Skip to comments.Atheist display added to holiday town hall scene in West Milford
Posted on 12/21/2012 4:56:10 PM PST by Coleus
It seems that those who favor the all or nothing inclusion of December symbols in the annual display in front of the municipal building have been successful in making that happen. Over the weekend - with it still unclear if the lighted tree is to be called a "Christmas tree" or a "Holiday tree" - a crèche and an atheist sign were added to the display. Meanwhile the official name for the lighted tree in the display remains an issue for some.
Resident Tim Wagner and others said they will continue to press for administrative action to call the "Holiday tree" a "Christmas tree." Township Administrator Nancy Gage on Dec. 7 responded to Wagner in an email. Gage said she had not been directed by the township council at the Dec. 5 council workshop to issue a public statement that the tree is now to be referred to as a "Christmas tree."
In a third round of voting the council majority vote changed from including any and all symbols in the display, to sticking with just a Holiday tree and finally, to open up the display area at the town hall complex to all.
Some residents recall there was an annual crèche display at Bubbling Spring Municipal Park about 30 or more years ago. Carl Dohm, then a township teacher, pressed the issue of separation of church and state to township officials.
The old timers recalled that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said the nativity scene had to be removed but the holiday tree could stay. The ACLU got involved after local high school teacher Carl Dohm pressed the issue of separation of church and state. The officials followed the ACLU directive and took down the nativity display. It was never again displayed on municipal property. Dohm moved to Florida after retiring from his job in the local school system.
Since that time there has been a township holiday tree in front of the municipal building. A ceremony to light it is held the first Monday in December. There has been no reference to anything religious in the display or tree lighting program.
Things changed after Rabbi Mendy Gurkov of the Chabad Jewish Center of Upper Passaic County insisted to the current township council that the lighted tree is a Christian symbol and its proper name is a "Christmas tree." Gurkov maintained that the menorah is a universal symbol of freedom and light and not a religious symbol. The council majority soon afterward voted to allow inclusion of all symbols.
Township Attorney Fred Semrau's advice to the council to establish rules before allowing additions to the display was not followed. He had suggested that all organizations in the township be notified that they could add their symbol to the display. Semrau said those who showed interest in doing so should then be directed to present an informal plan to the administration with a deadline date to submit it. The attorney said someone in township official capacity should be present to oversee the installation and removal of symbols after the celebration period is over.
With this year's December holiday period close to an end a new council will be seated on Jan. 2, 2013. Officials have already said during their discussions that the subject of December holiday decorating and procedures on municipal property will be revisited prior to December 2013.
A crèche appeared next to the lighted tree display at the West Milford municipal complex over the weekend.
American Atheists added a sign to the holiday observance in front of the West Milford municipal building on Sunday.
If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.” - John 15:18
Should say “Give thanks for nothing”.
What a farce.
And no one is interested in how this is done. Scream about the liberals, but they know how to get everyone to go along with being presumed to be a corporation.
Breaking News: Corporations never privately owned - they are rented from the State that creates them.
So ask yourself, what happens when a natural person is deemed a corporate “individual”?
The 16th Amendment forbids PRIVATE ownership of slaves in the US - it doesn’t prevent the US from owning slaves.
Especially slaves that are called individuals.
Individuals who are banned from saying “Christmas.”
But go ahead, scream at the liberals. pay no attention to what they are actually doing - and how they are doing it.
It’s almost 2013 - get your Individual Obamacare check ready.
Even though they belittle the holidays, you will notice that they sure take them off. In fact, don’t stand by the doorway or you’ll get trampled. They expect gifts, want Christmas bonuses, etc. The fact that they attack Christmas and Christians in general shows a deep seated fear and self loathing which requires them to attack. If, deep down they really didn’t believe, they would simply ignore Christmas and Christians and go their merry unbelieving way .... but they don’t because of the giant holes inside of themselves.
If they don’t believe, why are they afraid of believers?
Seems awfully hateful.
Maybe there’s a crime in there somewhere.
And, for a myth, there certainly is a lot of historical and archeological evidence, unlike a real myth, like the Cyclops (which turned out to be based on elephant skeletons).
