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The Freedom From Religion Foundation is objecting to a large nativity scene on an Ohio courthouse. 

In a letter to the Hocking County Commissioners the FFRF stated “It is unlawful for Hocking County to maintain, erect, or host a holiday display that consists solely of a nativity scene, thus singling out, showing preference for, and endorsing, religion,” Markert writes in the letter. “The Supreme Court has ruled it is impermissible to place a nativity scene as the sole focus of a display on government property.”

FFRF is requesting that Hocking County remove this nativity scene from its courthouse building and cease placing religious iconography on public property.

In the counter point to this It has been pointed out that Under Allegheny County vs. ACLU and Lynch vs. Donnelly, SCOTUS has put a heavy emphasis on the other symbols placed around the allegedly religious display. SCOTUS has also held that these “secular” symbols are not only constitutional; their proximity also saves religious symbols that would be unconstitutional if standing alone.

It is clear that the scene on the Hocking County Court House is also part of a greater display of other "secular" symbols which include the reindeer that are included in the display. 

The Christmas lights on the Hocking County Courthouse have long been a well loved part of the Christmas celebration in Southeastern Ohio. This type of misguided attack on a display that may or may not be just outside the legal parameters for this type of display.

Since the United States Supreme Court has already ruled on this type of display in the past we are asking the Hocking County Commissioners to investigate what other items should or may be included in the display in front of or on the courthouse that would insure that the light display falls within accepted legal guidelines for this type of display.