Jesus Won’t Socially Distance on His Birthday: Nativity Displays on the Rise by TOM CIESIELKA for Charisma News
Christmas 2020 may look different in some ways thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, but the pandemic is not slowing the demand for nativity scenes at state capitols. The American Nativity Scene and attorneys at the Thomas More Society are helping groups of private citizens across the nation to display biblical manger scenes on government property this Christmas.
Ed O’Malley, president of the American Nativity Scene, said, “This will be a banner year for nativity scenes, with 32 manger displays scheduled to be erected at state capitols this holiday season, up from 27 in 2019.”
“This has been a hard year for many people, making the message of hope delivered by the baby Jesus more important than ever,” he added. “The growth momentum we experienced in 2019 has continued, and COVID-19 is not slowing it down, making Christmas 2020 a banner year for nativity scenes on government property.
“We realize that some state venues may require visitors to wear masks and socially distance, but the holy family will be present in the traditional arrangement featuring the Christ child, Mary, Joseph and the angel. The coronavirus cannot curb the importance of keeping Christ in Christmas. We will celebrate the birthday of baby Jesus despite COVID-19.”
Christmas 2020 comes on the heels of a multitude of legal challenges made in the defense of religious freedom. As governors from California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and other states slapped discriminatory COVID related restrictions on churches—often leaving businesses like tattoo parlors and liquor stores to operate unimpeded—the Thomas More Society intervened to fight for the Constitutional rights of pastors and their congregations.
Thomas More Society Executive Vice President and General Counsel Andrew Bath expects battles over religious rights to continue.