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Holiday displays outside an Indiana courthouse showcase both religious and secular symbols, including one Nativity scene celebrating the Bill of Rights.

For five decades, there has been a legal battle in Franklin County, Indiana between the government and the people of Indiana. Some want to include secularism in annual holiday displays, which is causing a conflict between the religious and secularist ideologies. Even after so many years, they have finally reached a conclusion.

The traditional Christian Nativity scene will still remain outside the courthouse in Downtown Brookville, along the Main Street, but this year residents will be noticing some changes. This year’s nativity will be accompanied by several other displays, including one of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, the Statue of Liberty, and Thomas Jefferson who will be huddled around a manger on the lawn of the courthouse. Instead of Baby Jesus, all these people will be huddled around the Bill of Rights.

The tradition of erecting displays outside of the Franklin County courthouse is part of the oncoming Christmas celebrations which is now currently trying to promote both religious and secularist displays. The duration of the display of these statues is expected to be from November way up until January.

The decision to allow a variety of secular and non-secular holiday displays was prompted by a lawsuit filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation last December. The decades long dispute was over whether private entities could display religious propaganda on government property.

According to the lawsuit, it says, “it represents an endorsement of religion and has the principal effect of advancing religion.”

However, according to U.S. District Court Judge, Judge Tanya Walton Pratt dismissed the accusation that the Nativity did not encroach the First Amendment rights in any manner, because anyone is invited to install their own holiday displays.

So far, nine displays will be erected on the courthouse grounds, including banners for winter solstice, and displays from Metamora Church of God and local Baptist Churches.

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