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Opening Arguments

A bed for the manger

Have to admire this Christmas spirit:

It may seem odd, but a baby Jesus in a pickup has become a tradition in Lafayette.

"People won't let you quit," Jack Ruckel said Monday. "Every year they ask me if I will be back, and I am."

For the 10th year, Ruckel of Lafayette is parking his "mobile manger" outside the Tippecanoe County Courthouse from 6 to 9 p.m. every night through Christmas day.

Under the glow of a light bulb, illuminated plastic figurines of Mary, Joseph, a camel, cow and donkey sit nestled in hay around the baby doll representing Jesus in the covered pickup bed.

[. . .]

Ruckel's do-it-yourself approach came after a 1999 decision by county commissioners to ban all private displays from the courthouse lawn and other county properties in the days leading up to Christmas.

I'm sure there are numerous Christmas displays all over Lafayette, including a creche or two, so by parking in front of the courthouse every night, this guy is just making a statement, not performing any real public service. But that's what commissioners (and those who pushed them into it) were doing, too, just making a statement rather than performing a needed public service. Pick your statement.

Bet he's got "In God We Trust" license plates, too -- what to you bet?


Bob G.
Wed, 12/17/2008 - 12:24pm

That's a quaint story...and I wish HIM a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I just hope & pray some OTHER person isn't driving HIS pickup with some atheist sign in the bed for all to see...

But there that one Hebrew fellow with a MENORAH hood ornament on his '62 Caddy...