Nativity Scene Removed From Jay Town Hall After Lawyer Claims It’s Illegal

December 11, 2014

For the first time in nearly 40 years, there’s no longer a Nativity scene on display this Christmas at the Jay City Hall after an attorney for a Wisconsin group that represents agnostics and atheists sent a letter to the town claiming that a nativity display on public property is illegal.

“It is our understanding that the town of Jay owns and erects a nativity in front of Jay City Hall. We understand that the nativity is the lone holiday display,”Andrew Seidel, a staff attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, wrote in a letter to Jay Mayor Kurvin Qualls last week.

“It is unlawful for the town to maintain, erect, or host a holiday display that consists solely of a nativity scene, thus singling out, showing preference for, and endorsing one religion. The Supreme Court has ruled it is impermissible to place a nativity scene as the sole focus of a display on government property,” Seidel’s letter continued. He said his letter was in response to a complaint his foundation received from a Jay resident.

“Putting up a nativity scene, especially at Jay City Hall, tells nonbelievers and non-Christians that they are outsiders in their community, that they are excluded…Once the town enters into the religion business, conferring endorsement and preference for one religion over others, it strikes a blow at religious liberty, forcing taxpayers of all faiths and of no religion to support a particular expression of worship,” Siedel wrote.

According to Jay Clerk Linda Carden, the town’s attorney advised against fighting the group in court due to legal costs that could easily top $100,000. Instead, Carden said, the town council declared the Nativity scene as surplus property.

The Nativity was then acquired by the Santa Rosa County Ministerial Association, which has now placed it on display at the corner of Commerce Street and Highway 4 — at the Jay’s main stoplight.

“More people probably will see it there,” Carden said.

(Scroll down for remainder of article below photo)

In 2012, the Freedom From Religion Foundation targeted a Nativity display at the Century Town Hall, with Seidel writing a letter that claimed a display consisting solely of  a Nativity scene, “depicting the mythical birth of the Christian god [sic]“, endorses a single religion and is thus illegal according to the Supreme Court.

“There are ample private and church grounds were religious displays may be freely placed,” Seidel wrote in 2012 to the  Town of Century. “Once the council enters into the religion business, conferring endorsement and preference for one religion over others, it strikes a blow at religious liberty, forcing taxpayers of all faiths and of no religion to support a particular expression of worship.”

Century declared their Nativity scene as surplus property, selling it to the highest bidder. The sale was not a response to the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s assertions, but was due solely to the aging condition of the manger scene set making it unsuitable for public display, town officials said at the time.

Century’s Nativity display was purchased by the Faith Bible Baptist Church. It was erected and lit by church volunteers  in front of an abandoned building directly across Highway 29 from the Century Town Hall. The use of the property was donated by owner Don Grant of Century Marine.  Electricity for the display was donated by the neighboring Abundant Life Assembly of God, while Tabernacle Baptist Church donated the wiring necessary to light the display.

Pictured top: A photo showing a Nativity display at the Jay Town Hall sent by an unnamed Jay resident to the Freedom From Religion Foundation prompting the group’s complaint. Pictured top inset and middle photo: The Nativity scene was acquired by a ministerial association and moved (Photos by Michele Gibbs for Pictured bottom inset: A Nativity display now across the highway from the Century Town Hall. photos, click to enlarge.


183 Responses to “Nativity Scene Removed From Jay Town Hall After Lawyer Claims It’s Illegal”

  1. Star on December 18th, 2014 3:30 pm

    The United States Supreme Court in Everson v. Board of Education (1947), Justice Hugo Black held:

    The “establishment of religion” clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the federal government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance.

    No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect “a wall of separation between church and State.”

  2. Lou G on December 18th, 2014 8:47 am

    ProudArmyParent – “but if you were raised right, you’d do it politely!”

    You mean like you did in another one of your rants?

    ProudArmyParent – “if you can’t enjoy Christmas and what it stands for, then stay in your own little world you call home or better yet move to a country that doesn’t believe in anything. Oh I know pull your lip over your head and swallow… Lol The whole world would be better off with out you…”

  3. Lou G on December 17th, 2014 10:11 pm

    “If the White House can do this, why can’t a small town do so as well?”

    The White House is the President’s residence.

    You CAN have a nativity scene on your lawn, your church can, any privately owned property can display any religious/mythological symbol.

    Neither you nor any xian mob can commandeer government property in an act to promote, nor can the government promote, religion – the doctrine of subservience to a mythological being.

  4. GREG CURTISS on December 17th, 2014 6:01 pm


  5. Gabe on December 17th, 2014 5:27 pm

    The White House lit a Menorah on the White House Ellipse for the past 35 years. They also display a Nativity scene and several Christmas trees. If the White House can do this, why can’t a small town do so as well?

  6. Lou G on December 16th, 2014 9:01 am

    ProudArmyParent – “Naturally Born United States Citizen (LOL!) speaking out in protest against Constitutional Right being taken away… Hmmmmm, that would their Right under the U.S. Constitution, we refer to it as Freedom of Speech.”

    First of all, “freedom of speech” isn’t absolute.

    Second, neither you nor anyone else, nor any xian majority mob have the right to use government property as you please, especially when it violates Constitutional jurisprudence.

    You haven’t been deprived of any Constitutional rights.

  7. ProudArmyParent on December 16th, 2014 6:04 am

    Lou G on December 15th, 2014 10:20 am, I find it funny that you think that a Naturally Born United States Citizen speaking out in protest against Constitutional Right being taken away is a “RANT”. Hmmmmmm, it must have been one heck of a “RANT” spoken at the First Constitutional Congress!

    Why is it the when anyone speaks in favor of keeping any of our Constitutional Rights from falling from the wayside “Bullies”, come out and start trying to down grade those that have an adverse opinion from their opinion. Hmmmmm, that would their Right under the U.S. Constitution, we refer to it as Freedom of Speech.

    Here is the catch though, you can speak out, but if you were raised right, you’d do it politely!

  8. Juanita M. Gonzalez on December 15th, 2014 10:34 pm

    Matthew 10 :32-33
    ‘Whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will acknowledge them before My Father in heaven. But whoever disowns ME before men, I will disown them before My Father in heaven.’ If you don’t stand for something that you belive in then you will fall for anything, Jesus came so He could save ALL of us , He NEVER mentioned COLOR/RACE/CREED , nor MALE /FEMALE, rich/poor, the Just and the unjust…. ALL OF US even the unbelievers.AMEN MERRY CHRISTMAS, God bless us all …….♡♥♡ Happy Birthday Jesus

  9. Dave Godfrey on December 15th, 2014 8:58 pm

    To many of the above respondents:

    To begin with, I am an atheist and staunch supporter of FFRF and it’s efforts to ensure that public, tax supported money is not used to advance or support a specific religious belief. I view with disdain many of the arguments put forth above: “but this is a Christian country”, or “but no one in this town or school or sport’s team’s history has ever complained” or “it’s all the fault of these “outsiders”! “How dare you come into our communities and tell us how we should worship”. Sound familiar?
    The courts have made it abundantly clear that the First Amendment prohibits the government, i.e. the city, state or federal, from supporting a religious event . And this most definitely includes allowing religious observations on public property. I love the Christmas season. I love the ambiance and the feelings of good will. What I don’t support is my tax dollars enhancing a religious display to which I profoundly, and constitutionally, find objectionable.
    I look forward to viewing Christmas displays, as long as they are on private property. If my child wants to bow his head and pray before his school lunch, I would totally support him.
    It’s really very simple. Express your religious beliefs however you wish. But do it on your own time, in your own place, WITHOUT financial support from the community.
    Dave Godfrey

  10. Aaron W. on December 15th, 2014 6:52 pm

    What I find amusing is the outrage. None of the folks here would approve of any other religion’s display. Most important thing here is this: Freedom of religion (worshipping who you choose) simultaneously implies freedom from religion (not worshipping) solution is simple do not fund these illegal scenes with public money or governmentally owned public places. I as an atheist, from Jay, am personally delighted that it was removed. Keep your God to yourself and in your churches.

  11. jeeperman on December 15th, 2014 4:29 pm

    Maybe a resident of Jay complained, and maybe no resident of Jay complained.
    The lawyer and his ilk just claim there was a complaint.

    And “separation of church and state” is a paraphrase of United States Supreme Court rulings over the year.
    The court who is responsible for interpreting the Constitution. And applying it as the law of our land.

  12. True Believer on December 15th, 2014 3:12 pm

    I find it a mystery that some would claim to be chosen of God, but curse and hate his son Jesus Christ.

  13. Lou G on December 15th, 2014 11:13 am

    Jackie – “I would like to know who the Jay resident is that submitted the letter to this organization.”

    WHY? What possible good could come from that?

  14. Lou G on December 15th, 2014 11:12 am

    “I just want to say I noticed the nativity scene by the Christmas tree when I took my kids to the doctor last week, it’s much more noticeable and stands out there it was absolutely Beautiful !”

    But it wouldn’t have been as noticeable and so beautiful on a church lawn without an xmas tree next to it…

    I understand that a decorated xmas tree is beautiful, but how are plastic figurines, that are in all probability of imaginary people, “beautiful?”

