One look at the calendar tells you this is the time of year that atheists and Christians do battle over Nativity scenes on government property. (CharismaNews archives)
Never fear, the attorneys are here to separate fact from fiction surrounding private citizens’ right to freely express religious faith in the public square. Nativity scenes will appear in nine State Capitols this Christmas—five of them due to the work of the Chicago-based Thomas More Society, a national public interest law firm.
As experts on public Nativity displays, Thomas More Society attorneys have settled legal challenges for private groups sponsoring Christmas manger scenes for 30 years, since helping defend the original erection of a life size crèche on Chicago’s Daley Plaza.
Christmas 2014 marks the eighth year that statues of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus have resided in a small stable at the Illinois State Capitol. Thomas More Society has also helped secure permits for Nativity scenes to be displayed this year in the state capitols of Florida, Georgia, Rhode Island, Texas and on the Governor’s Mansion lawn in Oklahoma.
“These Nativity displays represent classic free speech and the free exercise of faith by private citizens in the public square,” explained Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society. “However, the issue has not been without controversy,” he added.
Written by Tom Ciesielka
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