Hundreds Show Support For Community’s Crèche

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — An out-of-state atheist group was expected to face off with officials in a local community this morning over a nativity display at the municipal building; but the supposed showdown ended up being an overwhelming show of support.

Members of the Freedom from Religion Foundation had vowed to protest the placement of a crèche in front of the Ellwood City municipal building. The atheist group from Wisconsin complained that the display is a violation of the First Amendment clause which prohibits the government from endorsing religion.

The group went so far to say that if leaders put the crèche up, they wanted to hang a banner saying: “There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

Ellwood City’s mayor, however, told KDKA-TV that the town would erect the nativity scene today as planned.

“I can tell you this, I’ll not back down,” Ellwood City Mayor Anthony Court added. “If they come, that’s fine. If they don’t come, that’s also fine; but I can tell you this — that nativity scene will be going up.”

As it turns out, the group did not travel to Ellwood City as the town assembled the display; but hundreds of people did show up at the municipal building — in support of the crèche.

“We love the Lord, we’re going to defend it – we’re going to defend the nativity scene,” Joe Cisco, of Ellport Boro said.

“This is our town, this is our building,” Mike Parisi, of Ellwood City, said. “If we want to put a nativity scene up, then it’s our right to put it up.”

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that standalone nativity scenes on government property are unconstitutional. But the court says nativity scenes displayed with other holiday symbols are okay.

Anthony Court, the mayor of Ellwood City says this nativity scene is just fine.

“They can do what they want, but I know [what] we’re going to do – that’s have a nativity scene for Christmas,” he said.

Ellwood City Gears Up For Nativity Scene Battle (11/30)
Ellwood City Borough Website
Freedom From Religion Foundation
Holidays On KDKA


One Comment

  1. Heather says:

    I’m as far from actively religious as one can get, I actually tend to agree more with the group coming into town to protest – but come on, they aren’t even from the area, it doesn’t effect them in any way what-so-ever. Seems like a group of intolerant bullies bent on forcing their beliefs on other people and that’s normally christian’s jobs. Locals, if they don’t like this, should protest as it has to do with their town, not a big ol’ group of strangers who will leave once its over.

    1. Thomas J Duttine says:


  2. Michael Digby says:

    This is redicules, who are these people and what right do they have to speak for me. It’s about time we stand up for our beliefs. If they don’t want religion in their lives then just ignore it like we should do about these clowns. I applaud this mayor and his council. They should have rights too and if the people who live there are OK with a Nativity they should be able to set it up without idiots protesting. Merry Christmas!!

    1. James says:

      What right? How about the FIRST amendment to the Constitution?

      1. Ricardo says:

        Please, Christmas is a Christian holiday. The Mayor said that they could bring other religious symbols for display if they wanted. These people simply have a problem with Christianity and they mask it behind their “foundation”.

      2. wendy says:

        um, this is in response to ricardo. christmas did not begin as a christian holiday. it is a pagan holiday taken over by christians.

      3. Sky says:

        Thank you James , so many forget and or wish we didn’t have this right !

    2. Ol'Froth says:

      The rules are simple, public space is open to all opinions, or it is open to none. The creche can stay so long as other groups, be they pagan, atheist, Jewish, Muslim, Pastafarian, or any other group is allowed to display their message as well. If the FFRF isn’t permitted to place their message in the public space, then they will sue, and they will win. Case law is pretty clear on this issue.

      I’ll also add that while the FFRF is based in Madison, Wisconsin, it does have members in Pennsylvania. Calling it an “out-of-state atheist group” is like calling the Christian Coalition and “out-of-state religous group” because it is based in Virginia.

