Monday, December 10, 2007

Ohio Governor Says Nativity Scenes At State Parks Will Stay

Huntington (WV) News reports today that Ohio Governor Ted Strickland on Friday issued an order directing state parks to continue to display their traditional nativity scenes. After receiving a complaint about a nativity display at Shawnee State Lodge, the Ohio state parks business manager had ordered all state parks to remove their nativity displays. The governor's reversal of that directive means that the Shawnee Lodge display, put up by the Garden Club, can remain.

UPDATE: The AP reported on Dec. 14 that the Freedom from Religion Foundation has written Ohio's Inspector General protesting Gov. Strickland's action. The article also gives more background on the original decision to remove nativity scenes. Apparently a Shawnee State Lodge visitor requested that displays representing the Hindu and Zoroastrian religions also be put up. A Strickland spokesman said that the governor is limiting his order to items that are traditionally displayed for the December holidays, and that does not include Zoroastrian symbols.