  15. Lou G on December 15th, 2014 10:20 am

    ProudArmyParent – “Let’s fight to keep our rights given to us under the Constitution”

    It’s funny that in your rant you don’t mention what right you are deprived. What right?

  16. Lou G on December 15th, 2014 10:04 am

    “So I guess, “One Nation, Under God” has no meaning anymore?”

    You mean those those two words added in 1954 to the Pledge of Allegiance to A FLAG?

  17. Rhonda Currie on December 15th, 2014 8:02 am

    I just want to say I noticed the nativity scene by the Christmas tree when I took my kids to the doctor last week, it’s much more noticeable and stands out there it was absolutely Beautiful !

  18. ProudArmyParent on December 15th, 2014 6:28 am

    The Town of Jay like the Town of Century needs to grow a backbone! By declaring their Nativity scenes surplus property and allowing them to be sold to the highest bidder they freely gave up an inalienable right. Sure now both Nativities maybe in a more promenade place, but that is not the point. The point is both Towns gave up rights given to them in the U.S. Constitution. These Towns not only gave up these Rights, but they gave them up without even consulting the will of the people they represent. Not one “shot” was fired, No “Tea” was poured into a harbor, and No “lanterns” were hoisted and held up in any church steeple. This Lawyer from Wisconsin sent a letter and both Towns caved into his threats.
    Shouldn’t we be teaching our children to stand up to “Bullies”. As Teddy Roosevelt said, “speak softly and carry a big stick”. We keep these Attorneys as General Counsel to represent us, let’s make them earn their pay. Let’s fight to keep our rights given to us under the Constitution. Our forefather fought for these rights, our sons fight everyday in other countries for foreigner’s rights, and yet we just give ours away our rights because someone says lawsuit. AMAZING!!!

  19. Jackie on December 15th, 2014 1:29 am

    I would like to know who the Jay resident is that submitted the letter to this organization. I feel the residents of Jay have the right to know who made the complaint. This complaint affects all the residents, so I think it should be public knowledge.

  20. Really? on December 14th, 2014 11:26 pm

    So I guess, “One Nation, Under God” has no meaning anymore?

  21. History Question on December 14th, 2014 9:01 pm

    Separation of Church and State – Can you actually tell what documentation the phrase is written in? This country was founded on God! All the early historical documentations of any sort mentioned God, so us “Bible Thumpers” are carrying on the best thing there is , mentioning and standing up for God which is real! If you don’t believe in God or celebrate His birth, do you still utilize the perks that come with it, paid Christmas holidays, bonuses, etc? Just wondering?

  22. Rural Geek on December 14th, 2014 8:52 pm

    Separation of Church and State is not in the Constitution. The Freedom of Religion clause was intended to prevent the federal government from establishing a national religion. It had nothing to do with local governments.

    If the founders wanted total isolation from Christian observances then why did they write this for George Washington’s inauguration?

    Annals of Congress, Vol. 1, p. 25, April 27, 1789:

    “Resolved, That after the oath shall have been administered to the President, he, attended by the Vice President and members of the Senate and House of Representatives, shall proceed to St. Paul’s Chapel, to hear divine service.”

    Why did they have George Washington take the oath on a Bible instead of the

  23. ha on December 14th, 2014 6:39 pm

    Wow some of you guys need to get a grip…

    it’s a nativity scene at a town hall aka government building. Separation of church and state comes to mind here.

    if it were at a church I can understand you griping but darn it’s not.

    this isn’t a Christian country as much as you bible thumpers think it is. Religious zealots on both sides are why we have the middle east problem with Israel and the muslims.

    god isn’t everywhere or else he wouldn’t allow people to be burned alive and allow the holocaust to happen.

  24. Andy on December 14th, 2014 8:27 am

    This group goes around trying to intimidate communities throughout the United States with the threat of lawsuits. I think all Christians in Santa Rosa County should send in one dollars get our own lawyer and fight this, put the nativity scene back city hall!

  25. g.locust on December 13th, 2014 5:43 pm

    Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.

    Long before our constitution we were guided not to mix government and religion. I think the bible go it right, and some folks who are complaining need to get off their high horses and self righteousness.

    Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

    Put up your Christmas decorations in front of your home or church, and leave Caesar out of your celebration.

  26. Joyce Lambert on December 13th, 2014 11:26 am

    If anyone thinks this country was not founded on faith, prayer & fasting, I challenge you to read “Miracles In American History” by Susie Federer. A very revealing book.

  27. Michelle on December 13th, 2014 8:51 am

    Hang in their people. Days of ungodliness will be upon you soon enough. And all the evil your little heart desires. Then a Nativity scene will be the least of your problems. Be careful what you wish for. You might get it.

  28. Sharon on December 13th, 2014 7:08 am

    GOD is still everywhere- nobody can move HIM, not even the devil! Keep the faith Christians!

  29. Craig Reynolds on December 12th, 2014 7:26 pm

    Relieved to see how many folks in this area understand the difference between personal speech and Constitutionally required disinterest and distance required as regards belief and opinion. Applaud the Town’s governance for finding the viable alternative of selling the display to an interested party that can make Constitutional use of it while putting some money into the public coffers.
    As to those who believe such a display must be made as it is specifically representative of the governance of the community, that is the height of heresy. What has such display done to move your community to helping the poor, weak, sick, disabled, or those hiding from public exposure for whatever reason?

  30. edwords on December 12th, 2014 6:47 pm

    There are 10 zillion places to display the Nativity scene.

    There are some places you can’t.

    Calm down, Christians.

  31. Crystal on December 12th, 2014 6:27 pm

    It was stated that………….He said his letter was in response to a complaint his foundation received from a Jay resident.

    I would like to hear from this resident……is he or she real??

  32. Jeannie Kramer on December 12th, 2014 4:44 pm

    I read with dismay the comments that make it quite clear that way too many folks do not understand the separation of Church and State. Government organizations may NOT profess or promote a particular religion.
    You can put one in your own yard, but the government cannot. Why does that have so many of you foaming at the mouth. Are you that upset that your government cannot proclaim Christianity as the official government religion? Read something about our founding fathers. They were clear that we were not to mix church and state.
    Thank goodness that we have organizations like the Freedom From Religion Foundation to enforce our constitution. It is sad the governing bodies themselves cannot obey the laws without being forced to do so.

  33. JT on December 12th, 2014 2:58 pm

    I do not care what you believe. A few have to ruin things for everyone else. The same ones that are complaining probably celebrate Christmas by exchanging gifts with friends and family. Like everything else they participate in the traditions of Christmas that benefits them and go out of their way to force their views on everyone else.

  34. daisy on December 12th, 2014 1:40 pm

    @MARK–you need to take a good look at the picture

  35. Lou G on December 12th, 2014 1:07 pm

    Kathy – “This is sad what this country is becoming. I will put a nativity scene in my front yard and they can’t do anything about that”

    Yes, it’s sad the xtian taliban think they can bully those who don’t share in their delusion.

    What’s also sad is your inability to understand the issue. The FFRF has no interest in nor objection to ANY xmas decorations and displays at your private residence.

  36. lr on December 12th, 2014 1:02 pm

    If you research the group they are doing this to a lot of small towns all over the country , who is the money behind these actions .

  37. Lou G on December 12th, 2014 1:00 pm

    “So what happened to majority rules[?]”

    You’re confused. US law isn’t based upon xian mob rule. The “rules” are the US Constitution, not the xtian doctrine of subservience to a mythological entity.

    “our country was founded on “In God We Trust”!!!”

    No, that’s definitely false and is part of the xtian delusion. Educate yourself about the phrase and about E pluribus unum.

  38. EP on December 12th, 2014 12:25 pm

    TO LOU G


  39. Lizz on December 12th, 2014 11:57 am

    I love the comment about sending this organization Christmas cards and such LOL!! You can also contact them through their website :)

  40. Judith Arnold on December 12th, 2014 11:00 am

    It is more appropriate to have the display on private land. What people who have always been in the majority don’t understand is that there will always be times and places where they are not in the majority. Would the Christians in this town be happy with an Islamic display on public property if the times changed and the majority of citizens in the town were Moslem? Because there are towns in the USA where that is happening right now. Best if religion is kept out of government because you don’t know for a fact that the religion you believe in is always going to be the religion of the majority.

  41. Debra on December 12th, 2014 10:42 am

    So what happened to majority rules. As a citizen of Jay I, & I’m sure the majority of Jay citizens have to bend down to one person’s distorted request? I’m glad they found a way around this idiot, to display the Nativity scene. I hope every time they drive by the Nativity scene that they remember that our country was founded on “In God We Trust”!!!

  42. local on December 12th, 2014 9:55 am

    The bigotry in this thread is frightening. If this community found out the name of the person that complained they would start a lynch mob.

