Today will be a day of combing through the *ahem* “liberal media” and letters to the editor involving the nativity scene on the County Courthouse lawn. Most of them are Christians being terrible people, but one writer for the local paper, Sonny Garrett, gets it right.
If you’ve been around Baxter County the past couple of days, no doubt you have heard about the issue involving the nativity scene on the courthouse lawn on the Mountain Home square. It seems last month our county judge received a request for permission to place a “Happy Winter Solstice” banner on the lawn, too. Apparently the county judge laughed it off. Now, he’s learned it wasn’t a joke when the American Humanist Association, through its legal center, notified him the nativity scene is unconstitutional.
He said he rejected the request for the banner because if he let one person or group put up an occasional exhibit it would open the door to “hundreds.” To be honest, he’s already done that with the nativity scene, which I take to be the real point of the AHA’s letter. While the group asks that the nativity scene be removed (which it has been, probably because it’s 10 days past Christmas) there’s implication in the request that the judge allow other groups to place a message on the public property with the nativity scene, too. The position is based on the Constitution and previous court rulings that call for equal access.
Personally, I don’t see the problem with placing a “Happy Winter Solstice” banner on the courthouse lawn as well as the nativity scene. When I heard there had been a request, my first thought was, “So what?” I don’t see it as an attack on religion or Christianity, either. It was just someone wanting to express their version of season’s greetings in a public forum.
This is a small community where popularity often carries the day. Please take the time to go into the comments to let Mr. Garrett know you approve. Seeing overwhelming support in the comments section of these articles does make a difference. It puts pressure on city officials and alleviates some of it from the people that are being harassed by the Christian locals (more on that throughout the day). Give him a thank you from all of us.