      1. Ian says:

        ok but if you don’t celebrate a holiday then why do you need a display?
        i dont pay any attention to a muslim display during ramadan. or a jewish display during rosh hishanna. why? because i dont celebrate them. i certainly am not gonna step on somones holiday simply because i dont take part in their religion.

        but atheists can’t seem to ignore Christmas. They go after a Christmas nativity scene like a pitbull to a raw steak. they sue to have it taken down because if they see a plastic jesus they will be caused irrepairable harm? or do they just like making a name for themselves?
        fact of the matter is that atheism is a religion. its a strict belief in the non existance of a god. much like a religion with a god, athiests evangelize (this is evident in their insulting anti-holiday displays, they take a collection (donations to FFRF work much like that of any other religious organization. so…tell me ..why is your religion…which doesn’t celebrate a holiday this time of year. trying to disrupt mine? no one is making you celebrate.

      2. g2-a400ddac5e73ae88bd1a86c8078ec88b says:

        i dont pay any attention to a muslim display during ramadan. or a jewish display during rosh hishanna. why? because i dont celebrate them. i certainly am not gonna step on somones holiday simply because i dont take part in their religion.

        Ian, if this display was going up on property belonging to a church, or a private person, then there is no complaint. But because this is the government putting up a sectarian display on public land, then the Constitution comes into play. How would you feel if your town put up a Menorah, and no Nativity? Or perhaps a mihrab? Would you object to your government endorsing a relgion other than your own?

        All we are asking is that the government obey the law.

  3. comrade 12347 says:

    Ellwood City residence need to counter protest these idiots. Sent them back where they came from.

    1. Rudy M. says:

      They are!!! … They are rallying for what they believe. In this day and age we are always affraid of offending someone or some group. Well, not the mayor of Ellwood, and that is why he was elected to represent the people….Merry Christmas.

      1. Sky says:

        He is not representing anyone , he is ignoring the US Constitution at the taxpayers expense . I’m sure there are a lot of people living there who are tired of getting christianity shoved down their throat , Thank our minds that we have a mind and realize that we live with others who are different and it is a good thing to not be sheep and and follow anything ! We learn so much from others not like us: it can broadens our minds . Try it sometimes .What’s wrong with Holly , Frost, Snowpeople and Happy Season for town decorations ,it is less hicky and more humane (conciderate of others )This arrogance is just why the US is the most hated country in the world !

  4. ???????? says:

    I have no issue with others beliefs and i feel they shouldnt have an issue with mine. I understand people have the rite to protest but it seems that every time you turn around there are protestors on every corner, it kinda gets old after awhile. Its ridiculous that people from out of state are coming to protest in Ellwood City. I have to upmost respect for the Mayor standing his ground, others would roll over and avoid the controversy. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and bless you all, regardless of your religious beliefs.

  5. Merry Christmas says:

    A huge round of applause for the Mayor of Ellwood City!! The constitution allows us the freedom OF religion as well. We decide, Christian, Jew, Muslim….if you decide to not practice that is your right. Just because I love the Lord does not mean I’m “forcing” my belief on you.
    I am seeing a growing movement to try to force all religions into a closet and it saddens me. We live in a country so concerned about political correctness that religion is all the sudden the bad guy. Why is this difficult. Don’t ask me to hide my faith and I won’t ask you to hide your beliefs….simple! I’ve read about and study other beliefs and made my decision, please respect it as I respect your decision. Your belief or lack there of does not change my faith, your resistance in allowing me to openly proclaim it only strengthens it!!

    1. James says:

      Then put it on your front lawn… Not on tax paid Community land. Un real, Christmas already last 2 moths of the year and thats still not enough for your CHristians. You have to shove your religion down my throat and now on my tax dollars. ENOUGH!

      1. Zoeyzotron says:

        This is a Christian nation, founded on christiian beliefs.

        you are free to leave anytime.

      2. Timmy Tuttle says:


      3. Ad says:

        Sadly, people are not perfect and sometimes, they get it wrong. For instance, the Inquisition and as you said, Manifest Destiny. In it’s true form, Christianity is not so much a “religion” as it is a relationship with God and his son Jesus. We are certainly not perfect, but Jesus lived a perfect life and died in place of us so that we may live.

      4. James says:

        The country was founded on democratic principles. Nothing to do with Jesus.

