Church Christmas Sign Upsets Atheist Organization - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

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>>

  • Restroom Cameras At UDel. Didn't Focus On 1 Person

    Restroom Cameras At UDel. Didn't Focus On 1 Person

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:08 AM EDT2014-07-30 13:08:17 GMT
    Court records say a former University of Delaware graduate researcher who is accused of using a recording device to make videos of women in on- and off-campus bathrooms secretly did it for "personal gratification" and did not seek out any one woman.
    Court records say a former University of Delaware graduate researcher who is accused of using a recording device to make videos of women in on- and off-campus bathrooms secretly did it for "personal gratification" and did not seek out any one woman.
  • 6 Former Philadelphia Narcotics Officers Under Arrest

    6 Former Philadelphia Narcotics Officers Under Arrest

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 8:32 AM EDT2014-07-30 12:32:10 GMT

    Six former Philadelphia police narcotics officers are in federal custody Wednesday morning on corruption charges, high-ranking police sources tell FOX 29 News.

    Six former Philadelphia police narcotics officers are in federal custody Wednesday morning on corruption charges, high-ranking police sources tell FOX 29 News.

  • Police investigate student found on dormitory roof

    Police investigate student found on dormitory roof

    Pittsburgh police are trying to figure out how a 23-year-old student wound up injured on the roof of a Carnegie Mellon University dormitory.
    Pittsburgh police are trying to figure out how a 23-year-old student wound up injured on the roof of a Carnegie Mellon University dormitory.
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

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