.- The defiance of a suburban Michigan family, along with the support of friends and neighbors means that the Nativity scene which graces their front yard will be allowed to stand another year.
The Samona family, of Novi, Michigan was threatened with a fine of $100 a week by the company that manages their subdivision if they did not remove the nativity scene which, they say has stood in their front yard every year since moving into their home three years ago.
Including their previous home, the family estimates that they have displayed the scene every year for the last 25 years.
Batoul Samona told reporters that his family would ânot remove the nativity from our front lawn under any circumstances,â and his 16 year-old son Joseph agreed.
âThis Nativity display is a family tradition which will not be abolished. My family strongly believes in celebrating the birth of Christ in this way,â he said.
The controversy sparked a heated local debate which found its way onto TV and radio talk shows and even the front page of the Detroit News.
Richard Thomson, chief counsel for the Ann Arbor based Thomas More Law Center represent the family, and said that âThe action of the management company in demanding only that the nativity scene be removed when several other objects remained on the lawn is clear evidence that this was an attack on Christmas.â
Throngs of residents and neighbors ended up coming out in support of the family, leading the management company to back down and even offer the Samoans a holiday gift basket for their trouble.