Last month, Brittany Meyer mentioned a controversy taking place in Loudoun County, Virginia, regarding holiday displays on public property:
One side, the Courthouse Grounds and Facilities Committee wants to ban all displays. The other side, including many community members and Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, thinks all displays should be allowed — apparently even atheist ones.
Today, the state’s Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, weighed in on the issue (PDF).
… it is my opinion that a local governmental entity is never categorically compelled to prohibit holiday displays, including those incorporating recognizably religious symbols, because governments enjoy considerable discretion in accommodating the religious expression of their citizens and employees and in their own recognition of traditional seasonal holidays. It is further my opinion that displays depicting the birth of Jesus Christ are permissible provided the government ensures appropriate content and context.
In other words, the town can display a Nativity Scene on public property, but they must also allow for displays from people who celebrate the holidays differently.
Frankly, I’m fine with that. It’s legal as long as Christianity isn’t the only display allowed to be there. No other group’s display can be disallowed on account of religion.
So… are there any atheists in Loudoun County who can create a Flying Spaghetti Monster display? And who’s filling out the requisite paperwork to make that happen?
Let’s get to it, people! The Attorney General supports you!
(Thanks to Meredith for the link)