75. Just a note. I'm not trying to bolster anything or even argue.

I am presenting my thoughts and my point of view. It's you who is trying to justify your POV which I pointed out the error of your position.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #75)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:39 PM

89. Yes, you are

You're making an argument that your point of view is correct, and that everyone else's is wrong. And it's been pointed out over and over why that's not the case, and every time you come back with something even sillier. If you don't get it, you're the only one.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #89)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:41 PM

91. Whatever you say scott.

Have a nice life and don't let silly people get in your way.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #91)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:43 PM

92. As noted

every time you come back with something sillier. Any time you'd like to discuss the substance of the Constitution, or anything I've said, feel free, but please don't waste my time with pap.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #92)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:54 PM

93. Sure, but in a message board you waste your own time with pap.

You can always ignore my posts or anyone else's that don't meet your standards, and move on to those that are more agreeable to you.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #23)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:47 PM

55. yuppies < working class??

Displaced residents? The great diaspora of Santa Monica. Oh the humanity.

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #55)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:58 PM

58. Yep, it happened and to deny it for political correctness is to deny

facts and history. Except now the working class is living on the streets.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #58)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:54 PM

66. The working class are living on the streets BECAUSE the yuppies took their houses?

And these yuppies do not work for a living? 150 years ago nobody lived where I live except indians and they only lived here because they were forced to move here. Neighborhoods and cultures change. Get used to it.

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #66)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:00 PM

67. I got used to it. I moved out.

I saw too many good people lose their apartments, that they had lived in for decades, to greed. I saw most single family home neighborhoods turned into crowded multiple units and then I saw high rises come along the beach further crowding the city making street parking practically a contact sport. Then I saw the fireworks at the beach banned. I saw thousands of homeless arrive where once there were none except for some beach bums, who usually had a place to crash anyway. I left because the city I had called home no longer welcomed me because I wasn't rich enough for it. I personally don't care anymore. I just though I would interject how a long time once Santa Monican felt about the city. I guess taking away the creches finishes the deal. I hope all you yuppies enjoy the little Hell you created.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #67)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:42 PM

69. "I hope all you yuppies enjoy the little Hell you created." Come on, you are better than this.

You do realize that your argument is exactly the same as the white, racist, rightwing argument about black and latinos, and "the way things used to be", right? You are unable to accept that times and demographics have changed and that the world is moving on, with or without you. Lashing out at those you deem responsible for "creating a little hell" that only exists in your mind simply betrays your feelings of loss of privilege.

You seem to overlook the fact that is was a christian group that sued the city because they were not getting what they wanted, which was priority for their religious POV over everyone else. They lost, and as Liberals/Progressives these are exactly the type of victories we are supposed to be celebrating, because this decision upholds our ideals that say we all get equal treatment, even if it means changing or losing a tradition that you feel is important.

If it treats us all fairly and equally, aren't we supposed to be applauding that?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #69)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:46 PM

72. Okay, look at this little webpage about activities for Christmas in

Santa Monica:

http://www.santamonica.com/holiday-events/

Some of the events are in private venues but a couple of them are street events on public streets celebrating a Christian Holy Day. Now why isn't there a snit about this? Why? Because, there is profit in it. The webpage is there to lure tourists to spend money in getting there and in hotels.

Also, about your white, racist accusation. We always embraced diversity in Santa Monica and I never lived in a neighborhood that was white people only. We even liked the Yuppies at first. They brought some class and better restaurants. However, when our rents started tripling, we fought for rent control and got it. Then the nastiness began. My landlord said we should move to the Valley if we couldn't afford to live there anymore. They had no problem uprooting people's lives for profit. He didn't even need the money. He and his ilk were doing fine before the real estate boom that many got even richer from on the backs of poor people. I had many acquaintances who became homeless. So I'm sorry if I'm not accepting the times. It's this type of BS that has brought this country to the brink of being less than a third world country in just a couple of generations.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #72)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:08 PM

76. Intentionally or unintentionally, you mischarachterized what I stated.

I never accused you of being racist. Please go back and re-read what I wrote. It was an analogy that showed your argument to be based on the loss of privilege.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #76)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:11 PM

78. I did understand what you said and thank you for putting a phrase to it,

"loss of privilege". It's not that at all. What happened is that we were asked to step aside when another class of people moved in and took over what was ours. There was no privilege here but a life style, a place and a community that we were part of. But when the new bourgeoisie moved in, they essentially evicted us. It was not a loss of privilege but a loss of home and community.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #78)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:18 PM

80. "when another class of people moved in and took over what was ours."

