Church Christmas Sign Upsets Atheist Organization - FOX 35 News Orlando

Church Christmas Sign Upsets Atheist Organization

Posted: Updated:
Pitman, New Jersey -

A war over Christmas is brewing in Pitman, New Jersey. It has to do with this banner that says "Keep Christ in Christmas," but some say this sign violates the separation of church and state.

The banner was paid for by the Knights of Columbus, but it hangs over one of the town's main streets and one group made up of atheists-- has a big problem with that

Christmas is a big deal in this town. Look no further than Haggerty's Christmas village.

Of all the decorations in town, it's this banner over Broadway saying "Keep the Christ in Christmas" causing controversy-mainly by an Atheist organization called Freedom From Religion.

An attorney for the Wisconsin based group says since the banner hangs over a public road-equates to the township endorsing a Christian message not so says the borough's Mayor Russ Johnson.

"It is a banner that's attached to two private entities hanging over a county roadway which is does not require a county permit," Russ Johnson said.

Instead of suing, Freedom from Religion paid for its own billboard, it says "Keep the Saturn in Saturnalia," a play on an ancient roman holiday-celebrating the winter solstice.

"The government is endorsing to keep Christ in Christmas message very clearly and they've given it over to a private organization to display their religious message." Andrew Seidel of Freedom from Religion said.

It turns out someone was so upset-they tried to burn down the opposing billboard with gasoline last night. Luckily the fire went out before it did any damage. Police are investigating but the controversy has some in this town found it as a Christian Summer Retreat fuming.

Most we talked to say the opponents of the banner just brought more attention they say to the reason of the season.

The group has issued a $2,000 reward for information leading to an arrest of the arsonist, but the borough says it has no plans on forcing the banner to come down.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Only On Fox: Arsonist On The Loose In South Jersey Town

    Only On Fox: Arsonist On The Loose In South Jersey Town

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 4:45 PM EDT2014-04-16 20:45:07 GMT
    It started with a brush fire, then another fire at the rear of this home on Monroe Street and finally a blaze that swept through this vacant home up the block, just a few feet away from where Emma Sethman
    It started with a brush fire, then another fire at the rear of this home on Monroe Street and finally a blaze that swept through this vacant home up the block, just a few feet away from where Emma Sethman
  • Woman says beau stole her dog, TV on 1st date

    Woman says beau stole her dog, TV on 1st date

    Saturday, April 19 2014 4:33 PM EDT2014-04-19 20:33:15 GMT
    No stolen hearts on this first date. Instead, a New Jersey woman says a man she met on a dating website stole her dog and her flat-screen TV. Dover police tell the Daily Record of Parsippany (http://dailyre.co/1f8Kwz4) that the pair went out for the first time Thursday night. After returning home, the woman said she became occupied in another room, leaving the man alone. When she returned, he was gone -- and so were her Yorkshire Terrier named Violet and her TV valued at $3,000. The woman s...
    No stolen hearts on this first date. Instead, a New Jersey woman says a man she met on a dating website stole her dog and her flat-screen TV. Dover police tell the Daily Record of Parsippany (http://dailyre.co/1f8Kwz4) that the pair went out for the first time Thursday night. After returning home, the woman said she became occupied in another room, leaving the man alone. When she returned, he was gone -- and so were her Yorkshire Terrier named Violet and her TV valued at $3,000. The woman s...
  • Dominos Delivery Driver Victim Of Armed Robbery

    Dominos Delivery Driver Victim Of Armed Robbery

    Saturday, April 19 2014 4:30 PM EDT2014-04-19 20:30:01 GMT
    Police are looking for a man who robbed a Domino’s pizza Delivery driver early Saturday morning in Newark. At approximately 2:00 a.m., the 20 year old delivery man was delivering two pizzas to 500 Stamford Drive apartment D. The driver noticed the apartments were numerically ordered and there was not an apartment D, As the victim got back in his vehicle, a man approached the driver window with a small black handg...
    Police are looking for a man who robbed a Domino’s pizza Delivery driver early Saturday morning in Newark. At approximately 2:00 a.m., the 20 year old delivery man was delivering two pizzas to 500 Stamford Drive apartment D. The driver noticed the apartments were numerically ordered and there was not an apartment D, As the victim got back in his vehicle, a man approached the driver window with a small black handg...
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices