Judge rejects Nativity displays in Santa Monica
LOS ANGELES (AP) — There’s no room for the baby Jesus, the manger or the wise men this Christmas in a Santa Monica park following a judge’s ruling Monday against churches that tried to keep a 60-year Nativity tradition alive after atheists stole the show with anti-God messages.
U.S. District Judge Audrey B. Collins rejected a motion from the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee to allow the religious display this season while their lawsuit plays out against the city.
Collins said the city was within its constitutional right to eliminate the exemption that had allowed the Nativity at the oceanfront Palisades Park because the change affected all comers — from Christians to Jews to atheists — and provided other avenues for public religious speech.
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