  43. Beau on December 12th, 2014 9:25 am

    I sent this story to Fox News last night attn: Mr.O’Reilly to see if we could spark some attention and I would urge the people on here that disagree with what happened to do the same thing. If enough folks push the issue maybe we can spark change throughout the U.S. on issues like this. The people that are changing our way of life and our beliefs are a small few but we are many and it’s up YOU to make sure your voice is heard! It’s time we stand for our beliefs and push back

  44. jeeperman on December 12th, 2014 9:15 am

    Actually the thing to do is to ignore that letter demanding the removal.
    Just ignore it 100%. Just because your sued does not mean you have to spend money on defense.
    Let that group sue and spend thousands of dollars to take the town to court.
    And just ignore those proceedings also, 100%.
    After several years, maybe the old plastic nativity scene gets confiscated.
    Big deal, they get the old one and the town can buy a new one and let them start all over racking up legal expenses.
    If every town did that, that group would run out of money.

  45. Ronald Hinton on December 12th, 2014 7:40 am

    Make a list, check it twice, vote out any elected Official who sat on their thumb and twirled. You just ended your career in local public service. And write this down: We don’t need you.

  46. jb on December 12th, 2014 7:15 am

    Last i checked, Christmas(the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ) was a Federal Holiday established and recognized by the United States Congress…the representatives of the people. So how is a local government being forced to remove decorations that celebrate and promote a Federal Holiday? Why are these groups not trying to ban the U.S. Federal Government recognized holiday altogether. We pay federal taxes too …This Wisconsin based group are the same people who had short prayer before Flomaton football games removed,a nativity scene from Century removed, tried to ban prayer from The University of Tennessee football games,and countless other things all around the south. They are just going around our great south and having a field day with this crap. We need a freedom from this freedom from religion! It seems like as long as the U.S. Government recognizes Christmas as a federal holiday that a City’s government can put out decorations on government property recognizing and celebrating it.

  47. Collette Johnson on December 12th, 2014 7:06 am

    I am NOT a christian but i think this town has the RIGHT to place any type of seasonal decoration they would like to! The TOWN owns that property NOT the federal government! CHRISTMAS is just that CHRIST mas! We are supposed to have freedom of religion in this country and myself…as a pagan….believe in that with all my heart! Everyone has their own path to their God and NO ONE has the right to say what path is the correct one or has the right to hinder that person(s) path! Be it worship or decoration in celebration of a holiday!!!

  48. JC on December 12th, 2014 6:25 am

    Behold the power of the name Jesus Christ. Just the name strikes fear in the hearts of the devil and the unbelievers. Here is a unbeliever that when passing just a plastic image of Jesus in a manger cannot resist the power and look the other way and not think of Jesus. The devil trembles in fear and must have it removed. All believers need to pray for this person because clearly Jesus is trying to move upon their heart and drive the devil away. Removing this out of your sight will not free you from Jesus reaching out to you. He is always there, waiting for you to come to him and have everlasting life.

  49. Bama Boy on December 12th, 2014 5:58 am

    Ok first of all if every Christian and every Gospel Preaching church put a nativity on the lawn we would not need to look to the government to honor Jesus Christ. Also, how many of you on here complaining have a nativity in your yard? Christian Jesus says the world is going to hate you because of Him. Its time Christians shut up and worship the Savior

  50. Gordon on December 12th, 2014 5:34 am

    Tell the Yankee lawyer to pack sand. Rent me the space for one month at $1 so I erect the scene.

  51. OnmybikeSwerve on December 12th, 2014 5:05 am

    I applaud the unnamed Escambia County (Jay, FL) resident for putting an end to a blatantly Christian religious display at taxpayer expense. I’m happy to see other Florida residents stand against mixing religion with government. Happy Holidays!

  52. 429SCJ on December 12th, 2014 2:12 am

    When the deficit brings regime fall, the Christians and Atheist can step into the street and settle this matter once and for all, forever and ever amen.

    I’m in the Lord’s Army. Have been since I can remember.

  53. Miss_H on December 12th, 2014 1:20 am

    It is very worrying to see how many citizens fail to understand how the U.S. Constitution works. They also seem to have completely missed out on high school civics class. You have no right to use tax dollars to promote your particular religion on public property. You have every right to promote your religion on private property. No one is telling you what you may or may not believe. You may believe whatever you like, and worship exactly as you see fit. You simply don’t get to use public property or tax dollars to do it.

  54. jb on December 12th, 2014 12:29 am

    Can’t we just put an empty black hole next to the nativity scene to represent the atheists in town so they would not feel left out?……

  55. So confused on December 11th, 2014 11:04 pm

    Wait so CHRISTmas the celebration of the birth of jesus Isn’t the reason for the holiday the world celebrates? So confused so Halloween isn’t all saints day either? I’m lost. So what does easter mean?

  56. Robert on December 11th, 2014 10:57 pm

    Jay residents who support the Nativity display, PLEASE fight back! According to the ACLJ (American Center for Law and Justice), the Thomas More Society, the National Legal Foundation and the Alliance Defending Freedoms, public Nativites are COMPLETELY LEGAL!! Please ask these organizations for help on your behalf. All it takes to get the Freedom From Religion Foundation to back down is a nice friendly letter reminding them they are in violation of the 1st Amendment and could ensue a possible counter suit.

  57. Nancy on December 11th, 2014 10:10 pm

    I thought Jesus was the reason for the season….not Santa, reindeer or presents….just a sad situation….I think there are more important issues such as homelessness or starvation…

  58. hawghead on December 11th, 2014 9:47 pm

    As a Christian and Jay resident I have to say that some people will do anything for attention. As a Christian I know that it does not matter if a nativity scene is displayed on city property or not. It still does not take away from the fact that we should celebrate the Birth of Our Savior. Do I think God really cares if a nativity scene is set up or not?….No he cares about the condition of our hearts.. We have turned Christmas into a retail holiday. Did anyone think about the nativity or what it means when they were standing in line on black friday to get that deal on a new tv?…..I doubt it……then why get concerned about it now when someone complains..Remember we live in a world full of sin…Nothing surprises me anymore in country….Just share the Word of God and salvation thru Jesus Christ and let the lawyers and politicians worry about plastic figures and holy symbols…

  59. MargieLu on December 11th, 2014 8:52 pm

    Why should someone who is authorized to practice law in Wisconsin have anything to do with how we live here in Florida?

  60. BOGIAN on December 11th, 2014 8:49 pm

    The establishment clause has been applied to the states since the 40’s. Most of the bill of rights applies to the states now.

  61. Gary D Faust on December 11th, 2014 8:35 pm

    The mayor and city council of Jay should organize the citizens of the town and all stand together to disobey this order. Anyone who would not stand with them, should be asked to move and by all means put the display back uo!

  62. Y mace on December 11th, 2014 8:16 pm

    Some people have NOTHING better to to do in their life. This is so insane to think that someone with a degree would do this type of craziness. They will pay one day in some way.

  63. KMAG on December 11th, 2014 8:16 pm

    I find all the outrage from Christians about this quite amusing. What is so hard to understand about no religious displays on government/public property? You will note nobody cares about such displays on church or private property. Just government property. It appears to me that people who have enjoyed decades of religious preference, and are starting to lose their preferred status (however slowly), are starting to feel the sting of no longer being the silent rulers of the country. Get over yourselves. Keep your religious preferences in your places of worship and in your homes and private schools…. where it belongs. I myself prefer to keep my beliefs private, and feel no need to parade it around town every year.

  64. Willene Bryan on December 11th, 2014 8:15 pm
  65. my thoughts on December 11th, 2014 8:14 pm

    The non-believers who wanted the Nativity scene removed must be awfully scared of some little plastic figurines who represent the whole reason for the season. They are so insecure in their “non-belief” that they can’t stand to have to look at these figures for even a few weeks. After all, to look at them might make them start thinking religion and where they might spend eternity and that is more than they can handle. One day they will see the error of their ways and it may already be too late.

  66. Chris Atwell on December 11th, 2014 7:16 pm

    The 1st Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…” The city of Jay is not Congress. Nor are they “establishing” a religion. Also, Congress cannot prevent the “free exercise” of religion. That is why there are religious icons and sayings on our public buildings and money.

  67. smokey on December 11th, 2014 7:08 pm

    Everybody in Jay should dress like the nativiy scene for the rest of the month.

  68. Rosa Poland on December 11th, 2014 6:54 pm

    I am a native of Jay; I am also not a religious person. But this is just going to far. There is no harm in displaying Nativity scenes. I am saddened and worried about direction our country is going.

  69. Malik Shabazz on December 11th, 2014 6:51 pm

    Illegal what about the big fat man with the red and white suit and the flying reindeer’s
    Also Bugs Bunny Best Friend the Easter Bunny
    can we get an amen for Jason on Friday the 13th and of course Michael Myers on the most wicked day in America Halloween you don’t want any truth flying your way so you fill your heart and minds with lies and fairy tells believe it or not a man named Jesus had a stay on this planet you can accept it or not keep your nightmare minds on Elm street the truth will be revealed and Judgement day is not a made up dream it’s reality wake up!

  70. Derek on December 11th, 2014 6:49 pm

    I’m an atheist/agnostic, and I think this is absolutely stupid. In fact, this is exactly the opposite of “free thought” – the display caused no harm or distress to atheists, no one was being forced to bow down and worship it. It was simply a celebration of religious sentiment for religious people to enjoy.

    I think there are times when atheists/”free thinkers” can go too far and start to look more and more like the religious extremists so frequently cry out against. This is one of those times.

