City in Ohio Removes Nativity Scene and Ten Commandments Display from Public Property After Atheist Group Complains

Nativity scene in Dover, Ohio, in November 2018.

A nativity scene and a Ten Commandments display were removed from public property in Dover, Ohio, after an atheist group complained and forced the mayor into action.

Dover Mayor Richard Homrighausen told Fox 8 that the atheist group, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, threatened a lawsuit if city officials did not comply and move the Christian displays onto private, instead of public, property.

“We have freedom of religion and they’re saying that we’re endorsing one religion,” Homrighausen said.

FFRF had warned in its letter earlier this year that at least one resident complained against Christian displays that stood in public space in the city.

“Twenty-seven years been mayor, nothing like this has ever happened,” said the mayor. “Never imagined it would happen.”

FFRF constitutional attorney Andrew Seidel insisted that the group is not unfairly targeting the city, noting that it has recorded as many as 750 complaints in the state since 2015.

“It’s important to uphold the First Amendment and that’s an effort every American, regardless of religion or party affiliation, should join,” Seidel argued.

“We are defending the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; it doesn’t get any better than that.”

The Grand Haven Tribune reported that both the Nativity scene and the Ten Commandments monuments have been moved not far from where they originally stood, to property owned by Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Stoyan Zaimov