Keeping Christ in Christmas 6: Santa Monica Nativity Scene BAN
Today we look into an unusual ban in the beach city of Santa Monica in California. No more displays of the NATIVITY allowed at the Palisades Park (a public park which has served as a venue for the city’s nearly 50 year old tradition.)
Today we also look into the last two of the ‘suggested’ Ways to Keep Christ in Christmas. Remember these are only ideas, you can come up with your own unique way…
Ways to Keep Christ in Christmas
Nos. 9 & 10 of 10
9) Send Christmas cards that convey a spiritual message:
This is an easy way to share your faith at Christmastime. If you’ve already bought the reindeer cards—no problem! Just write a Bible verse and include a personal message with each card.
• Select Christmas Bible Verses
10) Write a Christmas letter to a missionary:
This idea is dear to my heart because I spent four years on the mission field. Receiving a letter always felt like opening a priceless gift on Christmas morning, no matter what day it was. Many missionaries are unable to travel home for the holidays, so it can be a very lonely time for them. Write a special Christmas letter to a missionary of your choice, thanking them for giving their life in service to the Lord. Trust me—it will mean more than you can imagine!
Santa Monica Nativity Scene Ban Results From Atheist Controversy
The California beach city’s nearly 50-year tradition of allowing 14 nativity scenes along two blocks overlooking the ocean became threatened in December when atheists managed to win 11 of the 14 spaces that the city made available through lottery. A synagogue also won a space, leaving only two spaces for nearby churches, which used to have all 14.
In response to what had become a national controversy, 13 churches and the Santa Monica Police Officers Association formed a Save Our Nativity Scenes, or SONS, campaign and collected signatures to petition the city to come up with a lottery system with stricter guidelines.
However, the Council stated that doing so would be discriminatory and that the lottery system had become too divisive and difficult to manage, Santa Monica Patch reports. City Atty. Marsha Jones Moutrie told the Council that the city staff had received “threats, physical and legal” and that the city had received letters from two “K Street” (referring to DC lobbyists) law firms, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The Council also feared that the open lottery could become, as Patch put it, “nightmarish” with “a gigantic sign proclaiming the Holocaust didn’t actually happen or Leatherface standing over baby Jesus.”
Gaylor commented to HuffPost about the outcome, “The free thinkers… played the game of the religionists and they outsmarted them.” She continued, “They showed the Christian people of the city what it feels like to have a public park promoting views that offend your personal conscience. These views were on public property that were supposed to be owned equally by everyone.” Read more…
Here’s the latest on the Nativity Scene Ban
in Santa Monica, California…
Living Nativity Scene by volunteer actors
from different churches in Santa Monica
Churches in Santa Monica, Calif., have banded together to circumvent a ban on permanent Nativity displays in a local public park. They have organized themselves to stage temporary Nativity scenes instead in an effort to keep the longstanding Christmas tradition alive, CBS Los Angeles reports.