Live Nativity Scene Displayed at Supreme Court

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WASHINGTON -- Joseph, Mary, the baby Jesus, and the Three Wise Men poured out of the Rev. Rob Schenck's Capitol Hill office and headed down the streets of Washington D.C., Wednesday accompanied by a camel and tiny donkey, carolers, and a harpist.

The entourage were all headed for the same destination -- the Supreme Court building.

"The Constitution protects our right to do this. We like to send the message: If we can do this in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, you can certainly do it in your community," said Schenck, president and lead missionary of Faith and Action, a Christian outreach to elected and appointed officials in the nation's capital.

Several years ago, Schenck and his colleague Rev. Pat Mahoney were bemoaning the fact that so many governments and legal groups were taking action against Christians and displays of Christianity.

"We are seeing, tragically, hostility toward open public expressions of faith," Mahoney told CBN News. "When I was younger, all across America, virtually every City Hall, every state capitol, had a Nativity scene, had a manger scene."

They decided to be pro-active, by getting permits to do these processionals and Nativity scenes in prominent places across America, and by asking Christians to do it wherever they live.

"We're going right in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, right in front of the U.S. Capitol. We've been granted a permit, thereby giving everyone in America the knowledge," Mahoney explained.

"They can't say it's unconstitutional, or a court can't say you're not allowed to do it, when we've been given permission to do it in front of the U.S. Supreme Court," he said.

Schenck said it's also important for elected and appointed officials to see such displays of faith and be reminded.

"This is a right. This is really the supreme right of every American citizen," he said. "And they need to protect that right."

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.