In Light of Yesterday’s Supreme Court Decision, Port St. Lucie Ministers Call on Port St. Lucie to Allow Nativity and Menorah on City Property
Contact: Rev. Al Albright, 772-879-7196
Contact: Pastor Bryan Longworth, 772-408-4356
Yesterday, he US Supreme Court ruled unanimously in the case of Pleasant Grove City v. Summum, that cities can display religious articles paid for by private donations. Port St. Lucie ministers Al Albright and Bryan Longworth now call upon the city of Port St. Lucie and surrounding municipalities to allow a Menorah and a Nativity to be displayed in front of city hall as a part of holiday festivities. Albright and Longworth will raise the money for the displays so that no tax money is required.
In the case of Pleasant Grove City v. Summum, the US Supreme Court unanimously upheld the right of government entities to display copies of the Ten Commandments and other religious symbols that are funded by private donations. According to the ACLJ which represented Pleasant Grove City, “The decision gives government the right to speak for itself and the ability to communicate on behalf of its citizens. It's a significant decision that clears the way for government to express its views and its history through the selection of monuments - including religious monuments and displays.” (Click here for a full copy of the decision.)
Reverend Al Albright previously gathered petitions in support of displaying a Menorah and Nativity at city hall and on February 26, 2007, asked the Port St. Lucie city council to allow such a display. (Click here to obtain a copy of the minutes from the February 26 meeting.) At the February 26, 2007 meeting, the city council did not make a motion on Albrights petition.
“In this case, the US Supreme court supported and confirmed our nation’s history which has allowed the display of religious symbols from its founding. In fact, the US Supreme Court itself has the Ten Commandments engraved on its doors and above the judicial bench,” Longworth observed.
“The city attorney previously expressed concern that displaying a Menorah and Nativity at city hall could open the city up to a lawsuit. This case clearly shows that local governments have a right to display religious symbols that are funded by private donations. In light of this case, the City of Port St. Lucie has not excuse not to allow a Menorah and Nativity,” Albright said.
Reverend Albright and Pastor Longworth now plan to ask the City Council to pass an ordinance allowing a Menorah and a Nativity to be displayed as a part of holiday festivities. Albright and Longworth are also raising money from local churches, synagogues, businesses, and citizens to fully fund these symbols so that no tax money is required.
Rev. Albright is a former chaplain from Pittsburgh. Pastor Longworth is the associate pastor of Covenant Tabernacle in Port St. Lucie. Pastor Longworth helped lead opposition to the St. Lucie County School District’s condom education program. Longworth also ran for and won (by nearly a 20% margin) a race for St. Lucie County Republican State Committeeman for St. Lucie County, but the Republican Party of Florida denied him his seat. Rev. Albright and Pastor Longworth are available for public comment on this issue.