Official Orders Nativity Scene to Continue

From the Channel 4 WSMV website:

MOUNT JULIET, Tenn. — This time of year, nativity scenes can be seen frequently in neighborhoods and church grounds. However, one middle Tennessee city is proudly displaying its religious decorations in front of City Hall.

The nativity scene has been a long-standing tradition in Mount Juliet, but this year the timing of Christmas with another religious controversy in Wilson County raised questions about the display.”I didn’t want to bow to the political correctness pressures and the ACLU,” said Mount Juliet Vice Mayor Ed Hagerty.

You can read the whole story and watch the video here.

UPDATE: And the Tennessean had a story as well.

– Publius



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2 responses to “Official Orders Nativity Scene to Continue

  1. Butch Huber

    Vice Mayor Haggerty,

    Thank you. I commend you on your taking a stand for Christ. Again Thank you.

    Christmas is about Christ. It isn’t about Santa, or Reindeer, or Trees or ornaments or any other thing. It is about the birth of Christ.

    I didn’t know Christ when I was a child, so Christmas was about Santa and about getting neat stuff to play with. As a young adult I was an atheist, so celebrating Christmas seemed to be a little hypocritical to me, but I used that time of year as a time for family and such.

    As an atheist, I fought against any infiltration of religion on my life. I didn’t want anyone else’s belief system to encroach upon my rights or my freedoms. So, if I were still an atheist, this Nativity Scene would be tremendously upsetting to me because it would be a symbol of government sponsored religion. That would get under my skin….way under my skin.

    The atheists will protest the Christ in Christmas, but the atheists will take the day off. Other than the most staunch and militant observers of atheism, they will celebrate Christmas. They will celebrate the “day”, with its trappings, gifts, ornaments, meals, spirits (Alcoholic drinks), but they will celebrate it as something other than the birth of Christ.

    Today, as a Christian, the idea of having to include other symbols and meanings with Christmas is more than frustrating, it is an apostasy! Christmas is about “Christ”. There should be no need for the city to put up a Santa or Reindeer in order to be allowed to put up a Nativity Scene…the Nativity Scene is “the” symbol of Christmas. It is about the birth that is being depicted in that Scene to be more exact. But it is more about what His birth means to mankind than it is about the birth itself.

    As I write this I get more and more irritated; it is impossible to develop an analogy that would fully define just how much of an insult this is, or should be, to Christians….but you know I will try.

    Take Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day for example; imagine the government being required to erect symbols and images of unrelated, untrue icons and idols that would detract from the real meaning of that day. How would the black man or woman feel about that? It would strike right at their core, it would be a terrible insult to them, wouldn’t it?(I use the term “Black” rather than African-American because I understand that some people are offended by the term African-American. If someone is reading this and is offended by the term “Black”, please understand that I mean you no offense.) The black men and women of this nation received a great blessing through the efforts and contributions made by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Those who subscribe to the teaching and who feel connected to Dr. Martin Luther King, JR and the causes he fought for would be outraged if the government said that there had to be other images put up in order to put up his image. Imagine if they had to erect images of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and the KKK right there beside images of Dr. Martin Luther King, JR. There would be a new set of marches and protests, wouldn’t there?

    Imagine Veteran’s Day having to honor Stalin, Hitler and Suddam as a necessary requirement in order to honor our troops. Just imagine how that would enrage those who fought in those wars!

    Imagine the Fourth of July celebration also having to honor communism before being allowed to celebrate the Declaration of Independence.

    But these all pale in comparison to what is being done to the Savior of Mankind. As a country, we celebrate the “day” Christ was born, but we won’t celebrate “Him”! The Black men and women of this country received some level of freedom in this country as a direct result of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but for those of us who believe in the life, death and resurrection of Christ and who receive His gift of salvation, Christ gave us total freedom from sin for eternity and has given us eternal life. We as a society and much of the world have maintained freedom from the gift of sacrifice of the Soldier, Airman, and Sailors who have fought in our wars, and I truly honor their sacrifice, but that gift was for the preservation of our freedoms in this life, but they don’t preserve our lives for eternity; They have given us the gift of being able to maintain our religious freedom, but they didn’t give us freedom from sin. The signers of the Declaration gave us a country of freedoms, and what a great gift it was, but Christ gives us access to Heaven, a place of total freedom, freedom from the influences of Satan, freedom from sin, freedom from pain, freedom from death, freedom from worry, freedom from anger, freedom from racism, freedom from poverty, freedom from our flesh, freedom from…..

    But those analogies can’t really get to the real issue…atheists can’t understand, its not that they won’t understand, its that they can’t. Until you walk with Christ you can’t really understand what it is to love Christ with all your heart, mind, and spirit. I am sure that the Black man and woman has a spot in his/her heart for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; as a Veteran, I have a place in my heart for every Sailor, Soldier, and Airman, I am sure that all Veterans have a similar spot in their hearts, and I hope and believe that all Americans have such a spot in their hearts; and as an American and Patriot, I have a special place in my heart for those who signed that most important document 231 years ago, but those special spots are just spots….I have given my whole heart to Christ, He has a place in all of my heart! I love Christ more than any other person, thing or concept…but what is even more important was that He laid down all that he had to come to earth on that fateful day some 2007-2011 years ago and He saved me from an eternity in Hell, but when you get beyond all of that…He loved me first! As an atheist there was no way I could grasp that concept….as a Christian it has become a part of me, it doesn’t take “grasping” because I live it everyday. It has permeated through-out my very being. He loved me from the beginning of time and he loved me unconditionally, truly unconditionally. WOW!

    This doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy the other trappings of Christmas or that we can’t put up Christmas Trees or put up statues of Santa (Although I wish we wouldn’t lie to our children in this country), it just means that we shouldn’t be “required” to put up symbols and images that are counter to the real message of Christmas…Christ. If we are going to celebrate the “day” we should honor the One who was born!

    P.S. Imagine if you had to celebrate something else on your birthday…how would you feel? “Its your birthday, and we are going to celebrate on that day…but the celebration isn’t going to be about you…it is going to be about something else….a lie, a deception, an untruth. We are going to honor a figure that has never done a thing for us, but we aren’t going to honor “you”! Just Imagine.

    Ed, you are a man among men for having the courage to take a stand on this issue. It is a shame that there are not a lot more men and women in politics that will take such a stand.

    Merry Christmas.

  2. Bobby Franklin

    I called Vice-Mayor Hagerty the day I found out the city was breaking tradition by not putting out the Nativity scene. He is my Commissioner here in district 3.

    The headline of the news story is a little misleading. Vice-Mayor Hagerty did ultimately succeed in getting the Nativity scene out in front of City Hall – but he did not order anyone to do anything. Mt. Juliet’s Charter does not give elected officials the authority to order anyone to do anything.

    Hagerty did not go behind the scene and get two votes and threaten to fire the City Manager. He did not call city employees directly and pressure them to do what he wanted behind the scene. Instead, he used his (real) authority as an elected official and made a statement: “Put the Nativity scene out within 48 hours or I will call a special meeting to vote to make this official policy.”

    This was a proper use of his authority and I applaud his swift, productive action.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if all the elected officials in Mt. Juliet respected the Charter too?

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