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Supreme Court says cities can display Nativity scenes

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that cities can display Nativity scenes to celebrate the Christmas holidays. The 5-to-4 ruling declares that the Constitution does not ''require complete separation of church and state'' but calls for ''accommodation, not merely tolerance of all religions, and forbids hostility toward any.''

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Warren Burger said the court declined to take a ''rigid, absolutist'' approach to the separation between church and state.

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The decision reverses a lower-court ruling that banned a city-owned exhibit depicting the birth of Christ Jesus in downtown Pawtucket, R.I.

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