East Texas Christians and atheist fighting their Nativity Scene - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

East Texas Christians and atheist fighting their Nativity Scene make peace

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HENDERSON COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

The East Texas Nativity Scene that spurred national controversy has long been removed, but the dispute was never officially put to rest.

Patrick Greene, a San Antonio resident, has been preparing to sue Henderson County for months, saying the courthouse Nativity display violated the constitution.

But, after learning he may soon lose his sight, and have to stop working, Greene decided to drop the lawsuit.

"It's ridiculous to file a lawsuit if you're blind. I would have to come up there and I'm not about to come up there blind," Greene says.

When a member of Sand Springs Baptist Church heard about Greene, she encouraged her fellow Christians to lend him and his wife a hand.

"When we began helping him, he was pretty amazed by it because he had only received hardship by those calling themselves Christians in the past," says Sand Springs Pastor, Erick Graham.

Graham says Christians across the county answered their call to give, but Greene says he and his wife didn't believe it until they saw the $400 check in the mail.

"I took the check out and said, 'Look at this,' and she said, "Oh my God, this is from Christians? They know we're atheists, right?' I said, 'Yeah, but the thing is, they're taking Jesus' command, 'Love your neighbor as yourself,' seriously,' and she said, 'No one does that,' and I said, 'Apparently these people do.'"

Greene says they spent the money on groceries, cat food and something else...

In all of the videos Green had seen of the Henderson County Nativity Scene, he'd noticed the star had been missing.

"We didn't expect anything from him, but then he gave us a star, so we knew he wasn't going to continue pursing removing the Nativity Scene," says Graham.

"I hope they don't refuse to put it up because an atheist bought it for them," Greene says. "But I'll give them the problem of plugging it in," he added.

While it's unknown yet if they Nativity Scene will return to the courthouse lawn, Greene says one thing is sure, the people in Henderson County just may be some of the best he has ever known.

The Henderson County Commissioner's Court plans to discuss next year's holiday decorations in a meeting this Spring. They say any residents can make a presentation if they'd like the responsibility.


 

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