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Atheist display will force removal of Nativity scene

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nativity scene will be removed from the Nebraska Capitol in the days before Christmas because atheist groups have reserved all the available space.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that an Omaha-based Christian group will display the Nativity scene Friday but must remove it by Dec. 21 to make room for an atheist display.

Martin Cannon, an attorney for the Thomas More Society's Omaha branch, says the atheists wouldn't share space with his group.

Atheist display organizer Chris Clements says the intention wasn't to block the Nativity scene, but there wasn't space for both in the Capitol's display area.

The Thomas More Society sponsored the Nativity scene for the first time last year, prompting questions about whether it violated the separation of church and state.

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