A group that works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other non-religious Americans is calling for Harrison County to remove a Nativity scene inside the Gulfport courthouse.
The Nativity scene that’s been in place since Nov. 30 is unconstitutional and must be removed, according to the Washington, D.C.-based American Humanist Association. According to its web site, the mission of the AHA is “to advance humanism, an ethical and life-affirming philosophy free of belief in any gods and other supernatural forces.”
The AHA says the Nativity is dominated by Christian elements.
“Nativity scenes in courthouses, like any blatantly religious display on public property, show government favoritism toward religion and to Christianity in particular,” said Monica Miller, senior counsel at the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “Numerous courts, including the Supreme Court, have found these Christian displays in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.”
Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, said, “When the government endorses one religion over all others, it tells people of minority faiths and of no faith that they are unwelcome in their own community.”