COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A private group that says it’s committed to “keeping the Christ in Christmas” has placed a small nativity scene on the grounds of the Ohio Statehouse.
The conservative Christian Thomas More Society represents the sponsors, American Nativity Scene, against any constitutional challenges that might arise. The joint effort has led to similar displays at state capitals in 26 states.
Laura Battocletti, executive director of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, said the creche doesn’t broach the constitutional separation between church and state because it’s not state-sponsored. The hosts went through the normal permitting process, she said. They paid a $50 fee to keep the creche on display through Jan. 2.
Battocletti said a menorah has also been displayed on Statehouse grounds in recent years.