Atheist Group Ousts Church Christmas Displays From Santa Monica Park

SANTA MONICA (CBS) — Santa Monica church leaders are outraged after an atheist group displaced them this year from their annual Christmas story display sites at a city park overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Pier.

For the past 57 years, a coalition of 13 churches and the Santa Monica Police Officers Association have sponsored a seasonal display in Palisades Park of 14 dioramas depicting the nativity story.

This year, the group was only permitted to erect three of its displays.

The City of Santa Monica held a lottery for the first time this fall to allocate the temporary spaces in the city park, when 13 individuals applied for the available holiday display sites.

One space went to a Jewish organization, two went to churches, and 18 more were awarded to individuals whose stated intentions were “solstice greetings.”

Now the church group is angry that their crèches remain in storage, while most of the spots awarded to atheists sit vacant.

“Our belief is that these new applicants have been working to displace and push out the nativity scenes from the park, rather than erecting a full display of their own,” said Hunter Jameson, a spokesman for the churches, in an interview with the Santa Monica Daily Press.

One spot not awarded to the coalition displays a “Happy Solstice” sign, situated under a protective cage. Damon Vix helped organize the atheists’ effort, and is displaying a quote from Thomas Jefferson at his space: “Religions are all alike — founded upon fables and mythologies.”

He told the Santa Monica Lookout newspaper “there is a growing secular community in this country that has kept quiet too long,” and said religious displays should be on church property.

“This has been a city tradition for nearly 60 years,” Jameson told the Santa Monica Lookout newspaper. “These new groups applying for permits aren’t even Santa Monica residents, and they are just derogatory to organized religions.”

A deputy city attorney said the government cannot differentiate between applicants for the coveted spaces, and cannot give preference to Santa Monica residents for space used for public speech.

Most of the holiday display spaces awarded to the outside applicants are now vacant grassy areas.

Religious leaders are calling for church bells across Santa Monica to be rung at 3 p.m. Sunday to protest their lack of access to the scenic real estate where the traditional crèches and other religious dioramas have traditionally been displayed.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Carlys says:

    Shame On This Group For Doing This!!! I Believe If You Are Not From Santa Monica Then Should Not Have Been Able To Apply!!! Merry CHRISTmas!!! I Will Pray For Them!!! There Are No Atheists In Foxholes!!!

    1. Jimbo says:

      Make sure it’s an angry prayer.

      1. love of God says:

        You are an angry devil.

      2. jimbo says:

        You and Calrys are angry Christians!

    2. BuzzLOL says:

      .. You’re a typical lying religic, I was an atheist/Normal Person in the foxholes… ALL religions are mental illness, an addiction to being lied to, and a psychosis… your FEARS are what caused you to become addicted to religion… Normal People are VASTLY MORE MORAL than any lying religic… the clergy lies for a living…

      1. jimbo says:

        Wel, they DO need to make a living…

    3. Matt Dupree says:

      Religion and god are made up myths. Total garbage. Get real. No more religion, god myths or republicans, get lost. Start living in reality instead of being phony scared people.

      1. Carlys says:

        The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

      2. Sylrac says:

        I don’t understand. Is god about love, or is he angry, and something to be feared?
        How does fear generate knowledge?
        How is fear wise, and instructional?
        If God created all of the earth and it’s people, why did he create so many different cultures and religions?
        Aren’t they all God’s creation?

      3. Donna Reiser says:

        We have a right to our lies like you have a right to yours.

  2. Stryker 21 says:

    Eliminate every Atheist from the USA.

    1. Ken says:

      I like your message of love.

    2. Jimbo says:

      May the peace and love of this Christmas season be with you too…

    3. Matt Dupree says:

      Thank you Athiest groups for trying to get rid of these phony religious Jesus people.
      God is a myth and people should live in reality. Maybe we will progress as a human race. Eliminate church and god worshiping people. Thank you Athiests. And we do not need god to be good people either.

      1. Mother Teresa says:

        Sonny… you should visit my bedroom because I can do so many naughty things to you that would curl your toes and make you scream, “OH GOD YES!!!”

  3. dragoonies says:

    It’s a lottery. Lotteries don’t care if you’re religious or not. The solution is simple – Instead of whining about it, you should send in more applications next year than the atheist group.

    1. pat says:

      No, the solution is even more simple, use the space you received in the lotto instead of being an a-s-s and leaving it empty. It goes to show that Atheists are just of bunch of a-s-s-holes..Just like you !!

      1. Jesus says:

        The lotto winners are using it – even if it is their decision NOT to use it. You can’t tell me that because you own a car, you drive it every minute of every day.
        It’s called FREE WILL. Call it one for God.
        Merry F*ing Christmas , pat.
        JC

      2. Donna Reiser says:

        I agree. It was assumed they signed up in good faith to get to use it. So if they didn’t use it, they were committing fraud. It is not the same as owning a car. The car is yours. The space belongs to the city, and if you don’t claim it to use it, then it is only fair to let someone else use it. Don’t be greedy.

  4. Ken says:

    Uh oh! If your sky god doesn’t see your plastic and wood mannequins, will he smite you?

    if we’re going to allow dioramas to fictional characters, I want to put up something for Harry Potter, which has a much clearer message of love and standing up for what’s right than the needlessly violent and misogynistic Bible.

    1. Lori says:

      Amen, oops. Great comment, agree with you 100%..