I understand your sentiment, but cannot agree with how you are expressing it.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #80)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:41 PM

83. I wish had the words to express, but then I would be a writer and

maybe paid for it.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #8)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:35 PM

62. +1 000 000 000

Let the churches put their religious displays on THEIR OWN PROPERTY.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #62)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:53 PM

65. They do. This is a traditional thing that has gone on for decades. It hurts no

one anymore than Christmas decorations in every business district of every town across the USA does.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #65)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:10 PM

77. *Sigh*

Even though the reason for the decision has been presented to you in multiple posts and in multiple ways, you continue to choose to ignore the reality of the situation and instead whine about the loss of christian privilege.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #77)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:15 PM

79. If you don't know what privilege means then I can't show you what happened.

I never had privilege and don't even today. I have needs and mostly they are met, but there was no privilege to give up and I'm not a Christian.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #79)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:20 PM

81. I think I see where the confusion lies.

You are equating the loss of the nativity scene to the loss the the Santa Monica you once knew and loved.

While I understand your sorrow about losing what you saw as utopia (for you), the loss of a nativity scene is not the same, IMO.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #81)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:44 PM

84. It maybe is the symbol.

Losing symbols may be more awful than you think. It's typical of invaders or colonizers. They want to wipe away whatever connection a conquered people had to its past. Thanks again for putting a "face" on it.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #84)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:16 AM

97. WTF?!?

You have the nerve to compare the Christian majority in the US to the people that actually WERE invaded/colonized by Christians? Those poor privileged Christians in Santa Monica losing their "right" to put up religious displays on government property is comparable to when European Christian invaders/settlers destroyed indigenous people and culture?

That's putrid and disgusting. I cannot believe you would make such a comparison.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #65)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:58 PM

85. Business districts consist of lots of PRIVATE property. Government

property is NOT private property.

If they want Christmas displays on government property then they MUST allow all other religious displays without discrimination, which you and I both know is never going to happen.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #85)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:15 PM

86. Well, Christmas displays are being allowed on government property

within blocks of this debacle. http://www.santamonica.com/holiday-events/

I sort of see a menorah lighting ceremony among the holiday activities. I have no objection to other religious displays. If it's in a park and if they get a permit, I see no reason to object unless they are being hateful. The Christmas story isn't hateful.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:33 AM

28. Yeah, fucking atheists

who do they think they are with their fancy first amendment rights claims.

Fucking bastards.

for the impaired.

That post is chock full of some serious privilege.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #28)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:25 PM

31. If they are going to get all pissed about First Amendments church and state separation, there

is so much more for them to get pissed about especially in Santa Monica where some of the churches have way too much influence in City Hall. A seasonal display of paper mache figures telling a story is really small potatoes by comparison.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #31)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:45 PM

37. Certainly pissed them off, though, didn't it.

So it would seem that the churches there see this as a big deal.

Not to mention that it is getting visibility elsewhere.

Of course with fellow progressives like yourself spouting off that it is stupid and the damn atheists should just shut up, it makes it kind of hard to use this visibility to make a difference.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #37)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:56 PM

39. I left SM twenty years ago when this first started becoming an issue.

I'm glad I'm gone because of this BS and many other things. The Santa Monica, the small working class beach town, which was supported mostly by Douglas aircraft that I had settled down in is no more. It slowly started becoming the have and have nots place it is today, once McDonald/Douglas closed up shop and the freeway brought in all the yuppies and vulture entrepreneurs. There were still enough of us old-timers living there to bring in rent control in the 1980s when all the real estate entrepreneurial vultures moved in making living space unaffordable.

You know that the mob moved in in the 1930's to run underground gambling operations on the beach front and had a big influence on the City Council up until then. One of my neighbors was the widow of one of the mob bosses and she gave me an earful about it. However, even with mob control they actually ran the town pretty well. They kept the beaches low in crime, except for them and they made sure the public places were taken care of.

This issue of the creches is just a distraction and that's the way the billionaire asses who run things now like it.

