SANTA MONICA (CBS) — Christmas will be a lot darker this year along Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica after a vote to prohibit any unattended religious displays at Palisades Park.
The city council voted unanimously to stop churches, synagogues, atheists and other groups to display nativity scenes or other exhibits, ending a city tradition that spanned over six decades.
The vote was met with angry outbursts at City Hall.
“It’s about God versus the devil,” said one resident.
“Y’all say you love the Lord but no one prayed,” another man shouted. “David was a great king, he prayed to God and sought him first.”
Before Tuesday’s vote, the city reduced the number of displays from 14 booths down to three after a non-local atheist group complained in December of last year.
Since 1953, 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.