City of Orange Pulls Nativity Scene After Atheists Demand Access

City of Orange Pulls Nativity Scene After Atheists Demand Access

The City of Orange decided to remove a nativity scene displayed at city Hall rather than bow down to the demands of Atheists that wanted to add a ‘Holiday Banner’ to the display. What do you think?

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City of Orange pulling nativity scene after atheists request to put their own sign in front of city hall

Posted by KBMT-12 on Monday, December 14, 2015

A spokesperson for the City of Orange issued the following statement:

The City of Orange received a request to place a banner in front of City Hall from the Orange County Atheists on December 9, 2015. This request was based on the annual Nativity scene that has been erected for many years at City Hall. The City is denying the banner request.Based on this request, the City reviewed current case law. Supreme Court decisions have tried to address this question in an array of decisions but there is not a clear case that gives affirmative direction to displaying the Nativity scene. This makes it difficult to formulate a policy for Christmas decorations on City property. Based on this and knowing that the Constitution makes a distinction between church and state, the City will be removing the Nativity scene to avoid the legal costs associated with defending the placement of the Nativity scene and focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

A spokesperson for Orange County Atheists issued the following statement:

The Orange County Atheists are disappointed to hear that our request to place a holiday banner on City Hall property was denied. We were informed by the following email response earlier today:“The city is denying your request to place a banner on city property. The city has chosen to remove the nativity scene from city property. Staff will be directed to remove the nativity scene by Wednesday of this week dependent on the weather. Thanks, Shawn Oubre [City Manager]” We asked for equality and the city of Orange chose to give it to us by removing the nativity scene instead of allowing our display alongside the the other displays. This was not the result we were hoping for, but we are glad that the City of Orange has decided to treat all citizens equally by keeping the publicly owned property neutral when it comes to religious displays.Government neutrality in religious matters is of the utmost importance in protecting all of our religious freedoms. No single viewpoint should be given preference over another. This can be accomplished by allowing all citizens equal access to place their religious displays on city property, or by not allowing any displays. The city of Orange has chosen not to create a public forum for religious displays and we will respect their decision in this matter.
Orange County Judge Brint Carlton told 12News that commissioners will discuss a nativity scene outside the county courthouse Tuesday at 2 p.m. He said they will first meet in executive session with the county attorney and most likely come out with a decision. He said the two options are to take it down, or let all other entities put up a display of their own.

Kudos to the City of Orange for standing by their beliefs this CHRISTMAS season.

Written by Katie McGuire. Send your hate mail to the author at [email protected], or feel free to mean tweet me at @GOPKatie, where I will be sure to do very little about it.

McGuire

Writer, Blogger. Political aficionado. Addicted to all levels of government campaigns.

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