      5. Zoeyzotron says:

        IN GOD WE TRUST.

        You are more than welcome to leave too if you take issue with it.

      6. deb says:

        I feel sorry for you James ……. ashame you are such an angry person

      7. bubba says:

        the way you write and spell say’s it all, your a non taxpayer and receiving taxpayers dollars on welfare!!!!

      8. Ol'Froth says:

        James isn’t the angry one, He’s not telling people to get out if they disagree with him as you are Zoeyzotron. You are also sadly misinformed. There is no mention of Jesus, Christ or God in the Constitution.

      9. Merry Christmas says:

        James i am not shoving my religion down your throat. The constitution of the United States assures me the right to worship as I decide. It also protects your right to not practice a religion. Simple.
        There are many things I don’t like seeing my tax dollars paid out to either, and as a Christian I pay taxes too.
        You have however just strengthened my point, I will not hide my religion, if you don’t like it look the other way. I may not agree with other religions or lack of religion but hey to each their own, if I don’t like I just move on.

    2. Ricardo says:

      Too bad their isn’t a “like” button for this post 🙂

      1. Ernest P. Worrel says:

        Funny how our currency that some many worship has, “in God we trust”, clearly printed on it. I guess that was part of the democratic principles too…

    3. Brian says:

      You may practice your religion freely at your church, in your home and other places. It has no place at a government building. Would you want the government in your church? No? Then leave your church out of the government. I saw no respect for those who don’t believe from that angry, hate-filled mob armed with large wooden crosses today, and the government-backed intimidation parade. I’m glad the atheists didn’t come – the mob proved their point for them.

      1. EC says:

        Really… were you even there? I didn’t see an angry mob. I saw a very peaceable show of support for our town’s traditions.

  6. John W says:

    How is the FRFF allowed to put up signs that actually promote hate? That sign pretty much says that you believein anything but what they believe in your stupid.

    This is the sign that they put up:

    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

    That would be like Christians being allowed to put up signs that say that these Atheist and their chilldren will burn in Hell this holiday season.

    Also that is stating that the Muslim and Judaism beliefs are myths.

    I would love for this group to start telling Muslims Allah is a Myth.

    Maybe instead of worrying about a plastic statue and petty problem. They could focus all that negative energy in helping the worlds homeless and less fortunate. I see more Christian Churchs giving out free food around the holiday season but nothing from Athiest.

    1. Brian says:

      You probably don’t see anything from atheists because you don’t look for it. Also, mos atheists are too afraid to identify themselves for fear of hate-filled repercussions. You probably know atheists without realizing it, and atheists do more to help actual people than you know.

      1. John says:

        Like what? Why would anybody hate them? I really doubt that most Athiest volunteer to help anybody but themselves..

      2. wendy says:

        in reply of john. you are sadly misinformed. i am a kind and helpful person. i am just do not believe in a “god”.

        i was told to my face that i was going to burn in hell by a catholic woman with pure hate in her eyes. my friend told her i was atheist, before that she was quite friendly. i don’t believe in hell, but to have someone hate you because you don’t believe what they believe is hurtful and a bit scary because people who hate sometimes take action against those they hate.

    2. Ol'Froth says:

      That would be like Christians being allowed to put up signs that say that these Atheist and their chilldren will burn in Hell this holiday season

      Christians DO say that. Quite often, as I’ve found out. And Allah is a myth, as much as Odin, Zeus, and Hercules.

  7. Chris says:

    Would everyone be so quick to defend this religious display if it were a Hindu shrine or a Wiccan altar? Move the creche to a non-government-owned location and enjoy it – it could probably go about 25 feet down the street and be fine – what’s so hard about that? That said, I think a group coming in from Wisconsin is overkill, but they have that right, too, I guess.

