New Mexico Town Fighting to Keep Nativity Scene
For almost a quarter century a metal nativity scene has been on display in the small town of Belen, New Mexico year round. Now a Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation wants Belen to remove the images and is threatening legal action if it's not removed from public land.
Belen Mayor Jerah Cordova has told the Associated Press that the nativity scene will stay put and will fight to keep it that way. Cordova stated that those that are opposed to the nativity scene are simply "outsiders" and they don't understand the culture and the importance of the artwork like New Mexicans do .
Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, said Belen is violating the U.S. Constitution because the nativity scene "forces religion" on the public. There are no religious statues in the scene, no mention of Jesus, just the figures of a mother, a father and a baby in a manger. Above it are the words: Bethlehem Belen.
A business owner near the nativity scene says that no one in the town is bothered by it and it all seems like a bully type situation and he hopes it doesn't get removed.