The following is from a Dec. 15 press release issued by the Thomas More Society.
Baby Jesus will be present at the California State Capitol this Christmas season. Starting with an opening ceremony at 3 p.m. on December 17 and remaining through December 27, a traditional Christian crèche will be on display on the Capitol’s North Side Steps, facing L Street. The Thomas More Society, a national not-for-profit law firm, has teamed up again with the American Nativity Scene to help keep privately funded manger scenes in the public square for Christmas
“We are proud to place this beautiful Nativity Scene on the steps of the Capitol as a proud display of our privately-held faith, and our freedom of religion, as guaranteed by the Constitution, during the Christmas season,” said Corrina Konczal, who, along with her husband David, co-chairs the Sacramento Nativity Scene Committee.
The California Capitol Nativity, coordinated by volunteers from Stockton and Sacramento, showcases figurines of the Holy Family — Jesus, Mary, and Joseph — housed under a handcrafted wooden stable, along with shepherds, animals and the Wise Men from the East.
“Privately funded Christmas displays are legally allowed in traditional public forums such as state capitols, county complexes, or city hall lawns,” explained Ed O’Malley, president of the American Nativity Scene. “We are committed to our goal of keeping Christ in Christmas across the nation.”
The mission of the American Nativity Scene is to place a nativity display within or directly outside state capitol buildings across America. By this Christmas, there will be 16 state capitol manger scenes on display. A permanent federal injunction banning discrimination against religious speech ensures that the Christmas crèches are protected from erroneous applications of the widely misunderstood concept of “separation of church and state.”