Every year small towns across America are targeted because of their nativity scenes. This year is no exception.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently zeroed in on the small village of St. Bernard, a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. The Madison, Wisconsin-based organization threatened the town with a lawsuit if they do not remove the nativity scene. However, it is actually part of a larger exhibit that includes secular symbols of the season.
According to the FFRF’s attorney, Sam Grover, the display “conveys a preference for religion over non-religion and for Christianity above all other faiths.”
In essence, they argue the Christmas scene is not fair to other religions or the non-religious. They could not be more wrong.
Obviously, the nativity scene depicts the night Christ was born. In case the FFRF hasn’t figured it out, that’s where the “Christ” part of “Christmas” comes from. For followers, it represents the birth of their Lord and Savior. It is the night that God came down to earth and became human to save us from our sins.
But Christians aren’t the only ones who recognize Christ.
The family, including Joseph, Mary and the baby, are Jews. They are from the house of David and were in Bethlehem for a census. The Jewish faith recognizes Jesus as a teacher of the law. They also believe he was crucified yet they deny his resurrection. The Jewish faith does not accept Christ as their promised Messiah and that his death was for their sins. Regardless, they do not deny that he existed.
In the same manner, Muslims also recognize Jesus as an important figure. Mohammed speaks of Jesus in the Qur’an 25 times. Like the Jews, they too accept him as a teacher. In fact, Muslims go even farther than the Jews. They believe in Jesus’ virgin birth and his strengthening by the Holy Spirit. They admit he performed miracles and ascended into Heaven in bodily form.
However, Muslims do reject Jesus’ crucifixion, and his deity as the Son of God. Nevertheless, they profess Jesus will return, as the Christians do, but contend he will accompany their savior, the 12th Imam, and bring peace. Jesus will also declare Allah the true god.
Most nativity scenes include wise men. These Gentiles, or non-Jews, interpreted dreams, studied astrology and practiced magic. Furthermore, most likely pagans, their activities largely displeased God. Regardless, the Bible tells us these magi saw a star in the sky and followed it. Coming from the east, their actual origin remains unknown yet Bible scholars suspect Persia, Babylon, or Arabia. They purposely traveled to Jerusalem to find the King of the Jews. So even non-believers were compelled to worship Jesus upon seeing his star in the sky. Something the actually Jewish leaders at the time refused to recognize.
But what about those who just relate Christmas with the non-religious Santa Claus? The truth is, Santa evolved from St. Nicholas. Nicholas was a Bishop in the 1st century. He inherited much wealth from his parents, which he used to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Nicholas spent his life giving presents, financial help, clothing and food to the poor and needy in the name of Christ. His generosity inspired people to share gifts at Christmastime. So in reality, having a Santa at Jesus’ side is not pandering to the non-religious. It is being historically accurate as that is exactly where St. Nicholas spent his life. It was his safe space.
Lastly, regarding those the FFRF say reject all of it, believing it’s all fake. If that’s the case, what difference does it make if others believe otherwise? How does it honestly affect them to see a Christmas scene at Christmas time? The FFRF claims to be 100% confident in their ideology. Yet seeing a nativity scene is like showing a cross to a vampire. They completely implode when confronted with the possibility of being wrong. They don’t just deny God, they must force God out of everyone’s life to be validated.
Hiding behind the supposed “separation of church and state”, they profess to want holiday displays to include everyone. But when has anything ever included everyone? The FFRF claims the focus on Christianity is unconstitutional even though their argument is not in the Constitution. We all know if they were truly sincere, their organization would be called Freedom OF Religion, not Freedom FROM Religion. That would be Constitutional. Regardless, their goal is anything but freedom.
Whether the FFRF wants to admit it or not, the holiday is called CHRISTmas. Other religions do observe holidays this time of year, such as Hanukkah and Ramadan. Nevertheless, atheists and agnostics are not buying presents and taking off work to observe them. They will, however, celebrate Christmas.
The FFRF pretends to be free from religion. But it is obvious they worship themselves. They are their own gods. By their actions, they evidently want everyone else to worship them too.
But that’s just my 2 cents.