Nativity Scene Permit Approved At North School; Installation Is Saturday Dec. 15, 2012

The Arlington Heights Park District approved a permit to display a privately-funded nativity scene at North School park, effective Saturday, December 15, 2012 through Sunday, January 6, 2013.

Initially the display was not approved while the park district stated the nativity display was inconsistent with their practice of using only their own decorations — a toy-themed display. Also a permit was not requested.

On behalf of Jim Finnegan, chairman of the Illinois Nativity Scene Committee and former Arlington Heights resident, the Thomas More Society submitted a formal letter of complaint, saying their right to display a Nativity Scene is protected under the First Amendment.

The park district consulted attorneys, and today permit for the nativity scene is approved.

Installation is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Saturday with supporters and local church members expected to celebrate with prayer and songs.

North School Park has had religious displays or events in the past -- a National Day of Prayer in 2002 and an interfaith service remembering the September 11 attacks in 2011.

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government, First Amendment, Nativity Scene