  5. Carlys says:

    I Find It Intriguing That Mortal Humans With Their Limited Mentality Would Refer To The Maker Of All Things As Fictional!! Ken Are You Even Ignorant To Believe That Their Was not A Man Named Jesus That Actually Lived??? More Prayers!!!

    1. Ken says:

      I’m being lectured on “limited mentality” by someone who doesn’t appear to understand the basic rules of capitalization.

      If your sky god is omnipotent, why didn’t he just decree, “I forgive everyone’s sins?” Why did he instead feel the need to create a son and then have him tortured to death? How does that translate into “love?”

      1. Joe Dionne says:

        You’ll see.

      2. Mudoctorii says:

        Why are you being sooo uptight about something you don’t even believe in. It doesn’t hurt anyone if we choose to believe in God. It doesn’t hurt us for you not to believe in God or the birth of his son. All your ranting does is show how mean unbelievers really are. I hope you have a great Christmas??? or whatever it is you might or might not celebrate.

      3. Carlys says:

        The FOOL has said in his heart there is no God!!! He had to be tortured for our sins!! He was our sacrifice!! We have all fallen short of the glory of God!!

    2. jimbo says:

      It’s all hearsay evidence. That’s why it’s called BELIEF, Carlys.
      To each his or her own.
      JUDGE NOT LEST YE BE JUDGED!
      Matthew 7:1

    3. Lori says:

      I’m sure there was someone name Jesus and sure he was a great carpenter and that’s about it.

      1. Matisyahu says:

        Jesus also like liked brisket & matzo ball soup. Jesus was a Jew!

    4. Matt Dupree says:

      believe what you want but don’t push that on other people. Pray to yourself instead of some mysterious god.

  6. C.S. says:

    All you have to do is go to any 3rd world country and see the difference of those who practice Christianity and those who don’t. Those who do are decent people who keep themselves clean and help each other. Those who don’t take every opportunity to help themselves over others and the result is disgusting.

    Atheists are foul and bitter individuals without wisdom who bring a lot of harm to others.

    1. James Daley says:

      C.S.

      Your comment is rather rude and not filled with so called love. Atheists are not foul individual. We choice not to blindly belief in something that provides no proof that it’s real. I respect your belief and you have the freedom to worship whatever you like…..and as a US citizen I have the freedom to do the same. If I choose not believe in your so call “God” then please respect that…..as I am giving you that same courtesy. If people choose to place signs stating their opinions, please respect that as well. In the end, people don’t need religion. Religion needs people.

    2. Matt Dupree says:

      another stupid comment. Athiests do not need religion of god to be good people. I bet you voted for bush and cheney.

      1. Mr. Clinton says:

        Nope…I bet he voted for a good ol’ southern boy….like one from Arkansas & he celebrated with a cigar.

      2. Mrs. Clinton says:

        Clinton was a great President, despite his sexual desires. I definitely voted for him. But the evil christian george bush and cheney blew it all. talk about evil christians.

    3. P Smith says:

      Oh, like Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Kenya and others where christians subject their daughters to the same female genital mutilation (FGM) that the muslims do?

      Or christian countries like Zimbabwe, Uganda, Senegal, Togo, and Liberia in Africa, or Barbados, Jamaica and Belize in the Caribbean where people can be denied rights, imprisoned and even murdered by the state for not obeying specific christian practices and rules? Especially people who aren’t christian?

      Murdering and imprisoning non-christians is a long held christian tradition from the time of the crusades, the inquisition, European imperialism, anti-semetic pogroms (from the middle ages up to Nazi Germany) and anti-muslim wars from Spain in the middle ages to the Ottoman empire until today’s wars for oil. It’s not news except to the wilfully ignorant.

      .

  7. Joe Dionne says:

    Ask yourself why they don’t do this to Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Satan worshipers or any other “religion”.

    1. jimbo says:

      They’re already repressed… BY CHRISTIANS!

  8. Jimbo says:

    “This has been a city tradition for nearly 60 years,” Jameson told the Santa Monica Lookout newspaper
    Slavery was also a tradition for almost 100 yrs. and the southern Baptists complained about that…
    Tradition can be questioned.
    THAT’s what makes out country great!

    1. jimpo says:

      I meant to say,”The Baptists complained when That came to an end too.

      1. sm_boy says:

        So these dioramas are as bad as slavery?

        Sorry, I’m just not seeing it.

      2. Jimbo says:

        Just because something is “traditional” doesn’t make it right.

      3. sm_boy says:

        Honestly, I don’t see anything wrong with them at all. How are they hurting anyone?

    2. Bg_Boy says:

      Who’s stopping them from displaying them on church property?

  9. Ashley says:

    im not a hugely religious person but omfg, these people need to shut the eff up and deal with it. the first amendment protects freedom of religion that includes atheists AND christians. the christians have an absolute right to display this. they can be offended all the want but they shouldnt be making someone take down their display when it is their belief and moral right to believe. so much hypocrisy with atheists.

    1. Heidi Collings says:

      Um, I don’t think God does that…..

    2. jimbo says:

      Nobody Made anybody take these displays down. It was a lottery. However, the article was titled in such a way that made it seem as if the Atheists made SM take all of the displays down. Read article above.

      @ Heidi Collins: Free will

  10. Graciano Barraza says:

    Do you see freedom of expression there!

    1. Donna Reiser says:

      Actually, they claimed the plots to keep others from expressing their free speech. They had nothing to say but didn’t want others to say anything either. That was mean-spirited. If Christians are the bigots, then what is that?

