Ruling labeled ‘hostile’ to Christian roots of Christmas


A judge has awarded a victory to an atheist group that sued an Indiana school over its decades-old presentation of a live Nativity scene during its annual “Christmas Spectacular.”

Last week U.S. District Judge Jon DeGuilio ended a 45-year tradition of presenting the live Nativity at Concord High School in Elkhart. Each year’s performance had ended with students enacting a 20-minute scene of the story of Christ’s birth.

“… The manner in which the living Nativity was presented and its context within the show combined to create an impermissible message of endorsement,” DeGuilio stated in his ruling.

Roger Gannam, senior litigation counsel with Liberty Counsel, believes that in siding with the Freedom From Religion Foundation in their lawsuit against the school, DeGuilio was driven by animosity rather than fairness when it comes to religion in schools.


“This decision really has a ring of hostility towards the Christian roots of Christmas more than neutrality, which is what the courts claim to require,” the attorney tells OneNewNow.

The judge also awarded the plaintiffs nominal damages of $1 each. According to Gannam, that’s not as lenient as it sounds.

“That nominal damages award … doesn’t really cost the school district anything meaningful,” he describes, “but it certainly sets the table for an attorney fees claim, which will be coming I’m sure, and can really deplete the resources of the school district.”

Gannam says it’s uncertain if the school will appeal the ruling in Freedom From Religion Foundation, et al. v. Concord Community Schools.


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