After decades of atheists chipping away at the traditional Christian background of our culture, it’s nice to see believers sticking up for the inclusion of biblical themes in public life.
The fatal mistake Atheists always make is that the First Amendment in no way bans religion from the public sphere, it simply restricts the government from dictating how believers can worship.
So if a community would like their public facilities to display a nativity scene or three wise men, why should a handful of grump atheists be able to stop them?
They shouldn’t, and in the case of a small town Michigan who has stood up for a decades-old tradition of displaying three wise men and the Star of David atop a local school, they likely won’t be able to stop this public homage to the Nativity story.
Fox 17 Michigan reports:
Christmas music playing over speakers and festive decorations throughout downtown illustrate Newaygo’s holiday spirit. However, a group has taken issue with a display overlooking the town.
The three wise men, a biblical reference to the birth of Jesus Christ, and the Star of David sit atop a public elementary school. Mitch Kahle, a member of the Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists (MACRA), said his group received a complaint and photos of the display from an area resident.
“We’ve asked the school to remove what is, in essence, a nativity scene from the top of the school and from school property. If this were on private property this wouldn’t be an issue,” Kahle explained.
He said his group wrote a letter to Newaygo Public School’s superintendent. MACRA posted about their complaint on Facebook which has led to hundreds of responses that are mostly in favor of keeping the display.
The majority of community members have come out in favor of the display, and Newaygo Public Schools superintendent Peg Thelen Mathis issued a statement which includes the skillful argument that the three wise men are simply, well, three men who are part of a story and there’s no reason to be offended by their presence at the school:
Newaygo Public Schools has a legitimate secular purpose for the display. We are both upholding the community’s tradition of celebrating a public holiday and attempting to point towards the importance of wisdom, knowledge, and open-mindedness. They’ve been described as the scientists of their time. The “wise men” are found in secular and other religious traditions outside of Christianity. Finally, there is no evidence that they were Jewish or Christian before their travels and there is nothing noted in the Christian Bible to indicate anything about any religion they practiced after their travels.