Christmas Creche Scene and the Establishment Clause

December 3, 2002

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On December 3, 2002 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette printed an editorial that stated, "a seasonal mini-flap developed last week. The issue was whether it was legal for the city to let an ecumenical Christian group post signs on Grant Street notifying motorists they could park temporarily at certain times while viewing a Nativity scene near USX Tower.  The signs were labeled 'Creche Viewing.' Such common-sense interaction between church and state is a far cry from the Nativity scene in the Allegheny County Courthouse that produced a famous U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1989. (That decision was widely criticized for ruling against the Nativity scene while endorsing a Christmas tree and menorah outside the City-County Building as secular tributes to the 'winter-holiday' season.) Making it easier for Pittsburghers to visit a private creche is not unconstitutional; it's sensible traffic control."