Federal judge rules Indiana school’s live Nativity unconstitutional

Photo credit Facebook page Save Concord's Christmas Spec's Nativity Scene

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A federal judge says live Nativity scenes an Indiana school district once staged during its annual holiday pageant violated the U.S. Constitution.

The Elkhart Truth reports the judge issued a ruling Monday in finding that Concord Community Schools’ 2014 show and its originally planned 2015 show violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.

That provision bars governmental entities or schools from endorsing religion.

Federal Judge Jon DeGuilio in South Bend wrote that the live Nativity scene presented for 45 years at Concord High School with deeply religious imagery and content created an impermissible message of religious endorsement.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation sued the district in 2015, claiming the program was an endorsement of Christianity.

The district later switched to using mannequins to depict the Nativity scene.