A Wisconsin-based non-profit group called for Athens, Texas to remove its Nativity scene earlier this month. It offends them… up in Wisconsin.
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Thousands of Texans, including the state attorney general and the governor, have sent a clear message to Wisconsin atheists who enjoy intimidating small towns into removing nativity scenes.
At least 5,000 showed up at a rally supporting Henderson County officials who have refused to comply with the group’s demand that they remove a nativity scene from the Athens, Texas, courthouse lawn.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said that if the Wisconsin atheists sue as threatened, his office would come to the county’s defense.
Texas’ governor, Rick Perry, also said he would fight to support the county, noted the San Antonio Express-News.
The governor’s office “strongly supports the right of Henderson County to display a Christmas Nativity scene on public property,” said Lucy Nashed, deputy press secretary for Perry’s office. “We have fought the Freedom from Religion Foundation before and won. Our founding principles give citizens freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. Faith and freedom helped build this nation, and faith cannot and should not be removed from public life.”
Last summer, the Wisconsin atheists attempted to block Perry from organizing a prayer rally at Reliant Stadium in Houston. That complaint filed in July alleging that Perry’s “initiation, organization, promotion and participation as governor in a prayer rally” violated the First Amendment was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Gray Miller.
Last week the group put up a banner next to the Henderson County nativity scene reading, according to the Express-News: “At the season of the Winter Solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”