Ellwood City Gears Up For Nativity Scene Battle

ELLWOOD CITY (KDKA) — A fight is brewing over a nativity scene in Ellwood City.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, located in Wisconsin, is threatening legal action here, but the people of Ellwood City aren’t backing down from their 50-year-old tradition.

KDKA’s Marty Griffin has been told the anti-religion group is headed to Ellwood City in busloads. They’re expected to arrive on Friday.

For now, the nativity scene is sitting in the basement of the Ellwood City Municipal Building covered in garbage bags.

Standing over it is the town’s defiant mayor Anthony Court.

“It’s a belief that we have dating back probably 50 or 60 years,” he told KDKA-TV. “It’s a loveable tradition and we’re not going to be bullied.”

The crèche will be set up Friday morning on a patch of grass outside City Hall – regardless of the possible lawsuits, court-ordered injunctions or busloads of protestors.

“I can tell you this,” Court said. “I [will] not back down. If they come that’s fine. If they don’t come, that’s also fine, but I can tell you this – the nativity scene will be going up.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has targeted Ellwood City and its crèche, claiming the placement at City Hall violates the Constitution.

“We believe it is impermissible, it’s improper, not what the founders had in mind to have nativity displays in front of city halls and county courthouses,” Annie Gaylor, a spokesperson for the foundation, said.

Just down the street is Pastor Cynthia Antinossi. She runs Dayspring Harvest Ministries, a faith-based ministry where she plans to fight any protest with prayer.

“For a whole year we’ve been praying and we’ve been walking around the city – we walked to the municipal building and we’ve just been God’s will and God’s presence to be brought forth in our city,” she said.

In this mostly Catholic, mostly Italian town, you’re hard-pressed to find an atheist, agnostic or anyone not committee to the crèche at City Hall.

“Why should any outside source interfere with what’s going on in a small town in western Pennsylvania?” Ralph Chiapetta said.

Freedom From Religion Foundation
Ellwood City Borough Website

More from Marty Griffin

One Comment

  1. Dave says:

    When will liberals who hate religion understand that there is no such thing as Separation between Church and State?

    1. Tonya says:

      Just because a person doesn’t follow the religion you think they should follow doesn’t mean that they hate religion. And like it says…we live in a secular nation. Deal with it. That was the entire purpose of forming this country. So if you don’t think there should be separation of church and state, then there should be symbols and traditions of every religion represented. Not just christian ones. How arrogant to think that yours is the only religion of any importance. Facist. There’s no hope for this country if everyone thinks the way that you do. And FYI, the countries with the highest atheist/agnostic populations also have lower crime rates.

      1. Chris McCutcheon says:

        No one in Ellwood is trying to exclude other religions. I’m sure if a Jewish sect asked to put Hanukkah decorations up as well, the mayor would oblige. The problem is that the FFRF is doing exactly what you are accusing Christians of doing. They are marching into Ellwood and basically stating “our way of thinking is right, yours is wrong, so you need to take it down.” The problem is that we live in a Litigious society, where everyone feels that they can sue for anything that slightly offends them. Everyone has rights in this country, but your rights end when they infringe on the rights of other.

      2. Dave says:

        Tonya, When did I ever mention a specific religion when I said liberals hate religion? I didn’t because liberals hate all religion. Also notice Tanya that I never once said that I am for one religion like Christianity. I am for every religion even those that don’t believe in a God.

        And please stop spreading the lies that we are a secular nation. Clearly that is not true and our founders were never in favor of a Separation between Church and State.

        All I am trying to say is that people like those in that organization hate all religion. Go to their site it is hate filled. That kind of garbage is sick and must be called out on.

      3. Bill Russell says:

        Tonya, You are wrong on all counts.
        1. The Founding Fathers firmly believed in God and that our unalienable rights are endowed by our Creator. They simply believed no one should be forced to join a specific church to have economic or political freedom. The very rights that Thomas Jefferson wrote into the Declaration of Independence were base on the writings of Robert Bellermine (Catholic Cardinal and Saint). The ideas that we have rights from a power higher than the state, and that those who rule do so with the consent of the governed are ideas which are very unique to the Christian culture upon which this nation was founded. There is no basis in the Constitution for banning free expressions faith by a community.
        2. Countries that have the highest atheist/agnostic populations do not have the lowest crime rates. Its just that those countries lie about their crime rates and the worst of their crimes are committed by the state. Those states have murdered over 100 million people in the last century. (Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, and Communist China.)

