Man shares Christmas message at city celebration despite ban on Bible reading

“It’s very simple, I mean it’s Christmas, it’s about the birth of Christ, it’s not about Christmas trees, it’s not about Santa Claus, it’s not about elves and reindeer.” — Samuel Duck

SCROOGE ALERT LEVEL: HIGH

It has been a part of Maryville’s holiday traditions for nearly a quarter of a century, but Monday night the Bible was removed from their Christmas celebration. But, one local man took it upon himself to tell the story of the birth of Jesus.

WVLT: Maryville man shares a Bible story, after it was removed from an event

MARYVILLE, Tenn. — It has been a part of Maryville’s holiday traditions for nearly a quarter of a century, but Monday night the Bible was removed from their Christmas celebration.

One complaint changed the local ceremony, with the long-time argument of separating Church and State.
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And, it hit home when the City of Maryville received a call, complaining about their annual Yuletide Celebration, which used to include reading from the Bible.

Walker Johnson has been the Master of Ceremonies of the Maryville Yuletide Celebration for more than 20 years, but things changed this year.

He says, “It’s my first time in 22 years not to read the Christmas story.” Describing the previous years, he says, “Everybody is partying and having a good time, and when you start to read it, they get quiet, and any time you’ve got 6,7,800 people get quiet, you know you’re doing something right.”

Annually before the large tree in downtown Maryville was lit up, Walker shared the Bible story with the crowd.

But, Mayor Tom Taylor says, “Last Thursday we received a call from a lady asking if we were going to read the Nativity story from the Gospel of Luke,” adding, “and she just simply asked if that were legal.” …

FULL STORY

This from KNOXNews.com: Man defies city of Maryville, reads Scripture at tree lighting

Photo: Samuel David Duck reads the Bible during Maryville’s Christmas tree-lighting celebration Monday night at the Greenbelt. The reading has been a tradition for decades, but this year was eliminated after a complaint to the city. KNOXNews.com/Robert Wilson

MARYVILLE, Tenn. – Acknowledging it is “terrifying to stand and go against the courts,” Samuel David Duck, a Maryville resident and father of two, did what city officials had decided not to do.

He read an account of the birth of Jesus Christ from the Bible at the city’s tree-lighting celebration Monday night at the Greenbelt.

About 20 people gathered to hear the reading from the book of Matthew and applauded when Duck finished…

FULL STORY

7 thoughts on “Man shares Christmas message at city celebration despite ban on Bible reading

  1. He says, “It’s my first time in 22 years not to read the Christmas story.” Describing the previous years, he says, “Everybody is partying and having a good time, and when you start to read it, they get quiet, and any time you’ve got 6,7,800 people get quiet, you know you’re doing something right.”

    Or he was killing their buzz….

  2. Wow. Maryville, TN? I’ve been through there many times. Unbelievable. What really concerns me is that this is not a government event. It’s a cultural event. Barring a community from voluntarily gathering to honor a tradition is oppression of the people’s right to peaceable assembly. The people may assemble and discuss whatever they like. Even if, as one person was quoted in the article, there were such a Supreme Court decision barring peaceable assembly, it should be opposed by peaceful protest. They should gather and do it anyway. Too many have died to protect our freedoms for Americans to sit down and shut up when the courts tell them to. Very disturbing.

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