  71. Jeff on December 11th, 2014 6:27 pm

    P.S. I’m no lawyer, but I’m pretty sure this could have been avoided if The City of Jay had complied with Sunshine/public notice Statutes and invited any and all to produce a holiday display that conformed to certain–”constitutional” standards.

  72. tg on December 11th, 2014 6:22 pm

    Sure do wish the property next door was mine thats where it would be moved to. We have to somehow take this Country Back

  73. Jeff on December 11th, 2014 6:15 pm

    Wow–you folks can get riled up when it suits you!

    It is simple:

    Taxpayer dollars pay for the purchase, maintenance and repair of government-operated facilities.

    All taxpayers do not subscribe to the Christian, Buddhist, Spaghetti Monster, Muslim, whatever “god” you happen to believe in.

    Therefore, “no” taxpayer dollars can be expended to advance one belief system over another.

    Do you people really not understand our system of government?

    To tell people to move from your community because they don’t believe what you believe?

    How very patriotic “Americans” you are. Shame on you.

    Have an awesome Winter Solstice!

  74. leo on December 11th, 2014 6:05 pm

    the rain deer thing is interesting, all non christians, that ssy happy holidays have made a statement that there christians, ‘ i would think if you choose not to belieave, you would totally, not practice happy holidat.. , it dosen’t mean you get out of paying taxs as a non belieaver..

  75. Tammy on December 11th, 2014 6:04 pm

    I am an atheist and I think it is childish and selfish to do this just because you can. It is, however, a response to the way Christians judge and tell us we are going to Hell, telling us we don’t have any morals, and trying to control how we live. I don’t agree with removing the nativity, but I do understand how an atheist could be against it. It is a childish form of revenge.

  76. Who cares really? on December 11th, 2014 5:54 pm

    When you get upset, you are giving these people exactly what they want.


    Ignore them and they will go away just like Westboro Baptist Church folks have disappeared off of the radar.

  77. Kathy on December 11th, 2014 5:47 pm

    This is sad what this country is becoming. I will put a nativity scene in my front yard and they can’t do anything about that.

  78. mark on December 11th, 2014 5:18 pm

    everyone in jay that can and will do so should buy and display a nativity scene and leave it up for a longer period of time than they normally would wonder how that person would like that

  79. Freda Whaley on December 11th, 2014 5:07 pm

    It’s freedom OF religion… not freedom FROM religion. Sure wish they would figure that out. And when are we going to stop letting a few spoil it for the many?

  80. JoAnne Hall on December 11th, 2014 4:45 pm

    Email this group your thoughts on Christmas and Christianity in the South.

  81. Dee on December 11th, 2014 4:38 pm

    One rotten apple stirring the pot. Most likely the same person both times. A lot of people are going to have a very rude awakening when Jesus comes back. Some of those people attend church regularly. It is written these things will happen, and it will only get worse.

  82. Mamba on December 11th, 2014 4:38 pm

    What Jay City leaders need to do is sell the spot to a local person or group that want the display there as it has been for over forty years. That person or group could would then have the right to display what they want on Christmas and Easter as it their property. I would say $1 would be a good price.

  83. JoAnne Hall on December 11th, 2014 4:29 pm

    I think everyone should send Andrew Seidel, a staff attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Wisconsin group that represents agnostics and atheists a CHRISTIAN CHRISTMAS CARD. Let his staff spend their holiday opening mail and let his firm pay staff to open our Christmas cards.

    Freedom From Religion Foundation
    PO Box 750
    Madison WI 53701

  84. Charissa on December 11th, 2014 4:19 pm

    What is the problem with the world today? Ignorance and apathy. I don’t know and I don’t care. For those that don’t know and are making the point to say Happy Holidays to make a point in this thread: “The word holiday comes from the Old English word hāligdæg (hālig “holy” + dæg “day”).[1] The word originally referred only to special religious days.” So, Happy Holy Day to you as well. Maybe you can try Xmas but then again no. “Xmas” is not a non-religious version of “Christmas”. The “X” is actually indicating the Greek letter “Chi”, which is short for the Greek, meaning “Christ”. So, Happy Holiday or Merry Christmas or Merry Xmas…doesn’t really matter…all of these point right back to Jesus. And, if you don’t care, then go back to the beginning of this message…that is part of the problem. Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Merry Xmas! to all. If you do not know the love of Christ, may He find a place in your heart and bring you peace like no other. Don’t judge Jesus by any person. Christians are just people prone to fail like everyone else and some who profess are not even really Christians. Even the Bible warns us of this. Your relationship with God is between you and Him. Know Him today. He is the giver of real freedom for He gave you the option to turn away. But one day, believer or not, every knee will bow.

  85. SHO-NUFF on December 11th, 2014 4:10 pm

    Aren’t we “one nation under God”??
    All of U.S concurrency has “In God We Trust” printed or stamped on it.
    This is ridiculousness..

  86. Shirley Carter on December 11th, 2014 3:55 pm

    What Happened to Religious Freedom. It seems to apply only to non Christians now

  87. Shirley Carter on December 11th, 2014 3:54 pm

    Who ever sent the letter wanting the Nativity Scene removed needs to leave Jay and better yet leave the South.

  88. MiMi on December 11th, 2014 3:31 pm

    I think people just like starting crap to see how far it will go… I also feel they must have some sort of unsureness about THEMSELFS you know very low self asteem.. If you don’t believe then don’t or you can just WINE about everything that offends you.. Bunch of Cry babies…Put your big girl Panties on, Male or Female…oh and Merry Christmas ..

  89. Liz on December 11th, 2014 3:21 pm

    The town doesn’t want to litigate the matter. What Christians don’t get is that they need to remove it, and that the removal benefits them. What will you do when Muslims move into your town and want their stuff displayed at your (including those who follow Islam) town hall?

    Get over it. If your belief in your god is so terribly weak that you have to have a physical manifestation of your god, then you have bigger problems than that particular display. What do you tell your children? That you didn’t get your way and now you’re going to throw a tantrum — yell and scream (figuratively) on this forum.

    Fork over the $100,000+ for the city to fight it or retain your modesty and accept the town’s decision.

    You folks don’t realize that the freedom FROM religion protects Christians, too. Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world. You’re foolish if you underestimate it. What happens if/when there are Islamic majorities in your town? When they want to shove their religion down your throats in your children’s schools and in your local government? You whackadoodles would have a fit, yet you are doing the exact same thing.

    I was raised in a fundamental Baptist church, and my former congregation would find you an embarrassment.

  90. Bob C. on December 11th, 2014 3:21 pm

    Why doesn’t some private citizen put the Nativity scene up on private property near the City Hall.?
    Understand it wouldn’t be the same as in past decades yet the Nativity would be on display.
    If there are those who don’t care for Christian Christmas then let them turn away their eyes and mind their own business.
    Oh, and for those who are against Christian displays….I bet the little boogers love to get presents from and participate in the feeding feasts that are provided by Christians.
    Never saw an atheist turn down a Christmas dinner compete with a blessing.
    And they don’t refuse their presents either.
    God Bless their little empty hearts and also God Bless the Lawyers who have no heart.
    God Bless us ALL…..

  91. Gillian on December 11th, 2014 3:10 pm

    Honestly, if you lived in Jay you would understand that a vast majority of people in the town are Christian folk. That display has been there as long as I can remember and no one has had a problem with it until now. Just like you have the right to not show any religious beliefs everyone should have the right to show their own. I mean, you say you’re about religious freedom and all, but really you’re not protecting anyone’s religious rights; you’re taking it away. If someone wanted to add onto the display I’m sure there wouldn’t be a problem with it. I should be allowed to SHOW that I believe there is a God, just as you have a right to show that you think there is not. It’s Christmas. Not really the best time to decide you don’t like something that’s been there for 40 years and complain about it. It’s not even hurting anyone, if it bothers you so bad, don’t look at it. :)

  92. Let Freedom Ring on December 11th, 2014 3:04 pm

    Donate the scene to a private business or landowner that’s not scared to display it? Maybe you can find someone across the street from city hall, and I hope it’s an Eyesore for those that object to it. These are the same people that don’t won’t your children praying to God while their kids are present.

  93. Johnny Shmitz on December 11th, 2014 2:58 pm

    The weak Jay council has forgotten that the first Americans and founders of America were the persecuted Christian Pilgrims. Instead of showing weakness by taking down the manger scene, the Mayor could add a mennorah and use the Christmas tree as acknowledgement of wInter solstice. I would suggest the members of the freedom from religion foundation find a place to live where they would feel more comfortable like North Korea where Christians are jailed or pagan Africa where cannibalism is the life choice. We need to find new Jay council members and a mayor with a spine.

