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Published On: Wed, Dec 21st, 2016

Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver: Freedom from Religion atheist ‘falsely intimidates cities’ to remove Nativity scenes

Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) admits it falsely intimidated city officials in order to remove a Nativity scene from a City of Menominee park. When Liberty Counsel got involved, FFRF’s efforts were thwarted.

Menominee park nativity scene. photo courtesy of Liberty Counsel

The Nativity scene was needlessly removed due to numerous baseless complaints for several years from the FFRF to the city questioning the policy of having the display on public property. The city’s long-standing Nativity scene, as part of its overall display, is constitutional under applicable Supreme Court and Sixth Circuit precedent. The Sixth Circuit rejected the same claims three years ago that FFRF threatened to Menominee city officials. After receiving a threatening letter from FFRF, the city removed the Nativity, but then Liberty Counsel sent a letter to city officials setting forth the correct law and offering to provide free legal counsel and defense. City officials have now returned the Nativity, along with other secular items, to the park.

FFRF stated in a press release: “The Liberty-Counsel-instigated change will likely bring Menominee into technical compliance with the current state of the law, due to the ‘reindeer rule.’ This bizarre rule comes from an unfortunate 1984 Supreme Court ruling,┬áLynch v. Donnelly, and permits Christian nativities if secular trimmings of Christmas are included. But the sleight-of-hand is still highly insulting to non-Christians and nonbelievers.”
“This revealing admission of the Freedom From Religion Foundation underscores this group is all bark and no bite,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “This atheist organization admits it falsely intimidates cities in an attempt to remove Nativity scenes. The FFRF has such a hatred for Christ and Christmas that it is willing to lie about the state of the law. The Nativity has returned to Menominee, Michigan and the atheist “Grinch” has been exposed,” said Staver.

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  1. The author is incorrect. There is a basis for the complaints. The government opening a display forum for only one religion is a violation of The Establishment Clause. The “secular” items added to this display don’t invalidate the refusal of access to other religions.

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