Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, when people deck the halls with boughs of holly, mistletoe, beribboned wreaths — and Festivus poles made of beer cans.
Each year, some people attempt to put up Nativity scenes in state Capitol buildings and governor’s mansions, and others try to put up secular displays right next to them.
Groups like the American Humanist Association and the Freedom from Religion Foundation have been on the front lines of challenging religious displays on public property, arguing that they violate the separation of church and state. They often file lawsuits and pressure government officials to block Nativity scenes.
“This is like a bunch of groups within the United States right now who are trying to take Christianity out of the United States totally,” said Bob Jackson, a county employee in Harrison County, Mississippi, where the AHA is protesting a Nativity scene in the local courthouse. “It’s harmful. It’s painful to me to see the federal courts that will listen to them more than they will listen to the majority of the people who live in the United States.”
Private citizens also go after these Nativity scenes on a more personal level, erecting Festivus poles, Satanic displays and other dioramas.