Nativity Scene Moved From Borough Property In Canonsburg

By Ralph Iannotti

CANONSBURG (KDKA) — The location of a nativity scene has ignited controversy in Canonsburg.

Canonsburg resident Megan Hartley fired off a letter to the Canonsburg Borough Manager Terry Hazlett.

Among other things, her letter read: “There are plenty of nativity sets on display every year in front of many churches in town and in front of private homes as well. We do not need another one in front of a government building.”

Hartley was referring to a crèche which has been put up in front of the borough building every December longer than most folks remember.

Rather than risk an expensive court suit, Hazlett decided to have the Knights of Columbus put the display up this year on private property just down the street from the municipal offices.

“If the government is promoting one religion over others, that’s not fair,” Hartley said. “We have Jewish members of this community, Muslim members of this community, atheist members of this community – we even have pagan members of this community and having a Nativity set up doesn’t represent a single one of them.”

“It’s illegal to have a crèche on government property, so we took it off,” Hazlett said. “Now, if we can find a way to move it back onto the property we will, but we want to make sure it’s legal first,” Hazlett.

Anthony Lewandowsky called moving it “an abomination.” He added someone might be offended by the statue of Perry Como, which stands in front of borough offices. “Will that have to go too?” he asked.

  • A

    If this nativity has been in the community for longer than most can remember, yet all these citizens find it offensive, why has it taken so many years to become an issue? Seems that one person always wants to spoil everything for everyone else. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but no matter how ridiculous it may be, no one can take CHRIST our of CHRISTmas!
    Have a Merry CHRISTmas Ms. Hartley!

    • Sean S.

      Separation of church and state, anyone?

      • Paul B.

        No such thing. Do your research.

      • rpm

        this cpontrywas built on the word of god she she doesn’t like nothing stopping her from moving im sure there would be enough people to help her out

      • JM

        There is no “separation of church & state”. People do not know their history. This was only mentioned by Thomas Jefferson so that the government does not “endorse” only 1 faith, such as Methodist, baptist, Catholic, etc…… If you were to go through the archives from the 1700″s, which are on file, you will see that the Founding Fathers intended this to be a Christian nation and that they solely relied on God in their decision making….STOP WATCHING THE EVENING NEWS AND DO YOUR HISTORY HOMEWORK!!!!!!!

      • JM

        Next time, before you repeat what you hear from the evening news….look up the facts….or better yet….click this link…………it was Thomas Jefferson who used this phrase in 1802… has NOTHING to do with what your Liberal news people are brainwashing you with!!!!

    • Shane Hatch

      Christmas was originally a roman holiday known as saturnalia. The Christians high-jacked it for their own purposes. So, it would be more accurate to say, “Christmas is not, and never was, a Christian holiday no matter how hard they try to make it one.

    • A Palinista

      Attention: From now on, your taxes can be paid at your local church.

      There is NO seperation of church and state.

  • John Snyder

    Oh My God, will someone tell me whats wrong with this here. Please, this has been a tradition in Guntown longer than most of our grandparents have been married. If you want your religion represented at the borough bldg. go out and buy whatever it is that is a symbol of religion, and donate it to the borough. Becasue the creche I believe was donated to and not purchased by the borough.

  • Michele H

    For all that is wrong with the world and going wrong with the world, is now REALLY a good time to start attacking God?? If you ackowledge and/or celebrate Christmas you are a hypocrite!!! There would be no Christmas if it weren’t for the birth of Christ!!! Why is it okay for every other religion to express their beliefs, but not the Catholics??? This country would be a lot better off if people would concern themselves with the issues that REALLY need addressing – homelessness, unemployment, taxes, the everyday things that effect us ALL! I hope that if I were ever in the Canonsburg area, Ms Hartley that I would NOT see one sign of Christmas at your home, because if I did, you are a HYPOCRITE! I REALLY think you need to find something CONSTRUCTIVE to do with your obvious abundance of spare time.

