Harrison Co. employees stand behind nativity scene - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Harrison Co. employees stand behind nativity scene

Employees say they believe the law is on their side. (Photo source: WLOX News) Employees say they believe the law is on their side. (Photo source: WLOX News)

As Harrison County braces for a lawsuit over its courthouse nativity scene, dozens of county employees are standing by the display.

Mary, Joseph, Jesus and the wise men have been part of the Harrison County Courthouse Christmas display for more than a decade.  

 "This is like a bunch of groups within the United States right now who are trying to take Christianity out of the United States totally," Jackson said. "It's harmful. It's painful to me to see the federal courts that will listen to them more than they will listen to the majority of the people who live in the United States," said Bob Jackson, Deputy Tax Assessor.. 

Dozens of county employees say they are the ones who put up the nativity scene, and it's not for the American Humanist Association to say it's unconstitutional and should be taken down.

"It's here for the public, not for a hand full of humanists from Washington, DC," said Wilson. "If it's a problem with the humanists then they don't have to look at it. At the end of the day the board of supervisors voted like they think their public would vote in Harrison County to keep. And if it goes any further, I think the residents of Harrison County should have the opportunity to vote whether that stays or whether it goes". 

Employees believe the law is one their side. 

"The constitution is very, very explicit that there should not be anything that the state does that says you have to be of any religion," Jackson said. "Nothing has ever happened here to do that. We treat every customer in here exactly the same. Everyone who comes in here is entitled to exactly the same service regardless of what their faith is." 

As far as his thoughts on the group seeking to file the lawsuit, Wilson said, "Me being who I am I'm going to say it's negligence in their upbringing. Instead of humanists, I've been calling them 'hethenists'. It's simple as that." 

Harrison County employees say the board of supervisors has voted to keep the nativity, and if the issue goes any further it should be put to a vote by the people, and not decided by a federal court. 

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