A federal court in Minnesota ruled December 20 that the city of Duluth had no right to prevent two men from sharing the gospel with attendees at the city’s Bentleyville Tour of Lights, an annual Christmas festival. (See picture at left.)
Lately it seems that there is nothing more contentious or detestable to some people than the sight of a Nativity scene, regardless of the seasonal inspiration for its presence. At an Occupy Wall Street protest in Washington, D.C., for example, several people staged a live Nativity scene and bore a sign that read “Occupy Christmas,” provoking varying and bizarre responses from the rest of the crowd. Meanwhile, in Warren, Michigan, a group of atheists is threatening legal action if the local government does not agree to place an anti-God sign in the midst of Nativity scenes and Christmas messages.
Christopher Hitchens, the outspoken atheist columnist and author who took delight in ridiculing the Christian faith and its adherents, but who also shared a handful of the convictions many of them embraced, died December 15 of cancer at the age of 62. His death was announced by Vanity Fair, the magazine for which he had written since 1992.
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) challenging Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s proclamation of a Day of Prayer in her state. The Wisconsin-based atheist group had argued that the Governor’s proclamation violated the First Amendment’s supposed separation of church and state mandate. But Judge Roslyn Silver determined that there was no evidence that Brewer’s proclamations over the past two years were meant as anything other than an invitation for residents to voluntarily join her in prayer for the state and nation.