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Downey Creche: Differing Views

January 04, 1987

I do not question the religious beliefs of city officials and, in turn, I hope they do not intend to perceive, or proselytize, mine. Yet by insisting, even at a considerable outlay of community funds (your article "Judge Orders Trial to Find if Downey Creche Is Illegal," Dec. 25), that a creche be located on city property, they are attempting to establish our common religion, Christianity, as the official one.

However, I do wonder why the owners of the Nativity scene continue to pressure the officials to place it on city property. To me, the creche logically belongs on the front lawn of one of our lovely churches, where it can be enjoyed by all passers-by. This year, in an attempt to get around California's constitutional ban, the creche was relegated to the rear of city hall, on a small grassy area that houses a nostalgic piece of Downey history.

Were I an owner of this beautiful religious artwork, before the next holiday season rolls around, I would contact local churches so that they could share, on a rotational basis, both the display and any lighting fees, thus making it fully visible to all. The way it was this year, in what I gather was an attempt to secret the creche but still keep it on city property, one had to drive through an alley between city hall parking lots to view it.

--MARTHA ABELL

Downey

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