Green Bay City Council meets tonight to decide the fate of religious displays at City Hall. Councilman who first voted for and helped put up a Nativity crèche last Tuesday night says he’ll now vote against display.
This from GreenBayPressGazette.com:
(Council President Chad) Fradette and Council Vice President Chris Wery put up the Nativity crèche last Tuesday night. Wery said late Monday he’s changed his mind on the issue, largely in part because of the bad feelings that erupted over it.
“I’m going to vote to take it down,” he said. “I thought this would encourage our community to share good will this holiday season, and, as we’ve seen, it’s done the opposite. The displays and the atmosphere have been detrimental and have trivialized everything we want to celebrate.
“We have to limit the damage. I don’t think this is healthy.”
Wery had gone so far as to research with the Alliance Defense Fund, a national advocacy group, which he said offered to defend Green Bay in any lawsuit erupting out of the display. Wery said he’ll pass that on to the council if the council votes to move ahead with having a religious display area, but Wery himself wants no part of it.
“A lot of people I know that I put a lot of trust and faith in, this is really rubbing them the wrong way,” he said. “And how quickly it came upon us, the way it happened, is leaving a bad taste in people’s mouths.
“It’s not a bad thing to just say we made a mistake and then just stop.”
Flying Spaghetti Monster
This also from the Press-Gazette story:
Schmitt said Monday he didn’t realize until that day that the wreath and pentacle involved witchcraft. Wicca is a nature-based religion based on respect for the earth, nature and the cycle of the seasons, but Schmitt said he believed it was wrong to allow a Wiccan display next to the nativity scene.
He described other proposed displays as “silly.” He was referring especially to the Festivus pole and was not familiar with the “Flying Spaghetti Monster” display that an aide told him had also been proposed Monday. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is an Internet-based parody of religion.
RELATED: Festivus pole, Unitarian peace symbol, Wiccan wreath, and more are casualties at City Hall battle – Green Bay City Hall: Nativity Scene Ground Zero
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