Skip to comments.In Pitman (NJ), controversial Christmas banner polarizes Gloucester County borough
Posted on 12/20/2011 5:37:02 PM PST by Coleus
The big black letters on the water tower that looms over this small South Jersey town announce Everybody likes Pitman. Except that someone doesnt.
Or so say many of the boroughs residents. Located just 17 miles southeast of Philadelphia, the Gloucester County town has the rural feel of fictional Bedford Falls in Its a Wonderful Life the kind of town where the barber shop is called just that in a window sign and has a working barber pole spinning out front. There is no snow on the ground, but wreaths encircle lamp posts like halos, the marquee in front of the Broadway theater reads, Santa Claus is coming to town, and the sounds of O Come All Ye Faithful waft down the street from a storefront speaker.
Life, however, became a lot less wonderful for Pitmans mayor, Mike Batten, a week ago when he received an e-mail from Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation in Madison, Wis.
Gaylor was writing, she said, on behalf of a concerned area resident and taxpayer who was offended by a religious banner long displayed in downtown Pitman. The sign, strung across Broadway, the towns main thoroughfare, reads, Keep Christ in Christmas. And now the town is embroiled in a legal and religious dispute that has made residents resentful.
I thought it was going to be a quiet year, said Batten, who added the banner has been put up every year, stretched between a bank building and a utility pole, and is stretched over a county road, so the town doesnt even have jurisdiction over it.
Were Middle America here,. It was never really a big deal for us. Its a Christian town. Its sad. I see many times in the country a minority gets to rule the majority,
(Excerpt) Read more at nj.com ...
Without seeing her I know she's the kind of person who'd prodded Jews into the gas chambers, then cackled when she tossed their dead bodies in the furnaces.
If the media honestly conveyed the news dried up twits like Annie Laurie Gaynor would have a chance to know what most Americans think of her and her chosen vocation.
Annie Laurie Gaylor picture gallery has her with a series of old men ~ I presume their interest was, at the time (looked to be 14 or so) prurient.
I hope Pitman doesn’t back down but if they simply put Christmas in quotes on the banner, they are making a grammatical or orthographic recommendation.
Same group that is trying to make a fuss in Athens, Texas over a nativity scene.
Will they hit Strawn, Texas next?
Someone clue me here...... What legal standing does this Wiscinsin group have over any city, county, brough, town or anyplace in the USA .....
My reply would be “ pound sand” or if you want come on down and try to remove our banner
One is to make determined efforts to deny the inviters free expression of their faith.
IMO these people feel they have the most to lose, one way or the other.
What polarization? One person complains and the community is "polarized"?
They should immediately, and publicly, say, "Why, you're correct. The sign should come down. Tell you what, we will set a time and date, and anyone from your organization is welcome to come and try to take the sign down. Even Mr. Anonymous his own bad self is welcome to do so. Don't mind the few thousand folks around watching and waiting for you to come down, really. And as it so happens, our entire police force is on vacation that day, so we really can't say you'll leave in one piece per se, but you probably will. Probably."
And when no one shows up to take it down, they say, "Well, I guess they decided it really wasn't a big deal after all." Heh. Heh. Heh.
We have four parks at the main four in town. One has Christmas trees, one has Santa Claus and large gift boxes. One has Santa Claus’ sleigh suspended in the trees, and one has a nativity scene on a small strip of the civil war monument. It is put up by private workers and private funds which are noted on the creche.
none at all...ignore them, they seek publicity!!
Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation in Madison, Wis. needs to be taught an expensive and very painful lesson. I wonder who will administer it. They have spies or something all over the country informing them of any mention of Christmas, God, Jesus or any other mention of religion that isn't locked in someone's private home and then they sue. They're scum but that's in insult to good honest harmless scum.
This is insane. All those small South Jersey towns on the way to Cape May are the kind of places you go to if you want to see a great Fourth of July parade or Boy Scout rally or shop in locally-owned stores. The surrounding areas are farms creating some of the best Jersey tomatoes, blueberries, shrubs and flowers anywhere. It is America as it should be. Why can’t these cheese-eating, carpetbagging meddlers from Wisconson live and let live?
I suspect the residents of Pitman will not be voting Democrat anytime soon.
Unless they’re complete morons, I mean.
Suburban Chicago, Illinois
Lawsuit threat means Alsip Christmas tradition gets crossed off
BY STEVE METSCH
Last Modified: Nov 20, 2012 02:13AM
To avoid what could be a costly lawsuit, the village of Alsip will break with tradition and not erect a cross on its water tower near the Tri-State Tollway this holiday season.
The cross had been a fixture since the 1970s, Mayor Patrick Kitching said Monday. But after the Freedom from Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., advised Kitching it would file a lawsuit demanding removal of the cross, citing separation of church and state, Kitching decided to not wage a losing and likely costly legal battle.
Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said the group acted on a complaint received last year from an unidentified Alsip resident.
We work to keep religion out of government. We try to resolve things through education and legislation, not litigation. Towns cant put crosses on public structures such as water towers because we have separation between religion and government, she said.
In a letter to residents and businesses, Kitching wrote: I am very saddened by this and had hoped we would not have to change tradition. However, in these economic times, the village cannot afford to waste any tax dollars on a lawsuit that simply cannot be won.
Other municipalities have been brought to suit regarding the very same issue and have lost. We have chosen not to waste taxpayer dollars to fight a losing battle in court.
Contacted Monday at the village hall, Kitching said, I know we cant win. Theres no point in fighting it.
He is offended by the outcome.
I really am. Its a tradition, and our tradition has been slapped down. They told me an anonymous person complained. I doubt that, Kitching said. I think they (foundation members) were driving down the tollway and saw our cross.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.