This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," November 30, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: First, baby Jesus will sleep soundly outside one Detroit family home, and that's because the homeowners association that sought to prohibit the nativity display from the Samona family's front lawn has since decided to back off from their ban.

Joining us now to tell their personal story, Frank and Betty Samona and their son, Joe.

Hey, guys, welcome to the program. I understand you guys emigrated from Iraq, what, about 30 years ago, Betty?

BETTY SAMONA, FOUGHT TO KEEP NATIVITY SCENE: Yes. I've been here for 30 years, yes. I am an American citizen.

HANNITY: Yes, ma'am. And I hope you're happy with everything that's been happening there.

Let me ask you this. First of all, you put the display up. You got this letter. You had an unhappy neighbor. Tell us what the letter said and tell us how they eventually backed off on this, because this is all part of this larger assault, I believe, on Christmas. Go ahead. Betty?

B. SAMONA: I received the letters November 21, and it say in the letters, "You have to take the nativity down."

And the first time I was crying and I say, "How am I going to take the nativity down?"


B. SAMONA: I'm going to take Mother Mary, mother of God, and Jesus and Joseph. I'm not going to take it down no matter what because they told us they're going to give you a fine, you know. I said, "So what? As many fine they give us, I don't care."

And we got a lot of support from people. They keep calling us till midnight at night, you know. They say no matter what we're going to pay all the fee, everything, you know, whatever you need. We have wonderful...

HANNITY: Isn't that great?

B. SAMONA: Oh, yes. Great. We have wonderful neighbor, wonderful neighborhood. We love America. We love America, sir.

HANNITY: Yes, ma'am. Well, you ought to be able to put it there. And I'm very, very glad. I don't like a lot of these homeowners associations.

Joe, I want to ask you because, you know, here you are. You're living in a place where you think you have religious freedom. You pay for your house.

B. SAMONA: Yes, yes.

HANNITY: You obey the laws, you play by the rules. I assume you pay all your taxes. I'm sure you do. And then you're told you can't put this up. Why do you think, in the broader sense, that this is sort of an ongoing assault that's happening in a lot of different places? Do you think it's an assault on Christianity, on Christmas?

B. SAMONA: I don't know why they send me this letter, why they tell me to take it down. I don't know.

COLMES: Let me go to Joe. Joe, it's Alan. And Frank and Betty, thank you for being with us.

But Joe, as I understand it, the developer of where you live says the letter was a mistake, there's really no problem, they sent you an apology, and there was just a misunderstanding that they — while some displays are banned in the homeowners association, not religious displays, right? So it's not really a problem here, is there?

JOE SAMONA, FOUGHT TO KEEP NATIVITY SCENE: As of now the problem has been ended. There was a problem. We do accept their apology. They did say they were going to forward a gift basket to us.

I contacted Craig Cost (ph) of Cramer Triad Management Group (ph)...

COLMES: Right.

J. SAMONA: ... out of Ann Arbor and asked them to forward that gift basket to St. Vincent de Paul, to charity in Pontiac, Michigan.

COLMES: Good, that's very nice of you. That's very nice.

Frank, again, I mean, to say I would not see — I personally don't see this as a large assault on Christians. I see it as a misunderstanding. You should have the right to put that in front of your home. You do have the right, and it seems like a misunderstanding. The developer said everything's OK, so do you really see there was a big problem here?

FRANK SAMONA, FOUGHT TO KEEP NATIVITY SCENE: Well, yes, we did think there was a problem, a serious problem here, when we can't display Jesus at Christmastime.

COLMES: But you can.

F. SAMONA: This is the time — well, now they say we can. I mean, I don't think it was a mistake. I think they were overwhelmed by the support we got, the media coverage, like such as yours and others, fine media coverage of the event. And I think they backed off because of that.

I think my worry is what's going to happen next year or what's going to happen somewhere else in a different neighborhood.

COLMES: But the rules say it's OK, that you can have — you can have personal religious displays. So there doesn't seem to be an issue here once they actually looked at the bylaws and saw what everything said.

F. SAMONA: Yes. Well, that's what they say now, you know. And we're happy they did say that, because really we live in a beautiful neighborhood, good people around us, supportive people. We're total amazed by, you know, the letter was very disturbing, to say the least.

HANNITY: All right, guys. I'm glad it worked out for you and your family. Thank you all for being with us. And by the way, merry Christmas. Thank you all for being with us.

F. SAMONA: Merry Christmas to you, too.

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