Today at 1:00 P.M., representatives of the National Clergy Council, Faith and Action and the Christian Defense Coalition dedicated a near life-sized nativity scene in front of the Honorable William J. Ostrowski House, a clergy residence and hospitality center located immediately across a small side street from the US Supreme Court. The five figurines of Joseph, Mary, the Christ Child and the three wise men make up the only such display anywhere on Capitol Hill.
The display is part of “Operation Nativity,” a national effort to counter the growing secularization of the Christmas holiday. The sponsoring groups expect to be challenged by local government officials because front yards are considered public property in the District of Columbia.
The Reverend Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK) and the Reverend Pat Mahoney said they are prepared to meet such a challenge under their constitutionally protected right to free speech and religious exercise. In spite of any challenge, the two ministers said they will not remove the display.
The five colorful figures are lit from inside and will be illuminated after dark until the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6.
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