Santa Monica banned Christmas season displays this june after last year’s scene, when atheists won a majority of available spots in a display lottery and used the space to put up antagonistic messages. I couldn’t find any photos unencumbered by copyright, but here are links to the “Reasons Greetings” poster and “Myths” poster.
It’s disappointing to see this, since the lottery would seem (at first glance) to be a good way to handle giving limited space to a multitude of voices. But given the opportunity to celebrate a secularized Christmas season – and there are plenty of ways to do that – it looks like the Atheist organizations decided to pick a fight instead. As a result, no one can put up anything there, and Atheist groups are declaring a victory.
I do not find nativity creches offensive – just the attendent claim to Christian exclusivity. On the other hand, the empty space is just depressing. My Christmas wish is that some day we will all be adult enough to accept good will and good wishes in the spirit they are offered, regardless of culture (or lack thereof). And that we, at least occasionally, forgo the occasional opportunity to insult other people just because we have the right to.