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:01 PM

3. I think it's for the best. The whole fiasco last year was pretty silly,

particularly in a city as progressive as Santa Monica.

Most people simply don't care.

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:24 PM

5. Churches own boatloads of property for nativity scenes. nt

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Response to rrneck (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:27 PM

6. I'd assume lots of private individuals have lawns and windows, too, if displays matter to them

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:29 PM

7. Absolutely. nt

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:53 PM

10. Not in Santa Monica unless you live north of Montana. n/t

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:17 PM

12. Well, why block everyone's view of the ocean anyway...

Palisades Park is probably my favorite park in the whole country - beautiful!

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Response to polichick (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:39 PM

15. They aren't blocking anything. They aren't big enough and they face Ocean Avenue not the beach.

You can walk on the park paths and get all the unblocked views of the ocean there. Also, if I remember correctly the trees in the park pretty much block the view of the ocean anyway from the street side.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #15)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:28 PM

33. You can always see between the trees...

Last week I took some great shots of the ocean framed by trees.

Guess I just see all that holiday stuff as an eyesore.

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Response to polichick (Reply #33)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:38 PM

34. My view seems a bit unpopular here, but I really think

it was just a little dressing up of the park for the Christmas season. Before they built the 10 freeway and all the yuppies moved in, the mostly working class residents of Santa Monica enjoyed taking their children to see the displays as well as go shopping on Third Street, the business district that was close by. No one took it seriously, nor did they feel Christians were taking over. Just because it was a public park is irrelevant. As a public park it also belongs to the Christian segment of the population. It was a real downtown and yes, most of the decorations were either Christian or payed homage to Santa Claus.

How would you feel if your favorite holiday celebration was turned into a war zone over paper mache figures after an influx of immigrants who moved in from elsewhere decided they didn't like it?

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Response to Cleita (Reply #34)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:40 PM

35. Sorry, I was raised Christian but I'm as sick of them as I am of...

...every other in-your-face religious group. Keep it at church.

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Response to polichick (Reply #35)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:44 PM

36. Me too and I have no use for dogma, but

I like stories and the Christmas story is one of those myths that make you feel good. I also like Greek and Celtic mythology and if someone wanted to put up a display of "Lord of the Rings" in the park for a few weeks, I would be okay with it, but it is based on the pagan European religions before Christianity and much of the Christian celebration of Christmas is pagan.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #36)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:46 PM

38. I enjoy the stories too, of all cultures and religions, but...

...to me it seems best to keep religion out of public parks.

I wish the churches would worry more about the homeless who live in that park and less about decorations.

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Response to polichick (Reply #38)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:59 PM

40. They do worry about the homeless but they are overwhelmed with it in Santa Monica.

They used to serve free lunches for the homeless and elderly seniors on the lawn at City Hall, but the usual suspects complained about it for the same reason, using a public lawn by religious groups, blah, blah and they had to stop.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #40)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:07 PM

42. When the power went out in NYC with Hurricane Sandy...

...many churches served meals for neighborhood people right in their buildings.

Hopefully some of the Santa Monica churches serve food to the homeless in their fellowship halls - doesn't have to be in parks or on lawns. Easier to stay close to the kitchen anyway.

When religious groups insist on public spaces, there's almost always proselytizing involved.

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Response to polichick (Reply #42)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:33 PM

44. The reason this public space was chosen is that it (City Hall)

was within walking distance of those people who needed the free lunches most. The City Hall managers had agreed. The church halls you are speaking of seem to always be in more affluent neighborhoods and the residents don't want a bunch of ragged, poor looking people walking about their neighborhoods. That's why.

The ideal situation would be for the government to run such programs, but the Libertarian, Republican boot strap people don't like that either. Incidentally "The Rand Corporation" is in the same area and their parking lot would serve the same purpose if they would allow the lunches to be served there. We don't seem to have an amendment about the separation of Corporation and State in the Constitutions although I would like one. However, good luck getting them to donate the space for a few hours a day.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #44)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:25 PM

70. I used to help feed the homeless in Santa Monica at City Hall as part of a church group.

Late 80s, early 90s.

We were doing it amidst the TV trucks stationed all around it for the second OJ trial. Very surreal.

I don't recall ever seeing the displays in Palisades Park, but I rarely went there in the winter. In warm weather, my easy access to the beach was to park in the cheap city parking garages and walk through the park at Arizona and take the pedestrian bridge over the PCH. Much, much cheaper than the beach lots themselves.