      4. Joe says:


      5. Andre Costello says:

        In God we trust was added to coins in 1864, and to paper currency in 1957. One nation under God was implemented in 1942. I’m not athiest, but I’m pretty sure the “separation of church and state” thing is very real, and was implemented by the founding fathers. As a matter of fact, I actually believe it was one of the bigger reasons the pilgrims came here in the first place.

      6. Heather says:


        Have you researched WHY the First Amendment was added to the Constitution in the first place? If not, you should. It will give you a better understanding as to why.the Establishment clause was put in place.

        The Baptist’s should thank our founding fathers. Many of whom were deists at best.

    2. Republicans Hate this country says:

      Mr. President

      To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.


      The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

      Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. [Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from prescribing even those occasional performances of devotion, practiced indeed by the Executive of another nation as the legal head of its church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.] Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

      I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association assurances of my high respect & esteem.

      (signed) Thomas Jefferson

      1. Bill Russell says:

        I am a Republican and I love this Country!
        This letter is often cited as the reason for the banning of religious (especially Christian) symbols and prayers from public property. But if you further research Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists, you will see that he was writing in response to their request for assistance. The Danbury Baptists were being discriminated against for their religion and were being denied representation in the Connecticut State government because of it. Jefferson was simply stating that there should be no established religion which would be required before someone could participate in the government (as was required in England). If he had such a problem with the practice of Religion on public property, then why did he continue to attend Sunday worship services in the US Capital Building?

    3. ed-words says:

      Tell that to the judges. Are you a lawyer?

      As for hate, check out the mail sent to FFRF from Christians.

      1. ed-words says:

        I was responding to Dave’s Nov 30 comment.

        It’s for you, Dave.

      2. Dave says:

        Typical liberal response. Expose the hate and they try and turn it around and say “see see the other side is also sending them hateful things”. Stop, just stop it.

    4. Dominic M. Johnjulio says:

      ?? I’m a Democrat, but I by far do not hate religion. There are alot of Republicans out there like you that hate religion also.

    5. Barbara Benchek says:

      Our country was founded upon Faith. In their writings, our forefathers wrote of their faith and incorporated it into their decisions for this country. Separation of church and state came about to ensure one church, i.e., Church of England, Catholic, Presbyterian, etc. did not come in to power. That is why they came to this country to escape the Church of England and to be able to worship as they please. A nativity is a symbol of the foundations of faith that laid this country. It is not advocating a specific church.

      To deny this is to deny our history. Is this not what happened in Russia under Lenin? Is this not what happened in Nazi Germany? Our lawmakers need to study American history, read the correspondence between our forefathers, perhaps then they would not allow the oppression that denies us the ability to celebrate not just our Faith but the foundations of this nation.

  2. Eric says:

    Michael Savage said it right “LIBERALISM IS A MENTAL DISORDER”

    1. Roz says:

      I need some of what Dave is smoking…..I’m gussing he is hoping for a return to 1940’s Germany style of goverment.

      1. Dave says:

        Clearly you do not know your history or you would not be calling me a Nazi. Hitler wanted one religion. Something I never even mentioned nor even remotely suggested. All I said is that the left is highjacking the Christmas season because it offends a few people. But then again those on the left like yourself don’t know that much about history anyway.

    2. Dominic M. Johnjulio says:

      And a Republican is a disease.

  3. tina f. says:

    doesn’t seem that this is a “liberals hate religion” thing… seems dumb that someone in a different state cares what happens here, but lets not counteract stupidity with more stupidity!

  4. Joe says:

    Funny that extremism is being met with comments that are…well, extreme.

  5. Chris McCutcheon says:

    The constitution states that The United States Government shall not officially recognize a religion as the religion of the country. This means that laws can not be passed that favor a religion or laws on morality based upon religion. It has NOTHING to do with a communities desire to place a nativity scene wherever they chose. Citizens have a right to exercise whatever religion they chose. To the FFRF, your rights end where ours begin!

  6. David says:

    We are with you Ellwood! Most of the country is with you Ellwooid! It’s great to see Americans standing up for what made our counbtry great!! I think i;ll call your mayor to offer my help in case the busaloads of protesters have anyt ideas of becoming violent like the wal street prosters. I’m in!!!

