There will be no nativity scenes at Palisades Park this winter, per a ruling from a federal judge today--the judge "denied a Christian group's bid for a preliminary injunction to force suburban Santa Monica to reopen spaces in [the] park to private, unattended displays, including Christmas Nativity scenes," reports the AP. The nativity displays (one has 14 scenes) are a decades-old tradition at the park, but in the past few years, atheists have started jockeying for equal space; they've flooded the lottery system for spaces and erected their own displays with horrifying outrages like signs with Thomas Jefferson quotes. Instead of dealing with the resulting madness ("Most of the [atheist] signs were vandalized"), the city council just decided to ban the displays altogether this year. However, "the churches can still set up an attended display when Palisades Park is open and erect unattended displays in 12 of the city's other parks with a special permit. They can also distribute leaflets, carol or hold a Christmas play." Still, they've sued the city based on the First Amendment; their attorney says he expects the case will be dismissed but plans to appeal.
· Santa Monica Christmas Nativity displays don't have to reopen, judge tells Christian group [AP]
· SaMo Bans Atheist-Infiltrated Nativity Scenes in Palisades Park [Curbed LA]