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Chicago Mayor Refuses to Remove Nativity Scene from City Hall

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Mayor Richard J. Daley has rejected an appeal by a group of religious organizations and individuals to end a long-standing practice of decorating the main floor corridor of City Hall with a creche depicting the Nativity Scene, it was learned today.

The mayor acted after the groups released a statement disclosing their representatives had met with the mayor last July 9 with a plea against display of the creche as a violation of the constitutional principle of separation of church and state.

In rejecting the plea, Mayor Daley said: “We are a Christian nation. I think the more religion we can get with politics, the better off we are. The Nativity Scene was approved by the city council more than five years ago at the request of the late Alderman Clarence Wagner. It has long been a custom to show the exhibit.”

The organizations which appealed to the mayor were the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Jewish Congress, the Chicago Area Council of Liberal Churches, the Chicago Area Liberal Ministers Association, the Chicago Council of Traditional Synagogues and the Jewish War Veterans.

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