A national atheist group has filed a federal lawsuit after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in December ordered a mock Nativity display to be removed from the Capitol.
The Austin American-Statesman (http://atxne.ws/1T0tHOG ) reports the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed the lawsuit Thursday in Austin. It accuses Abbott of engaging in improper censorship and violating its First Amendment rights.
The holiday display approved by the State Preservation Board showed Benjamin Franklin, the Statue of Liberty, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington peering down at the Bill of Rights in a manger.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation says the exhibit was intended to celebrate the ratification of the Bill of Rights and mark the winter solstice.
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Abbott called it a spiteful message of "tasteless sarcasm." An Abbott spokesman says the lawsuit is baseless.