I moved to the east coast in '95. Santa Monica was pretty sleepy when I first came there in '79, 3rd Street was dead, the Santa Monica Mall was a hole in the ground at that point. I also remember taking classes for fun at Santa Monica College for $2.50, the registration fee, back before Prop 13 ruined everything. Some very good courses.

edit to add: my first apartment was off of South Main, not far from Venice, before it gentrified and became full of fancy businesses. I used to go to that high-class bar, the Oar House. what a place!

I still miss the beaches, though.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #70)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:34 PM

71. Yes, it had a lot going for it.

Third street died for awhile and came back with expensive restaurants mostly. Before that. Before they paved it, it was a nice little downtown with Penney's, Newberry's, little mom and pop dress shops, shoe stores and other retail type stores that sell stuff you can only find in a Target or Wal-Mart these days. I also went to the community college for practically nothing taking many courses at night over the years. The classes were like the ones taught at UCLA and you could count them for credit if you ever decided to go to UCLA. I left in 1992 when my husband retired. We could see with what was going on that it was no place for retirees on a fixed income.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #70)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:05 PM

74. Just another note about the Oar House.

I was working behind the bar at McGinty's Irish Pub. We often had off-duty cops there during the day. Back in the seventies the place burned down. My off-duty cops celebrated in my bar the next day because they said it freed four squad cars every night. They were exaggerating, I'm sure. The Oar House was rebuilt as you know. It was a fun place. Some of my friends worked there for a time. They made good tips, but it was a hard gig.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #74)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:54 PM

94. I've been to McGinty's

and a friend of mine worked there sometime in the late '80s. An English guy named Peter, and I forget his last name.

I also remember 3rd Street the way you describe it, though I also remember empty storefronts there, too. The other thing I miss about LA is the food, with all the mom-and-pop Mexican restaurants. I later lived near Wilshire and Labrea, though all my friends and social happenings were on the westside and I still spent lots of time in Santa Monica.

Los Angeles has great cheap ethnic restaurants of all varieties.

and I remember the King's Head, the Mucky Duck, and Tommy's chili burgers. A good Thai place and a good Mexican place near Ocean.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #94)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:38 AM

95. All gone probably now.

I'll bet you never went to the Brigadoon. It was across the road from the original Mucky Duck, not the latter one. I worked there too. It was a great hangout for Kiwis, Aussies and Pacific Islanders.

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 08:28 PM

18. Damn. Even Fox News managed to report this part...

...along with USA Today and other many other sources:

Most of the (atheist) signs were vandalized and in the ensuing uproar, the city effectively ended a tradition that began in 1953...

So, to summarize...

1. From 1953-2010, Xian churches put up 14 sectarian Xmas displays in Palisades Park, which is public property.

2. In 2011, after citizen complaints, the city held a lottery to decide who could put up Xmas displays.

3. The Xians only won 3 spaces in that lottery. For those keeping score, the Jews won 1 space - presumably sans any Baby Jesi or his suspiciously impregnated Mom.

4. Some of the sore losers, i.e. Xians, then vandalized some of the atheist displays.

5. After this display of good neighborliness and turning the other cheek etc., the city decided the whole Public Baby Jesus foofaraw was too much hassle and banned ALL displays.

6. The Santa Monica Nativity Scene Committee then filed suit against the city of Santa Monica, demanding that the city put Baby Jesus back in the public park.

Note that no uppity atheists are even a party to this lawsuit. It's strictly between the city of Santa Monica and the Christophiles.

Quoth the head of the Nativity Commitee, Hunter Jameson:

"It's a sad, sad commentary on the attitudes of the day that a nearly 60-year-old Christmas tradition is now having to hunt for a home, something like our savior had to hunt for a place to be born because the world was not interested," said Hunter Jameson, head of the nonprofit Santa Monica Nativity Scene Committee that is suing.

Hunt for a home? Well, how about displaying the Nativity scenes on church, not public, property?

Over at churchangel.com, I count no less than 53 churches in the city of Santa Monica. What, NONE of them has room for a Nativity scene?

Another good quote: "The atheists won." said William Becker, attorney for the Nativity group. He then went on to compare the city to Pontius Pilate, the judge at Jesus' trial, saying: "It's a shame about Christmas. Pontius Pilate was exactly the same kind of administrator."