  11. Heidi Crimmings says:

    Too bad for the Athiests….there are NO ATHEISTS in Heaven!!!!!

    1. jimbo says:

      Too bad for heidi… There is no heaven.

    2. Lori says:

      Probably because there’s no heaven.

      1. Hugh Hefner says:

        I always try to make a lovely lady feel heavenly and like a beautiful goddess. So…do you want to go to heaven? I know the way….hmmmm?

    3. Shaggy Dope says:

      Because there is no such thing as heaven. But there is a hell and you christians are in it. Its called earth.

    4. Donna Reiser says:

      Thank God. Meanwhile, in Hell…”This isn’t real! I am not on fire! Ouch! That’s irrational! Ouch! Ouch! This place doesn’t exist!”

  12. john says:

    mean spirited people on both sides guess arguing is more important than charity. according to you beliefs may you have a tragic solstice day or an unhappy christmas

  13. jimbo says:

    Maybe God is punishing americans for perverting the Christmas holiday beyond recognition

  14. Peter Leone says:

    When will you fools understand? Every person on this planet is more moral than your fictitious god ever could be. Good thing it doesn’t exist. If it did, the only logical move would be to try our best to destroy your sky daddy. Now, go learn something productive and not something cruel and barbaric.

    All I know is, even if your evil god DID exist, I’d judge him and not the other way around.

    Happy Holidays!

  15. tim says:

    there is no such thing as PUBLIC LAND think about it if something is open to the public then there can be no open or close time or rules as to what you can do there such as the beach where you can no longer drink a beer. the only way for something to be PUBLIC LAND is if it is not owned by ANYONE if a person owns it or the city, state, county or fed owns it, then it is not truely PUBLIC this park is owned by someone. if the people who put in apps to use pieces of this park have NOT put anything on it or are not ACTIVELY using their aloted space for some purpose then the city or who ever MUST allow the church groups to use it just like they have for the last 60 years

    1. jimbo says:

      Perhaps the people not using the space just want to preserve the view…If they won the lottery like the groups putting up religious displays, they have as much right as those groups to use their little temporary slice of the earth as they se fit.

      By forcing the city to allow any other group to use the space fore something other than the purpose intended by the lottery winner would constitute a breech of contract with the lottery winner.
      I think you’re unsuccessfully trying to define public land as an effort to keep a group of people you don’t agree with, to bend you your “correct” idea.

      Definition:
      public land:
      In all modern states, some land is held by central or local governments. This is called public land. The system of tenure of public…

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_land

      zeal·ot/ˈzelət/
      Noun:
      A person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.

    2. Julio says:

      Parks close because there is no public assistance after such time. Doing so limits any sort of accident by citizens wishing to attend parks in an unsuitable environment. If an accident occurs within the park’s limits, people have a right to sue (which means the government, which means the public), thereby providing an unnecessary budget for such concerns. If anything, the closing of public parks provides safety for people who believe that attending parks in the middle of the night is a good idea.

      The park is a public forum where anyone is allowed, unless there has been a decree withholding a person from doing so. Just because it is a public institution does not mean that parks can operate sans law. The applications for the allotment were given to anyone, which unfortunately, might not have been taken seriously by churchgoers. Maybe the atheist rendition of celebration is to put nothing. You can argue that such a sentiment is an expression in itself (as the musical piece 4′33″ or Robert Rauschenberg’s “White Paintings”).

      Lastly, such a small setback shouldn’t be ringing an outrage as big as this. If the concern was that the displays were representing bigger things, then it is a shallow demonstration of faith. Instead, how about donating time to the unrepresented. I’m sure that goes a much longer way than displaying plastic sculptures that do not truly represent Judeo-Christianic values.

  16. J K says:

    I don’t have a problem w/ the Athiests of the world. Even if you dont believe in Jesus, you cannot argue with his message.

  17. jimbo says:

    Right on, Brother (or sister)

    1. Hugh Hefner says:

      High five to you! And remember nothing is more precious in life than recording your love…preferably in pictures or to some extent hidden video cameras.

  18. Amy says:

    All religions and this “God” character were created FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE of helping humans cope with death and tragedy. Only people that have been religiously brainwashed from generation to generation think otherwise. I applaud this Atheist group for basically saying enough is enough take all your therapeutic displays out of here. May “God” bless you all…LOL

    1. Hugh Hefner says:

      I am pretty sure even Atheists have had times times in their lives when they have called out for Jesus or God. I hardly doubt all Atheists are mute when they are engaged in the natural heated, sweaty & physical exerting process of human reproduction. So…how are you doing?

      1. Tim says:

        Amy you are one very smart women. Agree 100%. And “Hugh” of course Atheists have and still do call out for Jesus or God by saying things like “Oh my god” etc but this is voiced out because its an overly used phrase in society NOT because they believe in God. The same applies to the ever-so-famous words “I’m sorry” – its pretty obvious that more then half of the people who say “Im sorry” are not truly sorry at all. Simple concept to understand.

      2. Larry Flynt says:

        The gift of sensing sarcasm is not strong in Tim. Must be against his religion. Oh & “Hugh” I enjoy your work but it needs to be a little more “sinful!”

    2. USC Trojan Grl says:

      Very well said Amy. Religions do 3 things very effectively: Divide people, control people and delude people. Religious folks believe its not right to be an Atheist yet they believe in a book that has sticks turning into snakes! Talk about being narrow minded. Brainwashing has indeed overruled common sense hahaha!

