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My Jesus Won't Take a Backseat to Anyone this Christmas

Contact: Sondra Snowdon, Reclaim America Today, sondrasnowdon@yahoo.com, 305-861-8634

BAY HARBOR ISLANDS, Fla., Dec. 5 /Christian Newswire/ -- Christian activist Sondra Snowdon, has been fighting her town of Bay Harbor Islands, Fla. for the past three years in Federal Court to have a Nativity in her town at Christmas. She is now calling on all Christians to respond to the outrage of unfairness in regards to the town giving religious preference to Judaism and the Menorah over her Christian Nativity.  Snowdon is determined not to let this situation rest and is calling on Christians around the world to take a stand with her as she fights for fairness again, against her town.

On Monday November 27th, the Town of Bay Harbor Islands, Fla. placed the town Menorah in the center position at the town’s designated public forum and proclaimed that the placement of the Nativity would have to be placed “off to the side.” Snowdon’s Consent Judgment signed in the Federal Court with the town demands that, “all faiths are equal” in the designated public forum. The town has already been found by the Judge to have been, for several years, in violation of the Establishment Clause for favoring the Menorah and not allowing Snowdon her Nativity. Still the town insist on both sponsoring the Menorah and placing it front and center leaving the Nativity to be placed in a lower and lesser ranking position. The Judgment gives Snowdon the right for 10 years to have her Nativity in the designated public forum that was created as a result for her Federal lawsuit. Snowdon pays for the Nativity at her own expense. Meanwhile, the town purchased and paid for the Menorah with taxpayer dollars and has given the Menorah preference in the forum.  A Jewish resident in Bay Harbor applied to the town to sponsor the Menorah and was refused. The town stated that, “they would be the sponsor of the Menorah as part of their holiday display.”

On November 13th at the Town Council Meeting, the town also passed  Ordinance 812  to govern the newly formed designated public forum and placed penalties to both fine and arrest Snowdon if she attempted to have any ceremonies affiliated with her Nativity display. For the past five years, those of Jewish faith could visit the Menorah and pray with the Rabbi and light candles each night of Hanukah. However, when Christians wanted a small prayer service, they passed a new town ordinance that no one was allowed to visit the displays.   

In addition, the town’s lampposts have gone dark within the Business District due to the town refusing to add Christian decorations with their eight eight-foot decorative Menorahs and eight-foot Stars of David’s, that hung in years past. Now, they claim separation of Church and State while still sponsoring a Menorah in the designated public forum. The Consent Judgment provides that if any decorations go on the lamppost that Christian Nativity decorations be added on 6 lampposts. The town would rather go dark and have no holiday decorations than allow Christian symbols be included. In her lawsuit, the town fought in court that the Menorah was a secular symbol and a decoration, not a religious symbol. The Federal Court ruled that the Menorah was indeed a religious symbol. Snowdon does not object to the town having “white lights only” to wrap around the Palm trees in the median of the main street. She believes that, “the white lights can represent that Christ is the Light of the World.” 

The town’s discrimination against Christians coincides with the release of the motion picture The Nativity Story. Snowdon adds, “Jesus once again has been relegated to the back position just as his birth in a stable over 2000 years ago.” She maintains that “we as Christians today must unite and stand up for Jesus this Christmas and not let Christ take second billing.“  Ironically, during the course of her legal battle, Snowdon started a website to share the meaning of Christmas and help others understand the birth of Christ, which is www.nativitystory.com . She is now receiving e-mails at her site in conjunction with the film release. Many think that she is involved with the film because of her story being the modern day version of fighting for Jesus and the Nativity.

Her journey has also been difficult along the way, just as the true story. The former Mayor called her an “anti-Semitic bitch”, tried to have her evicted from her apartment , told the local synagogue that they had to warn all Holocaust victims that their was an “anti-Semite” living in Bay Harbor Islands and even called Christian decorations “trivial.” She has received numerous death threats, and her car was intentionally tampered with in an intent to harm. In the recent November Town’s Newsletter, the present Mayor has belittled Snowdon by calling her a “renter” on the island who receives “free” legal advice from Christian Law firms. He goes on to state that she has cost the town’s people thousands of taxpayer dollars in legal fees trying to put Christ back into Christmas at their expense. Snowdon maintains that she has fought for fairness in her town and for equality during the Christmas and Holiday Season.

The town to date, has paid more than $350,000 to fight Snowdon in court and is now suing her personally for $45,000 in legal fees resulting from her recent Appellate Court case. The town was found to have been in violation of seven of Snowdon’s Constitutional rights including violation of the establishment clause, freedom of speech and equal protection. Snowdon states, “That if her Constitutional rights have been violated than that affects every American. If we as Americans do not stand strong and fight now to preserve our Constitution than we will all wake up one day and find that our rights have been stripped away and that we are living in a secular country devoid of religious symbols.”  

Snowdon says that her battle has really just begun and she now needs Christian support. She plans to take her case back into court and represent herself pro se in asking the courts to enforce “equality” for Christ. The Menorah should not get center position. Although Jesus may have been born in a stable, Snowdon refuses to put up her Nativity in an “off position.” She says, “That in this 21st Century, I will not allow Jesus to take a back seat or be hidden away.  My Jesus will not be seated on the back of the bus.”      

Ms Snowdon has been a guest on The O’Reilly Factor. Her story has also been featured on Dr. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Hour. She was one of the honored recipients of this years prestigious Salt & Light Award from The Center for Reclaiming America for Christ for her fight in the Federal Courts for the Nativity. Both the national and international press has covered her battle with Bay Harbor Islands. She has also been on several radio talk shows. As a Christian Activist, Ms Snowdon continues her fight to “Put Christ Back into Christmas.”  The  Rutherford Institute, Thomas More Law Center, and attorney Kevin Brown have represented her. Westlaw has also published her case.

Please contact Ms Snowdon directly at sondrasnowdon@yahoo.com or by telephone at (305) 861-8634 (before 10:00AM or after 10:00PM Eastern)