Dallas, NC - The town of Dallas is catching backlash again this year for displaying a nativity scene on public property.
Last year, the town moved its nativity scene to private property after they got threats from a national group called the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
"Last year, you know, it wasn't here,” said Colman Montgomery, a Dallas Native. “It was actually on private property. Now this year, it's back here. But now we have threats of a lawsuit again."
FFRF claims the display is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.
"People have a lot of different views on the holiday season and we would say the best way to express that is through churches and businesses and peoples private homes,” said Patrick Elliott, an FFRF attorney. “Government property should be left out of that." 20:08:22
This year's nativity display isn't the same one the city opted to move from the courthouse grounds last year. The new one is much larger and includes snowmen and other secular elements, which the city's attorney has said deems it's location permissible. While city leaders aren't sure if they'll opt to move the display again this year, residents say it's removal would spark protest.
"I would tell them that the constitution doesn't offer them freedom from hearing or seeing anything,” said Ed McCanless. “It offers them the freedom to do and to show and to speak."
And if others want to do, show or speak on the courthouse grounds, residents say they’re welcome to.
"If other religions want to put their whatever out here, they can put their stuff out here,” said Montgomery. “But we just want our nativity scene here."