In Arlington Heights, a suburb of Chicago, the Illinois nativity Scene Committee will be denied permission to display a Nativity scene in a local park.
The group has placed nativity scenes in Daly Plaza in downtown Chicago and the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, but Arlington Heights officials have reused to let them set the scene in North School Park, although there is a Christmas tree with presents beneath it.
Jim Finnegan, co-chairman of the Illinois Nativity Scene Committee, said, “It’s missing the most important thing, the real soul of Christmas, and that’s the birth of Christ. The board came back with ‘We just don’t want to make any change at this time.’ And yet, clearly, the First and the Fourteenth Amendment spells it out as clearly as you could want it.”
Thomas Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, who is representing the Illinois Nativity Scene Committee, commented, “If there’s no room at the inn, well, the manger will do. There’s plenty of room in this park. We don’t want to threaten anybody, but these are important, fundamental, First Amendment rights. And we expect that the village will say yes.”
Attorneys representing the city said they are in negotiations.