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A Nativity scene in a Wadena (Minnesota) park will be coming down after the city council was told it was violating the law:

Mayor George Deiss says for as long as anyone in Wadena can remember the nativity scene has been displayed at Burlington Northern Park. It used to be in the band shell, but was moved to the heart of the park last year and caught the eye of a resident.

“They were offended that we had put it out on city property,” Deiss said.

Tuesday’s council meeting was packed. Resident after resident spoke up in favor of keeping the display. But fear of a lawsuit convinced the council and Mayor Deiss it was time to break with tradition. They voted to donate the display to the local Ministerial Association, who can showcase the display on private property.

This isn’t about taking offense. That’s not illegal. The problem is that local leaders thought promoting Christianity on taxpayer property was perfectly fine for this long, when that courtesy would never extend to any other religion (or atheists).

The news station’s commenters don’t understand that and neither do the residents speaking out. But their ignorance isn’t an excuse for letting a bad tradition continue.

(Image via KARE-11. Thanks to Andy for the link)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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