Skip to comments.Judge Rules Nativity Scenes No Longer Allowed in LA Beach City Park
Posted on 11/20/2012 9:35:52 AM PST by SeekAndFind
The nearly 60-year tradition of a Nativity scene displayed at a park and hosted by a coalition of churches in Santa Monica, Calif., has ended after a federal judge ruled on Monday that the city can ban such displays. A controversy over the display about the birth of Jesus at Palisades Park erupted last Christmas season when an atheist group "manipulated" the city's lottery system for spaces, according to a nonprofit, resulting in only two booths for the Christian group that normally uses 14 booths for the various Nativity-related scenes.
"It's a very sad day when a small number of people with an axe to grind, people who do not like Christianity, and who do not like God, are able to prevail by manipulating rules to censor our message from the public place where it has been displayed for the enjoyment of millions of people for nearly 60 years," Hunter Jameson, head of the nonprofit Santa Monica Nativity Scene Committee, told The Christian Post Monday.
"It's even sadder that a city government would allow itself to go along with this effort to try to snuff out a message that a small group of people did not agree with," Jameson added.
Judge Audrey B. Collins denied a request from the committee to erect the large displays primarily on the grounds that the city's administration was overburdened with the permit process for the displays, according to William Becker, the group's lawyer. A temporary injunction to allow the displays to go up this Christmas season was not allowed.
"She claimed that they had proved that the primary reason for banning the displays on a permanent basis was due to the heavy administrative task work that city staff would have to do in accepting applications for permits," Becker told CP. "There is no evidence on the record. The system was being gamed by the atheists. The only reason it was burdensome last year was because the atheists and their allies flooded city hall with permits (requests) in order to get the very result they got today."
Behind the trouble in Santa Monica is a member of the American Atheists, Damon Vix, who applied for and was granted a booth in Palisades Park alongside the Nativity display three years ago. He erected a sign quoting Thomas Jefferson: "Religions are all alike founded on fables and mythologies." Another sign read, "Happy Solstice."
Last Christmas season, there were 13 individuals who entered the race for the 21 spaces available at the park, that has an ocean view, rather than the usual three. The sudden high demand for spots, especially by atheists recruited by Vix, prompted Santa Monica's City Hall to implement a random lottery system to determine who would have access to the spots. This left the Nativity Committee with only two spaces on which they were able to put up only three of the usual 14 scenes.
The atheists used half their spaces, displaying anti-God signs, most of which were vandalized. This led the city to effectively end the tradition that began in 1953. "The city decided that it didn't want the controversy that happened last year and so they decided they wouldn't have any scenes up at all," Jameson told CP after talking to his lawyer about the hearing Monday morning. "They just gave in to these people who didn't want the Nativity scene."
Apparently, Santa Monica officials are "very pleased" with the ruling, according the city's attorney, Barry A. Rosenbaum, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Rosenbaum said the judge "understood the government interests and that [groups wanting to put up displays] have a number of alternatives to erect displays." Another hearing is scheduled for Dec. 3, but Becker said it is only a formality and he expects the judge to drop the case entirely.
Jameson said that his group will be looking for other locations to display the large and intricate Nativity scenes. However, geographically, finding space in the densely populated area of Santa Monica may be difficult, he noted.
"We encourage others to pray and visit our website, www.santamonicanativityscenes.org," he said.
If there is a separation of church and state, why can the state court dictate to Christians.
Christians in Santa Monica?
There’s no “separation of church and state” in the Constitution. The only guarantee is freedom to practice a religion of your choosing in the first amendment (Bill of Rights).
The intention of this “church/state separation” was to ensure that governments didn’t install churches to dictate theology to the masses much the way the Church of England became an arm of the throne in the 17th/18th centuries.
Because decades of democrat scum sticking together no matter what has let them appoint the vast majority of the judges. It's just like voting versus counting votes, what's in the law doesn't matter half as much as what judges say is in the law.
Look at the First Amendment protection of freedom of worship, it's not there anymore, it's gone. A gang of democrat fascists doesn't like it so POOF!, it gets reinterpreted to suit them. Second Amendment? Well, just wait until King Barry gets to appoint two or three more judges to the USSC.
Look at how many people sat out the last election. They just didn't show up because they weren't "excited" or catered to in some way. People grant the democrat fascist thugs several generations of majority control of Congress and plenty of opportunities to appoint Federal judges and this is what they get.
Obviously keeping Barry from appointing more judges wasn't a big enough issue to even get as many people out to vote against Barry in 2012 as there were voting against him in 2008.
So, reap it Mike Foxtrot.
Atheists have the whole month of August to get their message out.
And yet they brought the church of England's version (King James Version) of the bible with them to practice their religious freedom. I never quite understood that.
Never do your Christmas shopping in these oppressive cities.
Christians could protest by not buying xmas gifts. Atheists hate your God, but they love your money.
The solution to these lawsuits is for the local governments to quietly sell a small plot in the middle of their parks to a private individual.
That doesn’t apply to Christians.
Now go pay your taxes - this judge needs a raise. :)
What if the displays went up anyway?
RE: What if the displays went up anyway?
Judge will probably call the Sherrif ( Police ) to take them down and hand the “perpatrators” ( note the quotes ) a cease and desist order and a warning. If they do it again -— it’s JAIL for them.
Remember Judge Roy Moore of Alabama?
Moore was elected chief justice in 2000, but a state judicial panel removed him three years later after he refused to obey a federal judge’s order to remove a 5,200-pound granite Ten Commandments monument from the lobby of the Alabama Judicial Building.
Moore still maintains the federal judge’s order was unlawful and that he should not have followed it. But he has promised he will not return the Ten Commandments when he returns to the court. Moore said the issue was never about a monument but about the “acknowledgement of God.”
I know it’s not in the constitution. What I’m saying is if they say it is, how can they say the state can dictate how you CAN’T worship. This should be our argument.
But conservatives just can’t think on their feet. I heard Hannity playing a clip of Clyburn saying that calling Rice incompetent was sexist. Then he said “And McCain tried to say Palin was competent”. So, Clyburn called Palin incompetent. This went right over Hannity’s head.
I totally get it FRiend. There’s a serious problem with the thinking in our party.
if one stood across the street with a decent movie projector, aimed at the city/county...building and showed a nonstop movie....would that be illegal????
WRONG! The Geneva Bible 1599 was the Holy Bible of the American Revolution.