Madalyn Murray-O'Hair loses her attempt to get a Nativity scene removed from the Texas Capitol Rotunda. U.S. District Court Judge Jack Roberts rules that while the nativity scene has religious origins, it has somehow become magically secularized. Therefore, it doesn't violation the separation of church and state.
Judge Roberts writes in his decision:
"The Christmas and New Year season is seen as a time of special friendship among all peoples, and festive decorations of many kinds are used to kindle that spirit of kinship and joy in all.
The Nativity scene, while obviously having religious significance, has also become in many instances just another symbol of the holiday season."
A bit more reasonable is Roberts' argument that the Nativity scene's religious significance is affected by the context of more secular symbols. For example,
"The Nativity scene is rather small, especially in relationship to the enormous Christmas tree under which it is nestled. Positioned as it is, the nativity scene could hardly be called the focal point of the decorations, and the figurines apparently could not be observed from many points in the rotunda."
Madalyn Murray-O'Hair tells reporters that she expected this outcome and intends to appeal, talking her lawsuit against Gov. Dolph Briscoe to the 5th Circuit Court of appeals.