Remember how city officials in Santa Monica, California had a lottery last winter to determine who could put up holiday displays?
Atheists won 18 of the 21 slots (though they only used 3 of them):
A Jewish group won one slot. And Christians won the remaining two — which made it difficult to put up a Nativity Scene that used to take up 14 spots.
As you can imagine, the Christians were pissed off. They weren’t used to this “fair” system in which everyone’s beliefs were treated equally. Where was their privilege?!Yesterday, the City Council met to decide the fate of the displays for this coming year: Do you risk having another lottery (with angry losers)? Or do you ban the displays altogether?
It turned out to be an easy vote:
Council members said the tradition should continue, but on private property. “We’re not shutting down speech in Palisades Park,” said Councilwoman Gleam Davis.
The vote was 5-0…
There will be no public holiday displays this year in Palisades Park. Smart move on the City Council’s part.
All it took to force the change was atheists taking part in the system. No lawsuits. No arguments. Just putting their names into the same lottery as everybody else.