Crèche Back On Borough Property In Canonsburg

CANONSBURG (KDKA) – All it took was a single complaint to nearly bring a tradition of more than 50 years in one community to an end.

Now, the nativity scene in front of the Canonsburg Borough Building is preparing to make another move.

It’s been 2,010 years since there was no room at the inn in Bethlehem.

Something similar happened a week ago in Canonsburg because of a single complaint from Megan Hartley.

“We have Jewish members of this community, Muslim members, Atheists – even Pagans – and having a nativity site up – doesn’t represent a single one of them,” Hartley said.

Baby Jesus was moved off public property in front of the Borough Building to private property, a few doors away.

“Since last week we’ve had calls from Virginia Beach, California, Florida, Texas, Utah,” according to Canonsburg Mayor David Rohme.

All of them wanted Baby Jesus back where he’d been in Canonsburg at Christmastime for 57 years.

On Monday, the decision was made to have the nativity scene moved back. However, it will have to be surrounded by secular signs of the season.

“We followed legal counsel’s opinion and the candy canes, the community Christmas tree – um – reindeers -those are all the items that will be in front yard,” Rohme said.

Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, it may take some work to relocate the crèche. It’s now frozen to the ground and very fragile.

“I think we surely ought to have it here,” Ed Deresh said.

Deresh had been so upset he was going to try to rent a bit of the municipal lawn himself to allow for the manger.

“I’d still like to rent a space there and I think that would make it official that we could put it there,” Deresh said.

People have been calling the mayor all day sharing similar sentiments.

Canonsburg will have a live nativity scene this coming Sunday evening from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

The Knights of Columbus hope to have the crèche back in its original place in a few days.

KDKA’s Mary Robb Jackson attempted to contact Hartley for a reaction, but was unable to reach her.

  • Jeff St. Clair

    Good to see!

  • nancydrew

    Thank you borough members, for doing the right thing.

  • againstcrazy

    I am so happy there are sane people on that borough’s council. That creche is exactly where it belongs! Thank you for doing the right thing by keeping Christ in Christmas!

  • jap

    So, what about other religious symbols? Snowflakes and Santa Claus won’t cover all of the other religions practiced in the area. Are they saying that Christianity is the ONLY religion that will be recognized???? Surely, that can’t be true. What would Jesus do????

    • Richard

      Christmas is a Christian Holiday. If a Buddist or Hindu cares to celebrate a holiday its just fine. Why are Christian Holidays always attacked? It gets old. There was a nasty woman a long time ago who with a big mouth and a complacient public got prayer removed from our schools. Perhaps its time for those of us who believe in what our Founding Fathers believed stand up and protect what this nation was founded on!

      • ed

        so Richard,you also believe in slavery and keeping women under your thumb,just like our founding fathers

    • donkeys

      you kidding me worry about your own house if you dont like it then dont look at it. Its the celebration of christmas if you wish to donate a item from every religion then knock your self out else worry about your own house and quit complaining

  • dave

    They should more the complainer rather then move the ntaivity scene. Someone always has to be the a$$

  • John

    Thank you borough members. It is what it is. Can’t see why some people don’t understand.
    It’s Christmas. Get over personal objections. When it’s Easter, Passover, Christmas, or what ever other religious celebration, IT IS WHAT IT IS.
    Christmas is not sparkle time, glitter days, or seasons greetings. IT’S CHRISTMAS, THE BIRTH OF JESUS, TO CHRISTIANS. IT IS WHAT IT IS. !

  • dave

    quite your complaing jap its christmas if you dont like it dont look at it plain and simple decorate what you wish in front of your own home and worry about yourself

    • jap

      But, Dave, why can’t I bring my symbol down to the government building?? Serioulsy, what makes being Christian superior over my religion, or non-religion for that matter? Hanukkah was just the other week. Where was the Menorah? How about Kwaanza???

      • dave

        Im sure there is nothing wrong with it have you made the effort to ask? The fact is they cant recognize every religion realistically but im sure if someone wanted theres noticed it would be. Try donating something then if they refuse then I would say you have the case to complain

      • Richard

        Kwaanza is a made up holiday…check your facts before you include that with real religious holidays

      • FixPGH

        Jap, if you want to, then do it. Christianity isn’t superior, it’s just majority. For decades people have been celebrating Christmas in the Nativity/Jesus Birth/Santa Claus sense so that imagery is everywhere. Nobody should be slammed for wanting to display a Menorah (like the one in the parking lot in the plaza at the end of Walnut in Shadyside) just like other religions shouldn’t complain about Christian Christmas imagery. People that don’t believe aren’t forced to just display stuff, they do it because THEY want to, just like you can if YOU want to. Why can’t people understand this!?

  • japass

    your right dave

  • jap

    Unforunately you all are missing the point. The Canonsburg borough building is NOT my house, YOUR house, or anyone else’s house to decorate as they see fit. It is a GOVERNMENT building owned by the people, for the people. And, guess what….not all of the people are Christian! Do you get that now? Or, are you insinuating, that I should just shut up because I am not “one of you”? Really, how closed minded is that?

    • Richard

      Hey Jap, those government buildings are in fact ours. Did you forget that we are the government, in spite of the clowns running it now, the last election showed that the people are beginning to wake and do something.