  94. Thinker on December 11th, 2014 2:55 pm

    The reason for the uproar is simple. In recent years the Religious Right has been trying to make this country a theocracy. This isn’t about religion, it’s about power. Same goes for praying openly on school property despite Mathew 6:6. That’s not religion that’s activism. If it wasn’t for Dominionists pushing to change this country to their particular view of Christianity, it might be a quieter climate re: religious rights. People started this country partly to escape state-sponsored religion in Europe. You want freedom of religion? You never lost it and it is NOT threatened. What is freedom if not freedom of conscience with secular government. Witness Egypt recently-dictator gone but religion takes over. Christians (all 30,000 variations of them except maybe Quakers), program our minds to believe in magic and mystical things. This way of life justified slavery but also charity. But true freedom demands and requires free thought, not indoctrination. Given your “Christian nation”, factions would be fighting for power like war lords in Afghanistan. Catholic against Protestant, Baptist against Pentecosts. Snake handlers against all of those. Happy Holidays everyone.

  95. Jennifer on December 11th, 2014 2:50 pm

    I had a long message to type, but I decided to keep it straight to the point…
    To whom it may concern;
    To the attorney, supporters, representatives, or citizens that agree with such disgrace & awful decision… I say to you…
    May God have mercy on your soul!! If you don’t get your life right w/Jesus Christ (the reason for the season) then the image of that manger scene will burn image in your mind as you lift your eyes in a lake of fire called HELL!
    I speak salvation into your homes and offices!!

  96. mick on December 11th, 2014 2:42 pm

    The non believers will be the first to proclaim “Oh my God” and then it will be too late.

  97. Hope on December 11th, 2014 2:28 pm

    In regards to Nativity displays on government property:
    Something similar to this is going on with the 911 Attack on America. After the attack they resurrected some mangled steel that was shaped like a cross. To most people it was a symbol of hope, a hope of rebuilding. In recent news, the City of New York were challenged to take it down because certain groups or so called organizations didn’t approve. Several people were commenting on it, some good comments and some bad. But what I found most interesting was the atheist comments, many atheists weren’t the ones complaining; in fact they felt they were being misrepresented. Many atheists were saying even though they chose not to believe they don’t force their non-beliefs on the population. Many non-believers don’t endorse Freedom from Religion because they see that everyone is in need of a type of hope. If religion or the belief in religion and God allow for a person’s hope they don’t have a problem with it. Atheists were also saying that they were offended that those groups against religion say they speak for the majority of non-believers, which they don’t. As a Christian if you look closely at this you see a very important factor. If the atheists aren’t in charge as a group for backing these so called Americans against Religion, who’s in charge of them? It’s not rocket science. Satan!…process of elimination. Even the atheists say, “Freedom from Religion or like groups are out to make riots, people against people, and to stir division of a nation and their hope.” This is Biblical; this warning came thousands of years ago. How did the writers of the Bible know this would happen? The answer is that it is by divine guidance of the Holy Spirit. Christians aren’t supposed to shove religion down an atheist or non-believers throat. We are to pray for them, that they learn of the truth and see a Christ-like attitude from us. This is the change they will see and want to know more about. Christ didn’t shove religion down a person’s throat, but he told of who God was and in the end Jesus died to save us all. This is true hope. That even non-believers have a chance, there’s hope for everyone. Even those very groups that stir up strife. What can you do? The most important thing you can do is pray and believe!
    Even though the town had to move the Nativity Scene it will only bring about more hope. Keep the Faith for the Lord is drawing near.

  98. Sam Crawford on December 11th, 2014 2:15 pm

    Davis: It is religious discrimination when the government tells you what religion you can practice. It is not religious discrimination for the government to fail to favor your religion over others.

    Secondly, the country wasn’t founded on Christianity. If it had been, the First Amendment would have established it as the state religion rather than prohibiting such a distinction. And Article VI would have mandated a religious test for public office, rather than forbidding it. The First Commandment decrees that there will be no other god before the Biblical one. The First Amendment guarantees the right to believe in any god or none at all.

  99. North Erner on December 11th, 2014 1:51 pm

    Please, to begin with, it’s SCENE, not “seen.” It’s sad but telling that the believers and defenders of the nativity lack education. Please use this as an opportunity to expand your knowledge, and realize that a high school education is inadequate for interpreting the constitution (as clearly demonstrated here).

    Thank you to the entities that finally got this display removed from public property. Move it to your church if you want to.

  100. Jim Skamarakas on December 11th, 2014 1:28 pm

    There is no god
    We are good without god
    We are better without religion

    There are over 50,000,000 non-theists in America

    If YOU want to have a religious believe, please do so. I am many others will support and defend your right to make the choice.

    Please, keep it in your head, your home, and private property like your temple, mosque or religious school.

    And please, show the same respect and keep it out of public schools, government buildings and public locations


  101. ProudArmyParent on December 11th, 2014 1:13 pm

    A thought hit me after reading,” jeeperman on December 11th, 2014 12:44 pm,” comment. Looking at the picture of the Nativity scene in Jay it would appear that Andrew Seidel, a staff attorney for the Freedom from Religion Foundation, would be WRONG! This attorney stated, “we understand that the nativity is the lone holiday display”, hmmmm wrong, there is a Christmas tree also in the display therefore; the Nativity is not a lone decoration and according to the “Plastic Reindeer Rule”, the Nativity can STAY!!!

  102. Trudie on December 11th, 2014 12:59 pm

    Why would a town put up displays for religions that people in that town don’t follow and if there is someone in the town that follows another religion then why didn’t they just go to the city council and talk to them about the issue so that it could be worked out. It was childish to do it the way it was done.

  103. Lizz on December 11th, 2014 12:57 pm

    I don’t practice a religion and I’m definitely not offended when I see a nativity scene around Christmas. People will complain about anything. Soon Christmas lights and Santa Claus will be banned for whatever reason. People should spend their time enjoying this time of year instead of ruining it for others.

  104. cmsvmom on December 11th, 2014 12:57 pm

    Interesting that these groups only seem to target places that are too small or too cash strapped to fight back.

  105. ASDF on December 11th, 2014 12:51 pm

    Why is everyone so mad about this? Its not like you’re not allowed to do it on your own. The government SHOULD be secular, and putting up religious symbols, whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or pagan for that matter, is showing favoritism towards one religion. Just because jay is a backwoods town doesn’t mean that they get to write their own laws. If you are religious, PLEASE put things up and celebrate! Its wonderful what you believe. But understand that government property is not your own.

  106. jeeperman on December 11th, 2014 12:44 pm

    The attorney that the town of Jay pays should be fired. Because he/she should have informed the town of a 100% legal solution.
    It is called the Plastic Reindeer Rule………….Technically called the Endorsement Test:

    The Endorsement Test came out of a Supreme Court case about Christmas that resulted in the Plastic Reindeer Rule.

    In Lynch v. Donnelly from 1984, the Court was asked to consider if the First Amendment prohibited a municipality from including a creche, or Nativity scene, in its annual Christmas display. The holiday display in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, included the crèche along with other secular symbols such as a plastic reindeer, a Santa Claus house and a Christmas tree.

    Chief Justice Warren Burger allowed the crèche to stay at the exhibit.

    And so other municipalities and government agencies have done the same and are 100% within the Supreme Court rulings.

  107. Mike J. on December 11th, 2014 12:41 pm

    Lou G on December 11th, 2014 10:20 am:

    You say you don’t believe in God and say so in an insulting manner, very rude. (So much for Rule #1 of this board).

    Yet you say what you think God would want or not approve of. So which is it?

    I don’t care if you believe or not. But just as you say that Christians should not force their beliefs on you, people like you should not be allowed to force their non-beliefs on the rest of us. It goes both ways.

    IF agreed to, perhaps the simple solution would be to leave us alone and we’ll leave you alone. Unfortunately, some on both sides will not agree to this.

    To the Christians: Merry Christmas! :-)
    To the atheists: Have a nice day!

  108. ProudArmyParent on December 11th, 2014 12:35 pm

    Here is my thoughts, and I know they aren’t worth very much, but here goes…
    What changed in 40 yrs? If it was alright 40 years ago to have a Nativity display on Town owned property, why isn’t it now? Whatever changed needs to changed back. It seems like we like to re-write, re-word, and re-interupt what our forefathers meant. It is crazy, but if I remember my history this country was founded on Freedom Of Religion”. Maybe we need to start teaching History in our schools once again.
    Oh and let’s all remember keep Andrew Seidel the staff attorney for a Wisconsin group that represents agnostics and atheists in our prayers.
    I’m sure he will appreciate that! :)

  109. dman on December 11th, 2014 12:29 pm

    I love it when atheists run to the constitution and their twisted view of it to proclaim their intolerance of Christianity. About the only atheist I give any respect to is Bill Maher, because at least he sees the disease that is Mohammedanism as a much bigger threat to his secularism, and with good cause.

    As far as atheists in general are concerned, every single one I know, with one exception…are big babies with chips on their shoulders. Someone or or something hurt their feelings at some point in their lives, and they take it out on “established religion”. They’re also some of the most miserable people I know. In truth, I pity them.

  110. Bleh on December 11th, 2014 12:17 pm

    Geez people! They arent taking individual rights away! If it’s such a big deal to you, put one In your yard. This is only saying government agencies can’t. I don’t see a big deal with that. It seems they had the last laugh anyway. As a Christian, I don’t think think of it as folding. As a Christian, I think that what they did may have been the Christianly thing to do. This time of celebration. It is not a time to be starting feuds and legal battles. I highly doubt God cares whether it is displayed in front of a court house or not. I’m pretty sure he has more serious and pressing issues than this.

