Washington, Dec. 16 -


Mr. Speaker, in the piney woods of east Texas, the small town of Athens in Henderson County is getting ready for the holidays. A group of local volunteers with Keep Athens Beautiful has placed a nativity scene on the far corner of the courthouse square. It has been there for the last 10 years with no complaints from residents.

But a group of out-of-towners, not from Athens, not even from Texas, but from a thousand miles away in Wisconsin, have self-righteously objected to the nativity scene. The antireligious hate group demands baby Jesus be evicted from the courthouse lawn.

The county judge politely said no local citizen has complained about the scene, and he really doesnít care what somebody from Wisconsin thinks. He even invited other religious groups to use the courthouse square, but no one has asked to do so.

The county officials donít appear to be succumbing to the intimidation tactics of the bigoted group that wants to censor religion. County commissioner Joes Hall made it clear: ìWe will remove the nativity scene when hell freezes over. Itís not going anywhere.î

And thatís just the way it is.