When most people think of lurking dangers in public parks they imagine drug dealers, sexual predators or muggers. For one pair of Delaware grandparents, the biggest fear is Christianity.
The city of Newark bowed to pressure from Americans United for Separation of Church and State’s demands for the removal of a Noah’s Ark display in Norma B. Handloff Park that included verses from the Book of Genesis.
The organization sent a letter of complaint to city officials on behalf of local grandparents who contacted one of it’s subchapters, Delaware Valley Americans United, to complain about the display.
The atheists argued that the display violated the constitutional separation of church and state.
“Nobody should have to choose between not going to a public playground or having their children exposed to religious messages,” said Alex Luchenitser, associate legal director for Americans United.
Delaware Valley Americans United heralded the news of the city’s compliance by posting to its Facebook page that it had achieved a “victory in keeping government from promoting religion!”
Chuck Dyke, identified as one of the grandparents, spoke to the Newark Post following the removal.
“The main thing that baffled me is that Newark is fairly progressive. To have a city park put something like that up seems so out of character,” he told the news outlet. “How it happened is beyond me.”
The city is now considering donating the display to a religious organization, according to the Post.
“It was pretty obvious Christian messaging,” city spokesman Ricky Nietubicz told the Newark Post. “We had no problem removing it.”
And the good citizens of Newark are now safe from an inanimate display of love and hope.
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