    1. Roz says:

      Before you make that call please take a grammer class.

      1. Barb says:

        LOL…Grammer….hilarious…if you have to ask why this is hilarious you might want to go check a dictionary.

      2. Roz is a tool says:

        Hey Roz, learn to spell, you silly wise ass.

    2. Ryan says:

      What made this country ‘great’ was the rules and regulations. This is a BLATANT violation of Everson vs Board of Education.

  7. Carrie says:

    My personal opinion… Let them put it wherever they want, but when I want to celebrate a Wiccan holiday in front of the same building, I better be allowed.

    1. Alleyne says:

      More aptly, Carrie, Ellwood City better expand its budget because if the city owns and is maintaining decorations pertaining to the holiday for one religious group, they’re gonna need to buy and maintain decorations for the holidays of every religious group and make room for them on the steps of town hall.

  8. David says:

    ps sorry about the errors in my previous comment. i’m sure that some leftie ,with nothing better to say in response, will have a real intelligent comment. pps i wonder why none of the allegedly highly intelligent left never mention’s hobbes? more specifically, his book State of nature.” because that is where we would most certainly where we will be if rhe lefties continue on their course of crazyness.
    furthermore, you want jobs back? get rid of the EPA. Do you honestly believe/think that anyone would rather do business outside the United States? There are reasons why businesses leave the reletive saftey comfort and stability of the United States.
    Please wake up and take back your birthright as Americans!

    1. Carrie says:

      And this has what do do with the topic at hand?

  9. Mike says:

    It’s about time someone stands up to the people of our city! Way to go mayor, we thank you!

  10. David says:

    is a wiccan a drink?

    1. Carrie says:

      I have a sneaky suspicion that you like to argue, especially with a comment such as that. Or you honestly have no idea what a Wiccan is, and should probably do a tad bit of research before commenting on anything that relates to religion.

  11. RAY says:


    1. Heather says:

      I am going ignore the “character attacks” which only serve to distract people from the main issue,

      If you would like to stop “wasting our tax dollars on garbage,” you might think about moving the Nativity to private property, where it belongs.

      Christians are not the only people to celebrate a custom during this time of the year. There are others too. I can name three right now. Pagans, Jews, and whatever religion or non-region Kwanza is.

  12. David says:

    its called humor carrie. id that your real name, or did you change it cos you just loved the movie. let me guess, you were always picked last?? huh carrie… get lostr with the whole attitutde you circus freak. there’s my 1st amendment right at work carrie.

    1. Carrie says:

      Seriously?? Are you 6 years old? Your reply is devoid of any substance, nor does it even qualify as a true response to what I posted. Instead you have decided to take the road of name calling, which while a 1st amendment right, makes you look like an uneducated person who lacks any real morals. Now… I am not personally calling you uneducated or moral-less, since I do not know you on a one to one basis. I am simply stating that your remark gives illusion to who you may be as an individual, and what beliefs you may use as your moral compass. While you may call it humor, those of us who choose to believe in the Wiccan religion take it to heart. Just as a Christian takes his/her religion to heart. My point in my initial post, was that when you try to cancel out a religion, you must also cancel out all forms of religion. Therefore, when you want to allow your religious beliefs to give you permit to display a Christian symbol, i.e. Nativity Scene, you must also allow for other religions to also show their personal religious symbols in the same fashion, without hatred being spewed at them. Now, when you can respond in a more adult manner, maybe, just maybe, this debate will take a turn for the better. Until then, if you wish to continue with your adolescent replies, and hateful remarks, I see no further point in responding to those callous comments you wish to post, Have a lovely evening!

      1. harry owens says:

        Your a clown!

  13. I am very well pleased with everyone coming together as a community an standing up for what we as a COMMUNITY believe in. We are doing what we have done for alot of years an nobody from out of town in going to change that. We arent getting buss loads an going crying to them over something we dont agree with boohoo cry me a river an get over it.

    1. Teresa Zatkovic says:

      I am coming from out of town, New Middletown Oh, but I am coming to stand
      up for Ellwood City and Christianity. If that is there tradition and that is what the community wants, why are people from out of town coming here to tell them they can’t have their Nativity Scene? It is Ellwood City’s Municipal Bldg, it is there town.
      I suggest the people from Wisconsin go back home.

    2. james says:

      Why is you name blue?

