Nativity scenes banned at Santa Monica park after atheist dispute
June 13, 2012 | 8:49 am
Nativity scenes and other private winter displays will no longer be allowed in Santa Monica's Palisades Park after the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to bar them.
For nearly six decades, private, life-size scenes celebrating Jesus Christ's birth have been a fixture each December in the park that runs along the coastal bluffs. In recent years, displays have also celebrated the winter solstice and Hanukkah and have promoted atheism.
Last year, after requests for display space exceeded the space allotted, the city held a lottery to allocate slots fairly and legally. Atheists won 18 of the 21 plots. A Jewish group that sets up a menorah won another. The Nativity story that once took 14 displays to tell had to be crammed into two plots.