Nativity scene marks three decades after court win

Thursday, December 3, 2015
Charlie Butts (

Nativity 1Despite objections from atheists, the nativity scene in Chicago's Daley Plaza is once again on display – in fact, it has become a tradition.

The Christmas display is now in its 31st year, but the right to continue was won after one of the first successful court battles over nativity scenes. Thomas More Society chief counsel Tom Brejcha explains to OneNewsNow the display was initially erected in city hall until an atheist objected; and then the privately financed crèche was moved outside to Daley Plaza, in hopes that would satisfy the objectors.

"So we put up the nativity scene and, by golly, in 48 hours somebody from up on high gave the word and they descended with crowbars to dismantle it," he recalls. "And folks got on the phone and the so-called 'God Squad' came to the rescue, cradled the Christ child, and protected the statues."

That was in 1985. A young attorney, Jennifer Neubauer, rushed to federal court and obtained an injunction, which is now permanent, to permit the crèche.

Brejcha, Tom (TMS)Brejcha says political speeches are often made on Daley Plaza so a Christian form of speech, the crèche, cannot be denied. In short, says the attorney, the atheists lost.

"We Christians shouldn't be afraid to go out there and mix it up with 'em if we have to," he adds. "After all, our points of view, our values have thrived over two millennia and we shouldn't be afraid to fight for those values now."

Thomas More Society has worked with the American Nativity Scene Committee in placing manger scenes in public places in 24 states and 12 capitol buildings, including Illinois.


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