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.
Last month, however, a local FFRF member filed the paperwork to put up a display in the same area. That’s why there’s currently a Secular Nativity next to Jesus:
It features some of the Founding Fathers along with the Statue of Liberty and the Bill of Rights.
Now, in a stunning development following this years-long battle, the Brookville Town Council has decided they don’t want to deal with all this bullshit in the future. They voted unanimously to ban all outside displays — including the Christian Nativity — from the courthouse grounds next year.
“I don’t like the way things are now with all these other exhibits,” town board member Sam Schuck said. “If we didn’t have ours there, then maybe the (Franklin County) commissioners wouldn’t have any of the others there.”
Yep, that’s how it works. If there’s no Nativity, those other displays won’t go up either. A policy can be written to ban all outside displays on the property that applies to everyone equally. And equal treatment is what this is all about. It doesn’t matter how long a tradition’s taken place; if it’s a bad tradition, it needs to stop. At least in Brookville, it finally has.
(Thanks to Brian for the link. Large portions of this article were posted earlier)