Last October, a resident of Bethel, Connecticut contacted American Atheists because of a local church/state separation problem. There was going to be a Nativity scene outside the town’s municipal building, and the resident wanted to counter it with a display of his own. AA asked the city for instructions on the resident’s behalf.
So what’s happening this year? In theory, everybody has to fill out an application. (Success!) That’s what the Board of Selectmen said at a meeting on Tuesday night. Kind of. According to the minutes of that meeting, there wasn’t enough space to accommodate everyone who wanted a display, so the officials were only going to allow one display for now.
First Selectman Knickerbocker stated that due to concerns with the limited space [the Board] would accept the first completed application they received and acknowledging [sic] the other request he would like to establish a Display Policy Committee after the first of the year and formalize a written display policy for the future.
Ah. So all the atheists had to do was get that application in immediately and…
Wait. That meeting occurred at 6:30pm on Tuesday night. That agenda item was therefore approved sometime after that. It just so happens that a local newspaper published a piece an hour before the meeting indicating that the town had already approved a Nativity scene… and that First Selectman Knickerbocker would be speaking at the event.