Nebraska State Capitol to Replace Nativity With Atheist Scene

Two-year-old Ruben Lucas of Australia and his great grandmother Dot Brown look at a display showing the nativity scene in Palisades Park in Santa Monica, California December 12, 2011. Due to a city lottery system to fairly allocate available spots in the park for displays, atheists have been able to claim display spaces usually used for the nativity scene to display different items, according to local media. |

A Christian woman in Lincoln, Nebraska, is planning to protest the city's recent decision to remove a Nativity scene from the Capitol building so that an atheist group may erect its holiday scene in its place.

Sylvia Driskell of Auburn has invited fellow Christians to join her for a peaceful protest on Dec. 19, the day after the Nativity scene will be removed from the Capitol grounds to make way for the atheist holiday scene.

Driskell told KWBE-TV that now more than ever it is important to recognize religion in the United States.

"There are other people that are dying right now in other countries and that's what is going to take place here in the United States, if we don't stand up and say, hey, enough is enough. If you don't believe in him, then why bother us on that day," Driskell told the local media outlet.

"It doesn't make a difference if one or two show up. It's God looking down and seeing that people care. His children care. Those who believe in Him."

The Thomas More Legal Society was told earlier this month that it would be forced to remove its sponsored Nativity scene from the Capitol building a few days before Christmas because the space had been reserved by a local atheist group installing a "Reason This Season" display.

The legal group said in a recent interview that the local atheist group is evidently not willing to share its space with a Christian Nativity.

"They have proved our point that all speech is welcome, except Christian," Martin Cannon, an attorney representing the Omaha chapter of the Thomas More Society, said in a recent interview with the Lincoln Journal Star. "We would have shared our space with them, but they are not willing to do the same."

Christine Delgado, attorney for the Thomas More Society, added in a statement that the group would have liked to have been able to present their Nativity at the Capitol building.

"We would have liked to have been there over Christmas," Delgado said. "But it really doesn't matter what week it is."

"It would have been nice. There are four corners and if it would have been up to us we would have reserved one corner and left the other three open to anyone else. We are not particularly pleased, but we're not upset," the attorney added.

Chris Clements of Lincoln Atheists told The Guardian in a recent statement that the purpose of the atheist "Reason This Season" display is to communicate an atheist perspective this holiday season.

"Our message is that it's a secular government and religion has to stay separate from that. And it's meant to communicate that atheists are not bad people – we can be good without God," Clements said.

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