Atheist group challenges another ETX Nativity scene - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Atheist group challenges another ETX Nativity scene

HOUSTON COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -

An East Texas Nativity scene has come under fire, much like the one in Athens did last year.

This Christmas, the Freedom From Religion Foundation is focusing their efforts on a Nativity scene in Crockett. They are the same organization that, from more than a thousand miles away, opposed the Nativity scene in Henderson County in 2011.

"I think it's just an expression of the values of our community, and I'm glad it's here," says First Baptist Church of Crockett Pastor Keeny Dickenson.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) argues that the religious display is a violation of the constitution because it stands on government property.

County officials defend their display, though.

"We have a long standing tradition here. We want the Nativity scene; we feel it's within our rights to have it and we'll keep it for the holiday period," says Houston County Judge Erin Ford.

It's a conflict all too familiar to another East Texas town. Last December, the FFRF fought to have Henderson County's Nativity display removed, too.

"You cannot mix government and religion. That's why this country has more religious people than any place in the world, is because government and religion have been kept separate," said Charles Caperton, the attorney representing the FFRF in Henderson County last April.

After fighting to display their own atheist sign next to the Athens Nativity scene, the FFRF was denied that privilege in October. Back then the foundation was still evaluating their next move, but standing firm.

"We live under a secular and Godless constitution that requires that government should not take sides in matters of religion and personal conscience," said Annie Laurie Gaylor, the Freedom From Religion Foundation Co-president.

While the foundation is focusing on a new Nativity scene this season, the residents in Crockett have no intentions of backing down.

"Jesus is the reason that we have this season, and this is just one other way we like to celebrate the birth of Christ," says Linnea Robinson, a Crockett resident in support of the display.

To the county, the Nativity scene is a symbol of celebration that they won't be taking down this Christmas. The Houston County Judge says their county attorney will be sending a response to the FFRF next week.


Related stories:

Copyright 2012 KLTV. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Sports WebXtra: UT-Tyler hosts special Olympics

    Sports WebXtra: UT-Tyler hosts special Olympics

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 12:13 AM EDT2017-03-28 04:13:30 GMT
    UT-Tyler athletics hosting special olympics on Monday night.UT-Tyler athletics hosting special olympics on Monday night.

    The UT-Tyler Student Athlete Advisory Committee hosted its second annual special Olympics with swoop on Monday night. Numerous Patriot athletes took time out of their normal practice and school routine to participate in the event and give kids a night of fun they normally don't experience.

    More >>

    The UT-Tyler Student Athlete Advisory Committee hosted its second annual special Olympics with swoop on Monday night. Numerous Patriot athletes took time out of their normal practice and school routine to participate in the event and give kids a night of fun they normally don't experience.

    More >>
  • Chapel Hill officially hires Jason Hooker

    Chapel Hill officially hires Jason Hooker

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 12:08 AM EDT2017-03-28 04:08:51 GMT
    Jason Hook officially hired at Chapel Hill.Jason Hook officially hired at Chapel Hill.

    A new era of Chapel Hill football will begin this fall. Jason Hooker's hiring became official at Monday night's CHISD board meeting. Hooker, who comes over from Brownsboro, is replacing Thomas Sitton as head coach and athletic director.

    More >>

    A new era of Chapel Hill football will begin this fall. Jason Hooker's hiring became official at Monday night's CHISD board meeting. Hooker, who comes over from Brownsboro, is replacing Thomas Sitton as head coach and athletic director.

    More >>
  • Sports WebXtra: Blake Lynch impressing during Baylor spring practices

    Sports WebXtra: Blake Lynch impressing during Baylor spring practices

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 12:02 AM EDT2017-03-28 04:02:09 GMT
    Matt Rhule is excited about Lynch's progress.Matt Rhule is excited about Lynch's progress.

    Former Baylor standouts Mount Pleasant product KD Cannon and Linden-Kildare native Shock Linwood will get their chance on April 5th to workout in front of NFL scouts and personnel during the Bears Pro Day. In the meantime, new head coach Matt Rhule is trying to lay the foundation of a program that can compete for a Big 12 title in 2017

    More >>

    Former Baylor standouts Mount Pleasant product KD Cannon and Linden-Kildare native Shock Linwood will get their chance on April 5th to workout in front of NFL scouts and personnel during the Bears Pro Day. In the meantime, new head coach Matt Rhule is trying to lay the foundation of a program that can compete for a Big 12 title in 2017

    More >>
Powered by Frankly