ACLU wants ‘equal access’ to Tennessee city’s Christmas event
“The City’s practice of funding a Nativity scene in the City’s annual ‘Christmas on the Cumberland’ celebration is constitutionally suspect and such practice must be remedied.” –ACLU
SCROOGE ALERT LEVEL: HIGH
Leaf-Chronicle: ACLU objects to church’s plan to put scene on city’s riverfront
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — The pastor at Grace Church of the Nazarene says he and his congregation will present their “Christmas on the Cumberland” Nativity scene despite objections from the American Civil Liberties Union.
Steve Estep, the church’s pastor, said Saturday the church went through all the proper channels to present the display, and won’t let the ACLU effort diminish their celebration of the season, and “what it’s really all about.”
“We’re gonna do what we’ve been doing,” Estep said.
The ACLU sent a letter to City Attorney Lance Baker on Nov. 11, alleging the city’s riverfront Christmas observance violated the First Amendment in an “apparent promotion and endorsement of Christianity.” …
Later in the story…
…the ACLU is not asking the city do away with the “Christmas on the Cumberland” celebration altogether, rather implement an “equal access” policy to allow other religious and non-religious groups to participate, clearly state the city’s non-endorsement and not provide funding for a religious display.
Of course, the pastor has said the church is not keeping anyone out or preventing anyone from attending. The Dec. 11 and 12 performances will include choirs from multiple churches of varying faiths at McGregor Park.