SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the three wise men are being crowded out by atheists.
Most of the Christmas nativity scenes that churches had placed in a Santa Monica coastal park for decades have been displaced by non-religious displays — and the churches are crying conspiracy.
The Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee, a coalition of 13 churches, and the Santa Monica Police Officers Association, has traditionally claimed 14 of the 21 display spaces, which are vandal-proof, cage-like areas surrounded by chain-link fencing.
The coalition displays have featured life-size depictions of the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.
But atheists got all but three of the spaces this year because of a new lottery system. The coalition got two spots to display Jesus, Mary and the wise men.
The third went to Isaac Levitansky of Chabad Channukah Menorah.
Adding to the loss, the atheists have used only three of the display areas to promote their message.Source: Atheist messages displace CA park nativity scenes - Yahoo! NewsVix now helps other atheists acquire the park spaces, including American Atheists Inc. and the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Secularists feel a need to be more vocal and express their civil rights, he said.
"For 60 years, it's almost exclusively been the point of view of Christians putting up nativity scenes for a whole city block," Vix said.
Jameson pushed the city to give local preference in awarding the spaces. Vix doesn't live in Santa Monica.
City Attorney Marsha Moutrie wrote, however, that the Christmas displays cross the boundary into First Amendment free speech rights, which know no geographical boundaries.
"Everyone has equal rights to use the streets and parks for expressive activities, irrespective of residency," Moutrie wrote.
The article goes in detail on how it seems atheists are trying to crowd out the Christian nativity scenes in that area. In order to be able to even put up a sign, you need to win in that lottery, but now it seems atheists got all but three of the spaces. Odd, huh?
What do you guys think of this?