A Nativity Scene Without Jesus?

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A Christmas display in St. Albans has some people asking: where's the birthday boy? Among the 350 or so items at the city's Festival of Lights is a manger scene complete with camels, shepherds, and guiding star. But conspicuously absent are Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

A city park official initially said the family was left out of the display to avoid lawsuits over the separation of church and state. But Mayor Dick Callaway says that's all a big misunderstanding.

Callaway says it's more of a technical issue. He says it's hard to get a nice-looking light-up representation of a baby.

The question of what symbols can be displayed on public property is a difficult one this time of year. A lawyer for the conservative Alliance Defense Fund says St. Albans would be safe putting Jesus in the manger because it's included with other symbols. But a legal expert for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State says it would all depend on how the display is presented.

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