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Nativity display tradition in California under threat by atheists

London, Thu, 22 Dec 2011 ANI

London, Dec 22 (ANI): The tradition of erecting nativity scene displays in Santa Monica may end after atheists put up numerous exhibits of their own version of the scene.


Every Christmas season, sprawling, life-size displays of nativity scenes are put up by local Christian congregations on a bluff at Palisades Park, overlooking Santa Monica Pier and the Pacific.


Santa Monica had instituted a lottery to decide who would get a display spot and a flood of entries from atheist groups led to them winning 18 of the 21 display spots.


People applying through the lottery do not have to disclose what they want to use the space for.


Now, instead of scenes depicting the manger in Bethlehem the area is staked with signs referring to Christianity as 'fables and mythology'. One poster depicts God and says '37 million Americans know myths when they see them'.


"Obviously, there is tremendous disappointment in the community about the displays. If we cannot find another way to allocate space we may have to consider ending the displays," the Telegraph quoted Santa Monica mayor Gleam Davis as saying.


While Christian groups accused the non-believers of 'cheating', atheist groups denied such claims and said that the monopoly of Nativity scenes in the park had violated the constitutional separation of church and state. (ANI)


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