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Santa Monica Nativity Scenes on Display at New Home


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By Lookout Staff

December 24, 2017 -- Calvary Baptist Church is hosting Santa Monica's historic life-size Nativity scenes that had been a holiday feature at Palisades Park until atheists mounted a campaign that forced their removal in 2011.

Since 2013, Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Ocean Park had hosted the scenes depicting the Christmas Story, which have been a local holiday tradition since 1953.

Baby Jesus in Santa Monica Nativity Display
Baby Jesus in Santa Monica Nativity scenes display (Courtesy Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee)

The 65th annual display will run though January 6 at the predominantly black Baptist church on the corner of 20th and Broadway, the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee announced.

"We are very pleased with the new and visible location in Santa Monica with plenty of parking for you to park and take a stroll past this year's display," said Zachary M. Scribner, the committee chair.

"Metered parking is available on the street and limited parking in the church parking lot," he said.

The 13 nativity scenes -- created with mannequins and elaborate backdrops -- will line the south side of Broadway from 19th Street and continue south along a brief stretch of 20th Street.

Each scene shows a different aspect of the early life of Jesus Christ, from Annunciation through his boyhood.

In 2011, the City removed the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes from Palisades park after a group of atheists swamped the city with applications for its own displays (Santa Monica Nativity Display Nudged Out by Atheists," December 9, 2011). .

Atheists put up signs -- some of them satirical -- that later were vandalized, prompting City officials to eliminate all overnight displays.

Members of the Nativity Committee, a coalition of churches, sued the City on grounds the ban violated the members’ constitutional rights, but a U.S. District judge dismissed the lawsuit in November 2012.

To make a donation to support the nativity scenes click HERE or send a check payable to the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee, P.O. Box 0648, Santa Monica, CA 90406-0648. Gifts are not tax deductible.


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