  14. David says:

    lets help get this mayor voted into a higher office.

  15. David says:

    way to be asheligh!! they are definitely in the minority. start voting for guys who talk like your mayor, and watch how fast americ gets back on track.

  16. David says:

    i think a wiccan is a bad drink. right carrie??

  17. David says:

    penn state undergrad. univ of az law. i’n pretty confident that i’m qualified top comment on a wide range od issues. you believe in wiccans (bad drinks) werewolves or whatever, and you want to talk about morals?? do you really feel the need to show us how goofy you are? jere’s a hint carrieL we already know. no go back to watching the walking dead and leave it alone. maybe go hangout with the wall straeet protesters; i’m sure you’ll find a few bartenders there.

  18. David says:

    im tired now. ill be back tmrew carrie if you feel the need further your craziness

  19. Carrie- The Crazy Witch says:

    Wow David.. You have high credentials, but horrid spelling. I would have thought someone with a degree in law would at least know how to form sentences that, A: Aren’t run on’s, B: Make sense, and C: have proper spelling. You have no idea about the religion of Wicca. If you did, you would realize that the Christian religion was essentially formed from the beliefs of Wiccan/Paganism. Now I will make assumptions about you, considering you made several about me. Here goes… You have no degree from any college, be it Penn State, or UN of AZ. You used Penn State, because it has been in the news recently, and UN of AZ because you recently saw a commercial for The University of Phoenix. You chose law, because you think that makes you smarter, therefore hoping it would make me cringe in fear at your big time degree. Not scared. If indeed you are a lawyer, you should possibly consider getting your money back, because your defense was weak and extremely lacking in proper research (as well as grammar.) Maybe you are fresh out of law school, and you haven’t had time to polish your awesome debating skills yet. If you are a veteran lawyer, I am willing to bet you haven’t won many cases.

    In closing, I would also like to add… I am assuming you are probably some right wing nut job who belongs to the NRA, wears sandals with socks, and chews Copenhagen because it’s an American thing to do. You have no idea about the world you live in, and the only reason you even decided to respond to this topic is because you are a Christian who believes that dinosaurs never existed, and were planted by people to lead people astray form your precious beliefs.

    Call me crazy, call me a freak, call me whatever obscene name you can think of. I will always have a retort that not only comes across as much more intelligent, but also has truth to it. And that my friend, is what a REAL AMERICAN is. Truth, conviction, and heart. Something you seem to lack in everything you have shown here.

    1. Roz says:

      Carrie you are my hero and the only source of reason in this thread!

      1. Roz says:

        On a side note could you recommend a good book outlining Wicca?

    2. Hmm says:

      Please don’t get upset, but I am going to correct something. I don’t know very much, if anything, about wiccanism, but Christianity was not essentially formed from Wiccan/paganism. Maybe you believe that, but it is not so.
      Also, I am a Christian and I believe that dinosaurs existed, believing that doesn’t mean that God didn’t create the world.
      Truth is a good thing to stand for, but different people have different beliefs of what truth is. We all believe we are right, but we can’t all be right.
      P.S. Do not think this comment is meant to defend that Dave guy, it isn’t.

    3. Ellwood City says:

      Great reply!

    4. Bob says:

      Your a clown.

  20. David thanks for the chuckles 😉 off the rcord lol

  21. Ashley Lotz says:

    I must say, I’m glad I took the time to read the responses and not just the article for once, lol. David, act like an adult. Carrie, more power to you! Now, as for the actual topic at hand…As an actual resident of Ellwood City, I believe the nativity scene should stay. No one has had a problem with us having it there for the past 50 years, so why now? Has a nativity scene become more offensive over the years somehow? No. Do these people in Wisconsin have to look at it? No. We Ellwood Citians don’t have a problem with it. I’m athiest and still don’t see a problem here, really. I think it’s just people finding reasons to b*tch about something.

    1. Alleyne says:

      Ashley, how do you know that no one has had a problem with it? Do you have any idea what it’s like to not be a Christian during this time of year? You learn very quickly not to speak up about what it means to be constantly reminded that you matter a little less in our culture. Look at the abusive and ugly language used in these comments by people who’d probably call themselves Christians, referring to this alleged “busload” of activists from Wisconsin (I’ll believe it when I see them roll into town) as “dung” and casting aspersions on everything from their American-ness to their mental health.

