Religious Displays Will Continue at Loudoun County Courthouse | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Religious Displays Will Continue at Loudoun County Courthouse

Play associated audio
The vote by supervisors to continue allowing religious holiday displays came after 8 months of controversy -- a citizens committee decided to ban the displays last winter.
Jonathan Wilson
The vote by supervisors to continue allowing religious holiday displays came after 8 months of controversy -- a citizens committee decided to ban the displays last winter.

By Jonathan Wilson

In Virginia, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has voted to continue allowing religious holiday displays on the grounds of the county courthouse.

The vote comes after 8 months of debate about tolerance, tradition and free speech.

Last December a citizens committee decided to ban all displays because of concerns about vandalism, damage to the courthouse grounds, and fairness.

But it's become clear that most of the community supported keeping the displays, and today supervisors voted 8 to 1 to do just that.

Sterling District Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio has been a fiery supporter citizens' right to express their faith on the courthouse square.

"This is a very important victory for free speech, for religious freedom -- for people of strong faith about Christmas and their religious belief," Delgaudio said after the vote. "This is a total victory."

Dulles District supervisor Stevens Miller cast the lone no vote -- he says allowing displays at the courthouse endangers citizens' right to an impartial justice system.

"When we start seeing displays, as we have in other places, by the [Ku Klux] Klan, the American Nazi party, as we have in other places -- who knows -- that's gonna prejudice other people's rights," Miller says.

A short walk from the county board room, Leesburg resident Burke Walker strolled past the courthouse lawn, currently free of any displays.

Walker says eliminating the holiday displays should never have been an option.

"It's been there for years -- and it should stay there for years," Walker says. "It's open ground, public property, they should be able to put whatever they want."

Supervisors say the policy of first come, first serve will continue, with ten spots available for holiday displays.

Board Chairman Scott York says in the past, even displays protesting the Loudoun County Government have been allowed.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Jan. 27, 2015

You can see a play about a girl whose world shifts from black and white to full color. An exhibit of abstract paintings is on view in D.C.

NPR

Sandwich Monday: Girl Scout Cookie Coffeemate

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try Girl Scout Cookies in a new form. Coffeemate has somehow blended them into nondairy creamer, so you can start your day the disturbing way.
WAMU 88.5

Plan To Limit License Plate Tracking In Virginia Gets Bipartisan Support

Technology allows Virginia police officers to scan the license plates of passing drivers, but lawmakers want to limit how long they're allowed to hold onto that information.

NPR

Facebook Suffers Self-Inflicted Outage

A Facebook statement said the disruption was caused by a technical change it made to the site and wasn't a cyberattack. The outage lasted an hour.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.