Carbondale Manger Scene Moved for Legal Concerns

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CARBONDALE -- People in Carbondale have noticed that part of the city's holiday display is missing

A nativity scene that's sat across from City Hall for years has been moved because city officials feared they would be sued.

Over the past few days, folks in Carbondale have been questioning City Hall about the missing manger scene. It's not in its normal spot in Memorial Park because of a letter the city received last Christmas.

The famous stable in Bethlehem is now in a different part of Carbondale. You can see Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus outside the YMCA along Main Street, a few blocks away from its traditional location.

It was in Memorial Park across the street from City Hall for about a decade, but Mayor Justin Taylor says the city was forced to move it.

"It's just a bad situation, and it comes at a time that's supposed to be festive and joyous for everyone to enjoy. Now, everyone has this like, cloud, over them," the mayor said.

It all stems from a letter the city received around last Christmas from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The nonprofit shared case law showing that a city-sponsored nativity scene is a violation of the first amendment.

Mayor Taylor says he feared a lawsuit.

"Once letters start being sent back and forth and briefs are filed, that's $20,000, $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 before you know it, that's money the city doesn't have."

The nativity was donated to Memorial Park about a decade ago. Now, because of the letter, Carbondale has donated the display to the YMCA. As a private organization, the "Y" can have a religious display.

"It should be back in the park. That's where it was. That's where it belongs, but as long as it's still in the area, I'd rather it be here," said Jennifer

Some were happy to see the compromise, and others wished there was never a controversy to begin with.

"I think it's important to have that, and I don't think it's OK to take it from children either, you know? Something that they can learn from," Amber Peer said.

Carbondale's mayor says the nativity scene could return to Memorial Park if private citizens made a display that included symbols from other religions, but he says the city is staying out of it.

47 comments

  • Sad Christians

    How sad! Christians have rights too!! Donate that money to a charity of Good Cause why don’t You!!! Pathetic trouble makers!!! This is disgraceful!!

    • JessicaInWilliamsport

      The Supreme Court, far more intelligent legal minds than yours or mine, have determined otherwise. Federalist No. 10 is a pretty darn good read, you may want to check it out. Thanks for the compliments! Jefferson and all of the founders of our country were priceless liberals. Matt and I are in wonderful company! Have a nice winter holiday!

  • JessicaInWilliamsport

    A victory for the U.S. Constitution. Well done! Nothing wrong with inclusivity… get off your duffs and allow other displays and you’ll get your manger scene back in that park. The city is smart to stay out of it, they are saving taxpayer $$$. Happy Hanukah! it’s a good day :-)

    • Sad Christians

      You are a sad excuse for a human being! Christians have rights too!! Why don’t you spend your time and money doing something constructive and worth while for the community! Or for a charity of Good Cause!! A lawsuit over a Manger! Sad ! A bunch of trouble making devil worshippers! Go away!

  • Writer Girl

    Did you ever notice how Christ is always in Christmas??? You can’t have Christmas without Christ. MERRY CHRISTMAS, MERRY CHRISTMAS, MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE, ESPECIALLY THE GOOD PEOPLE OF CARBONDALE!!!

    • JessicaInWilliamsport

      Considering the person in question wasn’t born in December, and several holidays are co-opted to form what people consider “xmas” these days ….. he doesn’t really belong there, now does he? I say keep Saturn in Saturnalia!

      • Day of reckoning

        Make fun all you want, have a blast with your smug comments. There will be a day of reckoning when you’ll have to answer for your actions. I would not want to have God turn his back and say he never knew me. Repent or perish.

      • 🤔

        You’re correct that we don’t know exactly when He was born but if it weren’t for Christ, there would be no CHRISTmas. Furthermore, Christmas used to be about celebrating His birth. Now a days it’s about money, money, money and it’s sad. My children know what Christmas is about and I’m very grateful that they do. It’s not about presents and santa ( which they know there is none) . It’s about the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

  • cheap tightwad

    A family makes a trip to pay their taxes two thousand years ago and a city hall where you pay your taxes does not want them on their lawn. Looks like free advertising for you to pay your taxes.

      • JessicaInWilliamsport

        I’ve read it cover to cover, more than once. It’s why I’m an atheist :-) As for my “smug” comments LOL Just informing folks of actual history. We’d still have a holiday this time of year regardless of who or what you decide to celebrate. It happened before your mythology came into being, and it will continue after…. because humans like parties and presents.

  • almost the news

    Heaven forbid a display with the Christ child be used for Christmas. What is this country coming to? Meanwhile, the advertisement above this message talks about the solar plexus chakra and releasing your mind and body, and nobody seems to have a problem with it. Merry Christmas everyone!

    • Matt

      The solar plexus is a bundle of nerves under the diaphram. Chakra is a meditation. Its a breathing exercise, not religion. Google this stuff first.

      • Try taking your own advice

        Chakra is any center of subtle body believed to be a psychic-energy center in the esoteric traditions of Indian religions. The concept is found particularly in the tantric traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Sounds like religion to me…

      • There’s a reason for that

        No kidding, they don’t appear in the Bible. That’s because it’s Eastern mysticism you silly. Meditation is encouraged when it’s on God’s Word, not some fabricated ‘energy source’ in the body.

  • Matt

    How dare those liberals hold our politicians to the 1st ammendment. I hate that one the most. But if those libs get our 2nd ammendment repealed…

  • We're The Devils. The Devils!!!!!!

    So some pony tailed Lawyer who smokes weed in his Mom’s basement sends letters to towns/cities he doesn’t even live in and get’s rewarded? As David Puddy said to Elaine in a Seinfeld episode, “This is why you’re goin’ to Hell”. This is just a sad world anymore.

  • The JEEP GUY

    So how do we get FREEDOM from The freedom from religion foundation. I have a lot of ideas but I will keep them to myself. Nothing but a bunch of A holes who have nothing better to do. YOU CAN GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE.

  • Writer Girl

    More from the tolerant left, so compassion and understanding of everyone except traditional Christians. They can kiss my A-hole. Merry Christmas! Keep Christ in Christmas.

  • Joe

    How can a “non-Profit” organization of only 29,000 members nation wide afford to file countless lawsuits against small towns across the country over things like this? And nobody stands up. Bow down to the bowel movement of the FFRF

    • Writer Girl

      Because they’re a bunch of dolts with too much time on their hands. Plus they’re stupid bigots. Did you ever see the man who leads this group, or at least, did as of a few years ago? He’s the most boring thing on two feet, even when he’s sitting. Boring!!!!

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