Two years ago, in Gig Harbor, Washington, the city council rejected a request to put up a Nativity scene in a local park after giving it a green light for several years. That’s because the Freedom From Religion Foundation, on behalf of a local resident, said the Christian display would violate the First Amendment since it’s not like the city was allowing any other ones.
It was the right move on the city’s part to nix the displays altogether. But for some reason, officials now think FFRF is looking the other way, because they approved a request to put the Nativity scene back up in Skansie Brothers Park.
The City Council voted Nov. 26 to allow a Nativity scene — baby Jesus, three wise men and other religious icons — displayed at the park…
This year, City Council members Spencer Hutchins and Jim Franich worked to bring back the Nativity scene.
“The Nativity is a symbol of the season,” Franich said. “Everybody celebrates Christmas Day, Dec. 25, as it’s the birth of Christ. The Nativity is simply a symbol of honoring the birth of Christ. I don’t think it’s forcing any particular religion on anybody. I think it’s honoring the day.”
Hutchins and Franich brought the matter back to the City Council, which voted 5-1 to allow the Nativity scene to return to the park. (Councilman Ken Malich did not attend the meeting.)
That lone dissenting vote came from Councilwoman Jeni Woock, whose entire argument seemed to be, What the hell is wrong with all of you?! We avoided a lawsuit years ago! Why would we invite one now?!
Councilwoman Jeni Woock was the lone no vote, saying a Nativity scene discriminates against other religions and causes conflict between state and church.
“In order to be constitutional policy, they cannot be promoting or favoring a religious set of beliefs,” Woock said. “And it cannot overly involve the government with religion.”
She’s absolutely right. Too bad no one’s paying any attention to her.
Their ignorance could cost taxpayers if FFRF chooses to make an issue of this. Or maybe The Satanic Temple should get involved. The only thing the city can’t do is allow a Nativity scene on government property while excluding all other displays. Yet that seems to be exactly what they’re doing here.
(Screenshot via YouTube. Thanks to Brian for the link)