The Catholic League was contacted this past week by Knights of Columbus Council No. 275, in upstate New York, about their being denied the right to erect a nativity scene outside the Ulster County office building, something they had done for many years.
Recently, on Dec. 9, I wrote a letter to Ulster County Executive Patrick Ryan explaining why his decision was constitutionally problematic.
By allowing a menorah, which is a religious symbol, inside the office building, and a Christmas tree, he cannot deny the display of a nativity scene.
We e-mailed my letter to him and sent it in the overnight mail.
Subsequently, on Dec. 10, I received a phone call from Marc Rider, Deputy County Executive at Ulster County, explaining that a decision was reached to place the nativity scene alongside the menorah and the Christmas tree in the lobby of the building (having the crèche stand by itself outside building might show favoritism for the Christian symbol).
I thanked him for his reasonableness.
This is an important victory.
The Catholic League is delighted to help the Knights of Columbus.
They have some very enthusiastic and courageous people at the local and state levels.
Dr. William Donohue is the president and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. The publisher of the Catholic League journal, Catalyst, Donohue is a former Bradley Resident Scholar at the Heritage Foundation and served for two decades on the board of directors of the National Association of Scholars. He is the author of eight books, and the winner of several teaching awards and many awards from the Catholic community. Read Bill Donohue's Reports — More Here.
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