A federal judge has ruled that Santa Monica can block nativity scenes from public areas. The ruling upholds a decision by the city government to ban public religious scenes, ending a tradition of displays going back to 1953.
"The atheists won on this," said William J. Becker Jr., attorney for the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee - referring to the years-long feud between the city's Christians and atheists that led to the ban.
A few years back, the nativity scene in Palisades Park offended atheists, who applied to put up their own godless display next to the Christmas scene. Last year atheists deluged the city with applications for areligious offerings, including a display featuring the "Flying Spaghetti Monster," deity of the "Pastafarian religion."