      Do you think that the mayor of Ellwood City would respond to a citizen who said “I don’t like this display” with any more generous an attitude than he’s displayed thus far? He’s standing on “tradition” of decades and that’s more important to him than fairness to non-Christians who have to wonder if their government represents them at all. And apparently more important to him than the law, which actually is based on a case from right here. In 1989 in County of Allegheny v. ACLU Greater Pittsburgh Chapter, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that a creche standing independently on public property was not permissible. That it’s a “tradition” doesn’t make it any more right.

      1. had it says:

        Don’t like it?? MOVE! We have had to “modify” our traditions to support you non Christan. Back in the day there were no argument but now heavens forbid I put a religious decoration in my yard. Ridiculous!

      2. Sidda says:

        Wait, doesn’t Ashley’s comment say she’s an athiest? Um.. I think that would mean she knows what it’s like. Christian or not, at the end of the day, it’s just a piece of plastic. It’s not hurting anyone. It’s just a tradition.. and a harmless tradition. If the worst thing in your life is that you have to look at a piece of plastic that hurts your tender little feel bads, then I’d say you have a pretty easy life.

        Now that the bad gunky is out of my system, I’d like to say please, just calm down everyone, and remember that Good Will is the main part of this time of year, no matter what you celebrate. Be nice to each other.

        I’d like to end with lyrics from the Blues Travler’s Christmas Song:

        ” If it’s Christmas, Chanukah, or Kwanza, Solstice, Harvest, or December twenty-fifth Peace on earth to everyone and abundance to everyone you’re with”

      3. Ashley Nicole Lotz says:

        I appreciate the backup, Sidda!

  22. steve says:

    doesn’t this happen every year? A town puts up a christian symbol around december and someone with a different religion gets upset that their symbol isn’t displayed…then a big argument about how every symbol of christmas was actually STOLEN from the pagans?

    Is there any sense of community anymore? Seems like everyone needs to hate on others just to make themselves feel better about their own depressing lives.

    1. Kool Aid Man says:

      Steve, you’re awesome. 🙂 Like I say, be nice everyone! Worry about something that matters!!! Take all of the enegry you put into hating, and.. I dunno.. pick up trash on the side of the road! Or, volunteer at an animal shelter!! Do something productive.

  23. gina says:

    Wow, you feel excluded because some (most) celebrate a holiday and you feel the need to speak out against it and the symbols that represent it? I think that if you are feeling like you “matter less” may signify a deeper issue here? Christmas may mean more to some than others but it is a time of joy and giving for all. If you choose not to participate what gives you the right to stop others?

  24. Nikki says:

    Christmas is celebrating the birth of Christ, therefore, the Nativity scene should be allowed. I am Christian and I believe that if some other religion would want to put something up there in recognition of their religion on their holidays, then the American thing to do would be allow it. To Roz, Christians should believe in dinosaurs, because in the Bible, I think in the book of Job, there is mention of the animals, I just don’t think they are actually called dinosaurs. So if someone says they are Christian, believes the Bible, then they should believe in dinosaurs.

    1. Hmm says:

      The Bible speaks of the Behemoth and the Leviathan in Job, I’m not sure if they were actually dinosaurs or not, but it is possible. I personally believe the Leviathan could possibly be a dragon, or dragonlike creature, which I think would be cool.
      I am also a Christian and I live where this matters to me, and yes, you are right, they should allow other religions to put up decorations for their holidays too, but yes, they should allow our Nativity scene.

  25. gina says:

    I am just amused that the very people who scream the loudest that religion is being “shoved down their throats” are the same people who want to shove their beliefs on what is “right” n their minds down everyone else’s. As a very good friend of mine pointed out….what happened to respect? Just because someone has a beliefs that you may not share, why is it offensive to you? Really? Why? Are you that angry? Bored? Miserable?? I am not offended by symbols that represent religions other than mine. I would never dream of disparaging them. It is, as I have said, disrespectful….

    1. Teresa says:

      Gina, you are exactly right, I am not offended by others beliefs. They should not be offended by my beliefs.

  26. Sarah Venhartly says:

    Pittsburgh has survived very nicely by moving their creche off government land and putting it down the street at the Steel Plaza. Just move it and all the brouhaha would end. The mayor is being a jerk by refusing to accept well-established constitutional principles that apply to the entire United States.

