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Atheist display added to holiday town hall scene in West Milford
Northjersey.com ^ | 12.17.12 | ANN GENADER

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.


TOPICS: Local News; Society; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: aclu; atheist; atheists; christmastree; crche; holidaytree; nativityscene; nj; passaicounty; tree; waronchristmas; waronchristmas2012; westmilford
A crèche appeared next to the lighted tree display at the West Milford municipal complex over the weekend.
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.
American Atheists added a sign to the holiday observance in front of the West Milford municipal building on Sunday.

Atheists Use Times Square Billboard for Anti-Christmas Pitch


1 posted on 12/21/2012 4:56:21 PM PST by Coleus
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To: Coleus

“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.” - John 15:18

JoMa


2 posted on 12/21/2012 5:05:35 PM PST by joma89
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To: Coleus

Should say “Give thanks for nothing”.


3 posted on 12/21/2012 5:06:51 PM PST by AU72
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To: Coleus

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.


4 posted on 12/21/2012 5:11:25 PM PST by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Coleus

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.


5 posted on 12/21/2012 5:17:15 PM PST by RetiredTexasVet (Save the nation, have your family's progressives spayed or neutered.)
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To: Coleus
Religious Folks Use Billboard to Bash Atheists!

similar sign

They put up theirs, you put up yours try that "Live and Let Live" thing...

There are people on this website with a variety of religious beliefs. That freedom is a fundamental part of our republic. Kind of a "Free Republic". When we are facing the collapse of our currency, the gutting of our military, it seems that you would rather anger folks about privately held beliefs than to rally like minded people to work on issues of common ground.

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.

I am not a Jehovah's Witness or Mormon, yet I do not yell that they are trespassing when they knock on my door to "convert" me. (although if they delivered the mail at the same time, we could save some dough)

I don't demand that the state of "Maryland" change its name due to the obvious religious history of it.

I don't scream bloody murder that the coins in my pocket say "In God We Trust".

There are people in this world that do not share your religious viewpoint, and religious viewpoints by their very nature are not tangible, provable things. Why provoke needless arguments amongst people here when instead we can try to contribute productive discussions of tangible, concrete policical issues?

Thomas Jefferson no less said this:

"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. ... "
6 posted on 12/21/2012 5:19:55 PM PST by Rebel_Ace (Tags?!? Tags?!? We don' neeeed no stinkin' Tags!)
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To: Coleus

If they don’t believe, why are they afraid of believers?


7 posted on 12/21/2012 5:38:55 PM PST by Bronzy
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To: Coleus

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).


8 posted on 12/21/2012 5:38:55 PM PST by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Prepare for survival.)
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To: Coleus

Also, where is their evidence that “it’s a myth”?


9 posted on 12/21/2012 5:45:14 PM PST by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Prepare for survival.)
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To: Coleus
Atheists should stick to their own symbols and idols. You don't see Christians, Jews, or Buddhists trying to proselytize by putting down other religions and mocking their traditions.

P.S. in Saudi Arabia, displaying either of those two billboards would be punishable by decapitation.

10 posted on 12/21/2012 5:57:19 PM PST by rfp1234 (Arguing with a liberal is like playing chess with a pigeon.)
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe
"...for a myth, there certainly is a lot of historical and archeological evidence..."

Suppose I tell you the following story:

It was late one night, and my car broke down on Main Street, right outside Al's Rib Joint. My cell phone was dead, so I had to walk to the closest pay phone. When I got there to call for a tow, I looked in my wallet and discovered that my Triple A card had expired. Darn! I had to slog on foot all the way home. Continuing down Main Street, I decided to take a shortcut across the Wal-Mart parking lot, which happened to have an Outback Steakhouse on the other side. As I looked at it, thinking I could use a good, cold Foster's beer, a strange light appeared in the sky. A UFO floated down, and the normally green roof of the Outback Steakhouse shone with an eerie blue glow. The craft hovered, then silently glided across the parking lot until it was about 50 feet in front of me. It landed without a sound, and a door opened and a ramp appeared. A oval eyed, grey skinned creature walked out, looked at me and planted this thought in my head telepathically: "We Come In Peace". Then, after nodding to me, he re-entered the craft, and it soared away, again without a sound. I ran all the way home, quite frightened.

The next morning I see you and tell this tale. You are skeptical. I take you along my route and offer the following evidence:

(1) See? My car is broken down right in front of Al's Rib Joint, just like I said.
(2) See? My phone battery is dead, just like I said.
(3) See? My AAA card is expired, just like I said.
(4) See? There IS a Wal-Mart and Outback there on Main Street, just like I said.

I MUST be telling the truth!

However, no matter how much of the real world tangible "evidence" I show you, *NONE* of it directly relates to the extra ordinary portions of my tale. No pieces of a space ship. No way to show you my "telepathic" message. No "landing marks" on the parking lot.

Physical evidence can show that places and things were real in fantastic tales, but not the fantastic parts themselves.
11 posted on 12/21/2012 5:58:23 PM PST by Rebel_Ace (Tags?!? Tags?!? We don' neeeed no stinkin' Tags!)
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To: Rebel_Ace

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.


12 posted on 12/21/2012 5:59:08 PM PST by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Prepare for survival.)
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To: Bronzy

You wrote: “If they don’t 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?


13 posted on 12/21/2012 6:00:27 PM PST by Joe Marine 76 ("It's The Natural Born Citizenship, Stupid!")
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To: All

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.


14 posted on 12/21/2012 6:01:43 PM PST by Coleus
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To: Rebel_Ace

You are trying to disprove what another believes. That is foolish.

Prove the lack of existence of God.