      1. Hugh Hefner says:

        You forgot one more thing USC Grl. Religions brings people together. For example my favorite time is when there is a naked female in front of me & I can make her praise Jesus & God. She would be so enraptured in an 0rgasmic feeling that it is truly a miracle & she would speak in foreign tongues. So did you take a foreign language @ USC…hmmm?

    3. Shaggy Dope says:

      weird comment. how stupid to say god bless you after that message. oh well, its what I expect from our weird culture.

      1. shaggy intellectual says:

        perhaps a reading comprehension course would be in order for you.
        And you call Amy stupid…

  19. Alan R. says:

    The vitriol on both sides is impressively disgusting. Think that suggestions only SM residents should be allowed to apply was right on target.
    Atheists are entitled to their belief (or is that non-belief?) system, but shouldn’t be allowed to tilt playing field in communities where they do not reside.

  20. The Blogger says:

    What happened to Freedom of Religion?

    This is one of the main reasons why people came to America in the first place!

    Hello?

    http://www.sacramento-blog-uncut.blogspot.com

    1. Ben Franklin says:

      exactly!

  21. God Loves Me says:

    I wonder what atheists do when they are dying. I bet they start praying and asking God for help. God please help these morons.

    1. Lori says:

      Nah, my dad was fine, said he was happy to be worm food. No god, but if that gets you through the day, good for you. Don’t trash others for their beliefs, god wouldn’t like that.

    2. Matt Dupree says:

      we die like we are suppose to as a life like any other life form on earth. we don’t cry to god like phony christians.

      1. Lori says:

        Exactly, like my kids say, when you die well you just die, the end.

  22. Satan says:

    I find it fascinating that the most vile comments are coming from the people trying to defend the display if the nativity scenes. Xtians claim that Muslims have a violent nature.
    Take a breath, read your bible – before you become what you hate.
    Love,

  23. God says:

    These posts are making me angrier than I already am.
    Beware that I might smite thee and thy people with pestilence.

    1. Matt Dupree says:

      go ahead, nothing will happen. like nothing happens when you wish for stupid things from god. But I expect stupid people because the american public voted in two of the most evil people in office twice. All in the name of christianity – the evil bush and cheney. they declared war in the name of christianity. what a bad religion.

      1. The White Barack Obama says:

        True dat…true dat! Mr. Duu-preeee! Thank you for your support my brotha!!!

      2. A.R. says:

        “Why am I an atheist? I ask you: Why is anybody not an atheist? Everyone starts out being an atheist. No one is born with belief in anything. Infants are atheists until they are indoctrinated. I resent anyone pushing their religion on me. I don’t push my atheism on anybody else. Live and let live. Not many people practice that when it comes to religion.”

        – Andy Roony
        Boston Globe, 30 May 1982

      3. Matt Dupree says:

        I love Obama. Thanks to everyone who voted in a good person who helped people in need instead of being like the republicans who didn’t want to give any assistance to struggling people. But the republicans will keep giving money and aid to rich countries and tax breaks to the wealthy, etc., etc. republicans are for the rich man and they are conservative christians who love to go to war to make contractors rich on taxpayer’s dime. Thank you Obama for being President.

      4. barack says:

        Right on Matt Dupree – and thanks to the muddled Republican Presidential candidates, It looks as if I’m headed for a second term, with Nancy regaining the speaker seat.
        The religious right has bitten off far more than they can chew!
        Thanks for your support

    2. g says:

      “Beware that I might smite thee and thy people with pestilence.”

      About displays in parks? You need to chill out, God.

  24. P Smith says:

    Why the loaded language? Why the dishonest use of atheists in the title?

    The title could also have been, “jews oust christian displays”. So why wasn’t it? Because such a title would have been seen as creating animosity and hate towards jews? How is that any different than the use of atheists in the title? Clearly, that was the intent of the “writer”, to create animosity towards atheists and make them a target of violence.

    And let’s not ignore the weasel word “oust”. Its use falsely infers that it was atheists who made this decision, or that christians were somehow forcibly removed. Neither was the case. What happened in Santa Monica was to allow ALL people to speak, to allow free speech and to prevent a show of bias toward one narrow (minded) point of view. Again, the use of the word “oust” was done to create animosity and violence towards atheists.

    Obviously, those who want only one point of view heard are against free speech. Their point of view is so weak that it cannot withstand hearing or allowing those who disagree with them. If their views had any merit, they would welcome other points of view. The strongest argument is the one that ANSWERS questions, not the one with the strength to prevent them from being asked.

    .

    1. Mark Twain says:

      My question exactly.

  25. Carlys says:

    Why is it that most of you are using false names?? Ask yourselves that question. The reason is that you are already ashamed of what you are saying here and are hiding behind a false name like cowards do!!! Do you not know that what you hide in the dark will all be brought out into the light??? The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. The bottom line that everyone seems to be overlooking is everyone that was in the lottery should have been a citizen of Santa Monica period. My question is when was the information regarding the new lottery system released??? Remember the reason for the season is JESUS!!! If you don’t like it then maybe you should move to an atheist country like China!!!