  111. Brenda on December 11th, 2014 12:17 pm

    People needs to keep other states and cites alone. like century and Jay can’t put the manger seen out at city halls. it does not hure no one to put it out

  112. CW on December 11th, 2014 12:09 pm

    Why do some of you people want to know the complainant’s name? What business is it of yours? What are you going to do, go after them with pitchforks? Sounds pretty darned scary to me.

    It also amazes me the number of “Christians” here that think they speak for all Southerners. Well guess what, I was born and raised here and I’m not religious. I pay taxes and the government offices are much mine as anybody else’s. Christians dont have exclusive ownership of the courthouse, the city hall, or the schools.

  113. Me on December 11th, 2014 11:53 am

    Seems fair to me. Glad someone stood up for what they believe in.

  114. local on December 11th, 2014 11:35 am

    Why do the people below call for the name to be released? To shame them for disagreeing with you? You people mad they took “Christ” out of Christams need to start practicing his love. Do you really want America to be free and just for all, or only the ones who believe the same as you?

  115. Lou G on December 11th, 2014 11:29 am


    For example, the xian one whose god couldn’t foresee the alleged “wickedness” that he created, so by flood murdered almost all in order to start over.

    Yes, that makes sense.

  116. Jcellops on December 11th, 2014 11:27 am

    I watched on FOX this morning of another community where this is happening as well… They are fighting it by publicly announcing that ANY religious entity may put up their displays that commemorate their respective religion on public property, if they so desire- they aren’t excluding any religion or atheists..that sounds quite reasonable to me.

  117. Lou G on December 11th, 2014 11:25 am

    “everyone who believes in JESUS CHRIST should put a nativity scene out near the road or close to it that way CHRIST can/will be remembered”

    Because as opposed to an actual appearance by or direct message from Jesus, internally-lit, plastic figurines displayed a few days each year much more accurately represent the reality of his (non-) existence.

  118. Charles Kunze on December 11th, 2014 11:20 am

    I find it distressing that America has compromised the founding idea that “We The People” should guide public policy. The new motto seems to be “We the lawyers, We the Judges, and We the Politicians.” It’s time for Americans to stand up to those who are carrying out their plan and goal of distroying America from within. It is a sad day when we have little recourse but to sit idly by while one small group of would be legal dictators take away Jay’s freedom to express their roots of Faith in God, and to celebrate the gift of salvation from sin which Jesus’ birth represents. I am not ashamed to say that the lawyers, judges, and politicians are WRONG, or that the focus of Christmas is Christ, but until We the People raise our united voice in opposition to this wrong, it will not change. May God Bless You This Christmas Season!

  119. John Doe on December 11th, 2014 11:20 am
  120. Lou G on December 11th, 2014 11:18 am

    “There is only freedom OF religion”

    US Constitution is in Article 6, “. . . no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” That pretty much speaks to a freedom from religion, doesn’t it?

    Furthermore, to have freedom OF YOUR religion requires freedom FROM OTHER religions.

  121. mick on December 11th, 2014 11:14 am

    Lawyers fee= 30 pieces of silver

  122. Lou G on December 11th, 2014 11:11 am

    “The reason that we are in this predicament today is because Christians have not stood their ground.”

    this predicament = unable to use the government to proselytize and force our religion on others

    stood their ground = ignored Constitutional jurisprudence

  123. EP on December 11th, 2014 11:11 am






  124. Walter Jasniewski on December 11th, 2014 11:07 am

    What we need to do is get rid of all the lawyers and all of the politicians. Lawyers, Judges, and Politians are screwing the world over.

  125. Henry Coe on December 11th, 2014 11:04 am

    If it was going to be displayed, it should be done over September 28 & 29, when Jesus was more likely to have been born.
    You can determine through the bible by considering when specific passovers were in comparison to the birth of John the Baptist, who was six months older than Jesus.
    A complete day, back at the time of Jesus’s birth, started after the sun went down until the next sundown, which is why I say September 28 & 29.
    As the math works, December 25th would have more likely been when Jesus was conceived so if you want to put up a display remembering Jesus for December 25th, the Nativity seen ain’t it. Just sayin’.
    Happy Holiday’s.
    Protect Liberty and Religious Freedoms by keeping religion out of government.
    Keep religion from being corrupted by keeping politics out of it. That’s how Jesus & Moses did it if anyone wants to follow their example.

  126. BOGIAN on December 11th, 2014 10:54 am

    My apologies, Mr. McDonough. It seems that you construed my comment as my attempt to directly quote the constitution rather than a brief, commonly used shorthand for its handling of religion. In the future, I will endeavor to convey my message in a manner that leaves as little margin for misinterpretation as possible.

    While the constitution does not explicitly mandate a “separation of church and state” verbatim, it does, as you so helpfully pointed out, prohibit the creation of laws respecting an establishment of religion. The constitution also vests judicial authority in the Supreme Court in Article III. Because of the power of judicial review, which was officially established in Madison v. Marbury, the Supreme Court has the authority to interpret the constitution and overturn unconstitutional legislation. Using this power, the court has established a number of tests for violations of the establishment clause. Among these are the Lemon test and the Endorsement test. The Endorsement test came about in a case with very similar facts. Guess what? This fails that test. But I’m sure you already knew that.

    I wouldn’t make a fuss over this little creche, but that is because it doesn’t make me feel like I don’t belong. Some people may feel differently. It’s a real shame that anyone would feel that way, but don’t ignore the tyranny of the majority simply because you belong to that majority.

  127. Kristi on December 11th, 2014 10:51 am

    It only takes one bad apple in the bunch to ruin it for all of us. Smh

    John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    John 3:5 – Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

  128. Charissa Cotten on December 11th, 2014 10:31 am

    The reason that we are in this predicament today is because Christians have not stood their ground. This is not a local issue. These bullies are going around all over the country with this letter writing campaign. And it amazes me how quickly people just fold. I am glad to hear that Jay just moved it to a more prominent location but I don’t tolerate bullies. Do not give away our rights that were earned with so much blood and cost. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion (no law here) or impeding the free exercise of religion. There is no freedom FROM religion. That is a lie from Satan. There is only freedom OF religion. If you are worried about legal costs, I know for a fact that the lawyer from Liberty Counsel was ready to jump in and help for FREE. And, if you are worried that they may want to add a Satanic display, well who really cares. Satan has no power over Jesus Christ. Look at Elijah in 1 Kings 18. “At noon, Elijah began making fun of them. “Pray louder!” he said. “Baal must be a god. Maybe he’s day-dreaming or using the toilet or traveling somewhere. Or maybe he’s asleep, and you have to wake him up.”” False gods have no power over the true and living God. Stand up Stand up for Jesus…and not just when you are singing on Sunday. Live it!!!!!

  129. SthrnFaith on December 11th, 2014 10:31 am

    The way I see it is….everyone who believes in JESUS CHRIST should put a nativity scene out near the road or close to it that way CHRIST can/will be remembered. God bless whoever felt the need to make the call.


  130. Lou G on December 11th, 2014 10:25 am

    Jim McDonough – Note the absence of the phrase “freedom of religion,” “God,” “Jesus,” or “Christian.”

    Anyone who knows that “separation of church and state” doesn’t appear in the Constitution should also know that “freedom of religion” doesn’t in appear in it, either. So, by the logic exhibited here, if there’s no “Constitutional principle of church-state separation,” then neither is there any “Constitutional principle of freedom of religion.”

  131. Sue Ellen on December 11th, 2014 10:24 am

    Whatever…Happy Holidays, everyone!

  132. Lou G on December 11th, 2014 10:20 am

    It’s too bad that so many of the nativity proponents don’t understand that the law of the land is the Constitution and Constitutional jurisprudence, not xtian mob rule. Simply because “we always did that” doesn’t make it legal, moral, or right.

    Enjoy your mythical reenactments at church, not at city hall. The Constitution allows for that freedom, it doesn’t guarantee an audience.

    And please don’t threaten others with punishment from your imaginary sky-daddy – not going to happen. Somehow, I don’t think he would be impressed with your internally-lit, plastic figurines.

  133. BT on December 11th, 2014 10:18 am

    God is probably not too offended by this. I suspect he understands the Supreme Court decision better than most.

    He’s probably more offended about the whole, “my beliefs are right and yours are wrong” mentality, and the general intolerance of people towards each other.

    He’s might be offended by folks making up so many different religions and denominations and trying to tell him how to run things.

    Or maybe not…I’ve been wrong before.

  134. Delbert Redditt on December 11th, 2014 10:15 am

    I for one am sick of the tactics used by groups such as the one represented here by this lawyer. I have researched this topic and discovered that the display which included the Christmas tree is legal. The Supreme Court has never ruled that all nativity scenes on public property are unconstitutional. To the contrary, nativity scenes are constitutional if properly displayed. An example of a publicly-sponsored nativity scene is one that is erected and maintained by city officials on public property. The key to the constitutionality of a publicly-sponsored nativity scene is that it must have a secular symbol of Christmas within the context of the nativity scene. The display of a publicly-sponsored nativity scene standing by itself would be considered unconstitutional.(2) However, if secular symbols of Christmas are displayed within the context of the nativity scene, the Supreme Court would consider it constitutional. Therefore, in a publicly-sponsored nativity scene, there should also be a secular symbol of Christmas such as Santa Claus, a reindeer, or a Christmas tree.