    1. Merry Christmas says:

      Yes as a Christian I would allow it as well. I believe that the constitution gives us that freedom of religion. I don’t force my Christianity on others but I don’t hide it either. I have taught my children that there are other beliefs. We don’t judge people. If you are kind, generous and treat others with respect I don’t care if you are Hindu, Wiccan, atheist, Jew or Muslim. There right to believe or not believe is their right…period. How about we go back to kindergarten rules…treat others with respect. These protestors are not treating people with respect. How can they claim that a little display in Ellwood City is violating their rights in Wisconsin? People of all beliefs as well as atheist who are peaceful in their stance should be upset by these type of tactics. Now if I was coming into their homes and forcing to give money for this display, forcing their children to learn my ways allowing no other way but my way then they would have a right to protest, this is just bully scare tactics. We ban bullying from schools but allow adults freedom to do so and call it a protest.

  8. JACK says:

    There is freedom of religion in the U.S., but there is also separation of church and state. Ellwood City can put up a nativity scene, just do it at the Church.

    If a local Muslim group decided to display the Koran and Praise Allah at the Municipal Building, the local Christians would be up in arms.

    1. happy says:

      Where in the constituation does it say seperation of church and state?
      It says CONGRESS shall make no law…

      1. Ol'Froth says:

        If Congress can make no law establishing a religion, then we have a seperation of church and state. The government may not favor one religion over another. Allowing a creche, and nothing else, is a government endorsement of Christianity over other religious faiths, or no religious faith. That’s what makes an exclusivly Christian display on public property unConstitutional.

      2. Smith says:

        I would like to jump in and mention that they are not disallowing other faith based displays, they just don’t have any. if other faiths want their items displayed they have to donate them to the City Hall. They have had this Nativity for more than 50 years. If the issue were to “buy a nativity scene” for the holiday display than this would be more of an issue to me. No expense was spared except for the labor in moving the display from storage to the lawn.

  9. Darimus Washington says:

    Is your last name ‘Goff’?


    MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  11. Dave says:

    First of all, this country was founded on the principles of Christianity and belief in God. Our forefathers were devout Christians who fought and risked everything to have a country where freedom could ring. Secondly, show me where exactly it states that there is separation from religion and state in the Constitution. I keep hearing that, but no one can produce where it is written in the Constitution. The phrase “separation of church and state” itself does not appear in the United States Constitution. The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” It was never stated that there should be separation of the two. This is something that liberal govt decided in recent history, not our forefathers. I commend the people of Ellwood City. It’s about time these atheists and liberal morons are put in their place. Enough is enough!!!!

    1. James says:

      Show me in the constitution where they said it was founded on Christian Principles?

      Many Americans did practice Christianity, but so also did many believe in deistic philosophy. Indeed, most of our influential Founding Fathers, although they respected the rights of other religionists, held to deism and Freemasonry tenets rather than to Christianity.

      1. Dave says:

        Washington rarely discussed or wrote about his religious and philosophical opinions in any great detail, yet he frequently displayed a humble and gracious respect towards God in his personal letters and public speeches. He was a registered member at a number of churches, where he attended but not always weekly, and served as an Anglican vestryman and warden for more than a decade and a half. Thomas Jefferson on the other hand was Episcopilian, so there are two of our founding fathers. Any further questions?

      2. James says:

        Yeah, Cant you just pray and have a personal relationship with gad? Do you really need to turn it into a circus act? False idol… the cross, Crèche

      3. Paul says:

        What are you talking about – false idols? How is looking at a cross, where Jesus Christ was crucified and died from, praying to a false idol? Jesus Christ was quite real and died a horrific death to save our souls. How also is adorning a Creche praying to false idols? Again, the birth of Jesus Christ certainly did happen, so if one looks at it in admiration, thinking about that great moement, how is this considered praying to an idol? You make absolutely no sense.

    2. Gregory says:

      Article 11 of the 1796 Treaty of Tripoli explicitly states:

      “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion”

      This treaty was submitted to the Senate by President John Adams, receiving ratification unanimously from the U.S. Senate on June 7, 1797 and signed by Adams, taking effect as the law of the land on June 10, 1797.

