AMERICAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION – ACTION ALERT
Michigan’s Macomb County Road Commission orders removal of privately maintained Nativity scene at crossroads of city
Dear Reader: Ask the Macomb County Road Commission to rescind their order removing a privately maintained Nativity scene set at the crossroads of the city. The Christmas culture wars for 2009 have begun and ground zero is the Detroit suburb of Warren, which for 63 years has hosted a privately maintained Nativity scene set at the crossroads of the city.
The Nativity display had been maintained by Warren city resident John Satawa and his family for most of the municipality’s history until the Macomb County Road Commission this year ordered the display removed because they say it “clearly displays a religious message” in violation of the “separation of church and state.”
The Road Commission informed Satawa of its decision upon receiving a letter in December 2008 from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, which purported to act on behalf of a complainant in the city of 134,000 residents, saying the display violated the Constitution. (See letter here)
The Thomas Moore Law Center has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Stawa against the Road Commission. Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center, said that militant atheists attempt to do through the courts what the Taliban by force had done to Afghanistan: remove all the symbols of the country’s national heritage.
The Nativity dates from 1945, just five years after the incorporation of the Village of Warren, which then boasted 582 inhabitants.
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