    The proximity of the secular symbols to the religious display is also important. The secular and religious displays should be within the same parameter of view. In other words, when viewing the nativity scene, one should also be able to view the secular displays in close proximity. A nativity scene could be displayed with Mary and Joseph looking into the manger at Baby Jesus, and Santa Claus could be standing near the manger; his reindeer could be parked somewhere nearby, and a Christmas tree could also be located nearby.

    These tactics are used to bully and intimidate. I strongly encourage the people of Jay to stand your ground against these individuals and contact Christian attorneys.


  135. Dawn Edwards on December 11th, 2014 10:10 am

    The Christmas tree is not exactly secular either!!!! So why is there one in front of the White House??? These people need to read up on the history of what Christmas is for many relegions, not just atheist. Santa Claus was actually Saint Nickolaus. Here is a bit on the history of the Christmas Tree… notice that the first six letters spell Christ!

  136. Sasha on December 11th, 2014 10:09 am


  137. we the people on December 11th, 2014 9:55 am

    It shouldn’t be hard to figure out who in town didn’t like it everybody knows everybody so if their not local you know who it is and if they run a business in town stop going there if they don’t like the way we do things here go back to where you came from. MERRY CHRISTMAS

  138. Charles T. Gillman on December 11th, 2014 9:47 am

    People we need to go back to the old paths, for in them ye find rest for your souls. Today this world which was founded upon Freedom of Religion, but today that ain’t so, the world can put up bill-boards with nakedness, liquor, cigarettes, everything that destroys our Souls and bodies, but we cannot put out a Christmas Nativity scene, something that gives LIFE to the soul and body. So now CHURH it’s time to take back what the devil has taken from us and stand up for what is RIGHT. CHURCH let Lift up the BLOOD Stained Banner one more time, by living a Godly and Holy Life.

  139. Dano on December 11th, 2014 9:35 am

    Yeah, well. Our faith should not be defined by plastic figurines. Living out our Christianity will certainly have steeper costs than this.

  140. Proud of CHRISTmas!!! on December 11th, 2014 9:35 am

    The sad thing is someone from the little Town of Jay contacted their Attorney. It’s always a shame that people live such boring, miserable lives that they have to start trouble with others or about something that can’t fight back just to make themselves feel worthy. I say if you can’t enjoy Christmas and what it stands for, then stay in your own little world you call home or better yet move to a country that doesn’t believe in anything. Oh I know pull your lip over your head and swallow… Lol The whole world would be better off with out you…God Bless The Town of Jay!!!

  141. Jim McDonough on December 11th, 2014 9:29 am

    Just a correction re: Bogian’s assertion that “It seems to me like the first amendment mandates a separation of church and state”.Well, it seems to ME that Bogian needs to re-read that amendment. Here’s the text of, the ACTUAL text:

    “The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.”

    Note the absence of anything resembling the phrase “separation of church and state”. That phrase is from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to a group of AnaBaptists in Connecticutt who were concerned that their free exercise of religion might be hindered by the fact that, at that time, states were allowed to have official churches and religions, much like the church of England. Jefferson was assuring them that no such thing would happen, that a wall of separation would allow them the free exercise of their faith, no matter what the government said. So the phrase’s actual meaning is a defense of religious expression, not an excuse to suppress it.

    The closest thing in the actual text is the prohibition against the establishment of an official state-sponsored and approved religion. And anyone who seriously argues that in an overwhelmingly Christian community, the act of erecting a Nativity scene on public land is an establishment of Christianity as the “official” religion is either deluded , bigoted, or a liar. Any non-Christian who feels marginalized by such a display, or made to feel a non-member of the community needs to get a thicker skin. If you choose to live in a community that’s over 90% Christian, you should have the grace to allow your neighbors their once a year celebration of our Saviour’s birth, whether you think they’re a bunch of simple fools or not.

    Finally, have you ever noticed it’s never the Jews or the Hindus or the Muslims always whining and acting like spoiled little brats over this issue? No, it’s always the atheists. One has to wonder, what on earth (or above) are they so afraid of?

  142. Mark on December 11th, 2014 9:07 am

    It’s about time this town was nudged into the 21st century. I’m glad this happened, as it should have! You know if there was a Muslim depicted holiday scene or something african American or just something not Anglo Saxon white, there would be outrage to take it down. Residents would probably handle it themselves and destroy it. This town needs a wake up call. I’m glad someone had the guts to put things in motion!

  143. jennifer thompson on December 11th, 2014 9:07 am

    This nativity has been up in front of the city hall literally all my life. I am 39 and it has alwaysbeen there. Growing up in Jay you know its CHRISTMAS time when that nativity goes up. This is an outrage.

  144. Marie on December 11th, 2014 9:06 am

    The Bible states what man intends for evil, GOD uses for good. At least this way more people will see it!! NO, I do not agree what the gentleman did from Wisconsin.

  145. Molino Resident on December 11th, 2014 8:58 am

    I am so glad I own a Nativity scene….and it is set up in my yard. It would be nice to see Nativity scenes all over this country in people’s front yards.

  146. matt bardin on December 11th, 2014 8:52 am

    Get out of my town! That is all…

  147. Jessica on December 11th, 2014 8:39 am

    I think that all of those living in Jay that are still believers should put a nativity scene in their yard. Could you imagine how great that would be. They can “legally” take one away but hundreds should go up morally in its place!!! Merry CHRISTmas and God bless!!♥

  148. Justice on December 11th, 2014 8:37 am

    “All things work together for good for those that love him” Look everyone at the good that came from it. More attention has been given to Jesus because of the uproar. The scene was moved to a place where more people can see it. It presents more opportunity for Christians to communicate Jesus to others. A change that has brought about a better good. The evil one loses again.

  149. Bam on December 11th, 2014 8:34 am

    Seeing how it was moved to another location, you still get to celebrate your religion, but are you letting other religions also display the way they want? Afterall you want to be fair, right? Otherwise that would just make you a hyporcrite. Seems people also forget there’s this thing called “separation between Church and State”, so no government building should have any kind of religions decorations PERIOD.

  150. BOGIAN on December 11th, 2014 8:31 am

    Who knew there were so many constitutional scholars amongst the readership of northescambia?

    It seems to me like the first amendment mandates a separation of church and state. Clearly, I was mistaken. I hope to see such zealous support for city owned displays commemorating observances of the solstices, Ramadan, and Diwali.

    And for those that have the attitude of “keep your religion out of my government, ” I suggest you read the constitution. It says, uh, well it says something. You know what? Who cares about the constitution anyway? Lawyers. We don’t like those.

    The government should absolutely be putting up displays that are distinctly religious and promote one specific religion. We don’t want any of that namby pamby “Holiday Season ” junk. We want full on Christmas. If you don’t like it, go running to your precious founding fathers and cry about it.

  151. adam mccall on December 11th, 2014 8:30 am

    What’s gonna happen when they tell you it’s offensive to have it in your own yard? Will you stand then? There is a a day coming when people are going to have to stand against tyranny and injustice. If our founding fathers had our mindset we as people have today we would still be under England’s rule. If you stand for something you’ll fall for anything.

  152. concerned citizen on December 11th, 2014 8:27 am

    @Waldo, you keep on believing that partner. Praying for you. This actually worked out better for the community. More folks will get to see this. Way to go FFRF/ACLU! Stick to your guns Town of Jay!!

  153. Jay, fl. on December 11th, 2014 8:27 am


  154. Cantonment Bob on December 11th, 2014 8:25 am

    I think I will hire this legal firm and this lawyer to go to places like Syria and Iran to threaten those governments for the promotion and endorsement of Islam.

  155. Katrina turner on December 11th, 2014 8:24 am

    Interesting how this can happen in a Country that founded and everything political was created with IN GOD WE TRUST. Someone needs to step up with some power (American people) and take Our Country back from all of these folks that want to change what we’ve grown up to know & love. It is our right !!I for one will Never give in to Any of these rediculous changes.. I am uterly discussted by the way this can be legal. . As for the organization who represents these idiots.. Why don’t you gather up all your followers and get the heck out of America! !! We don’t need uou here anyway. You will Never change the true American !! God Bless

  156. adam mccall on December 11th, 2014 8:19 am

    Wish they would release the name of the Jay resident that complained!

  157. one nation under god on December 11th, 2014 8:18 am

    How Can You Say this is still america this is crazy an illegal scence from the Lord’s birrth how are you free in a country where your personal opioion and religion choices are made out to be wrong f*#k whoever it was that made them take it down GOD BLESS AMERICA because hes the only one who can save us now !!!!!!!!

  158. bamachik6919 on December 11th, 2014 8:15 am

    Wow really this is some crap!!! I can’t believe some people in our Town is so childish and wanna tattle tale to some lawyer about the Nativity scene in front of City Hall.. Did they have a problem with it last year? WOW SMH!!!! #childishmuch. Some people in our Town depress me. but it’s okkay Heavenly Father knows who believes and knows who is the non-believer are. People in Jay need too Stand up for what they believe in.. its Okkay at least the Nativity scene is still up and standing((:!!!!

