Group calls for removal of nativity scene at Fayette Co. courthouse

American Humanist Association is calling for the removal of a nativity display at the Fayette County Courthouse (Courtesy: American Humanist Association)

LA GRANGE, Texas (KXAN) — The American Humanist Association is calling for the removal of a nativity scene display at the Fayette County Courthouse calling it an “unconstitutional endorsement of Christianity.”

The display was purchased by the county three years ago and has made an appearance during the holiday season ever since. The Humanists claim the nativity scene was bought with tax payers money and a blatant endorsement of Christianity.

“The Fayette County Courthouse’s crèche is sending a divisive message to non-Christians that contradicts the values of tolerance and compassion that everyone should practice during the holiday season and all year round,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “The county is wasting taxpayers’ money to maintain an unconstitutional Christian display that signals to non-Christians that they are unwelcome in their own community.”

They cite several cases of the US Supreme Court ruling that nativity scenes at courthouses violate the separation of church and state. In 2015, the Humanist Association won a lawsuit against Baxter County, Arkansas for their Christian display at a courthouse.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton intervened in a recent lawsuit after a Texas school district asked a teacher to remove her classroom holiday decorations that displayed a Christian message. Killeen Independent School District Board of Trustees voted to remove the decoration of a Charlie Brown poster that read, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior.” Paxton’s office immediately intervened calling it a violation of the teacher’s first amendment right.

KXAN has reached out to the Fayette County Courthouse, but have not heard back.