A Catholic church in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware was ordered to remove a Nativity that had been placed on public property.
Rev. William Cocco, pastor of St. Edmond Catholic Church, said they had received permission from city leaders to place the beloved Nativity next to the Rehoboth Bandstand.
“It’s sad and ridiculous that we’re having to fight about this,” Cocco told the Salisbury Daily News. “This PC (politically correct) attitude has gotten ridiculous.”
The decision to order the Christians to remove Baby Jesus came after the town received a complaint from the Anti-Defamation League.
“Religious displays on public property can be deeply divisive,” read a letter from ADL obtained by the Daily Times. “The body of law on this issue is complex and not always predictable. For example, from a legal perspective, a Christmas tree is not a religious symbol. But a creche or a Nativity scene is.”
Town leaders told local news outlets they did not give the church permission to erect the Nativity on public property.
“I specifically told him that the city would not endorse any one religion,” city manager Sharon Lynn told the Cape Gazette. “It would be appropriate to have had permission, which I would have denied, unless all religious communities are represented.”
St. Edmond Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus may very well have a possible court case against the city.
“Forcibly excluding a nativity display because officials think it fails to include all religions at Christmas is religious hostility, not inclusivity,” First Liberty Institute attorney Jeremy Dys told Starnes Country. The mere presence of a nativity scene on public property does not violate the constitution. We are happy to advise the Knights of Columbus on this matter.”
Parishioner Patty Derrick told the newspaper the city’s decision was “unfair” and “un-Christian.”
She has a point. Christmas is exclusively about the birth of Jesus Christ.