Support for LAist comes from
Made of L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Nativity Scenes in SaMo Park a No-Go, Rules Judge

Our June member drive is live: protect this resource!
Right now, we need your help during our short June member drive to keep the local news you read here every day going. This has been a challenging year, but with your help, we can get one step closer to closing our budget gap. Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership.

Call them Scrooges or Grinches or some other four-letter word that's not quite in the holiday spirit, but the decision of the Santa Monica City Council to ban nativity scenes altogether has been upheld by the legal grinches of the federal judicial system.

If this leaves you exclaiming "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!" well, that might be part of the problem. Though having nativity scenes set up in Santa Monica along Ocean Avenue is a tradition that goes back six decades, recently atheists have deemed the annual displays exclusionary, and when the lottery for scene spots was opened up to non-believers in 2011, those non-believers ended up winning a majority of the slots. Of course, this pissed off the traditionalists, and things were pretty ugly in the season of love and light (or doubt and dismissal, if you're in the other camp).

The issue is before the court now because The Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee filed suit against the ban. The committee is a group comprised of 13 area churches and the police officers’ union, according to ABC News.

As she intimated she would, U.S. District Court Judge Audrey Collins affirmed today she would uphold the ban.

Support for LAist comes from

William Becker, the attorney for the Christian group, said he expects the case will be dismissed at the next hearing and plans to appeal, reports the Associated Press.

Most Read