    By the way, FFRF is a *national* group. Saying it is has no standing would be like saying the NRA is a Virginia based group that has no business being involved in any lawsuit outside of the state.

    1. Kimberly says:


  27. Kelley says:

    The FFRF has no right to push thier Athiest ways on everybody. They aren’t protecting anybody’s rights here and need to mind their own freaking business and go get a real life and get a real job instead of doing the stupid and ridiculous things that they do. I don’t care if other religions celebrate their holidays and display what they want but these athiests need to force thier ways on everybody. They are a small majority of people and these towns need to quit caving into them

  28. Ryan says:

    It’s called violating Everson vs Board of Education. This protects our public schools from religous banter and keeps the goverment buildings and their grounds from being overrun by all relgous propoganda. It’s was in Jefferson’s letter to a church that he used the term ‘a wall of seperation of church and state.’ So now, people either dont know or just intertwine the first ammendment with that term from the Supreme Courts ruling in 1947

    1. Kimberly says:


      1. some guy says:

        first, capslock FTL.
        second, I’m pretty sure other people have reasons for celebrating the winter months with their own religous and spiritual paths. It might be you ‘entire reason’ for this time of year, but it still goes against what the gov’t ruled on 60+ years ago. The fact that this hooplah as you put it continues baffles me.

      2. Kimberly says:


    2. Dave says:

      Notice Jefferson said it in a letter and it was never once mentioned in the Constitution or Bill of Rights. Thus this so called Separation of Church and State is simply a myth.

      And people in school are not forbidden from speaking of any God that they believe in. A student has the right to go into school and read a Bible if they so choose. Also government buildings are allowed to have things such as these nativity scenes in front of them just as long as every other religion has that same right if they want something in front of the government office.

      1. some guy says:

        Dave, you are right about Jefferson, yadda yadda but in 1947 Everson vs the Board of Education founded in favor of a seperation of church and state as in, no prayer in school, any sort of religous artifacts or decor in front of goverment buildings. Therefore, it (the nativity scene in front of the building in Ellwood) is in essence a violation of the supreme court ruling. It isn’t about giving all people the right to do such things in front of the office. it removed the possiblity of any religous decor outright.

        Similar actions have been sought out by the ACLU when various courthouses (in Montana and Flordia) had the 10 commandments on their lawns because it violated the seperation of church and state (see Everson vs Board). “Removing the monument is the right thing to do. It is not the business of government to promote religious messages about monotheism, idolatry, taking the Lord’s name in vain or honoring the Sabbath.”

      2. Dave says:

        Some Guy, the Court gives opinions all the time. Some are absurd and down right moronic. This is just a case of that. Hell we even have justices on the bench now who actually believe we have to look at other countries constitutions to interpret ours. Now that is what we are dealing with.

        Having said that look at our country from the beginning. We are a Christian nation. That is fact. But we are also a nation that proudly accepts many other religions and even accepts those who don’t have a religion at all.

  29. tired of the BS says:

    I just want to know how anything goiong on in the state of PA can possibly offend a bunch of idiots from some other state? Do they have to drive past it everyday? It is simple, let them bring their busloads of people and arrest every single one of them with defiant tresspass. It amazing how all the NON CHTISTIAN people are so offended by a nativity that is up for a few days out of the year, but not one of them is so offended that Christians celebrate the birth of Christ that they boycott all of the sales that are the result of the Holiday season. Try telling the people in Brazil to take down their statue of Jesus that is larger than most of our high rises. Try telling the people in china to take down their Budha’s. Try going to a muslim country and tell them the woman should be able to show their faces, see how long you live. The point is, this country was founded on the religious beliefs of our forefathers. Deal with it! It is part of our culture. DEAL WITH IT!!!!!!!!!

    1. tired of the bs says:

      sorry for typos , it is hard to type a thought when the site does not allow for a cimplete thought. Don’t like it, well Deal with it!

    2. geret says:

      this same arguement happens in every city in every state.

      Christmas has NOTHING to do with the birth of jesus. Ask yourself, when was jesus born? here’s a hint, it wasn’t even in december!

  30. ed says:

    Water baloons ! soak them ! and pray that it really cold !

  31. Keeping Free says:

    It is funny how this keeps coming up in city after city. 2 minutes on Wikipedia would explain how our laws work and why a singular view of religion on government property is a big no-no. Since the Mayor was oblivious to this fact, FFRF stepped forward. Thank you, FFRF for speaking out.

