Empty Manger, No Candles

SCROOGE ALERT LEVEL: ELEVATED

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pennsylvania — A menorah and statues in the nativity scene on the Luzerne County Courthouse lawn were removed Wednesday night after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) threatened legal action. County officials opted not to spend time and money on a lawsuit – at least not at this time – because they are swamped with the budget crisis and other pressing matters, the Times Leader reports. The empty manger remains. FULL STORY (Photo: Pete G. Wilcox/TimesLeader.com)

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.

FULL STORY

Photo: ClarksvilleOnline.com

Atheists to Federal Appeals Court: public prayer makes us sick

Atheists to Federal Appeals Court: public prayer makes us sick

Rick Warren - Obama inauguration

A lawsuit challenging prayer at Presidential inauguration is currently before the federal D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and could be ruled on soon, according to a legal group defending the tradition.

LA CHURCH & STATE EXAMINER

The lawsuit, filed by hundreds of atheists and atheist groups, led by frequent litigant Michael Newdow, was thrown out by the lower federal court. The two pastors who offered prayers at President Obama’s inauguration, Dr. Rick Warren and Dr. Joseph Lowery, are named defendants in the lawsuit and are being represented by Pacific Justice Institute.

Last week, the Pacific Justice Institute countered the legal arguments of atheists who said public prayer traumatized them to the point of illness… read more

Georgia: H.S. students make a statement of faith

Student body, football players remain ‘Warriors for Christ’ despite Bible-verses ban

Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School

Students at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School in Georgia were not going to let issues of church and state deter them from making a statement Friday night…

READ FULL STORY AT LA CHURCH & STATE EXAMINER

Friday night lights go dim on Bible verses

Georgia school district bans banners with words from the Bible at high school football games

cheerleaders at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School

For six years or so, cheerleaders at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School in Georgia have painted elaborate paper banners, adorned with Bible verses, through which football players have dashed at the outset of games, writes AJC Political Insider Jim Galloway.

For instance, recently, from Philippians 3:14: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me in Christ Jesus.”

After receiving a complaint, the Catoosa County school system cracked down… full story