City Governments Removes Nativity Scene, Cross After Complaints

City officials of Woodland, Washington were reportedly forced to take down a Nativity scene from a public park after receiving a number of complaints.

“I wouldn’t have chosen to do this, but it’s in the best interest of the city to do so,” Mayor Will Finn said to Fox 12.

According to the report, the Nativity scene has been set-up in the park for at least 40 years.

During that time, the city government did not receive a complaint about it… until this year.

Here’s more, from Fox News:

The city had allowed it to be displayed at Horseshoe Lake Park for the past few decades, with Finn estimating the manger had been set up in the park every holiday season for the last 40 years.

In recent weeks, however, the city reportedly received several complaints about the religious scene. City Administrator Peter Boyce said he received at least 5 complaints since the display was erected earlier this month.

Among those who sent the city a letter was Marc McVey, who questioned if the manger’s presence on public grounds was legal.

“They responded to me today and said they moved it – it was a difficult decision, which I respect,” he told Fox 12. “Believe me, I’m not anti-religious. I think it’s great. I love this holiday season – I have a Christmas tree up myself, but it made me a little bit uncomfortable to have that on public land.”

Now, the Nativity scene will be moved to a privately-owned lot down the street.

But, caving to the “politically correct” did not stop city officials from hearing complaints as the decision to move the Nativity scene has even more people complaining. Fox News reports city officials received dozens of complaints regarding the new location.

Fox 12 reports City Administrator Peter Boyce estimated as many as “50 complaints and inquiries from people upset to see the nativity scene removed from the park.”

“As one of the city caretakers, I believe the move was the best for the city and for all of us…” Mayor Finn said in another statement, per the report. “I personally see the nativity as a symbol of Christmas and feel comfort when seeing it displayed. I’m also grateful for the community’s understanding of the difficult but important decision…This move… puts the nativity in a more visible location within our city, while respecting the public nature of public property.”

Across the country, Ozark, Missouri city officials similarly announced they would be removing a gigantic lit cross which has existed in a park for at least two decades.

The decision came after they received complaints about the cross, Springfield News-Leader reports.

“The city of Ozark said it is taking down a Christian cross decorating part of its Finley River Park holiday display, according to a Tuesday afternoon news release from city officials,” the report read.

Shortly after the decision to remove the cross was announced, more people complained and the city reversed their decision.

Check it out:

But not long after the 1:40 p.m. news release was sent to at least seven regional news outlets, Ozark Mayor Rick Gardner said it was too soon to make a decision.

“We don’t know what we’re going to do,” Gardner told the News-Leader at 4:15 p.m.

A couple of hours before, the mayor sent out a Facebook post on his campaign page noting that “the controversy about the lighted Cross in the park is not over.”

The mayor wrote, “The cross is NOT down and will be lighted tonight. We have heard your thoughts and agree with them. We are now assessing all our options for addressing this situation. Stay tuned.”

Gardner said he had received possibly “hundreds” of phone calls, texts and other messages from the Ozark community.