Texas official will remove nativity scene ‘when hell freezes over’

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, December 12, 2011 20:10 EDT
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Henderson County Commissioner Joe Hall has vowed to protect a nativity scene on the lawn of the courthouse in downtown Athens, Texas.

“I’m an old country boy, you come to my house looking for a fight, you’re going to get one,” he told WFAA. “That’s from the bottom of my heart.”

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to Henderson county officials claiming that the display violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits the government from favoring one religion over another.

“We’ll remove it when hell freezes over,” Hall added. “It’s not going to happen.”

FFRF argues that county officials have created a public forum by allowing a private group to erect the nativity display. The group has sent their Winter Solstice banner to go up as part of the holiday display.

The banner reads: “At this season of the Winter Solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth & superstition that hardens hearts & enslaves minds.”

Watch video, courtesy of WFAA, below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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