Nativity Scene Proposed In Clarksville Draws Ire

November 22, 2009

Author: Jake Lowary

Source: The Leaf-Chronicle

The pastor at Grace Church of the Nazarene says he and his congregation will present their "Christmas on the Cumberland" Nativity scene despite objections from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Steve Estep, the church's pastor, said Saturday the church went through all the proper channels to present the display, and won't let the ACLU effort diminish their celebration of the season, and "what it's really all about."

"We're gonna do what we've been doing," Estep said.

The ACLU sent a letter to City Attorney Lance Baker on Nov. 11, alleging the city's riverfront Christmas observance violated the First Amendment in an "apparent promotion and endorsement of Christianity."

The letter, signed by ACLU Staff Attorney Tricia Herzfeld, claims the city showed Grace Church favoritism by allowing it to set up the display, which was "jointly sponsored" by the city and Grace Church.