A North Carolina town may soon find a new home for their nativity scene.
After stirring up controversy last December, the nativity scene -- which had been displayed in the Dallas, North Carolina, court square every Christmas for over 30 years -- may find a new home since the town has now proposed officially giving it to John Beaty. He is the owner of the local auto repair shop where the display was moved. It is currently being stored at his home.
“I’d like to keep it going,” Beaty told reporters at the Gaston Gazette. “I’m a Christian. I believe in the Nativity scene.”
The city’s board was supposed to discuss the proposed movement on Tuesday but decided to delay the discussion until March.
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The controversy surrounding the traditional nativity scene began last year when the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent the city a letter demanding they remove the display from the town square or face legal action. Despite being a town of less than 4,500 people and many citizens publicly demonstrating against the removal of the display, the city removed the scene from the Court Square and allowed Beaty to display it in front of his business.
Sarah Jordan was one of the citizens who helped organize the demonstrations against the display’s removal. Along with three other citizens, she attended the meeting on Thursday hoping to voice her opinion to the board.
“That would end all possibilities of this being on public grounds again,” she told reporters. “This gives us a little more time to find a solution.”
Jordan continued to say that she doesn’t believe any residents in the small town actually complained about the nativity scene and believes that the Freedom From Religion Foundation simply targets small towns like Dallas.
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“This is about more than just the nativity,” she said. “It’s about constitutional rights. We’ll continue to dig and get information about other towns that have fought against the Freedom From Religion Foundation.”
Beaty reassured reporters that even if the town gave him the display, he would give it right back if they wanted saying, “If the town decides to put it back where it was, I’d be glad to donate it back to the town.”