Small City Forced To Shelve Nativity Scene Days Before Christmas

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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City officials were forced to pull a nativity scene display days before Christmas under pressure from an anti-religion group.

City officials refused to let Gig Harbor resident John Skansie put up a Christian nativity scene display at a local park, reports KIRO7.

The move comes after the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to city officials threatening legal action if the nativity scene was put up.

The FFRF promotes “non-theism” and works to be a place of “free thought” for atheists, skeptics and agnostics, according to the group’s website.

The FFRF argued that putting the nativity scene on public property would make it seem like the government was sponsoring the display.

“We don’t think religion or irreligion should be on public property,” Annie Lauire Gaylor, a co-founder of the group declared.  Gaylor insisted that the nativity scene belongs on church property.

Skansie has been able to put up the scene for almost ten years in the local park.

The city of Gig Harbor Parks Commission plans to hold a public hearing on how and if holiday displays should be allowed on public property, according to the city’s Facebook page.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation regularly fights against Christianity and its related symbols. Some group members erected a “Bill of Rights” nativity scene at the Iowa State Capitol building to protest a religious one. (RELATED:Atheist Group Creates ‘Bill Of Rights’ Nativity Scene)

The scene featured Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and the Statue of Liberty gazing down at a baby Bill of Rights. Approximately twenty people joined Tom Harvey, a member of the Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers, outside the nativity scene.

Harvey held up a sign reading, “‘We the People’ — Not Just — ‘We the Christians.’”

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Amber Randall