The Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran the story that is the basis of this item. It’s hard to say why, since the story is about a town in West Virginia, but here it is.
On December 1st, the Seattle newspaper ran the story about the nativity scene in St. Albans, West Virginia. The display has “a manger with shepherds, a guiding star, camels and a palm tree, but no baby Jesus, Mary or Joseph.” The parks superintendent said that Jesus was left out “because of concerns about the separation of church and state.” The mayor, however, said it was done for “technical reasons,” saying this with a straight face, “It’s not easy to put a light-up representation of a baby in a small manger scene, you know.”
The newspaper does note, without giving examples, that some communities in recent years have dropped nativity scenes when they were challenged as unconstitutional. The paper doesn’t mention that these challenges and lawsuits usually come from the ACLU.
As discussed often in ACLU Outrages, for small communities with limited budgets, it is the fear of lawsuits by the ACLU and awards of attorney’s fees following such suits that make small towns especially engage in self-censorship rather than expose their town budgets to destruction.