Last December, I wrote about a Nativity Scene in Brookville, Indiana that had been up for over 50 years, despite warning letters (over the course of several years) from the Freedom From Religion Foundation to take it down.
The display, which was owned by the Town of Brookville, sat on the grounds of the Franklin County Courthouse.
Eventually FFRF filed a lawsuit reiterating the law: Either the Nativity scene had to come down or any religious or non-religious display could go up. Before a judge could resolve it, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners adopted a new policy turning the grounds into a public forum. So… fantastic, right? Everyone could put up a display! Hello, atheist bench! Hello, Flying Spaghetti Monster! Hello, giant statue of Baphomet!
There was just one caveat: Only “county citizens” would be allowed access to the courthouse grounds (which is very convenient when you have a Christian majority in the area). FFRF sued over that, too, but ultimately lost.
That won’t matter now, though, because a local FFRF member filed the paperwork to put up a display in the same area. There will soon be a Secular Nativity next to Jesus:
“We’d prefer that the government stay out of the business of promoting any religious belief or atheism on government property,” said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “But, because the county created a forum for displays in response to FFRF’s lawsuit, we are taking the opportunity to ensure that freethinkers are well represented at the courthouse in Brookville, too.“
That display, featuring some of the Founding Fathers along with the Statue of Liberty and the Bill of Rights, will go up this Sunday.
(Large portions of this article were posted earlier)