Texas Courthouse Nativity Battle Explodes

A snide blog post at HoustonPress.com tells the story of Cherokee County in Texas where a Nativity scene — we assume this is a a traditional display there — has come under fire from a local resident who calls the display “unwelcoming toward non-Christians and individuals with no religion”.

Daniel Ross, in protesting the display, asked to be able to erect a “Human Lights” display next to the Nativity.

“To help solve this, I would like to get a sign to be placed on the court house to represent HumanLight for Secular Humanists, Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, and the rest of the secular community. HumanLight is a secular holiday on December 23rd. It’s designed to celebrate and express the positive, secular, human values of reason, compassion, humanity and hope. HumanLight illuminates a positive, secular vision of a happy, just and peaceful future for our world, a future which people can build by working together, drawing on the best of our human capacities. Thank you for taking your time to read this and let me know what time frame would be best to have a sign up next to the manger.”

Commissioner Katharine Pinotti of Precinct 3 sent a private response that, of course, made its way to Houston Press.com:

Mr. Ross,
Please know that I am replying to you ONLY as a resident and NOT as a
representative of Cherokee County as I cannot speak for the court unilaterally. However, I did receive your email requesting to have a “Humanlights” sign erected next to our courthouse decorations and wanted to respond to you from a purely personal point of view.

December 23rd is merely a date selected by your organization to make a political statement of your choice not to celebrate traditional Christian beliefs. Perhaps you should consider choosing another time of the year to demonstrate your secular support instead of attempting to infiltrate the Christmas holiday with a singular purpose to destroy and denigrate the beliefs of others. Try to live and let live.

Katherine Pinotti

Well, you know well where this is headed. Sure enough, American Humanist Association is now crowding in on the act, throwing the weight and the money of a national organization into the fight and sent a letter to Cherokee County asking the whole thing be removed on the age-old flawed argument that nativities somehow violate the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution.

You know where this is headed.

We just hope they get this resolved before Festivus.

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