Christians in Delaware have found a creative solution to a Democratic mayor who banned a Nativity scene that previously was hosted on city property for decades.
That changed in 2018 when city officials informed the local Knights of Columbus that the display would no longer be allowed.
“They got kind of upset about the fact that we weren’t allowing it there,” Democratic Mayor Paul Kuhns told WMDT-TV in Salisbury, Maryland.
“But the city policy is not to have religious displays on public property or city property,” Kuhns said.
“We didn’t want to be exclusive,” he said.
More than 150 mostly Catholic protesters showed up to City Hall last month to pray that Kuhns’ decision be reversed.
“We pray for them to change their hearts and minds,” Father William Cocco of St. Edmond Catholic Church in Rehoboth Beach told the Salisbury Daily Times.
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“I think from the perspective of the city it’s easier to not have anything,” Kuhns said.
In response to the city’s decision, at least 10 businesses and property owners erected Nativity scenes on or near the town’s busiest street.
Mike and Pam Pichola, who recently moved to Rehoboth Beach full-time, told the Cape Gazette in Lewes, Delaware, that they park his pickup truck on various parts of Rehoboth Avenue. The truck is fully equipped with a Nativity scene installed on its flatbed.
Rehoboth’s rolling nativity scene https://t.co/empwUTuDWk
— Cape Gazette (@CapeGazette) December 18, 2019
Pichola, who called Kuhn’s decision a “shame,” said he began parking his vehicle on the road before Thanksgiving but he has to move it daily because of local ordinances.
“The reaction has been good,” he told the Cape Gazette.
Other Nativity scenes have been setup nearby as well — outside restaurants, cafes, hotels and hair salons and in driveways of houses near City Hall.
The area is, in effect, filled with scenes of Christ’s birth.
That Christians who live in a Christian-majority country need to go to such lengths to ensure a Christian holiday — one for which even city officials themselves will take off work — is properly celebrated is downright ridiculous.
The rigid interpretation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause that politicians like Kuhns claim to stand by simply does not exist.
The First Liberty Institute sent a letter to city officials on Thursday explaining how the Nativity scene is wholly in line with the Constitution.
NO NATIVITY…but a Christmas tree & Santa’s house are allowed. We sent a letter to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware city officials after they banned the Knights of Columbus from placing a Nativity scene at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Town Circle. Learn more: https://t.co/Kt04gDDG3e
— First Liberty Institute (@1stLiberty) December 14, 2019
Rehoboth Beach’s prohibition “is itself textbook viewpoint discrimination,” Roger Byron, senior counsel, wrote.
It is “repugnant to the First Amendment, unlawful, and provides [the Knights of Columbus] ‘entitle[ment] to relief.’”
You’d think that common sense would inform Kuhns that allowing a Nativity scene on city property is in no way, shape or form an establishment of religion. Alas, common sense is in short supply among liberal politicians these days.
The Founders created a constitutional republic where religious imagery and religious language were prominently displayed and often invoked. They would be shocked to see America devolving into the anti-Christian secularist nation it is slowly becoming thanks, in part, to city officials at Rehoboth Beach.
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