    1. a concerned christian - not my real name says:

      Hey Calrys – if that is your real name – God created some religions in China, referred to as Buddhism and Taoism. Yes, they are here on earth therefore, are God’s creation.
      I’m glad I live in a country that permits it’s citizens to worship any way they see fit – even if it is not to worship at all.
      Some countries force religious beliefs on their citizens and those are the countries with some of the worst civil rights in the world. Some of these a crimes perpetrated by Christians in the name of the LORD.
      It’s just a belief. You may not like when some non religious group wins a lottery for place that had christian symbols on it, but other people who don’t believe, don’t want to have your BELIEF foisted onto them.
      Free will.
      P.S. learn a little about the whorl before making statements about places and people you fear – mean don’t understand.

      1. Carlys says:

        I will pray first for your spelling!!! LOL!!! It’s Carlys. You are not a concerned Christian # 1. The bottom line that everyone seems to be overlooking is everyone that was in the lottery should have been a citizen of Santa Monica period. My question is when was the information regarding the new lottery system released??? I am glad too that we live in a country where religion is not forced down throats too. This act was clearly done out of hate not understanding and love. It was mean-spirited form the get and you know it.

      2. Bill W says:

        Unfortunately, religion (Christianity) has played an increasing roll in the political forum and that DOES have he effect of ramming someone’s beliefs down our throats. Check out Rick Perry’s latest Campaign ad.
        This peaceful action by non religious groups is a response. There are more atheists (and gays) in your neighborhood than you may realize.

      3. Carlys says:

        Bill W, Mark my words don’t worry about Rick Perry. Ir was mean-spirited From* the get and everyone knows it. As far a people living in my neighborhood I don’t think so but no one is going to shut my religious freedoms down and you can take that to the bank!!! :)))

      4. a concerned christian - not my real name says:

        Hey Calrys – if that is your real name – There you go again, making false statements about someone you don’t know or maybe don’t understand. How can you assume I’m not a Christian when you don’t even know me?? Religion is a personal choice BELIEF, and I have the wisdom to understand that everyone needs to believe or not in their own way. Live and let live. The Golden rule, etc.
        Peace

      5. Bill W says:

        Carlys – Interestingly, so many religious fanatics imply that someone is trying to take away your religious freedom. This demonstration in no way infringes on that right. I agree with A concerned christian – not my real name. You don’t understand the issues. Say a prayer and ask God to help you understand.
        Scientific proof of spirit? Really?

      6. Carlys says:

        It’s CARLYS and for the last time it is my real first name!! The bottom line that everyone seems to be overlooking is everyone that was in the lottery should have been a citizen of Santa Monica period. My question is when was the information regarding the new lottery system released?

      7. a concerned christian - not my real name says:

        Hey Carlys, You may be right on that point, but that didn’t stop the Mormons from getting involved in the fight against Proposition 8. They had the legal right to do so (i guess) as did the people who this lotto. Neither seems right, I agree, but that’s just another part of what’s wrong with our current political system.
        Want to read about something to be fearful of?
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Apostolic_Reformation
        If this group has it’s way, religious freedom will be “shut”
        educate yourself a little

  26. Karin says:

    Many traditions have been displaced for new ones. For one we aren’t offering burnt offerings any longer. That is a good thing! Yes, there are many with whom are superstitious and believe about anything without an ounce of proof to support their beliefs. Atheist are allowed today to speak out without the fear of being jailed, hung or crucified as was done ‘traditionally’ in our recent past. As an atheist myself I am quite proud of the atheist groups which provided a means of removing these outrageous mythological displays that hold only delusional messages. Though, I understand that for some, these delusions are real. Just like I understand that an individual within the confines of an insane asylum is delusional and this individual also trusts in what they believe. However, there comes a time when each one of us has to be honest. It is at this time, such as this argument of what to display or not to display, when those in which are honest come to the forefront. An atheist states there is no evidence for these mythological beliefs. A religious person will state that their beliefs are true without any supportive evidence. Who is being honest? I state honesty because failing to provide supportive evidence for ones platform only weakens the community at large. I prefer not to live in a community for which their only goal is to isolate themselves within a delusional belief system.

    1. KB says:

      AND it was done without involving crime or vandalism. Kudos to the free thinkers!

    2. Carlys says:

      I suppose the scientific poof of a spirit does not interest you then huh??? I wish someone could comment intelligently without having to degrade the other!!! I guess no one can speak on my bottom line because it makes too much sense!!!

      1. Sylrac says:

        There’s no scientific proof, and there never was. A concerned christian – not my real name is right. You do just say stuff.

      2. Carlys says:

        “There is evidence of the human soul, because as soon as someone dies, the very moment the soul leaves the body, the body immediately weighs less. It is quite interesting!!! Hello!!! Why do we only use 10 percent of our brains?? Man and you people call Christians Crazy!!! Put the puzzle together folks!!

      3. Sylrac says:

        Carlys, Are you Christian or Buddhist? I’m confused…
        At any rate “21 Grams” was a very entertaining movie. However it’s not “Proof”

      4. KB says:

        You make no sense. You can show proof that you believe in a spirit – I ask, “do you believe in a spirit?” you say, “Why, yes I do!” I ask, “Can you show me this spirit?”. I’ll answer for you -“NO”
        a coworker of min and myself saw some UFOs hovering above Hollywood. He can corroborate my claim, but, I’m afraid, I can’t prove it.

