Utah Cities Keeping Their Nativities

Utah Cities Keeping Their Nativities

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(Salt Lake City-AP) -- Some Utah cities are bucking the trend when it comes to holiday displays on public land.

Some larger Utah cities have started using non-religious icons for holiday displays.

But the Deseret Morning News reports a few mostly rural and largely Mormon cities south of Provo are keeping Nativity scenes on public land. That's even those it seemingly violates the Constitutional separation of church and state.

Salem Mayor Randy Brailsford says a privately funded Nativity scene near the city-owned Salem Pond will not be removed.

Payson Mayor Bernell Evans says the city has donated ten-thousand dollars toward Christmas decorations. It will also help buy a 40-thousand dollar lighted Nativity to display at the Peteetneet Academy and Museum.

A-C-L-U of Utah's executive director Dani Eyer says nobody is trying to ruin Christmas.

Eyer says government sponsorship of religious expression undermines the free exercise of religious belief. Eyer says that is what can't be tolerated under the First Amendment.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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