A city in Washington state needs to be dissuaded from reinstalling a nativity scene in a public park.
Two locals had erected a nativity display in Gig Harbor's Skansie Brothers Park for years until an objection from the Freedom From Religion Foundation caused the city to have it removed. Now, the city is holding a public hearing on whether to allow such exhibits to be displayed again on governmental land. The city had informally OK'd this without a permit policy.
In the absence of a clear-cut policy, the city's permitting of a nativity display on public property showed a distinct preference for Christianity over other religions. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that it is impermissible to place a nativity scene as the sole focus of such a display. Plus, the city's go-ahead was disdainful of the large percentage of Americans who are non-Christian, including the rapidly growing population of nonbelievers.
The public hearing on religious or holiday exhibits on public land in Gig Harbor will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 4, evening.
If you live in the area and can attend the hearing, it will be held at 5:30 p.m., Jan. 4, at City Hall, 3510 Grandview Street, Gig Harbor, WA 98335
Feel free to utilize the talking points below.
I am contacting you [as a concerned area resident] to urge you to stand by your decision not to allow nativity scenes to be displayed on public property. Such a display — standing exclusively by itself — showed the city's unconstitutional endorsement of Christianity. Additionally, it sent an exclusionary message that Gig Harbor has a bias against the 30 percent of Americans who are non-Christian, including myself and the 23 percent who are nonreligious.
Please keep Gig Harbor's parks free of divisive displays.