Comments about ‘Atheists' challenges to Santa Monica nativity displays may put an end to the 60-year tradition’

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Published: Monday, Nov. 26 2012 1:30 p.m. MST

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one old man
Ogden, UT

Certainly his rights do count.

But what about the rights of others?

Someone needs a lesson in tolerance here.

Salt Lake City, UT

I know this will tick-off a bunch of people, but the facts of the issue are not complicated:

Private businesses and homes may display all the nativity scenes they want. I personally think they're lovely, regardless of whether or not what they depict is history or just a popular mythology.

Taxpayer-supported organizations may not favor one religion over another, or religious belief over non-belief.

Being told that you may not erect a religious display on public property unless you're willing to also extend a welcome to irreligious displays and displays of other non-Christian religions does not constitute an infrigement on your free exercise of your own religion.

It just means your religion can't be treated differently than athiests, muslims, hindus and people who believe in Zeus.

And yes, I'm telling you that America is most definely _not_ "a Christian nation."

And with that, Merry Christmas. As Tim Minchin says, "I like Christmas. The music is lovely, but the words are a bit dodgy."

Salt Lake City, UT

I think precedent has been set. Let the display stand.

The atheists can erect their own display if they can get the energy to do it.

My experience is that atheists are full of apathy and can't muster up enough energy to do much at all. I surprised this is even happening.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

If I were in a country that was majority Buddhist or Hindu, would I object to their celebrations? No. Would I try to stop them from being represented on the public square. No. It is an issue of respect for others with whom you disagree.

Millcreek, UT

This article doesn't explain the whole story. The atheists did put up their own displays. That were destroyed and vandalized by somebody. (I have my guesses but there wasn't proof about who vandalized them) Because of those incidents Santa Monica decided that it wasn't worth it to allow anyone to have a display in the park.

Salt Lake City, UT

Red: "My experience is that atheists are full of apathy and can't muster up enough energy to do much at all. I surprised this is even happening."

Brother, do you ever have that wrong. From the LA Times article itself:

"To keep things fair and legal, the city held a lottery to parcel out slots. Atheists won 18 of 21 spaces. A Jewish group won another. The Nativity story that traditionally took up 14 displays was jammed into two."

If you really believe that atheists lack the energy, talent and commitment to erect pro-reason, anti-superstition displays on the 18 of 21 spaces won fair & square through vigorous pursuit of lottery tickets, the please, by all means, encourage the city of Santa Monica to turn the park over to the winners of the lottery and let the lottery winners build their displays.

I suspect you'll be amazed.

the truth
Holladay, UT

Just another example of the left banning speech and ideas from the public square.

The Scientist
Provo, UT

Tolerance of nonbelievers has never been a strong characteristic of religious folks. Indeed, tolerance is not among the Ten Commandments, and Jesus' teachings about tolerance are summarily ignored by almost all believers I have ever met. Islam is even worse!

Layton, UT

I find it sadly narcissistic that a holiday called Christmas can't be for Christians. And other holidays of different names can't be for other folks. And that we all can't choose to tolerate, ignore, or embrace one another regardless of our personal inclinations.

This nonsense about needing to show all religions on Christmas is stupid. Same with Hannukah or Kwanzaa, or Atheist Day, or Shinto Day, or whatever...

Let Christmas be Christian, Chanuka be Jewish, Diwali be Hindu... etc...

Marlborough, MA

It is good to see the Santa Monica government operating in a secular fashion. One of the many reasons that the U.S.A is a great republic.


Down South, CA

It's not like religious folks are saying, "hey atheists come check out our Nativity." For goodness sakes just leave the religious people alone and let them do what they believe in, and they can leave you alone to do what you believe in....which is nothing.

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