ROFL! Well, I'm sure a little name-calling will impress his legal opponents - the city. And make them even more likely to negotiate.

And for the record, Pontius Pilate was an excellent administrator. Even Flavius Josephus admits that, and Pilate is just about the second-most hated person in his writings (right after Herod The Great).

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:27 AM

27. Good riddance

Longevity of something wrong doesn't make it right.
Tradition is not a good rational in and of itself.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #27)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:26 PM

32. It's a tradition that harms no one. It would be different if there were live

crucifixions at Easter. Now that would be hurting someone.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #32)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:03 PM

41. But it's still using public resources to promote a religion.

Doesn't really matter if it's a tradition - it's been an illegal tradition. Most likely, those who opposed it in the past were silent for fear of community repercussions - vicious backlash from folks like yourself who are angry that their tradition of using governmental resources to promote their religion is being disrupted. Those with power and majority status tend to act just like this when their privilege is threatened.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #41)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:29 PM

43. How are they promoting religion? They are telling a story that could

have happened, but not necessarily happened. The trouble with government resources is that they belong to the people and unless something has changed in the definition of people, many of them happen to be Christians. This is an argument that shouldn't be happening among rational people. It's how religious wars start over territory. Let me bring you the Crusades and today's conflicts in the Middle East. If the parties involved had just figured out that each religion has a right to let's say do their own form of worship on the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, I think we would have a different history today.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #43)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:56 PM

45. If you are seriously going to argue that a creche doesn't promote Christianity...

then I am afraid there isn't much point in discussing anything with you further. And there are a number of court decisions that you'll need to correct.

We do agree that this argument shouldn't be happening among rational people. State promotion of religion is not allowed by our Constitution. It should never have happened in the first place.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #45)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:19 PM

46. Since religion was not promoted by the creches in the decades before there was

a big brouhaha about it, why would they be promoting it now? My family and I used to walk to view them. There were sometimes Christmas carolers in the area walking around and singing. No one ever came up and handed me a pamphlet, preached to me or invited me to their Church, no one, not even the usual guys who often did this on street corners any day of the year. I suppose no one should listen to carols now during the season? There is no state religion and so don't create this straw man. No city official is in the park stating that this is the state religion, so bow to the Christmas display. No one!

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Response to Cleita (Reply #46)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:38 PM

51. Actually, that's the point. It *was* being promoted from the very first time one was put up.

Public land was used to put up a religious display. It has NOTHING to do with someone handing you a pamphlet or doing any other kind of proselytizing. Government resources were used to promote religion. That's unconstitutional. Period.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #51)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:45 PM

53. But as part of the commons, we are allowed to do things by permit on public lands.

Since we the people come in all kinds of religions and affiliations we do have a right to use our share of the commons for public displays and we should have a permit to do it. If they are doing it without a permit, this is the only thing that should be objectionable. By your logic, Occupy and other special interest groups would not be legally able to use parks and other public places for their gatherings and programs.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #53)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:08 PM

60. Of course you're allowed to do things.

You aren't allowed to use government resources to promote religion. Is the Occupy movement a religious one? No.

This really isn't difficult - and you're grasping at straws now trying to defend Christian privilege.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #60)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:50 PM

63. So what about the Aryan Nation when they have a march through

downtown, Coeur d' Alene, Idaho in their Nazi inspired uniforms? They get a permit. They are allowed to do it as an expression of free speech. Although the residents hate it, they respect their right to do so, and they are a church. What do you think their rights are as compared to the Santa Monicans who want to display their creches?

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Response to Cleita (Reply #63)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:29 AM

96. Did you ever study this Supreme Court case in school?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Party_of_America_v._Village_of_Skokie

On edit: If you honestly can't see the difference between setting up explicitly religious displays on governmental property and this, I don't think you should be trying to participate in this discussion.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #53)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:03 PM

98. They WERE allowed to put it up! And other groups were too! So many that they started a lottery..

system to allow a few displays. When the Christian group failed to secure any lottery spots (because there were so many other groups that applied for a spot) they, the Christian group, SUED!

You seem to be missing the point here. The city was trying to find a way to accommodate EVERYONE, but it was the Christian group in this mess that "created this little hell" (your words).

