Mexico, the court will decide whether to ban scenes of the Nativity of Christ in public

Faced with the possibility that, on November 9, the nation’s Supreme Court of Justice will rule that installing newborns in public would violate the constitution, Mexico’s archbishop urged ministers to favor “positive secularism” that defends the freedom of demonstrated faith.

Anna Boss – Vatican City

Nativity scene may be banned in Cchochola Municipality soon. Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice must decide on November 9 whether this small Mexican municipality should refrain from setting up a public Christmas spectacle. The case began in December 2020, when a resident of Cchochola, a town of 5,000 residents in Yucatan, felt insulted and discriminated against in his right to religious freedom. Chochola local authorities set up a nativity scene in the town hall for Christmas, using public funds. The man, born in Cchochola, an ordinary man with no religious affiliation, filed a type of suit to protect his constitutional rights against an action by the state, alleging that the municipality was violating his freedom and constitutional principles of a secular state. He also claimed that the city council, in doing so, showed a preference for Catholics when no religion or worship should receive special attention.

What does the draft sentence suggest?

As a result of this complaint, the Supreme Court of Justice will discuss, next week, the draft sentence, presented by Minister Juan Luis González Alcantara, which proposes a ban on placing nativity scenes or any other decoration or symbol indicating a religious conviction; considers that placing these items in public places violates religious freedom and constitutional principles of the secular state, as well as the principle of equality and non-discrimination; It is also against the use of public resources for these decorations. Therefore, the court, in addition to deciding whether the Chuchola municipality should refrain from installing symbols denoting religion in public places, will also decide whether it is forbidden to use public funds for this. Finally, the city may need to repair the damage by promoting religious diversity.

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Promoting “positive secularism”

Faced with the possibility of the nation’s Supreme Court of Justice approving the said project, setting a precedent, the Archdiocese of Mexico City appealed for “positive secularism”, which, as explained by Father Mario Angel Flores Ramos, director of the commission from the Diocese of Faith of the Diocese, when speaking with the Mexico City Church Weekly, “of faith,” consisting of “respect for different social and religious manifestations and moral beliefs, with harmony and inclusiveness.” In fact, positive secularism protects the religious freedom of citizens, without siding with any particular religious profession, respects and promotes pluralism, and recognizes the various holidays that citizens celebrate.

Father Flores also hopes that the principle of democratic neutrality will be discussed next week, so that no particular ideological expression, religious or other belief, is favored in government circles. “To be consistent, they cannot even promote the beliefs of certain groups that do not represent society as a whole. It would be absurd to go to such an extreme,” the pastor stressed. He continued, “It is more appropriate to adhere to the constitutional principle of freedom of religion and expression, in order to promote a tolerant and inclusive society that respects the freedom of all its inhabitants,” according to Article I, which states that human rights standards must be interpreted in accordance with the constitution and international treaties on this issue, with a preference for the broadest protection to people at all times, with the constitutional restriction that it does not constitute a punishable offense, as indicated in Article 40.

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