Brookville Nativity scene features Bill of Rights in place of baby Jesus

Dec 15, 2015

By Tammy Mutasa & Brian Wiechert

 

A Brookville, Indiana, Christmas display at the center of a federal lawsuit is getting a new look.

This year, the Founding Fathers and Lady Liberty stand guard over the Bill of Rights, which sits in a manger. The new display joins baby Jesus, who lies in a nearby Nativity at the Franklin County Courthouse.

The new additions were erected this year in response to a federal lawsuit. In 2014, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based group, filed the lawsuit arguing that the privately-owned Nativity scene outside of the courthouse violates the First Amendment because it “represents an endorsement of religion and has the principal effect of advancing religion.”

The Nativity scene has been displayed in Brookville for more than 50 years.

Following the lawsuit, county officials changed the policy, allowing any display, religious or not, to appear on the courthouse lawn. That ordinance was enacted after the lawsuit was filed.

The ordinance requires those wanting to erect a display to apply for a permit. Officials said applications will be approved, regardless of the display it promotes.

The county has approved nine displays so far, one being Ben Franklin, George Washington and the Statue of Liberty fawning over the Bill of Rights.


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16 comments on “Brookville Nativity scene features Bill of Rights in place of baby Jesus

  • ass

    Is that what Our Lady of Liberty rode in on?

    Speaking of rights, a dude with ‘Zombie Scene’ in his yard is allowed to show it (after complaints), as long as there is no roof on the “manger” (violation of code).



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  • 4
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    Is that what Our Lady of Liberty rode in on?

    Absolutely. And of course she was a virgin when she gave birth to baby Uncle Sam.

    Speaking of rights, a dude with ‘Zombie Scene’ in his yard is allowed to show it…

    Yeah, the baby zombie Jesus nativity(?) scene… Saw that on Young Turks. It was hilarious. There are far more gory, macabre lawn displays during Halloween and nobody complains. But as soon as you mock religion.. OOOhhhh… Now the masses of “offended Christians” come charging and start trying to use city by-laws as an excuse to force people to comply with their beliefs and sensitivities.

    Bullies posing as victims. It’s getting old. These Christians are so unoriginal, they put me to sleep.



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  • If people want public displays of mid-winter festivals, perhaps there are some traditions which need revising!

    The Roman orgies of Saturnalia,
    or perhaps the Viking beer-festival of Yule. (Ah – a nice reindeer roasting over an open fire – accompanied by a flagon of ale!)

    Anyway – here are a few suggestions which have been forgotten in some places!

    http://www.britannica.com/topic/Saturnalia-Roman-festival

    Feast of Fools

    …a mock bishop or pope was elected, ecclesiastical ritual was parodied, and low and high officials changed places. Such festivals were probably a Christian adaptation of the pagan festivities of the Saturnalia. By the 13th century these feasts had become a burlesque of Christian morality and worship. In spite of repeated prohibitions and penalties imposed by the Council of Basel in 1431



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  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia

    King of the Saturnalia

    Imperial sources refer to a Saturnalicius princeps who ruled as master of ceremonies for the proceedings. He was appointed by lot, and has been compared to the medieval Lord of Misrule at the Feast of Fools. His capricious commands, such as “Sing naked” or “Throw him into cold water,” had to be obeyed by the other guests at the convivium: he creates and (mis)rules a chaotic and absurd world.



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  • What is this strange holiness surrounding the Bill of Rights ? Untouchable, transcendent ? In my experience of the world, fucking “rights” are what you can get away with with some impunity, Either you can go on strike and win an increase, or you can’t. There is no “right” to a fair standard of living. Seeing as some 20,000 odd children die every day of poverty related issues, who the hell cares about the “rights” of Christians to put up trees with lights attached ?

    OK those kids had a “right” to life, too bad the UN wasn’t around to enforce it.



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  • 12
    maria melo says:

    To take on previous comments, kids are enough smart to understamd the whole idea of pluralim of ideas, what may sound very boring too even for children.
    If someone considers a trivial thing the motto “In God we trust” the scenario of nativity must seem innocent too?
    Children´s view can be scrutinezed anyway (exactelly in the same way that I find RDF was interested in the scrutiny of answers on why did people consider themselves as chrustian´s when for instance don´t search answers on the bible to help solving moral decisions that, was QUITE interesting and useful I think.
    Well I really enjoy the Founding Fathers and Lady Liberty stand guard over the Bill of Rights, the gain for the pluralism of ideas, otherwise, it would never be displayed.



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  • Alan4discussion

    The Roman orgies of Saturnalia,
    or perhaps the Viking beer-festival of Yule. (Ah – a nice reindeer roasting over an open fire – accompanied by a flagon of ale!)

    Well it seems perfectly obvious to moi that these two should be combined. Instead of ale could I please substitute a joint?



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  • 14
    maria melo says:

    Well, I found interesting (and morover ridiculous) that once scientists were dispalying themselves in rock festivals to get more people interested in science and the motto was “science is culture too”.
    Oh yes, what was Prof Dawkins doing as lecturer of Children Christmas lectures?
    Well, I supposed that´s what “meaning means”, everyone can came over with their own ideas of meaning (to establish na analoggy with the revolution in physics, it is almost na endless search, like the subatomic particles that are not fixed but anywhere we´d find it at a moment ; like a chess table where pieces gain a different meaning in relationship to other pieces at a moment), quite interesting analogies I think that could be interesting for Neil De Grasse Tyson too? At least, it seems that meaning is suitable suitable for those who consider meaning from a so idiosincratic point of view, so that they can come over even with more ideas of “meaning”, endlessly, I rather prefer to read the table only, really.



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  • There is no “right” to a fair standard of living.

    There is if we decide that a “fair standard of living” (definition required) is right.

    Seeing as some 20,000 odd children die every day of poverty related issues, who the hell cares about the “rights” of Christians to put up trees with lights attached?

    I do.

    OK those kids had a “right” to life, too bad the UN wasn’t around to enforce it.

    If we decide that life is a right, no failure by anyone to “enforce” (I assume you mean protect) it changes that. If you want to place blame, it lies with those who deliberately violate rights, not those who try but fail to protect them.



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