'Religious' Paintings Unconstitutional: Nearly 9-foot-tall paintings of scenes from the life of Christ that have become an annual Christmas tradition in an Illinois park are an unconstitutional endorsement of the Christian religion and must be removed, a federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Court Judge Milton Shadur has ordered Ottawa city officials to remove the display of 16 paintings, which went up during the Thanksgiving weekend, and he banned their future display in the downtown park. "Government has no business endorsing religious symbols," said Jane Whicher, a staff lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the lawsuit against Ottawa city officials. "This display was more purely religious than in any Supreme Court case. The paintings were not related to Christmas. They celebrated the entire life of Christ . . . (and) extend beyond any notion of the Christmas holidays."
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