A city in Indiana is fighting to keep a Nativity scene displayed despite pushback from the Freedom from Religion Foundation.
According to reports, the city of Brookville, Indiana, has been threatened with a lawsuit from the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation for the past three years. Last year, commissioners reportedly received a letter demanding that the Nativity scene, which has been on display at the court house for half a century, be taken down from the public property. Instead of responding to the letters, however, commissioners say they have essentially ignored them.
“If people don't like the look of it, I think they can look the other way or don't look at all,” Brookville resident Wayne Monroe told WLWT. “It’s been a tradition here for many, many years, and I hope it’s for many more years. I think we deserve the right to put up what the community wants and I don't think anybody else should tell us what to do.”
Still, the Freedom from Religion Foundation maintains that the Nativity scene violates the separation of church and state if it is displayed on public property. Despite the pushback and threat of legal action, however, members of the community are vocal about their opposition to the group.
“I think it's going to take a lot more than some outfit from Wisconsin to have it removed,” said Monroe.
Community members are currently planning a candlelight ceremony in support of the Nativity scene this week, and commissioners say they expect another letter from the organization at some point this month. Additionally, a Change.org petition has been drafted to fight to keep the Nativity scene in the city.