By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
The city of Green Bay, Wisconsin successfully fought off a lawsuit brought by a radical atheist organization over a Nativity scene that it traditionally displays at City Hall every year.
Yesterday afternoon, federal Judge William Griesbach dismissed the lawsuit by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) against the City of Green Bay, calling it “so fleeting and slight that they do not warrant pursuing in federal court.”
David Corry, Senior Litigation Counsel for Liberty Counsel, a non-profit legal organization that defends traditional family values and religious liberty, successfully argued that the United States Supreme Court has upheld government-sponsored Nativity scenes when displayed in the context of other symbols of the Christmas holiday, such as Santa Claus, a reindeer, or a Christmas tree. The City of Green Bay displayed all those elements and even included wreaths with ribbon and lit candles.
However, having a weak case doesn’t stop the FFRF. It typically uses intimidation and threats of attorney’s fees against local communities who take any action that might acknowledge religion.
Judge Griesbach referred to the tactic when he noted that there is “a strong incentive for budget-conscious local governments to accede to demands from groups like the plaintiffs that government buildings and other property be cleansed of all signs and symbols of the country’s religious heritage.”
According to a press release by the Liberty Counsel, “The FFRF is based in Madison, Wisconsin, but also spreads its poisonous anti-God agenda into other states. The group recently sued the Cherry Creek School District in Denver, Colorado because local schools officials integrate positive principles into their program. The FFRF claims that some of the principles taught are drawn from biblical teachings. . . .
“The organization also unashamedly unveiled its ‘Imagine No Religion’ billboards at Christmastime. FFRF is the most extreme, anti-religious, separationist organization in the country, claiming that its members are atheists and agnostics.”
In this case, however, Green Bay city officials refused to be intimidated by the FFRF and fought back.
“The federal court gave the City of Green Bay an early Christmas present,” said Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law.
“The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a radical organization that seeks to cleanse religion from America. The fact is that America has a rich religious history, and Nativity scene displays are consistently constitutional.”
© All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly/Women of Grace. http://www.womenofgrace.com