Spin Control

A way, with a manger, to mark the season

A Nativity Scene erected by Hunter Abell of Bothell, Wash., sits on the Washington State Capitol Campus about a half block from a sign put up by atheists. Both are scheduled to be up through Christmas. (Jim Camden)
A Nativity Scene erected by Hunter Abell of Bothell, Wash., sits on the Washington State Capitol Campus about a half block from a sign put up by atheists. Both are scheduled to be up through Christmas. (Jim Camden)

Creche erected on the Capitol Campus.

OLYMPIA -- About a half block to the south of the atheists's sign (see below), a Nativity Scene occupies a section of the Capitol Campus to the east of the Insurance Building and the Legislative Building.

In past years, the fight over display space has reached epic proportions, with FOX News weighing in on the propriety of placing a sign questioning religion inside the Capitol. A few years ago, the state banned all holiday displays inside the Capitol with the exception of the "holiday tree", which the Association of Washington Business has sponsored for decades.

To put up a display outside, sponsors must receive a permit from the state Department of Enterprise Services, which oversees the Capitol grounds and buildings.

The Nativity Scene, which is making its second appearance on the Capitol grounds, is sponsored by attorney Hunter Abell, a former Easterm Washington resident who now lives in Bothell.




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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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