Bedford: City has change of heart, will bring back nativity scene

10:42 AM, Dec 18, 2012   |    comments
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BEDFORD, Ohio -- Bending to public pressure, the Bedford City Council announced Monday night that the city will put the nativity scene back that was removed outside city hall last Friday.

The religious display was taken down after a complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union, citing a violation of the separation of church and state.

Several outraged residents attended the council meeting to give officials a piece of their mind.

"We were livid," said resident Ralph King, 46, who says he can't remember when the city has not had the nativity scene on display during Christmas time.

"Christ is the reason for Christmas," he said.

However, when it came time for the public hearing portion of the council meeting, Law Director Kenneth Schuman made an unexpected announcement:

"The council tonight has decided to return the nativity scene back to the property of the fire department," he said, to resounding applause from the crowd.

While he would not elaborate on what conditions the display will have to conform to in order to comply with the law, the U.S. Supreme Court has previously applied the so-called "Reindeer Rule" in cases involving similar controversies.

Basically, a display would fall under compliance if other religious and secular displays are also given equal time.

"Thank you and Merry Christmas," said one residen,t from the crowd to councilmembers.

City workers are expected to return the display Tuesday morning. 


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