      5. Sylrac says:

        Yes, some people use even less than the 10%

  27. Ossie says:

    Glorifying a birth on a yearly basis strikes a sympathetic chord with mothers all over the world. Sacrificing the birthed deity to atone for one’s “sins” reduces accountability for violations of the Ten Commandments and allows people to be controlled for various agendas. This is how incursions into foreign countries and decimation of the populaces therein can be attained, by control of so-called “Christians”. “It’s OK, Jesus will forgive you” are what chaplains are in the army for, to remind the regretful.

    Personally, I enjoy the aesthetics of the season, the music, decorations, etc. I put my “Christmas” tree up at the time of the solstice, so that we don’t forget the pagan roots of the holiday. I have oft-times enjoyed a Christmas Eve religious service at a local protestant church with it’s pagentry, candles and music, after meeting with friends for a celebratory Christmas dinner.

    But deep down inside, I know I don’t belong in any church, because it is just a tool to control people-and the Bible says to go into your closet, not church. There is the peer pressue to have families, reinforced by the “Holy Family” adulation. How many churchgoers work in the defense industries in the manufacture of wepons that are designed to kill, in direct opposition to the commandment not to kill?

    There should be one Palisades Park display for Christmas, Hannukah, Solstice and athiesm. If Shinto or Buddhism have a holiday around now, they should have a booth also. Freedom of religion is a tenet of our First Amendment.

    1. rholbrookiii@yahoo.com says:

      Actually, they already did have a manorah for Hannukah and a display for atheists running concurrently with the Christmas dioramas.

  28. imnicerthanur says:

    enjoy your victory while it lasts. hell is hot, and forever is a long time.

    1. devil's advocate says:

      Really? Have you spoken to someone who’s been there?

    2. imsmarterthanur says:

      I find it difficult to believe that a loving God, creator of everything would create different religions to battle each other philosophically, then condemn 2/3 of the those people he so lovingly created to burn in Hell for all eternity.
      This sounds a bit like a group using scare tactics to convince others to become a member of their club to keep the dues (tithing) coming in. You know – something that a small group of disciples made up about 2000 years ago when no one else was looking.
      Merry Christmas, by the way

    3. P Smith says:

      Yours are the words of a five year old child, threatening to get his “big brother” to beat up the other kids. And as always, your “big brother” never shows.

      The twist on this story is that is the five year old kid wasn’t beaten up by a bully. The five year old IS the bully, and atheists are the smaller kids who stood up for themselves, knocking the bully on his rear.

      The bully couldn’t beat up the other kids and get his way. He doesn’t like it, so he’s going home to cry.

    4. g says:

      You really think your God is going to punish people in Hell because they displayed something in a park that criticized religion?

      Your God must be a pretty nasty piece of work.

  29. groapair says:

    jesus got raped by W G A F GROAPAIR IN CHURCH

  30. Bob Oso says:

    A long time ago, a group of people came to this country to avoid religious persecution. In time, that sentiment became a protected civil right. Sadly, that civil right has slowly been gnawed away to the point that mere public expression of any religious belief is now regarded as an affront to those who prefer not to have any religious belief system. Also long ago, the rights of those who were not religiously inclined were protected vehemently by the courts that they would not be singled out and discriminated against.

    *sigh*

    Wherefore art thou o’ most civil of thy rights? Forgotten, I fear, like the memory of a child’s first step. And now, like a child’s momentum driven steps, we are faced with the awkwardness of inertia and fall backwards with an equal and opposite effect.

    1. A Concerned Christian says:

      Actually, practicing one’s religion is still protected by the first amendment. The lottery put on Santa Monica was supporting that amendment by not excluding ANY group that wishes to display their beliefs on public property – even if those people choose not to believe in anything at all -except maybe preserving the view overlooking the ocean from the park.

      All of the churches that didn’t win a space in the park, are still free to set up their displays on church property in full public view, just like you are able to put lights on you own home to celebrate your holiday. Someone passing by the church might even get so excited by the display, they might decide to join that congregation non the spot! Who knows?

      Long gone from this country is a thing called tolerance.

      “sigh”

      People seem to use intolerance these days as a device to foist their beliefs on others, while at the same time declaring, “Where have MY civil rights gone?”

      Live and let live.

    2. g says:

      What are you saying – your right to display your religion on the property that I pay taxes for is compromised? Why shouldn’t it? You have the right to display your religion on the property you pay taxes on, or on the property your church doesn’t have to pay taxes on. Why should my tax payments go to support your display of your religion in a public park?

      1. Bob Oso says:

        Freedom of speech and expression. You know, like the Occupy movements all throughout the U.S. where I pay taxes in my local government. So “yeah”, I want to display like YOU get to sit, stink and pollute MY tax paid government property.

      2. Chase says:

        @ Bob Sos
        This was a lottery. A completely different thing you you idiotic pig.
        PS you stink too!

      3. D Trump says:

        Yeah, Bob.
        YOU’RE what’s wrong with America!

      4. Bos Oso says:

        Freedom goes both ways, NOT just to skewed and censor-inclined individuals. But it’s nice to see that when one doesn’t agree with another, we “are wrong with America”. Good comeback. Is your next one “oh yeah”. Well, good to raise ones ire and awareness. Speaking of raising, how’s the ol’ BP?

      5. B franklin says:

        1st amendment:

        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
        Hence he lotto.
        1. It supports no particular religion.
        2. It doesn’t prohibit the free expression thereof.

        Hooray for the American Constitution – THERE’s a tradition I can live with…
        Been around over 200 years

      6. Bob Oso says:

        “Thank you”, B Franklin. Well stated.

