Nativity Scenes Out in Santa Monica City Parks

“The Grinch hasn’t stolen Christmas. He has stolen our liberty.” That’s how attorney William Becker describes the recent decision by a federal judge upholding a ban on the annual nativity scenes in city parks in Santa Monica, California.

For the last 59 years, churches in Santa Monica have joined together to erect a variety of nativity scenes in booths in Palisades Park in Santa Monica. The annual event ground to a halt this year when city officials established a ban on such overnight displays in city parks. They said they wanted to protect the beauty of Palisades Park, a picturesque property overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

City officials acted after atheist groups succeeded in applying for 18 of the 21 booth spaces available last year, and set up displays mocking Christmas and Christianity.