      Personally, I am agnostic, but I have no problem with religious imagery being placed on public property as long as it is open to all religions. Let the Jewish put up a Menorah if the Christians can erect a manger.

    3. BJ says:

      Correct! The phrase “separation of church and state,” was penned by Thomas Jefferson in a letter To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut in 1802. To read the letter go to:

  12. Dave says:

    Oh, and BTW – when I greet people at department stores or wherever, I do say, Have a Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays! Afterall, Jesus is the reason for this season.

    1. Dan says:

      Dave – Amen and Merry Christmas!

  13. Jim says:

    Finally a policitican with a set of balls!

    1. gman says:

      The mayor is either clueless or an attention seeker. I`ve been a church goer all my life but I still don`t want an official religion as part of my govt. You all know about the Taliban I presume.

      1. Jim says:

        Are you so dense as to think that placing a nativity scene somehow makes a religion “official?” Wow…

      2. happy says:

        And this makes it an official religion, how?

      3. oldstuff says:

        I couldn’t agree more. By placing any particular religious symbol on government property it is implied that that particular government entity favors that religion, and that if you do not hold those particular beliefs that you are somehow un-American.

        The government has no place advocating any particular religion Our country was founded on religious persecution, but because of that it is imperative that we preserve everyone’s rights to worship, or not to worship, as they wish. Therefore, the creche, or any other religious symbol for that matter, needs to stay off of government property.

  14. Eve says:

    This group of radicals are infringing on my rights to see the nativity scene. They still have their right to turn away. In case they have forgotten, their ability to open their mouths and speak their opnions was fought for by God-fearing people that fought for the rights of others and had Jesus as their example to follow.

    1. Brian says:

      Place the nativity scene at a church, at your home, on any private property. But it should not be on public property. And I have no doubt their rights were also fought for by those who do not believe in a god or gods – yes, there are atheists in foxholes.

      1. John says:

        Or Atheist are just like Chihuahua all bark and no bite!!!!!!

      2. wendy says:

        yes, i am an atheist who served 10 years in the united states air force. 🙂

  15. Frank says:

    It used to be, not too long ago, when all courthouses/etc had a nativity scene. And I don’t recall that causing some notion of an official religion. So what’s changed? Other than a bunch of whiney protestors. When Christmas is over, the decorations will be down and people will still have their religion (or non-religion) and can go back to the hate that seems to be increasing.

    1. Brian says:

      Most hate comes from the religious.

      1. Here and there says:

        First you claim that atheists help “more than you know”, and now you’re claiming most hate comes from religion. We get it, you have an axe to grind, but no reason to make things up when you obvioulsy don’t have any stats to back up your “claim”

      2. John says:

        You hit the nail on the head Brian. Just like the hate group FFRF. They are a hate religion themselves.

    2. Mukluks says:

      Asking the government to abide by the law makes me a “whiney protestor?”

  16. Brian says:

    “there was no room for them in the inn” Luke 2:7

    There apparently still isn’t. Merry Christmas to all.

    1. Hmm says:

      What do you mean there apparently still isn’t? Btw, that verse was taken out of context, also what does that have to do with Christianity. Yes, it is part of the Christmas story and part of what happened, but they way you are presenting it is wrong.

  17. joe says:

    I think nativity scene should stay; I also live in Ellwood City!

    I always get confused for these debates? Please fill me in….

    Demographics in Ellwood City out of the religious people (well over 50 percent of the people) and 99 percent are Christian. Are those less than 100 people that non-Christian really that offended to look at this for 30 days? Furthermore are those people that are non-religious really that that offended by this?

    1. Matt says:

      Joe – your numbers are all off. There are far more than 100 non-christian ppl in Ellwood, and as in many other communities, I bet you go to church with them (heck, they may be your minister or priest), they teach your kids, they check your pulse and operate on you when you need it.

