Cherokee County, Tx., is the first battleground in the "War on Christmas" for 2014.
County officials have erected a nativity scene on government property, specifically, the lawn of the Cherokee County Courthouse in Rusk, Tx.
However, Daniel Ross, an atheist, claims the nativity scene is unwelcoming toward non-Christians (video below).
According to the Houston Press, Ross sent a letter to Cherokee County officials that said in part:
To help solve this, I would like to get a sign to be placed on the court house to represent HumanLight for Secular Humanists, Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, and the rest of the secular community. HumanLight is a secular holiday on December 23rd. It's designed to celebrate and express the positive, secular, human values of reason, compassion, humanity and hope.
“I saw a post on Facebook and thought it was a good way to have a secular group represented,” Ross told KTRE. “So I contacted the county officials about how to set up a display.”
Cherokee County Commissioner Katherine Pinotti wrote Ross an email that stated:
December 23rd is merely a date selected by your organization to make a political statement of your choice not to celebrate traditional Christian beliefs.
Perhaps you should consider choosing another time of the year to demonstrate your secular support instead of attempting to infiltrate the Christmas holiday with a singular purpose to destroy and denigrate the beliefs of others. Try to live and let live.
"It doesn't matter if you are just one person or the majority, you have the right to be represented for what you believe,” Ross insisted.
The Appignani Humanist Legal Center has written a letter to Cherokee County officials telling them to either allow Ross to have a display or take down the nativity scene.
“If they want a fight, then we'll have one,” Cherokee County Judge Chris Davis told KTRE. “We have other Christmas displays up around the courthouse and do other stuff on other holidays.”