Remember when officials in Santa Monica, California decided to use a lottery to determine who would get to put up a holiday display in the 21 available spots? Atheists won 18 of the spaces (though they only used 3 of them):
(I know it looks freaky with the chain-link fencing and all that but that had nothing to do with the atheist displays — the fencing was standard for everybody.)
Anyway, a bunch of Christians were really angry about all this. So they came up with this solution:
They petitioned the City Council to forever save 14 spots of the coveted real estate for the life-size Christmas dioramas
That’s a lawsuit waiting to happen and the Council knows it.
So they’re countering with a proposal of their own:
Palisades Park might be void of Nativity scenes for the first time in decades next winter.
Menorahs and posters advocating atheism would be banned, too, under a proposal to outlaw “winter displays” at the seaside park.…
[Santa Monica City Attorney Marsha Jones] Moutrie recommends that the City Council tell organizers to find private land on which to erect their displays instead.
Plus, “operating the lottery system is both time consuming and costly for the City and likely to become increasingly so because applicants have indicated they will ‘flood’ the lottery process,” she continued.
You can check out the actual ordinance under consideration here.
This is a victory for anyone who supports church/state separation. Moutrie is exactly right to advise the Christian group to put their displays on private property. Palisades Park doesn’t belong to any one religion or group — it’s a park for everybody. It ought to be devoid of all religious displays.
It just took some atheists to make that point clear.
(via LA Atheism Examiner)