    • FixPGH

      Jap, this country was built on religion, mainly Christianity. As much as they try to deny and say we are “separated by church and state” we are not. If Judaism was the majority, there would be more symbolism of that. For decades the government building has been displaying that scene to celebrate the holiday, the way the nation has majorily been celebrating it for decades. Why are you offended by it? Do what you want, and let others do what they want. If a couple of people that worked in that building complained and felt offended, I can see someone complaining. Just celebrate what you want how you want and live and let live, will you?

  • dave

    Christian is the biggest religion its like teaching math in another language in a american school they are going to go with whats most popular its not any form of disrespect.

  • dave

    jap first you dont know if someone donated that item, they are not going to pay for all the things needed for every religion did you try asking them? did you try asking if you could donate a item? did you put any effort for your religion to be recognize other then complain? If not then you have no grounds to complain.

    • jap

      What if I am an Athiest or Agnostic? Then where does that leave me?

      • Richard

        If you are an agnostic or an athiest then you’ll be spending your free day off resting. Why should it bother you that others wish to celebrate something you do not recognize? Enjoy the day off…..quietly

      • jap

        So it’s put up or shut up, Richard? I would love to continue this discussion, but I am off to sacrifice a virgin in my front yard. Do you think I could come down to Canonsburg and have my ritual there??? Wouldn’t cost the boro a penny, I will gladly donate my time for the “Cause”.

  • expittsburgh

    You’re right jap, it’s not my house or your house. It’s a govt facility, and WE THE PEOPLE overwhelmingly approve/support this action.

  • bp59

    Its people like you that ruin christmas jap/expittsnerd

  • jap

    I will bow my head in shame

    • jap


  • Lek

    I’m glad to see the navity is back! I don’t have a problem with other non-religious figures displayed, I don’t even have a problem with OTHER religions symbols displayed, but to not celebrate Christ’s birth which is what Christmas means, is wrong.
    What would Jesus do? Maybe you should ponder that yourself.

  • expittsburgh

    @bp59. How do I ruin Christmas? I said I support the boro for putting the nativity scene back on their grounds. Way to change my userid, that’s really funny. Humor and reading aren’t your strong points…

  • Anon.

    Christmas is not about candy canes, Santa Claus, or light up snowflakes. It’s the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Why can’t people understand that? If you don’t believe in Jesus, then don’t celebrate Christmas. Simple as that.

  • Richard

    Ed, why is there always someone that goes over the edge with absurd things when This is really about one simple thing. Christmas is a Celebration of the Birth of the Lord Jesus, who some of us believe came to this earth to save us. There is no reason for anyone who may not believe to get upset and threaten legal action. I never hear any non-believers raise any cane about ramadon ……..If Christmas bothers you……try what I mentioned to Jap…relax and enjoy your free day off….quietly

    • frank

      ghosts and fairy tales with not a shred of evidence to support the claims

  • Richard the way Ed…..Have a safe and Happy Holiday season.

  • jap

    So, you are saying that majority rules, so I may as well just go in a corner and sulk? Perhaps, maybe….just maybe, there are more people around here that think like the woman that complained in the first place, but are afraid of the backlash. Maybe you arent the majority, but have managed to bully the rest of us into being quiet. I don’t want to be quiet! I wish I had the balls that she had to complain. But, now she is being made fun of, and I am sure being threatened within an inch of her life. Hell, folks on here have even offered to help her get outta town and move. Way to go, “Christians”. You all should aspire to be like her, and not the hypocrits that you truly have shown yourselves to be. Happy Festivus.

  • Richard

    Jap, I just saw your note about the pagan ritual…..where and when? You just don’t get too see mnany of those these days. I’m sure ch.11 will send chopper 11 and they might fit you in between the weather and the steelers. It might be interesting to see some news other than a steeler having his feeling hurt, or a million watts of radar boreing us to death…….
    Gotts go and look out of the window for a weather bulliten.
    Have a safe plesant holiday season Jap

  • Roman

    So all you non believers in Christ, I would ask you to read this blog for it is My Truths. And most certainly you believers can read this too, I welcome you to read it. On Earth the Witness to Christ is Spirit, water and blood.

  • lynn

    I find it interesting that people are making a federal case over something that represents an ACTUAL historic event. No body make this up to annoy anyone…its just a reminder to those who believe. People need to stop being so insecure and touchy about what’s politically correct and what is just plain stupid. Find some truely noteworthy causes to get uptight about…world hunger and homelessness just to name a few.

    • FixPGH

      Lynn techincally Christmas has nothing to do with Jesus (I always celebrated it like it did and still do) but historically Jesus was not born on December 25th. The church made all of that up (Google it or check out the History channel for the episode they did on it) people get upset because of these facts and because they have their own beliefs, which is fine. My problem is that people can’t live and let live. They want everyone to believe what they believe and have to rain on others’ parades. For decades Christmas has been depicted as Jesus and all that, so why people are NOW just speaking out about it, I don’t know. Jap, you don’t have to be “quiet” about your beliefs but you should be quiet about your angst against OURS. We won’t be knockng on your door to bring you a Christmas ham or presents, so don’t worry. Celebrate how you want to, and let America celebrate it how they were raised.

  • pittgirl1

    If your gonna live in America you have to understand that there are multiple religions practiced in the area. If you have a problem with that then what are you doing here?

  • Paula M

    Thank you Cannonsburg for being Diverse to us Christians on one of our Holy days.

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