Decision On Santa Monica Nativity Display Postponed Until June

SANTA MONICA (CBS) — A nearly 60-year-old Christmas tradition in Santa Monica could come to an end this summer.

The City Council will vote next month on a proposal to ban a Christian nativity display in Palisades Park during the Christmas season after a contentious meeting over the exhibit on Tuesday evening that lasted well past midnight.

Supporters argued the tradition has been a city fixture since 1953, while those who opposed the display said religious displays of any kind should not be allowed on public land.

The proposal would prohibit a coalition of churches as well as other groups from erecting displays- including a Hanukkah menorah from Chabad in Santa Monica.

Thirteen churches along with the Santa Monica Police Officers Association has overseen the exhibit since 1983, and recently made headlines when it failed to win a fight against out-of-town atheist groups who sought to shrink the display down from 14 booths to three.

Council members will meet to consider the proposed ban on June 12.

  • SaMo Punts On Nativity Scene: The city of Santa Monica delayed… | LA News Talk Radio

    […] The city of Santa Monica delayed a vote on the future of the nativity scene tradition in Palisades P… The controversy follows last year’s event in which all but three of the traditional 14 nativity scenes were used for more secular purposes. Last night, the city council held a contentious hearing that lasted past midnight, but in the end decided to wait until their June 12 meeting to decide. On one side of the debate are church groups that would like to prevent atheists from putting up signs that “denigrate” holiday traditions–the nativity scenes have been a fixture in the city since 1953, they claim. On the other side are groups like the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which argues that the city can’t favor religious displays over non-religious displays. [CBS LA] […]

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