15 posted on 12/21/2012 6:04:22 PM PST by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Prepare for survival.)
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To: rfp1234
"You don't see Christians, Jews, or Buddhists trying to proselytize by putting down other religions and mocking their traditions"

Do you mean something like this:

Here Muslims Hijack Jesus:
Muslims Hijacking Jesus

Here Chrisians (presumably, since the organization's chairman is Council Nedd, an Episcopal Bishop) Hijack The American Flag and explicitly ask why Atheist Hate America:


Sure, religions do that.
16 posted on 12/21/2012 6:09:24 PM PST by Rebel_Ace (Tags?!? Tags?!? We don' neeeed no stinkin' Tags!)
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To: Coleus

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’.


17 posted on 12/21/2012 6:17:20 PM PST by tflabo (Truth or Tyranny)
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To: Rebel_Ace

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.


18 posted on 12/21/2012 6:23:27 PM PST by HawkHogan
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe
"You are trying to disprove what another believes. That is foolish."

No, that is not the point at all. I have no problem with what someone else believes, but I do have a problem with faulty thinking.

The post to which I responded asserted that "archeological evidence" supports Christianity's beliefs. My post was to point out that that is faulty reasoning. I can go to a spot, and dig, and find pottery, and dwelling foundations and evidence of human occupation. If I am lucky, I can even find stuff to help me identify the name of the place and nail down the time. That is all good, however, if I have a story with fantastic, supernatural elements that took place in that setting, finding the place is no more "evidence" of the fantastic portions of the story than was my example of the Wal Mart alien encounter.

Belief in God is a supernatural belief. Pointing to physical "archeological evidence" is inconsistant with the ethereal nature of religious beliefs.

Anyway, my very first post on this thread was to ask why these things are put out here, when they just seem to infuriate folks.

As to arguments such as "they" are poking me in the eye (no matter who "they" are) it takes almost no time to find a variety of signs sure to be offensive to some group, so EVERYBODY has a chance to be the "they" that are doing the poking.

Frankly, I think militant Atheists are just as misguided as over zealous religious types. I would rather they all took a breather. That was my point about not giving a big deal about a Menorah (or Creche) in a public space. Would I protest that? No. Would I contribute money to put up a counter display? No. Again, if you look at my very first post, what I am trying to say here is that there are truly bigger and badder things that are ACTUALLY HAPPENING, that will OBJECTIVELY bring harm to our republic, and we should be mustering our forces toward those ends, and not arguing over who's God is greater, or how many angels can dance on a billboard.
19 posted on 12/21/2012 6:44:02 PM PST by Rebel_Ace (Tags?!? Tags?!? We don' neeeed no stinkin' Tags!)
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To: HawkHogan
"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..."

My point exactly. I could find more signs, I suppose, if I took more time, but as long as you got the point, I don't really need others.

"...As for the second sign, this country was founded on Judeo-Christians beliefs..."

Not being a mind reader, I will defer to the actual words of a prominent Founding Father with regards to religious freedom:

Thomas Jefferson no less said this:

"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. ... "

"Also, didn’t the exit polls showing atheists overwhelmingly voting for Obama? Yup, they hate America."

Try substituting "Jews" for "Atheists" in the above statement. Yes, Jews did vote in large part for not just Obama, but for Democrats in general. Do All Jews hate America? Do just the Democrat Jews hate America? What about the Jews here on Free Republic? Do you see where that goes? There were people here that would not vote for Romney because he was Mormon. Do they hate America?

My point is that threads like this ARE NOT HELPFUL AND CONSTRUCTIVE to the cause of repairing our country and restoring a limited form of government.
20 posted on 12/21/2012 6:57:54 PM PST by Rebel_Ace (Tags?!? Tags?!? We don' neeeed no stinkin' Tags!)
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe

Prove the existence of “God”.


21 posted on 12/21/2012 7:03:09 PM PST by BigCinBigD (...Was that okay?)
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To: Coleus
Official Atheist Holiday Display

Looks amazing, guys. Keep up the great work. Society thanks you.

22 posted on 12/21/2012 7:03:52 PM PST by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: BigCinBigD

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?


23 posted on 12/21/2012 7:08:43 PM PST by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Prepare for survival.)
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To: HawkHogan

>Also, didn’t the exit polls showing atheists overwhelmingly voting for Obama?<

.
Didn’t muslims do the same thing?


24 posted on 12/21/2012 9:15:47 PM PST by 353FMG
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe

You actually believe a dead Jew is going to come down to Earth and whisk you up in to the sky?


25 posted on 12/21/2012 9:46:34 PM PST by BigCinBigD (...Was that okay?)
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To: BigCinBigD

He is not dead.

And stop bashing our Christian beliefs.


26 posted on 12/21/2012 10:03:29 PM PST by Aurorales (I will not be ridiculed into silence!)
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To: Aurorales
And yet you can bash athiests... Beleive as you wish and have a happy life.
27 posted on 12/21/2012 10:12:23 PM PST by BigCinBigD (...Was that okay?)
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To: BigCinBigD

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.


28 posted on 12/21/2012 11:17:33 PM PST by Aurorales (I will not be ridiculed into silence!)
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To: Aurorales

It couldn’t hurt.


29 posted on 12/22/2012 12:04:43 AM PST by BigCinBigD (...Was that okay?)
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To: Coleus

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.


30 posted on 12/22/2012 12:46:53 AM PST by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: Rebel_Ace

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


31 posted on 12/22/2012 1:02:51 AM PST by wardaddy (fwanna know how my kin felt during Reconstruction in Mississippi, you fixin to find out firsthand)
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