Fight for Santa Monica nativity scenes ongoing

Friday, October 12, 2012
 | 
Becky Yeh - California correspondent (OneNewsNow.com)

A California attorney says one city isn't willing to come up with a "creative" way to satisfy constitutional requirements and avoid banning free speech completely.

Attorneys have filed a complaint in the United States District Court, requesting that the city of Santa Monica revert a policy that permanently bans displays in the park (see earlier story).

Every Christmas for the past 60 years, the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee displayed a 14-booth nativity scene in Palisades Park. But last year a lottery system was implemented, allowing atheist groups to put up signs and banners that attacked Christmas and Christianity. They claimed 18 of the 21 spaces and only used three of them, one of which featured pictures of King Neptune, Jesus Christ, Santa Claus and Satan and read, "37 million Americans know MYTHS when they see them. What myths do you see?"

Becker, William J.So in order to comply with all groups, the city has chosen to completely remove the displays. But William J. Becker, Jr., a First Amendment attorney and lead counsel for the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee, thinks there is a better solution.

"The city decided that it didn't want to have to come up with some kind of plan that would be content neutral and therefore satisfy constitutional requirements," he laments.

"By giving a permit to the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee, they would be favoring the committee over people with different viewpoints."

But Becker contends there is a simpler way for the city to deal with the issue:

"Open the forum to winter displays or winter holiday displays celebrating the winter seasonal holidays," he suggests. "That would include Christmas as well as Hanukkah, and I suppose Winter Solstice, if that's going to be regarded as a winter holiday."

The Becker Law Firm is assisted by the Pacific Justice Institute and expects a favorable response from the court.

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

As a conservative voter, which of these issues matter most to you?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

  No apparent survivors in Texas balloon crash with 16 aboard
  Trump attacks Muslim father's convention speech
  San Diego police view body-camera footage in officer killing
  Nancy Reagan wouldn't like Hinckley's freedom, actress says
  Police: Suspected burglar found dead after he's tied to tree
Clinton, Trump struggle for national security upper hand
Thousands, including PM, attends Stockholm's 'gay pride' march
Fighting between Turkish forces, Kurdish rebels kills 43

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Mark Cuban endorses Hillary, calls Trump a bad word
Clinton campaign scrambles to defend Rust Belt against Trump
Watch Ray Comfort stun atheists with 1 question
Megyn 'Eve' Kelly has meltdown over Trump Muslim ban — Is rebuked by Huckabee
Mitt Romney: I think Trump could win in November

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

NEXT STORY
38th case filed against HHS mandate

Indiana-based Grote Industries is the latest to file suit against the ObamaCare mandate.