      The point is that by the government of Ellwood owning it (taxpayer $), maintaining it (taxpayer $), and putting it on public land which is owned by all the people, it’s the mayor and then the government of Ellwood endorsing a specific religion, which is what the Constitution says shouldn’t be. Come on – this is nothing that wasn’t covered in your, mine, or anyone else’s civics class in Lincoln. Unless the mayor has just been sitting on all the city owned and maintained jewish, muslim, buddhist, hindu, etc displays in the Municipal Bldg and now has plans to put them out, yeah – this is Ellwood’s government endorsing (by owning, maintaining, etc the creche) a specific religion.

      But – having grown up in Ellwood, you’re coming close to playing a chord that I know all too well – a majority wants something (legality, Constitutionality of it be damned), and anyone who disagrees should get out if they don’t like it.

      Whenever I come home for a visit, it pains me to see what Ellwood could be, and then, what it has chosen to be instead, because of that message: love it or leave it, that pervades the community. Enjoy shopping in all the bustling shops on Lawrence Avenue this holiday season.

      1. Beth says:

        hey Matt Im from Ellwood and I know for a fact that the man who put up the display did it for free for years until he passed away so where is the tax payer dollars? I for one would be more than happy to donate my time to put the display up and take the display down I would also donate the space to store it if that would make you people who dont even live in our town happy about our Christian display.Im sure that there are plenty of other people in MY town that would also be willing to do the same! The Constitution that these atheisist love to quote also protect us and our rights! separation of church and state was meant to allow a person to practice there religion without persecution! Why dont we see the atheist groups in Dearborn fighting the muslim prayers over the public taxpayer paid loud speakers multiple times a day? Why is it always Christian displays? and attacks against Christians? because we always let it go thats why until all our rights of religion are taken away! Clearly OUR town wants OUR Creche so leave US alone and Matt you can stay in that wonderful “progressive” place you moved to.

  18. gman says:

    Jim..Actually placing a Christian symbol in front of a govt. building most CERTAINLY endorses Christianity as the official religion of the u.s. Who`s dense here? How would you feel about the muslim crescent in front of the building?

    1. Jim says:

      Well since there have already been nativity scenes in the past then we already have Christianity as your so-called official religion… Oh wait, I’m guessing that nativity scenes in the past haven’t changed your life one bit…and you are still free to worship as you please. And personally, I don’t like muslim religion as I feel it’s full of hate, but placing one of their decorations anywhere wouldn’t change my life one bit. And though I celebrate Christmas I am agnostic. But I never felt that the nativity scene in any way is trying to influence my beliefs or affecting my life.

  19. Frank Catalano says:

    Please, as a good LIBERAL “PROGRESSIVE” COMMUNIST DEMOCRAT, I think that we should ban RELIGION, all together…..let’s all have a “Merry Anti-Christmas”…

    1. Frank Catalano says:

      I’m the head athiest, down here in S.C., (originally from PA) and I think that we atheist should rul the country….hell, we Democrats are so intelligent, that it just oozes from our skin (or is that STINK?) and we should determine whether Christmas should be celebrated or not….and we say “NOT”.

      1. John says:

        6% of the US population believed that no god or universal spirit exists and only 0.7% say they are Athiest. SO what are you the head of 4 people? At least you all can car pool to events together.

  20. Ricardo says:

    The bad part is that it’s really not that serious. Is the government endrosing the Christian religion by make Christmas a national holiday? If they were in the midst of constructing a LAW to establish Christianity as the “offical” religion, and that all violators would be subject to presecution, than yeah, rise up in arms against it. But the nativity scene? Really? There has to be something better to do with your time than fight an out of state battle over a symbol that IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON.

    Deal with it, without Christ there wouldn’t even be a Christmas. To try to seperate the two is like trying to have your cake and eat it to, or like showing up at someone’s birthday party and telling the birthday boy/girl that they aren’t important nor are they allowed to be the focus of the celebration.

  21. gman says:

    I suspect that this buffoonish mayor is seeking higher office and he`ll use this phony attention gathering stunt to lock up the votes of the hicks and rednecks,most of whom don`t have a christian bone in their body.

