Judge: No Room For Nativity Displays in Santa Monica

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    There's no room for the baby Jesus, the manger or the wise men this Christmas in a Santa Monica park following a judge's ruling Monday against churches that tried to keep a 60-year Nativity tradition alive after atheists stole the show with anti-God messages.


    The judge, however, said Santa Monica proved that it banned the displays not to squash religious speech but because they were becoming a drain on city resources, destroying the turf and obstructing ocean views.


    "The atheists won and they will always win unless we get courts to understand how the game is played and this is a game that was played very successfully and they knew it," Becker said, comparing the city to Pontius Pilate, the Roman official who authorized Jesus' crucifixion.

    Vix hung a simple sign that quoted Thomas Jefferson: "Religions are all alike -- founded on fables and mythologies." The other side read "Happy Solstice." He repeated the display the following year but then upped the stakes significantly.

    In 2011, Vix recruited 10 others to inundate the city with applications for tongue-in-cheek displays such as an homage to the "Pastafarian religion," which would include an artistic representation of the great Flying Spaghetti Monster.


    "The birth of Jesus Christ is the linchpin of Western civilization, our calendar derives from it, but now somehow it's just not right to have a classic depiction of this event in a Nativity scene in a city park," said Hunter Jameson, head of the Nativity committee.



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