Also, where is their evidence that “it’s a myth”?
P.S. in Saudi Arabia, displaying either of those two billboards would be punishable by decapitation.
First, many of the Founding Fathers were “deists,” but that was little more than the PC label of the day to genericize their Christianity since they were public officials pushing for freedom of religion. Jefferson was a devout Christian.
Second, you wrote: “I am not Jewish, yet I do not have a fit when a city not far from me has a big menorah out in public.”
The story is about atheists (those who reject religion all the time) and you are equivocating the observation of a religious belief regarding a specific religious holiday with a general attack on religion when the religious are celebrating a part of their religion. The two cannot be equivocated. And, to the intellectually honest, when an atheist directly protests a religious observation, which is saying in effect, “I don’t believe in your God. Which God? That God right there that we are both pointing at” that atheist destroys his own argument. So they would do well to avoid this type of slap in the face.
This is less an expression of a religious view than it is an attack on those truly observing their religion, and, as a result, is little more than hateful and petty.
Third, Freerepublic is a conservative web site that firmly believes in the Judeo-Christian view of God. Unfortunately, it has been watered down over the years with atheists and liberaltarians who run counter to the stated cause of this site which is to defend the conservative traditions of this country but with whom conservatives are united in a shared cause of limited government. I’ll team up with libertarians to reduce the oppressive size of government, but liberaltarians have more in common with the left wing of the DNC than they do with true conservatives.
Fourth, it’s hard to ‘live and let-live’ when someone is poking you in the eye.
I don’t smile to get along. That’s what we have been doing for 40 years, and that is why the country is fast becoming a cesspool.
So, I no longer smile to get along. I’ve been poking my opponent right back in the eye for years. And I have no regrets.
You wrote: “If they dont believe, why are they afraid of believers?”
Yeah, isn’t that weird? Why do people fight with so much vim and vigor against that which they don’t believe to exist?
And that atheist guy who has been on “O’Reilly” lately.... “Silverman?” A Jew no less?
Atheism isn’t a religion so why does the city allow them to post anything. I guess they are afraid of the cost of fighting a lawsuit.
You are trying to disprove what another believes. That is foolish.
Prove the lack of existence of God.
Newly dead atheist walks up to heavens gate and says, St Peter let me in. Peter says ‘what you believed on earth is what you receive in eternity. For you believed heaven is a myth so a myth it is to you forever. Now go and inherit the destiny you believed in’.
Well, First, Muslims do consider Jesus a prophet of their religion, so that sign is factual of their beliefs. However, I believe are clearly trying to incite/annoy Christians with that sign.
As for the second sign, this country was founded on Judeo-Christians beliefs. Atheists in this country consistently attack people with Judeo-Christians beliefs. I’d say atheists do hate America.
Also, didn’t the exit polls showing atheists overwhelmingly voting for Obama? Yup, they hate America.
Prove the existence of “God”.
Looks amazing, guys. Keep up the great work. Society thanks you.
Your argument is in reaction to the belief of others. The burden of proof is with you.
First you prove with your evidence that God does not exist.
And then let me use your argument to disprove yours.
How does it feel to have the shoe on the other foot?
>Also, didnt the exit polls showing atheists overwhelmingly voting for Obama?<
Didn’t muslims do the same thing?
You actually believe a dead Jew is going to come down to Earth and whisk you up in to the sky?
He is not dead.
And stop bashing our Christian beliefs.
Nope, not bashing. I just feel very sorry for you.
You are blind and naked and you don’t realize it.
I’ll pray for you.
It couldn’t hurt.
As my pastor says when the subject comes up, Athesim IS a religion, and it does have its own high holiday: April First, All Fools Day.
I would have no problem with atheists placing a display with a POSITIVE message; but all they ever do is place a negative attack on Christianity, and sometimes also Judaism.
Even such sad & bile-filled creatures as they are, they are still loved by God. Of course my father still loved me too, when I made those proverbial trips to the woodshed.
Good points all but i think Maryland is for queen Mary of France the mother or grandmother of several English monarchs......her son Charles II ....most notably.....the last absolute English monarch
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