ELKHART, INDIANA — Organisers of a high school's annual Christmas show found an inventive way to get around a court ban on its traditional Nativity scene — by replacing the actors with dummies.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Jon DeGuilio issued a preliminary ban on Concord High School's "live" depiction of the Nativity — which presents the birth of Jesus — on the grounds it endorsed religion and was therefore "unconstitutional".
So when the curtain went up on Saturday in front of a sell-out audience of 900, mannequins were used instead of actors to represent the Nativity scene, the Elkhart Truth reported.
Previously, an unnamed father and son — with help from the Freedom From Religion Foundation and American Civil Liberty Union — filed a lawsuit against the school because they felt the Nativity scene was overly religious.
The school tried to play ball by including depictions of Chanukah, Kwanzaa, and other celebrations, but because these were only briefly shown on screens, while Christianity got a live scene, Judge DeGuilio noted the school placed a disproportionate emphasis on Christianity.
Concord High School has previously included a live depiction of the Nativity in their annual Christmas show for decades, reported the Elkhart Truth.
A pre-trial date for the case has been set for January 7.