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:06 PM

29. Good.

 

I missed that part in the Constitution where they call our country a Christian Nation

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Response to Taverner (Reply #29)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:24 PM

48. I also missed the part where Christians are excluded from the nation,

or Jews, or Muslims or Scientologists or Mormons and I could go on and on. If anything if there is a state religion here in America, it should be called Intolerance as this thread and our recent election have demonstrated.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #48)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:36 PM

49. Some of us have families you know...

 

And we don't want our kids exposed to religious propaganda

Hell, every time we put up a billboard, Christians shreik "THEY ARE ASSAULTING MY LIBERTIES!!" yet you guys seem free to decorate the whole world with your propaganda.

I have small kids - - and they aren't ready to learn the horrors of modern religion yet

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Response to Taverner (Reply #49)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:41 PM

52. I'm with you. They shouldn't do that to you.

You have a right to fight back and make your religion or lack of it have civil rights too. I don't think you need to expose your kids to any religion you don't want them to be exposed to. You don't have to go to the park while the display is up. Actually, that is the best way to make it go the way of the Dodo, ignoring it until everyone loses interest. Actually, that was almost happening. The creches were getting shabby and untended and needing some paint. They probably would have been packed away for good in a few years, if people hadn't fired up the controversy.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #52)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:45 PM

54. I also don't want to de-convert anyone either

 

I went through my "Angry Atheist" phase already, and I realize religion has nothing to do with how good or bad a person is. Ted Bundy was a Christian, John Lennon was an Atheist. Martin Luther King was a Christian, Josef Stalin was an Atheist.

My son is just now starting to get kids saying they will "pray for him." Kids shouldn't have to answer questions about religion at that age!

And the bible can get pretty gory at times too...

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Response to Taverner (Reply #54)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:57 PM

57. Yes, and I find the Bible no different than most mythology. It all has

its gore and sex. The Greek and Mayan myths come to mind. I think the gracious thing for your kids to say to those kids is that they will keep them in their thoughts too. This is what I say to people who want to pray for me. It keeps it civil and it ends the conversation. I was recently asked by a person I do business with why I don't go to church. I simply replied that I am spiritual (this can mean anything) but I don't attend any church because I don't feel a need to be public about it. It's a very private matter for me and really it is.

Also, kids will get religious ideas through their friends anyway. I was raised Catholic and I had Jewish and evangelical Baptist friends. We used to compare our religions in conversations a lot. In a way it broadens their minds and their tolerance for other who believe differently than their families do. Propaganda isn't going to do anything to them unless it comes from fear. If you are there to explain what you consider the nonsense to them and that they don't have to be afraid of Hell or all the other things religion creates fear from, it won't really influence them.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #52)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:06 PM

59. OK...so I read through most all of this thread

and you have been quite staunch in your support of the nativity scenes. But what I gleaned from your responses is that what you are really about is the loss of the Santa Monica you once new and loved...not really the religious aspect of it but the reminder of days from the past and memories of yesteryear. I do understand that, but sorry to say, those days are gone and they are not coming back.

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Response to sdfernando (Reply #59)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:05 PM

68. It's too bad they aren't coming back.

I guess we just relegate Santa Monica to a dim past like Camelot.

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:11 PM

30. The government has no business in Religion.

Christmas will go on without this display. We Christians will get over it.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #30)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:37 PM

50. This atheist thanks you for your patriotism

 

To me, that's real patriotism

To embody the values in our constitution is REAL patriotism, not whether you can pin a flag on your car

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:54 PM

56. "ban all private unattended displays"...?

I can understand not allowing them in Palisade Park or other city property, but the way the ordinance was phrased suggests that if someone were to put up a display in the front yard of their own home, they'd be breaking the law unless their display was "attended" 24/7.



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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:31 PM

82. I was there in September, where were are all the homeless people going

to go? I swear their must have been a hundred of them sleeping in that park.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #82)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:21 PM

87. The park, the beach and other places. My back alley was full of them before we left.

There were convenient laundry rooms behind the apartment buildings they could sleep in before people woke up. The west side was popular with the homeless because of the beach and because there were fewer cops pushing them out.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #87)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:25 PM

88. Gotta give them credit they are smart enough to move to

Santa Monica were it is warm instead of sleeping on the street in Pittsburgh.

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