A federal judge’s ruling has confirmed City Hall’s ban on the Palisades Park unattended nativity scenes. That hasn’t stopped a group of churches from panning an alternative display that will be done in two-hour shifts with live participants.
So this week’s Q-Line questioned asked:
Would you support these new, alternative scenes or do you think that kind of display should be kept from a public forum?
Here are your responses:
“I do support the new alternative scenes at Palisades Park, however, I also supported the unattended displays. I don’t know why City Hall banned them in the first place. It doesn’t seem to hurt anybody and like the letter writer in your paper today says, no one can be forced to become a Christian against their will. Can’t the people not just go and look at them if they are so offended by them?”
“Happily we live in a civilized community, not some hotbed of religious zealotry like Afghanistan or Hickory, N.C. Our churches, honoring the distinction between church and state, are free to have their religious displays on their own tax exempt property.”
“I’m utterly astonished and totally flummoxed by this attitude. It is indicative of the lack of moral fiber in today’s society. Indeed I want to support something that lauds Christianity and the golden rule. You bet.”
“When has the nativity scenes every hurt anybody? Never.”
“I cannot believe this utter nonsense regarding the outlawed nativity scenes in Palisades Park is still going on. They were awful and illegal, and an insult to any religious-minded people. They were an absolute cartoon. I am a devout person myself and I resented them and I don’t wear my religion on my sleeve so that anyone thusly inclined won’t be offended. All you simple-minded religious zealots, take a hint and take a hike.”
“What a great idea to combat the dark forces at City Hall. The Darth Vaders, a.k.a. atheistic tax suckers who believe in the nothingness of religious life, but along with the blood-sucking council members believe in taxing the faithful. How convenient that tax-loving losers elect a demi-god to support a system of non-beliefs. Their transition of the nativity scenes from a static view to a moving grasp of one religious thought makes me, after 40 years of remiss, now looking forward to this year’s presentation. Life is a yin and yang, those who believe and those who hate but believe in our City Council. Find the belief in yourself. Explore the spiritual and the new idea of interpretive nativity scenes.”
“One just needs to look at the disastrous result in countries where the church and state are one. We must not allow that to happen here. With all the tax-free properties owned by churches, they have enough space to display their religious views.”
“Well, one alternative display the churches could put up is the cruelty of the Spanish Inquisition or the cruelty of the Crusades or all the other cruelties of religion, Christian or otherwise.”
“The loss of our longtime traditional and beloved nativity scenes as a result of the squawks of a handful of disgruntled, non-resident atheists is very sad. Although laudable in the attempt, the hastily arranged alternative is not without logistical and perhaps other problems. The socialists, elected and otherwise, quite simply want Christmas eliminated, except of course as a day or more away from work. Should you have to make any purchases in Santa Monica during the Christmas season, remember to wish the store clerks and others a merry Christmas. Personally, I will be doing my shopping elsewhere.”
“Before deciding whether or not to support the churches planning for new, alternative attended scenes in Palisades Park, I need more information. What I do know is Santa Monica has a growing reputation for anti-Christian policies. There are few, if any, public or retail displays referring to Christmas. The Santa Monica Daily Press refers to ‘Winterlit,’ ‘community tree,’ ‘Chanukah’ and ‘menorah lighting.’ I believe ‘green’ and ‘fair’ Santa Monica needs to be more even-handed. If it is going to be ‘community tree,’ then it follows that it is ‘Festival of Lights’ and ‘community candelabra.’ I strongly support Chanukah, Christmas tree and menorah. We should not begin to lose sight of this country as one of religious freedom. I object to the trivialization and euphemization of all religions.”
“We are blessed with a beautiful and historic park overlooking the sea. Please keep all of your ugly, distracting and traffic-congesting displays out of our public parks. We need our parks for the quiet and nature, not for the tacky propaganda of Christians, Jews, atheists, Democrats, Republicans and other assorted kooks. Our founding fathers were absolutely right to separate church and state.”
“I’m not sure that the majority of Christians understand how difficult it is for families who are raising non-Christian children to endure December. Our children get confused and feel left out of the over-indulgent, over-spectacled holiday displays and frenzy. When I raised my kids here I avoided Palisades Park because it was too hard to explain the overwhelming displays, which to my New England eyes, are pretty sad looking behind chain-link fences. Our public schools have done an exemplary job of making the holiday season inclusive, but many in the community seem very insensitive to those of us who are not of their faith. There is no good reason why the various Christian churches cannot display sections of the nativity scene in front of their own house of worship. Print maps, apps, or other methods to get the faithful to each house of worship to see them. The general public might not even know where your church is located; what a great way to introduce them to your neighborhood. The country is changing. Santa Monica is changing. Adapt or complain, but please don’t inflict your religious beliefs on the rest of us.”