  22. Dave says:

    Not too long ago this county respected its citizens and were God-fearing people. It was a great time for all – a lot of jobs, contentment, and everyone got along. Everyone migrated to this country so that they could build a better life for themselves and practice religion freely, without the fear of being put to death for their beliefs. What has happened since the 50s? The offspring of the 60s and 70s free love people is what we have today. People don’t repsect themselves let alone anyone else. They are very self-centered and selfish people. It’s all about I, I, me, me, mine, mine. It’s also easier to disregard God and His teachings than it is to accept Him and Jesus Christ as your Saviour. This country is in the worse condition than it has ever been in, and it’s not going to get any better. So to all of you atheists, agnostics, etc., who are trying to make people sweep God under the rug, I hope you are satisifed with what you have created – a country of liberal-thinking, self-centered, egotistical morons, who for your sake, better hope that when judgment day comes, that you are forgiven for putting on your blinders.

    1. Jim says:

      Sorry Dave,. but you’re painting with too broad of a brush. I’m agnostic but otherwise agree with what you said. I choose to live my life as if there is a god as I feel it offers a good/clean way of living. But that doesn’t mean I have to blindingly believe that there is something that can’t be proven. If there is a god, I believe we’d be judged on our actions/life style regardless of any self proclaimed belief.

    2. Paul says:

      Dave – you are spot on. I agree that this country is in the worse condition it’s ever been in, and it’s getting worse. I also agree that the disregard of God in our lives is part of the problem. It’s easier to live a path of selfishness and self-centeredness than it is to walk the path of Christ. The best way in life sometimes is not the popular way, and we all know how people want to be popular.

      1. Paul says:

        It’s easier to ignore God and His blessings than it is to live by His 10 Commandments.

    3. oldstuff says:

      I am agnostic and follow a very moral life. I don’t think that Christ, or Jesus has anything to do with how I act.

      On the other hand, I know plenty of Christians who are morally bankrupt, but think that just because they put the sign of the fish on the back of the car that that makes everything o.k.

      1. wendy says:

        yes, my mother asked me once why i tried so hard to be a good person when i don’t believe in god. that really made no sense to me. i don’t need to believe or be afraid of a god to be a kind person. i believe in people. sometimes we let each other down, but i believe that most people are good and will help others when and if they can.

    4. Matt says:

      >>and everyone got along.<<

      Even the blacks who were told they were second class citizens, and could only drink from certain fountains, go to certain establishments and ride in certain seats on the bus? Where Japanese people were still looked upon as traitors, if not wholly run out of town, where if you didn't have a flag up 24/7 you might be a commie? Those '50s?

      Your "history" is a nostalgic fantasy that has little to do with reality. And if you believe one fantasy, what's another…and another…and another….

      1. Tomas says:

        What drug are you smokin’?

  23. James says:

    I love how Christians cant just pray and Keep a relationship with Jesus! Its a Santa clause Circus that lasts two Months, They completely turned it into a consumer holiday. Poor jesus gets forgotten all about christmas morning. The false Idol Santa clause is worshiped in this country.

    1. Merry Christmas says:

      James true Christians do not forget about Jesus, not on Christmas morning, not ever. Lots of people who are not Christians celebrate the commercial Santa Claus side of Christmas. I have Jewish friends who put up trees and take their kids to see Santa. I have an atheist friend who puts on one of the largest Christmas Parties of the season and you wouldn’t believe what she buys her kids. Don’t confuse the two. At our house we know it’s not the actual day that Jesus was born but we have a cake and we sing happy birthday to him. We keep him in our hearts. No amount of protest will change that. I know the origin of Christmas and how Christians came to claim it as their own despite it’s beginnings. It’s really OK to have both, we do a religious celebration and a commercial celebration, as long as you stay true to who you are.

  24. PRAISE JESUS says:


    1. wendy says:

      well, i said before that i didn’t have a problem with it IF other religious displays are allowed. but you are saying to not look at it? SO THEN FREAKING MOVE IT SO ATHEISTS DON’T HAVE TO LOOK AT IT IF THEY NEED TO GO TO A GOVT BUILDING! see the flaw in your response?

