“The whole idea of separation of church and state was not to keep the church out of the state,” Stout said. “It was to keep the state out of the church in the beginning. They’ve turned the whole thing upside down. In England, they had a state-run church.”
Stout said Christianity and American values were one in the same. “This is a Christian country that was founded on Christian principles.”
Though he believes in Christian principles, Stout said, he would not be opposed to other religious imagery on public property. “They can put up the menorah. They can put up a statue. They can put a totem pole.”
Stout said he didn’t believe that the atheist’s intention was to preserve the separation of church and state.
“His opposition is to God if he’s a true atheist,” Stout said. “It’s not against the library and who funds it.”
For now, the Nativity remains on display at the library and will stay in place until legal action forces the display down, or until the day after Christmas.