    • Dana Spallinger

      Christmas’ origins lay in pagan history and pre-date Christianity. It like most things in the Christian religion were borrowed from other religious and cultural sources. Please review human history so as not to repeat it’s mistakes.

      Happy Holidays!

  • Debbie S

    I cant believe that Ms Hartley feels that she needs to be the community speaker. Ms Hartley is telling the town that the Nativity scene is against her religion and we are not allowed to express ours?? Now Ms Hartley your forcing your religion upon us and how is that right. I dont live in your town and you are very lucky because I would personally put up multiple Nativity scenes on my property. Whats so bad about a baby in a manger? How does that offend anyone really?? How is that offensive I really would like to know? Isnt it bad enough that God was taken out of our schools now you want to take him out of our homes to? So what it was on government property. I dont tell you what to believe. Whats next are you going to try to get rid if Christmas?

    • bill

      Hey Ms. Hartley. Its called CHRISTmas. It was when Jesus was born. Why is this offensive? He loved us ALL.

  • Emily

    Wow! This is truely a shame. When the pledge of allegiance, which i recited EVERY morning at school, was removed from public schools it made me sick! Recently a little boy who wore his cross around his neck everyday all day, including to school, had 2 remove it because it offended other kids and their religions that made me even more sick! This is the final straw for me. All these other religions wear their clothes, head pieces, jewelry, etc. and not 1 word is said because everyone has the right to worship their own beliefs. In my opinion, we who believe in Christ, are being ostrasized by these other religions. I dont care if there were a million nativity scenes in the neighborhood if this 1 has been up for longer then anyone remembers then LET IT BE!! Just like every other religion we who believe in christ should have the same freedom of religion also. SHAME ON YOU MS. HARTLEY!!! SHAME ON YOU!!! Thank you for ruining a tradition for a lot of people.

    • paddymurphy

      They never removed the pledge from schools and no child has ever been forced to remove a crucifix. Your making things like this up to make your point is not very christian. A nativity scene on public property is illegal. End of story.

  • Sick of bending to please foreigners

    …so Christians have to concede to make other religions happy….I am sending the ACLU, every temple, mosque, and etc…a CHRISTMAS card. This country was founded on freedom of religion, I believe we have the right to display OUR CHRISTIANITY, since we have to bend to make other religions happy.They shove their muslim, hindu, athiest religions in our faces, and we have to respect it…I am offended that I have to have MY religion hidden because it is offensive to others. They are always free to go to Islam, India, and Iraq to celebrate if they don’t like the sight of my CHRISTMAS TREE and my CRICUFIX.

  • ticked off american

    all of you can go back to your own countries and try just once to disagree with their philosphies. You are all welcome to come to america for a better life but don’t you dare tell us how we should believe. Or live. MERRY CHRISTMAS.

    • Jase


  • Mike Dennison

    Hartley go back to were you came from. You are not needed or wanted here.

    • Vik

      I agree with you Mike, Hartley needs to get out of Canonsburg. How could that woman show her face in this town again?

      I got a message for you Hartley, “With God with me, who can be against me?” You don’t have a need for God in your life, you turned a lot of good people against you. Shame on you for causing Christians to think ill of you.

  • cakr

    True Christianity does not depend on and is not propagated by outward displays of statues, jewelry and symbolism. Jesus said that He was building His church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. True Christianity is spread by the preaching and teaching of God’s Word with the unction of the Holy Spirit.

  • Dave P.

    Are you kidding me…why in the world would you (Hartley) want to damper such beautiful holiday spirit with such a childish display. I been part of this community for over 40 years and that nativity been there for as long as i can remember. We who were born and raised here in canonsburg love tradition but do not love change. Your actions tell me one thing…you have to find something to do during the day. Like it or not we are a christian community. And to show my christianity i am offering you my services to help you move, give you a ride out of town or better yet to the airport.

