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Freedom of Religion - Part 5

Illinois
State:

• The legal validity of nativity scenes on public property continues to be a source of controversy. A federal district court in Illinois ruled that a nativity scene on city hall property violated the first amendment's nonestablishment of religion clause despite the fact that the display was part of a larger display that contained several traditional (and secular) symbols of Christmas and was accompanied by a written notice in which the city disclaimed any endorsement of Christianity or any other religion. The court acknowledged that the United States Supreme Court had upheld the constitutionality of a nativity scene in a 1984 ruling, but it emphasized that the Supreme Court's decision, unlike the present case, involved a nativity scene that was located in a private park rather than at the official headquarters of a city government. The court noted that the United States Supreme Court ...

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Posted:
  • May 1, 1989

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