Complaint Against St. Bernard Village for City Hall Nativity Scene

The Freedom From Religion Foundation argues the display violates church-state separation

Merven McIntyre

1 minute read

ST. BERNARD, Ohio – The national church-state watchdog group, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, says a nativity scene on display in front of city hall in the village of St. Bernard, a suburb of Cincinnatti, constitutes endorsement of Christianity, a violation of the First Amendment prohibition against state-sponsored religion. FFRF’s attorney, Sam Grover, argued the nativity scene “conveys a preference for religion over non-religion and for Christianity above all other faiths.”

Michael Peck, the village’s law director, argued that the nativity scene is merely a part of a larger display that includes secular symbols relating to Christmas. “We understand their concern, but we have no intion of removing our nativity scene as we are confident it does not violate the Constitution,” Peck said.

Christmas displays are a frequent target for The Freedom From Religion Foundation. The city of Menominee, on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, recently succumbed to nearly a decad of complaints from the FFRF and removed their nativity scene, and the FFRF have teamed up with the ACLU to demand that Concord High School in Elkhard, Indiana, cease their annual live nativity performance.