Freedom from Religion Foundation Nixes 63 Year-Old Tradition: Jesus in Manger

Posted: October 26, 20099:12 pm Eastern

By Drew Zahn © 2009 WorldNetDaily

John Satawa's family has displayed a nativity scene on a street median in Warren, Mich., virtually every Christmas season since 1945, but following an intimidating letter sent by the Freedom from Religion Foundation, Satawa's county has put stop to the 63-year-old tradition.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation proclaims its purpose in the letter to the Road Commission of Macomb County was to "protect the fundamental constitutional principle of separation of church and state."

But Satawa contends there's nothing unconstitutional about his privately owned and maintained Christmas display. With the help of the Thomas More Law Center, Satawa has filed a case in U.S. district court asking the judge to declare the county's crèche rejection unconstitutional instead and order officials to permit its display.

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Law Center, commented in a statement, "Every Christmas holiday, militant atheists … use the phrase 'separation of church and state' – nowhere found in our Constitution – as a means of intimidating municipalities and schools into removing expressions celebrating Christmas, a national holiday. Their goal is to cleanse our public square of all Christian symbols.

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"However," Thompson continued, "the grand purpose of our Founding Fathers and the First Amendment was to protect religion, not eliminate it. Municipalities and schools should be aware that the systematic exclusion of Christmas symbols during the holiday season is itself inconsistent with the Constitution."