Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Of Nativities in Public

I know that it's often a source of controversy for people who want to erect Nativity Scenes in places like public parks or on the front lawn of the town hall, but I really can't get worked up too much in either direction. On the one hand, I agree entirely that using public resources to subsidize and support a depiction of a scene specific to a single religion (even if that religion is the overwhelming religion of the people in the country) probably isn't Constitutional. But on the other hand, I'm not sure that such Nativities represent that much of an imposition on the non-Christians, who merely have to ignore the thing. But then, going back to the first place, why make it such an issue, anyway? In my travels throughout suburban Buffalo recently, you almost literally can't go more than half a mile without seeing a Nativity either in the front yard of a church or someone's house. If there are thousands of places where you can set up your Nativity without any such controversy erupting, why bother insisting that we stick one in the Town Park?

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