The town of Brookville, Indiana is the latest to become entangled in a dispute with the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The atheist group is demanding that a 50-year-old nativity scene be removed from outside a local courthouse.
The foundation claims the religious display cannot be on public property. The group has reportedly been threatening a lawsuit against the town for years, but residents and officials are fighting back.
More details from WLWT-TV:
The commissioners said they have been ignoring the letters, and instead rallying and fighting to keep the Nativity there.
“If people don't like the look of it I think they can look the other way, or don't look at all. It’s been a tradition here for many, many years and I hope it’s for many more years. I think we deserve the right to put up what the community wants and I don't think anybody else should tell us what to do," Brookville resident Wayne Monroe said.
"I don't understand why people want to take away our love of Christ from us, its his birthday, we need to celebrate that and remember that," resident Ron Anderson said. "When you start taking (rights) away we lose track of who we are as American citizens."
"I think it's going to take a lot more that some outfit from Wisconsin to have it removed," Monroe said.
Steve Doocy talked to Franklin County commissioner Scott McDonough, a resident of Brookville, on "Fox and Friends" today. McDonough said the town believes the First Amendment guarantees the right to express religion freely.
McDonough said the Freedom From Religion Foundation is misreading the law, noting that it is an open forum outside the courthouse and anybody can add a display of a different religion, like a Jewish Star of David.
He also had a message for other towns that might be facing similar threats from this group.
"Stop letting them bully you. They go around threatening to sue municipalities, other government agencies if they permit any type of religious display They use the misconceptions about the separation of church and state to make everyone afraid of getting into the middle of a lawsuit, when the Constitution does protect you," he said.
Watch the full interview above.