  • LEK

    Christmas is about Jesus and his birth, if you don’t like it, keep your mouth shut and don’t celebrate it. I think someone should make a formal complaint that it was moved. Mrs. Hartley says she is not trying to be a grinch, she is worse. She is the reason our country and our children are disrespectful, killing each other and everyone is out for one thing, themselves. You take the church out of life and you end up with nothing. She needs to go away and live someplace where she can harm only herself

    • Dana Spallinger

      Christmas didn’t originate as a Christian holiday. Even the bible has conflicting accounts of the mythical Nativity event.

      The American land was taken from the Native Americans at the cost of their lives, so please be more compassionate about ‘change’.

      • JM

        Obviously Dan Spallinger… voted for Obama. You can keep your change…and take it over to Europe with the rest of the Progressive Commies.

  • Chris

    Wow. The anger in these comments is frightening. They also point to a lack of any understanding of constitutional principles. The courts established long ago that a single religious symbol on government land is not appropriate. I appreciate Canonsburg doing the right thing, even if unpopular to some.

    • Drew

      You have obviously never been to Washingon DC where every historical government building has Bible scriptures and Christian principles written out. Out country’s history is based on Christianity. You can’t erase history and what actually happened

  • dan

    I have to stomach a mosque at ground zero after the 911. and now this…..Why do the good people of the world have to continually be stomped by all the people who want to do harm…its a sad world we live in, things need to change before its too late!

  • Andy G

    Christ’s birth and death mark THE most defining moment in human history it can be denied or ignored but it doesn’t change the facts! It is not just a tradition, believe it or not this country was indeed founded on christian principals. If people of other faiths want to recognize there symbols at this time of year then bring them down and hopefully the borough manager will take the consideration to display them.

  • Darren

    If you live in Canonsburg, call your pastor and see if your church would be willing to host the nativity scene instead. I would think that most of the churches in town would be happy to display it. It beats getting all worked up over a sourpuss…

  • Lew

    I am offended by a Perry Como statue in front of a government building! There could be one person out there that worships Como as a religion. THE COMO STATUE MUST GO!! Like Christ (‘Christ’-mas), we can’t have government supporting any religions.

  • Andrew

    Mrs. Hazlett should contact the (American Center for Law and Justice) for free leagel advise. Why is the minority ruling this community? That’s not what this country was founded on. Thanks word FM.

  • Donna J

    My grandfather was born in Canonsburg and had his hair cut by Perry Como. I was born in Washington, Pa. so I keep in touch with my roots. I cannot believe that one person makes a complaint and changes tradition for all the rest of the majority of believers. I would not dream of going to a foreign country and telling them to take down a religious statue or whatever. If I lived next door to Ms. Hartley I would find the biggest nativity set I could and put it up so she would see it every single day of the year and not just CHRISTMAS.

  • Dr Michael

    Some day we will all stand in judgment and I hope this person repents and not only asks forgiveness but also accepts Jesus and sees the meaning of Christmas and what this season represents.

  • mike6875

    I seen this BEAST on kdka news this morning, looks like she was on welfare all her life and can’t afford a nice Christmas and wants to ruin everybody else’s Get off the welfare and get a job, then maybe you can have a nice Christmas BEAST..

  • Drod

    This is probably the same woman that will complain if she doesn’t receive her CHRISTMAS bonus!! What a jerk!

    • Jase


  • Bill F

    Why dont all the people that object to Christmas symbols show up for work on Christmas day They sure do take the holiday benifits

  • melzo

    If I write a letter complaining about the government building, can we get rid of that too?

  • loverofjesus

    I hope that every household on Oak Spring Road in Canonsburg put up the a nativity!!!

  • dag01

    Well hopefully she is not employed because if she is she should not get a paid holiday. Remember the holiday is the birth of Christ and the nativity set represent that. But come to think of it i would think she is not employed cause she has to much time on her hand to whine about something like that. If I lived in Canonsburg I would have not moved the set. Told her to get over it

    • mike6875

      If you would have seen her on the news this morning,you could just tell she doesn’t know what work is. And if I lived in Canonsburg I would have told her if you don’t like it don’t look.

      • jenn


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