  31. David says:

    I think it’s pretty telling that the “reason” based atheists are using a fake Jefferson (who believed in God, even if he was a deist, not a theist) quote – “and is displaying a quote from Thomas Jefferson at his space: “Religions are all alike — founded upon fables and mythologies.” in one of their displays. Check it out for yourself at http://www.monticello.org (search on fables).

    1. jimboj says:

      Pasted from your link:

      Quotation: “I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology.”

      sounds like he’s calling Christianity a superstition to me…
      and he seems to dislike Christianity either.
      Thanks for the link!

      1. David says:

        You should have read further. The page is listing the quote (and its several variations) and then comments on whether or not it is a valid quote.

        Their verdict?

        “Status: We have not found this quotation in any of Jefferson’s known writings.”

        Like I said. The quote is fake.

        Still, like I said, Jefferson was a deist, not a theist. That means he didn’t believe in a personal God and didn’t believe that God interacts directly in the world. So, yes, he had problems with a lot of the teachings of Christianity.

        He did, however, believe in God, Jesus (as a teacher) and Heaven.

        Miles and miles away from being an atheist.

      2. Carlys says:

        Hello!!! Damn You Are A Moron!!! I followed the link and if you read it it actually says there is no historical fact that President Jefferson ever said it!!! Man stupidity really galls me!!!!

    2. Sylrac says:

      He may have believed in god, but he had tolerance of others.
      but at least he was man enough to accept that it saw a BELIEF!

      “But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

      Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826 . Notes on the State of Virginia
      Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library

      live and let live

      1. David says:

        Absolutely right, and I’m grateful that he and the other founding fathers felt that way. (and who is saying that Christianity isn’t a belief?)

        However, he was talking about the dangers of establishing a state religion. One where a person is compelled to worship a certain way and where he will be punished if he doesn’t. Jefferson believed, as I do, that such religious worship must be left up to the individual.

  32. Wesley Mcgranor says:

    This is why the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should be repealed.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Anti-Catholic

    1. T. Jefferson says:

      What does the The Civil Rights Act of 1964 have to do with this article?
      In light of your comment, I propose more funding for education!

      The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States[1] that outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including racial segregation. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public (“public accommodations”).

  33. sm_boy says:

    I grew up in Santa Monica and attended Saint Monica’s Catholic Church. I’m very angry and saddened that Santa Monica will no longer be “the city of the Christmas Story.” I had hoped to introduce my new twins to the dioramas next year, since I have enjoyed them from childhood to adult. Looks like that will never happen now.

    I generally believe in separation of Church and state, but in this instance, honestly, what harm is being done? These dioramas were a chance for all the churches in Santa Monica to work together. They were there for people to enjoy or not, whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, or atheist. Honestly, I don’t see how any reasonable or rational person could have any objection to this, whether they’re religious or not.

    One thing not included in this article is the fact that previous years have included a manorah and a message from an atheist group in the park as well. I certainly didn’t have a problem with those, and I don’t think the majority of other people did either. We all have our different beliefs and I honestly don’t understand why we should hate or not tolerate those of others, especially during this holiday season. It’s just wrong.

    This sabotage of a time-honored Santa Monica tradition is simply mean-spirited bigotry, plain and simple from an atheist group (definitely not representative of the majority of atheists who are good, tolerant, and reasonable people) that are almost definitely from outside the city. There was no reason whatsoever to do this other than bigoted spite and, apparently for Mr. Vix, publicity for his cause. Honestly, I’m pretty sure that has backfired on him. Most people generally don’t like bigots or bigotry, especially during the Holidays. I know I don’t. I wasn’t raised that way.

    I’d like to end this with a Happy Holidays for everyone, whatever your religious beliefs or not. Please be good to each other.

    1. Bg_Boy says:

      Most people don’t like pushy, angry Christians, either.

      There are still 2 Xmas displays, and one menorah. So go celebrate in your own way.
      And if your church has decided to spend your congregation’s tithing funds on a frivolous display, don’t get angry. Encourage them to set it up on their own church grounds – for all of the congregation to enjoy! Even the elderly and handicapped – who might not be able to make it to the park.

      1. sm_boy says:

        1. Most Christians I know aren’t pushy or angry. On the contrary, I can’t think of one Christian friend, relative, or associate who falls into that category.

        2. Two displays and one manorah out of the entire display that has been in the park for 57 years?

        3. I know that the Catholic and Methodist churches already have their own creches. I bet the other churches do that as well.

        4. The amount of money spent on these displays is probably extremely small compared to the money required to operate Saint Monica’s schools, support the Church, the priests, charitable work (i.e. a parish in Africa, an orphanage in Mexico, and other community work for the poor), etc.). I know the mannequins have been used for years. They’re essentially the same displays every year.

        5. I don’t see any difference at all with the elderly or handicap viewing a creche in front of Saint Monica’s or the Methodist Church or in Palisades Park. In fact, I bet with the parking, the park might be easier.

        Speaking for myself, I’m more dissapointed than anything else. It hurts to feel hatred and bigotry from others whom I’ve done nothing to, simply because I’m Christian. I think that was the whole point of this campaign against the creches, to make Christians feel marginalized and hurt. I just do not understand it. Mr. Vix has said he’s felt marginalized. I don’t understand that either. I know Mnsgr. Torgerson at Saint Monica’s has made it a point to say all are welcome at the church, whatever their beliefs. I imagine the other pastors of the other Christian congregations feel the same way. I just do not understand how anyone can feel so incensed or offended by these displays, so much as to ruin it for so many people and destroy a time-honored tradition and make such a hurtful gesture during the holiday season. Again, it really hurts to know that I’ll never be able to introduce my twins to something I enjoyed so much in the city where I was born and raised. It will hurt even more if I have to tell them why those displays were removed. I guess that’s life though. I thought this was going to happen in the near future from reading the news. I’m sad to see I was right.