    1. Ashley Nicole Lotz says:

      do you choose to get all of your information from Wiki…? you do realize that wikipedia is not a particularly strong source, right? (Considering the fact that if i wanted to, I could go on there and write whatever i want, whether it’s 100% accurate or not.)

      And I say Thank you Mayor Court for sticking up for Ellwood City.

  32. Zara says:

    How easy these comments can get off the subject! Who cares how someone spells words, i am terrible on the keyboard. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, so grow up! Back to the topic……Stand your ground Mr. Court, Mayor of Elllwood City, you have my thanks!

  33. Just saying says:

    For all the people who are only reading this article, please do a little research. The mayor and town have already state they are more than willing to place additional symbols for other religions up. The problem is that a specific organization that is against RELIGION all together doesn’t want any of it. They even sent an example of banner they would like posted :
    “At this season of the Winter Solstice, may reason prevail
    “There are no gods, no devils no angels, no heaven or hell.
    “There is only our natural world.
    “Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”
    Freedom From Religion Foundation

    Please explain to me why I should have to see a verbal attack on my believes when they feel they shouldn’t have to see a nativity that doesn’t put anyone else down and only means something to those who believe in Jesus. Also, this local government was elected and is paid for by the residents of Ellwood City. If the residents of Ellwood City want to see this nativity then why is it anyone else’s business.

    I stand fully behind the citizens of this city, that elected that government, that pays for the land that the nativity is on.

    1. FFRF believer says:

      prove there is a god and maybe they will back down.

      1. Your Mom says:

        FFRF believer, why not take all of this pent up anger and turn it into something productive? I dunno.. maybe go help the homeless, or volunteer at an animal shelter? 🙂

        P.S. Can you prove to me that there ISN”T a God?

      2. FFRF believer says:

        @your mom (david)

        if your proof of there being a god is that you request me to prove there isn’t a god then there is no god. I win, you lose! Humanity has evolved way to far now to believe in such archaic and childish things as god or creation in general no matter what religion you follow.

        Do you want to know how I know there is no god? George W Bush thats how!

    2. Christmas Kid says:

      as an Ellwoodian, born and raised.. I thank you for your lovely comment!

  34. Danny says:

    From what I have heard, the protesters have at least 200 and are thinking of setting up an Occupy Elwood type of thing right up to Chrismas. They have tents and all that stuff to try to get our Nativity scene taken down.

  35. rita says:

    if the barn is a religious symbol it belongs in a church with the baby.

  36. Karl says:

    Sorry to disappoint you, but there aren’t going to be busloads of atheists coming to Elwood. That is a fabrication from your mayor.

  37. Danny says:

    It’s certain that the Indigenous people who occupied this land were massacred and starved to death. That is a fact. It is also a fact that the Holocaust occurred and millions of Jews were murdered. There is no record though that Jesus ever existed. However, I am not insensitive to people’s notion that their savior was born on Dec. 25. Let these believers celebrate this myth as they see fit.

  38. Robert Wolf says:

    Martin Yesterday you gave out a giggle when you reported that a motorcycle group planned to disrupt the protest by reving their engines. That giggle of yours was very harmful to the Mayors positive approach. Human intoleranceis the basic seed of unrest and hatred. Your giggle just spread manure on te garden of human intolerance. Be careful. Be mature. Help the Mayor.

  39. Danielle says:

    I’m liberal. I was raised Catholic, but at this point don’t practice and am not really sure what I believe. That said, I like nativity scenes, christmas trees, and angel ornaments or toppers for the tree. I honestly believe that most people living in Ellwood ever thought anything of the nativity scene because it has always been there until a bunch of people from WI (which I’m pretty sure are unaffected by a bunch of silly statues that stand in a small town in western PA) made a big fuss about it.

  40. Carol Segal Rein says:

    Nativity scenes should not be on government property. I am Jewish and I am very weary of Christmas being pushed down my throat. I don’t want to pay taxes to support religious displays. Its a shame that so many Christians seem to think that their beliefs should be on display, without acknowledgment that minorities exist in America, too. Stop proselytizing.

