Texas County Leaders Reject Atheist Banner on Courthouse Lawn (But the Nativity Scene Can Stay) September 30, 2016

Texas County Leaders Reject Atheist Banner on Courthouse Lawn (But the Nativity Scene Can Stay)

In Kerr County, Texas, the War on Christmas is already underway.

Since a Nativity scene has been on the front lawn of the Kerrville County Courthouse every year since 1999, a local atheist recently made a simple request to put up a banner from the Freedom From Religion Foundation in the same space (a variant of that banner is below).


That proposal didn’t go anywhere, in part due to public comments from the most ignorant people in Texas.

[Pastor Greg] Young said FFRF “preys upon small communities like Kerrville” saying the organization’s founder “has absolute disdain for Christianity.” He told a story to say allowing this one request would lead to multiple unwanted actions in the future, eventually pushing out current beliefs and values.

Pastor Del Way of Calvary Temple Church said, “The problem is, they claim freedom from religion, but they want to do it on our holiday. I oppose this, especially on the courthouse square. We believe they are trying to take over our religion.” Way said he had more than 1,000 signatures on petitions from his church, and told Whitsett, “Leave us alone. Get your own holiday.”

John Hammack said America has been a nation under God since Columbus arrived; and asked commissioners “not to let some pagan atheist take Christ out of Christmas,” historically set Dec. 25.

Those Christians think they own December 25. As if no one else can call dibs on their holiday. As if they didn’t steal the traditions from Pagans in the first place. As if no one else other than Christians can use public property to promote their beliefs.

But those are just the locals. We expect them not to know the law. What about the commissioners who ought to know better?

They didn’t know better. They voted 5-0 to reject the atheist banner.

Now, FFRF is getting directly involved, sending this letter to the Commissioners yesterday:

As long as the County Courthouse lawn is open for the display of Christian biblical imagery, it must be equally available for minority religious and nonreligious displays.

The Commissioner’s Court has two viable options: 1) approve the freethought banner and any future display applications without subjecting private speech to a veto by majority rule; or 2) close the courthouse lawn to all displays, including the nativity scene.

Whether Kerr County wants to invite a lawsuit is up to them, but this unanimous vote to treat Christianity as a special religion won’t stand for long.

(Thanks to Randy for the link)

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