State Capitols in Alaska, New York, Utah and Virginia were scheduled to feature nativity scenes for the first time this past Christmas. The additions added up to a record 43 state capitols displaying nativity scenes across the country.
“The message of hope delivered by the Baby Jesus celebrates the joy of new life,” said Ed O’Malley, President of the American Nativity Scene. “This troubled world can benefit from more hope and more joy.”
The American Nativity Scene works with attorneys at the Thomas More Society to ensure those wanting to sponsor a State Capitol Nativity Scene can do so.
“Many erroneously assume that government entities are prohibited from allowing a religious display,” explained Thomas More Society Vice President and Senior Counsel Thomas Olp. “The law is clear. Government entities may erect and maintain celebrations of the Christmas holiday – or allow citizens to do so on government property, including nativity scenes, as long as a crèche’s sole purpose is not to promote its religious content, and it is placed in context with other symbols of the season as part of an effort to celebrate the public Christmas holiday through traditional symbols. We pray that the nativity scenes of the Christmas season will help to foster a sense of unity and peace on earth.”