  159. rachel on December 11th, 2014 8:12 am

    i dont even know where to begin….why dont they do the same thing when they see JUST a satanic display? or just a muslim display? illegal my butt!

  160. waldo on December 11th, 2014 7:51 am

    This was the appropriate move. If they weren’t going to add decorations celebrating the beliefs associated with Kwanzaa, Judaism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Pastafarians, Rastafarian, Allah, etc, they needed to remove it. No crosses, no baby Jesus, no commandments etc at a tax payer sponsored building. Stop fooling yourselves Christians, Christmas is not about Christ. It never has been. Educate yourselves, Christmas was a celebration of the winter solstice and was hijacked by the Christians. From now on, when you see “Jesus is the reason for the season”, you’ll know better.

  161. Dennis HE Wiggins on December 11th, 2014 7:46 am

    @ Helen Bates – The lawyer cannot reveal (publish) the complainant’s name. Freedom of information does not apply to such. It is covered by the attorney-client privilege rule. I would speculate that even if this did go to trial, the complainant would be listed in the suit as “John/Jane Doe” in order to keep their identity secret.

  162. BentStraight on December 11th, 2014 7:43 am

    Like it or not, the meddling lawyers are LEGALLY correct, we are a nation of laws and as Christians we should follow the rule of law. Those who don’t like it should put up a nativity scene in their OWN front yard, instead of snowmen, reindeer and Santa put up something that is a testimony to JESUS and keeps CHRIST in CHRISTmas!

  163. Brewton on December 11th, 2014 7:14 am

    Well done lawyer, well done! It’s crazy because our nation wants to outlaw seens like this and take prayer out of school but the ironic kicker is our justice system wants to give inmates a bible. Why not keep scenes like this and push prayer in schools? It’s people like this that is making our nation, a nation with GOD WE TRUST scripted in the first documents a wicked place to live. As for me, my family will continue to serve our Lord. Merry Christmas lawyer, Merry Christmas indeed!

  164. TRUTH on December 11th, 2014 7:11 am

    You MUST first believe in order not to believe . TO ALL YOU ATHEISTS out there are you that ignorant ? Just saying it is what it is.

  165. BPD on December 11th, 2014 7:06 am

    The lawyer would be correct. If you allow a display promoting any one mythological sky genie, you must allow for others to erect a display promoting their mythological genie.

  166. C CLARK on December 11th, 2014 7:00 am

    Insane! If it was local people having an issue fine, but why are all of these people from other states getting involved? They need to worry about their own areas. We have had the same busy bodies attacking our schools here in Georgia because we pray at sporting events. This is the south. We don’t go up there, and try to tell them how they should live. Wisconsin organization pitching a fit about something going on in Florida? Really? Mind your own business! Get a hobby other than sticking your nose in where it doesn’t belong, and trying to destroy generations of traditions. We don’t give a crap if you believe or not, but don’t tell us we can’t especially when you have nothing to do with living in our communities! Leave the south, and out traditions alone!

  167. CW on December 11th, 2014 6:59 am

    So what’s the problem here? The nativity scene was moved to a more appropriate place that’s not funded by public tax dollars. It can still be seen just as easily, everyone should be satisfied.

  168. Mary Blair on December 11th, 2014 6:50 am

    Century went thru the same exact scenario a few years back.
    As being born & raised in Century, I still say ours when referring to Century, ours was placed on private property & is still on display on Hwy 29!!
    The devil can’t & won’t win!!
    @ Theresa Smith I agree!
    The Lord says to pray for those who persecute us, just gotta keep praying!!

  169. 429SCJ on December 11th, 2014 6:43 am

    Why is it kosher to have a menorah in the white house and obscene to have a nativity display in Jay?

    Harrod tried to kill Christ before he was born. The Pharisees had him nailed to a cross and could not murder him, for he rose from the grave. These beings that Christ once drove from God’s temple, will surely do their father Satan’s work, just as Christ accused them of as he drove them from that temple. Here we are over two thousand years later and these beings still struggle to renounce and smite our Christ. This is truly the age of Revelations 3:9.

    To those who would curse Christ I would say “renounce Satan and walk in the loving light of Jesus Christ. He is the Lord of host, the King of Kings!”.

  170. George Blackmon on December 11th, 2014 6:39 am

    Well as a nation we have let lawyers rule our lives . If someone don’t like something then sue and have it removed . Why don’t these people go to England and sue because they don’t like catholic bells ringing all the time . Or to a Muslim country and sue because of the Muslim call to prayer several times a day ? Oh that’s right because they can’t because it is an established religion supported by the government and people . If we would defend the religion our country was founded on instead of bowing down to everyone with a complaint this would be a country worth living in. When I was a soldier in the usmc we prayed whenever we wanted and before every exercise mainly that we would all come back unharmed . When America wakes up maybe things will change

  171. jeeperman on December 11th, 2014 6:21 am

    Hopefully Jay put the “surplus property” up for sale via competitive bid.
    And properly advertised such locally.
    Because if they did not, the sale was illegal.

  172. Matt on December 11th, 2014 6:12 am

    These people are rediculous. Nobody’s forcing anybody to support anything. It is simply something for people to view and feel good about. It’s a symbol of hope to people who believe that there is something better after death. If those people choose to not believe in a higher power so they feel free to sin without any fear of punishment then by all means, feel free. When the day of judgement comes they will feel differently. It’s sad to know that people have to attack something as simple and harmless as a nativity scene just to feel that they have power over someone else. one persons beliefs shouldn’t be allowed to outweigh the beliefs of many. If you don’t want to see it, don’t look at it!

  173. smokey on December 11th, 2014 5:48 am

    I’ve lost any respect for the town of Jay.! Who’s in charge of this easy way out? Seems like folks in Jay would stand up for what’s right. You might as well curse God and die. Guess if the Muslims invade, they’ll all convert,because its easier.

  174. Greg on December 11th, 2014 5:47 am

    Once more, we are ALLOWING America to be dismantled one piece at a time.

    Stand up Jay….Please do not let the few overcome the many.

  175. Gregory on December 11th, 2014 5:42 am

    Really! Have you got nothing better to do? Please go and be a grinch somewhere else. If you don’t like it don’t look. We enjoy these things and it’s CHRISTMAS! God doesn’t like ugly.

  176. davis on December 11th, 2014 5:23 am

    this is crazy…why is it that Christians cannot voice their opinions but all the other religions can do anything that they want to and no one says anything about their actions…this is discrimination against the Christians…. let the different religions put up whatever it is that they want to to let people know of all the different religions available to each and everyone of you the citizens…including the Christians…as this is the religion that AMERICA was founded upon….QUIT DISCRIMINATING AGAINST THE CHRISTIANS…

  177. Helen Bates on December 11th, 2014 5:04 am

    Perhaps the person that complained would be happier living in another town where people have beliefs more to their liking. No one in Jay I’m sure would mind at all if the left town and never returned. Under the freedom of information of information act shouldn’t their name be published?

  178. area resident on December 11th, 2014 5:01 am

    I agree with you, Theresa Smith. Satan is definitely working hard in these latter days, but we know how the story ends and he is the loser. Merry CHRISTmas everyone!

  179. Susan Helton on December 11th, 2014 4:52 am

    Totally ridiculous. This display was right across the street from my ambulance station. There was also lit presents and a snowman on display. It is a WASTE of time and money to complain about a nativity scene or mince words over a CHRISTmas tree. Seems to me it is THEY who are imposing their beliefs or lack of on us. However, it’s very encouraging to see towns and individuals come forward to find a solution to the groups meddling nonsense. Freedom from religion would be much more productive positive and make a greater impact if they spent their time money and energy on much more important, pressing daily matters such as the homeless, the abused and neglected children, the hungry and needy. Now there they could make a REAL, tangible, life changing difference!

  180. troubled on December 11th, 2014 4:24 am

    Me, myself and I, am tired of people crying in law books that a scene that people love, have decided, that it is a crime to show their love for God ! I think if you want to show your love for God and Santa Claus you should be able to!!!!!

  181. John brown on December 11th, 2014 4:15 am

    I think this was handled very well by the committee. It’s a sad day when we the people are told that we do not have the right to show our believe in hope, faith, or God. This child here in depicted here in the nativity scene represent peace on earth good will toward men. Herod tried to kill him when he was born and I get the same power that motivated him to do this are added again. In the words of Tinny Tim ( God bless us everyone ). And a VERRY MARRY CHRISTMAS.

  182. Theresa Smith on December 11th, 2014 12:56 am

    Perhaps when this lawyer is standing on display in front of God he’ll be wishing he’d felt differently and displayed the nativity scene.

  183. traumaqueen on December 11th, 2014 12:45 am

    My response would’ve not cave into these scrooges but instead add more to the holiday decorations i.e Santa and reindeer or perhaps candy canes and elves. After forty years of being used it’s a shame it was given up but nice that the chirch bought it and placed it at a site where all can still see it. Merry Christmas everybody and thank goodness we still have free speech.