Nativity Dispute Divides Berkley

October 15, 2007

Author: Jennifer Chambers

Source: The Detroit News

BERKLEY -- Christmas may be weeks away, but a quarrel that has become an annual holiday tradition across America is in full swing: heated disputes over religious displays on public property.

An infant Jesus, mother Mary and Joseph are again at the center of this long-brewing legal controversy, this time in the city of Berkley, where in an unprecedented election on Nov. 6, voters will decide whether the government should be required to display a nativity at City Hall.

"People feel very strongly about these things on both sides. Some say there is no role for government in the religion game," said David Masci, a senior research fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life in Washington, D.C. "The American people are a very religious people and to say religion must be completely wiped away from all public events and space is absurd, some say."