"There is a controversy brewing in Leesburg, VA over just what constitutes a 'holiday display.' The traditional creches have already been joined this year by a skeleton Santa nailed to a cross and displays put up by atheists. Members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster are scheduled to put up their contribution this weekend."
Stanley Caulkins, who moved to Leesburg in 1937, remembers the first time the Nativity was put up at the corner of the courthouse lawn.
Caulkins, who has owned Caulkins Jewelers in downtown Leesburg for over half a century, sees it as a valued symbol, something that should not be messed with. He went before the county board two years ago to argue that it should stay. Last week, he said that he still does not understand why the issue engenders such controversy.
"The creche is not religious," Caulkins insisted, his voice trembling.
A depiction of the adoration of baby Jesus, attended by the three kings, is not religious?
"It is a belief symbol. You have to believe in something," Caulkins said.
Apparently, you have to believe in whatever Mr. Caulkins believes in.