The Harrison County Courthouse in Mississippi has this Nativity scene in the building… which is odd for a place that’s supposed to respect the law:
The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center warned them last week to take the display down, but on Monday, the Harrison County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to keep it right where it is:
“The County will not interfere with the County employees’ expression of their religious faith or with any other faith or non-faith employees who desire to celebrate their holiday in a manner that does not interfere with County business,” [board attorney Tim] Holleman said in a letter to the American Humanist Association after the vote. “I believe the County has complied with the law including the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
No one is interfering with the employees’ personal expression of faith. They’re welcome to put a Nativity scene in their front yards. We’re talking about a government-sponsored Nativity scene that suggests Christians get special treatment in that court.
For that reason, the AHA says it will file a lawsuit against the county:
Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, said, “The Harrison County Board of Supervisors had an opportunity here to act on the concerns of a constituent and increase their inclusiveness. It’s disappointing that they chose to not recognize the diversity of beliefs and waste taxpayers’ money fighting to keep a sectarian display that violates the law.”
I don’t see a path to victory for the County here. What they’re doing is blatantly illegal and no one seems to realize it. What does that say about the justice people receive there?
I guess they’ll all learn a lesson the hard way.