Pa. officials remove nativity scene, menorah from courthouse lawn after lawsuit threatenedBy AP
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Creche, menorah removed from Pa. courthouse lawn
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Officials in northeastern Pennsylvania have removed a pair of religious holiday symbols from a public space after being threatened with legal action.
Luzerne County commissioners took down the creche (CRESH’) and menorah from the courthouse lawn on Wednesday after receiving an objection from two civil liberties groups.
The ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State told the county in a Dec. 11 letter that the displays are an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion.
County Solicitor Vito DeLuca says officials chose to forgo a legal fight because of a local budget crisis and other pressing matters.
The nativity scene is county-owned and has been placed on the lawn in Wilkes-Barre (BEHR’) for decades. The county added a menorah about 20 years ago.