  41. A Former Ellwood Resident says:

    FFRF is another example of a non-governmental organization (NGO) that advocates a special issue and pays the original founders a significant salary. The founders of FFRF advocate atheism but have melded this belief to the constitutional issue of the separation of church and state. The founders of FFRF atheistic evangelists – they want you to believe that there is no God as strongly as a Christian evangelist wants you to believe in the divinity of Christ. And like many other successful evangelists, they have been able to convince others through media and public actions to support their cause with money.
    The foundation collects over $1.7 M in revenue and is supported by a number of revenue streams (for example, memberships and literature sales). The original founders of the foundation continue to draw large salaries as “co-presidents” of the foundation. The foundation has a salaried staff (salaries and benefits in excess of $400K in addition to the $154K for the co-presidents) that owe their jobs to the success of the foundation’s advocacy and the contributions they obtain. It is not clear but likely that the co-presidents obtain additional revenue from their connection with the foundation through such items as speaker fees, book royalties and consultant fees.
    Unfortunately, Ellwood City is being used as the latest stage on which the FFRF can generate publicity. My suggestion is to keep the crèche and if they want to sue start a legal defense fund. I am ready to contribute. They will bully the Ellwood City and continue to pursue the issue for no other reason than to gain publicity until it becomes financially unattractive for them.

    1. Andre Costello says:

      Thats a great chunk of info. Good to know.

  42. Andre Costello says:

    I agreed with keeping the manger for the sake of hearty local tradition. However seeing this hate mongering and saying things as close-minded as “LIBERALS HATE ALL RELIGION” Just people hating and hating and hating.

    Find a knowledgeable 3rd party mediator. Forget this “battle” BS. And take care of it. If tradition can outweigh the constitution, then change it. This is pathetic and embarrassing to everyone who lives in Ellwood, and to everyone who has lived in Ellwood.

    Unless, of course, all of you just like the attention. If thats the case, as long as you’re happy, keep bickering.

  43. Danny says:

    I sometimes wonder if these believers understand that according to Mathew 2:1-12, there were no kings or wise men that came to visit their mythical savior on that night. And there is no mention that they came by camels either. And Mathew does not say that there were THREE kings or THREE wise men either. Just because Frank Nonsense, gold and manure are mentioned as gifts, does not translate into three kings. It’s all a bunch of hooey.

  44. William Weber says:

    We must have government sponsored religion. Local governments must be able to endorse the religion of their choosing. Religion cannot make it on its own because it is unbelievable. But, with socialized religion it can survive. We can elect politicians to be our spiritual leaders. Government officials can decide religious issues for us. That is what the founding fathers wanted, for government to decide your religion for you. Freedom of conscience is un-American. Using government to pick religious icons to display is the American way. It is time to recognize the unbelievers and identify them. We can decide what to do with them later. Praying won’t work. God will not help us. We must do this on our own. We need more government in our lives to tell us what to believe. Never mind that government imposed religion is sacrilegious. When you cannot win hearts use political force.

  45. Luther says:

    The motorcycle gangs that missed the chance to reeve their engines at the riot should nail Marty Griffin to the cross

  46. Danny says:

    I was curious. Where is Ellwood City? Wiki says it is a small community 30 miles North of Pittsburgh. It’s inhabitants are mostly white, mostly bigoted, and a large percentage are downright fools to believe that busloads of atheists were about to descend upon their city. HA! Those bikers are the biggest fools of all, riding on inferior crotch rockets. Course, what logical person would ever make purchase of a Harley? No wonder these people have such a gross misapplication of mental faculties.

  47. donna says:

    Go Ellwood City, please dont back down. Dont these protestors have anything better to do.

    1. Marty Griffin's Brain says:

      The atheists put up skeleton Santa at a Virginia courthouse and the people torn it down……..where is the justice

  48. Wayner D. Palke says:

    A Holiday wish for all of Z Athiestic DEVIL worshipping cheeseheads from THE otherwise fine state of Wisconsin! Wayner sez come on down over to my homestead, yer gonna luv mine & I aint LOU PAPPAN!!!!! I have for yer fine athiestic viewing. An animated gift box, after that a RED,WHITE, & BLUE ARROW! A display of YESHUA, MIRIAM, AND YOUSEF, and finally an ANJEL blowing her trumpet for the arrival of my Savior Emanual! and most of the REAL World. Come on down to Z Burg, YA freakin IDIOT’s, who just happen to exist in Wisconsin. The rest of Z folk there are God fearing working people, who feel just as bad for you sorry people, as the Wayner!!

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