Nativity showdown

Published December 12th, 2010 by Bobby Henderson


There’s some drama over a Christian Nativity scene displayed on the lawn of a county courthouse in Indiana.  The Freedom From Religion Foundation demanded the removal of the display on first amendment violation concerns and now locals are fighting.  It’s the same fight every Christmas and I get tired of writing about it.  

Now for the shock:

These Christmas fights bug me, honestly.   I am a supporter of the FFRF and of some of these secular and atheist organizations, but sometimes I am shaking my head and wondering what they are thinking.  You might get this scene removed but you do so much damage to our cause in the process.  You don’t think these perceptions matter?  Then what is this all about?  These Christmas fights make us look like such assholes, that’s all I’m saying. They are not reciting prayers in a state building or anything on that level.  A Nativity scene is barely religious, it’s like a cross necklace.   End of rant.

What do you guys think?

172 Responses to “Nativity showdown”

  1. Acebass says:

    You could ask for inclusion. Let the other denominations have equal space.

  2. eventer79 says:

    They ARE saying prayers in state buildings where I work, sigh. I work for the state of NC and at our Xmas party last week, they said a big group prayer. I stared hungrily at the cookies instead.

    • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

      I went to a karate tournament where they started with a long Christian prayer. “OK, now that that’s over, let’s kick the crap out of each other”!

  3. Jim in WV says:

    I don’t know of any courthouse in the U.S. without a church within eyesight. I think church lawns are terrific places for nativity scenes. Putting those displays on public property is simply for the purpose of declaring public support for Christianity. Lemon Test of the Establishment Clause: Fail.

  4. Rachel from Brookville says:

    Hey, I live 5 miles down the road from this mess. Should I replace baby Jesus with his holy noodliness?

    • Zuri says:

      No, but you should get an FSM nativity and place it next to ours.
      I mean no offense to non-Christians, but wouldn’t removing it be violating the First Amendment too? I’m not saying we should get all our nativites and crosses and stuff and then, say, Muslims don’t get their statue of Allah, Jews can’t have their menorah at Hannukah time, or even Pastafarians not having their shrine to the FSM. We should all have a little something for our religion.
      It truly annoys me when atheists demand we remove anything religious. It’s kind of hard to give atheists something, given they are not a religion. Maybe a model of an atom? Science is kind of their faith.
      It annoys me even more when people make nasty comments about it. “I’ll take my hammer and remove it myself!” Isn’t that a little harsh? If I saw a FSM shrine on a courthouse, I’d shrug and move on. I wouldn’t yell that I was going to blow it up and then put a “REAL” nativity there or something of the like. I wouldn’t make a big legal mess out of it either. I wouldn’t march into the courthouse and demand it be removed.
      Plea sing everyone sounds like a good plan.

      • Pollo/BR says:

        You got it wrong, imho. Its not about giving every faith some room on public buildings. It’s about not displaying ANY faith on a public building! Specially because the “res publica” is meant to be free of religions, a concept contrary to praising every religion there is… Thats plurarity…

    • TiltedHorizon says:

      I’d leave the nativity alone, what’s the point in defacing it anyway? As an Atheist it’s my hope to expose the less than divine humans who influence and use religion for their own gains, and maybe, just maybe have ‘sheep’ question their human ‘Shepherds’. Replacing baby jesus does not work towards these goals. Better to remind them that Christianity is just one of many beliefs by placing many nativities next to each other…… with a large FSM touching each with his noodly appendage.

      • Zuri says:


  5. Friendly atheist says:

    Glad I saw this article. Totally agree. The way I see it, it’s a piece of art before it’s a religious display, anyway. It’s not hurting anybody. :)

  6. Me says:

    These religious displays disgust me as much as the next guy (If you’re a rabid Christian, calm down a minute! I’m talking about the Chanukah Menorah as well as the Star & Crescent symbols displayed at many places, too). But we must be smart about our approach in getting rid of them. DEMANDING THEM BE REMOVED is the LEAST skillful way. DEMANDING that our MESSAGE BE INCLUDED is the SMARTEST. 11 out of 10 times, these religious fanatics will always choose to rather trash their own messages instead of giving us our fair share of the public forum. It’s like in Tài Jí Quán where direct opposition of another’s force is strictly discouraged, and great emphasis is placed upon borrowing the force of the opponent and using it to our own advantage. PS: Sofar, I haven’t seen any message that can top the FFRF’s message describing the true nature of religion. So as far as I am concerned, that is our (my) message.

  7. Glenn says:

    No one has ever won a battle without a fight.

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