        Maybe the statue of Saint Monica in the park will be the next thing to go.

      2. Bg_Boy says:

        @ Sm_boy
        1. You, and others on this board, seem to think that atheists have no Christian friends. I like you have many a Christian friend, relative, or associate who does not fall into the category of evil. I was instead referring to a large number of so called christians making evil comments and name calling atheists as if they are evil. The first and especially the second sort of set the tone for this message board

        2. There are still displays. Stop whining

        3. OK. your point is…

        4. Are you your church accountant?

        5. Parking is terrible in that part of town. Especially this time of year.

        Speaking for myself, I’m more dissapointed than anything else. It hurts to feel hatred and bigotry from others whom I’ve done nothing to, simply because I’m Atheist. I think that was the whole point of this campaign against the creches, to make Atheists feel marginalized and hurt. I understand why Mr. Vix has said he’s felt marginalized. Many traditions have been replaced with new ones. Segregation has pretty much been eliminated in the USA. Women can vote. Gay marriage is finding acceptance.
        Along with all of these changes, someone is angry about it.
        It’s amazing all of the bigotry being displayed against Mr Vix and the people that agree with his cause. Most people generally don’t like bigots or bigotry, especially during the Holidays. I know I don’t. I wasn’t raised that way.

        Maybe the statue of Saint Monica in the park will be the next thing to go?
        Now you’re really being ridiculous.

      3. sm_boy says:

        1. Nope, I do believe that many atheists do have Christian friends. One of my best friends is one. I have some relatives who are atheists as well. I love them a lot.

        2. Thanks for patronizing me. I guess you don’t value this tradition like I do and that’s fine. It’d be nice if you could have a bit more empathy, especially at this time of year.

        3. No point, just info.

        4. No, I’m not the church’s accountant. I’m just guessing based on the evidence and what I know of St. Monica’s activities.

        5. Parking is better in the park where there are meters than around California Bvld, which is all permit parking. Reed Park across the way (named after fmr. Mayor and parishoner Christine Reed RIP) has some meters but the park has more. You could park on wilshire and walk two a few blocks. Of course, you could park on the church property on weekends. With the park, you have the meters and residential blocks you can park at or on the other side of Ocean Ave.

        6. It’s ridiculous to want to walk the park and show the Christmas story to my twins? How is that ridiculous? I’m a third generation Santa Monican. I love my city and I loved its traditions. Now, this tradition is gone because of mean-spirited bigotry. That’s the obvious motivation for this whole action. Mr. Vix and the others quoted for these articles essentially admitted it.

        If, instead, you were referring to them removing the statue of St. Monica, I don’t think that’s a ridiculous suggestion at all. Isn’t a madonna like statue of a Catholic Saint in a public park also “promoting Christianity” like the creches? Heck, the reason St. Monica’s has a bronze statue of Mary in front of the church now is because someone tore off the head of the previous statue. After this current action by Mr. Vix’s organization, I really do believe there are parties who would love to see the statue of St. Monica removed as well. The question is whether they can legally find a way to do that, whether resorting to the separation of church and state argument will work there. I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t know.

  34. g says:

    I’m surprised to see that some Christians’ faith is apparently so weak that it can be compromised if confronted by challenging displays in public parks.

    If your faith in your religions is so weak that a simple sign with words on it can shake it, you’re not much of a believer.

    why do you need to shut out other points of view from a public space to protect your belief?

    1. sm_boy says:

      1. It’s not that our faith is weak, it’s that this is clearly a mean-spirited gesture based on obvious bigotry.

      2. Other points of view haven’t been shut out of Palisades Park at all. As I said, previous years have included a menorah and a message from an atheist group.

      1. BG_Boy says:

        And the Christian Perspective hasn’t been shut out of the park this year either.
        I’ll bet that next year, the churches will recruit all of their congregates to enter the lotto in an effort to shut out the atheist groups. The atheist groups were just more clever this year.
        I’ll bet the Christians win next year.
        Merry Christmas

      2. sm_boy says:

        BG_Boy, from what I’ve learned, you’re correct. Mr. Vix’s organization essentially stuffed the lottery box with a lot of entries, where the churches just entered once. They were blind-sinded this year. Next year, if there are more entries, it will all be back. At least, I’m hopeful it will be for my twins’s sake.

        Thanks for wishing me a Merry Christmas. I wish you the same!

  35. Debbie Montgomery says:

    I was born in Santa Monica 60 years ago. Viewing the Nativity scenes was always an important part of our family Christmases. So sad to see this happen.

    1. sm_boy says:

      Hey, Debbie! My dad and I were born in SM too. Grandpa came there as a young boy. I’m with you. It hurts to see this go this year. I don’t know what will happen next year with it.

      But don’t let it get you down. Have a great Chrismas, Hannukah, or Holiday Season!

  36. js says:

    If someone said they thought Zeus was real, I’d laugh at them. Sorry. You don’t have an unalienable right to not be laughed at. You’ll get over it.

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