Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Santa Monica may bar Nativity scenes in public areas, judge rules

I think the churches ought to sue the Atheists for conspiring against them.  And I think the judge is completely wrong.  But, hey, what do I know?
"It's all or nothing in these cases," he said. "If the government opens up and creates a limited forum, it can't practice viewpoint discrimination. But it can say, well, we're not going to have any.... There has to be a level playing field in the public sphere."

Since 1953, the coalition each December has erected a tableau of scenes depicting the birth of Jesus Christ.

A few years ago, the tradition offended Damon Vix, an atheist, who applied to put up a booth next to the Nativity story. Last year, he encouraged other atheists to flood the city with applications, including a satirical homage to the "Pastafarian religion" featuring a representation of the "Flying Spaghetti Monster."

To keep things fair and legal, the city held a lottery to parcel out slots. Atheists won 18 of 21 spaces. A Jewish group won another. The Nativity story that traditionally took up 14 displays was jammed into two.

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