      1. law says:

        wendy no one said other religious displays were not allowed. There has been no report that the Mayor picked a Christian symbol and denied others. BTW just this week the Supreme Court permitted a display of Christianity, permit applied for and granted….highest court in our land. The law is clear, the government CANNOT stop you from practicing your religion you CANNOT be forced to hide it.

  25. Heather Doyle Duganieri says:

    I think the people of Ellwood City should decide what they want, not anyone else. Especially not a group of people from out of state. They’ve nothing better to do than try and push their agenda on other people?

    It makes no sense.

  26. The Truth says:

    Regardless of what you may think the origin of Christmas is, the result is that people (primarily Christians) do indeed celebrate it AS a Christian holiday. I know it doesn’t follow your own personal opinion, but to tell others what they do/don’t celebrate and their reasons for it are rather short-sighted.

    Even your own post points out that the Pope picked the date to celebrate Jesus’ birth…hence it is celebrated thusly….as a Christian holiday.

  27. deb says:

    I have to question…whether Athiest,Hindu,Islam,Christian….no matter what your beliefs may be ….where do you think you came from? Creation started somewhere even if it was from a sole little germ that germ it had to be created …..All this arguing is so ridiculous…….everyone will find out in the end…who was right and who was wrong. In the meantime we should all just find some peace amongst us. Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or maybe Just Have a nice Day!

    1. peacebewithyou says:

      well said deb. Have a nice day, holiday and Christmas to you!

  28. gman says:

    Zoeytron..Do you know that are founding fathers were slaveholders? That ain`t very Christian is it?

  29. Warlock Jones says:


    and by the way, its a CHRISTMAS tree and CHRISTMAS lights. If you don’t believe, its no skin off my back just don’t steal our Christian Traditions.

    1. James says:

      you mean like how christians made up Jesus from horus? dont believe me? google horus vs jesus and prepare to learn.

      1. Matt says:

        Hey – don’t be insulting Mithra! He was Jesus v1.0, wasn’t he?

      2. Clint Eastwood says:

        Google it? Really James… Yes, i am sure google is full of all factual information.

  30. James says:

    Jews Muslams and christians all have the same God… All decendants of abraham.

    1. Gina says:

      God is not a descendant of anyone….please speak for yourself since you obviously don’t represent all.

      1. James says:

        WHAT? who said that? learn to read.

      2. Double Standards says:

        Pot meet kettle…. “Learn to read?” What is this word “decendant” that you’re using? Perhaps, “learn to spell” would be in order… Comprehension can only be as good as the words that are trying to be read.

  31. Sandi says:

    Thank you Lord and Merry Christmas everyone. God Is IN Control. Believers Unite and God will show His mercy and grace on all of us. Keep Praying without Ceasing and lets see what else we can stop.

  32. Brian says:
    How about reporting the whole story?
    Ellwood City apparently has agreed to display a banner from FFRF. And the group says it “did not arrange for any such protests,” which, oh, maybe explains why they were not there – they were never coming!
    But the religious mob that turned out to force their beliefs upon others with the full weight, sanctioning and approval of the government certainly were there.

    1. Heather says:

      You would almost think that the religious mob that turned out in force were told by the media that a whole other mob of people were coming to protest the nativity scene and they came to support the nativity….wait, there’s no way that would happen. It was that darn dirty christians doing something bad again!!!!

      Seems more like media manipulation to stir up a story than anything.

    2. Dan says:

      You’re quoting their own site and claiming that makes it true/the whole story? Interesting angle…

      1. Brian says:

        There’s two sides to the story. There’s the other side. I saw the broadcast report. It made no mention of the banner agreement, nor did they state that the foundation claimed it never organized any protest. But a good nativity scene dispute is just another good seasonal story – they know people will watch. Look at these comments!

    3. John says:

      Check out the pic on FFRF its your typical upper middle class white liberals. That must be the whole FFRF in the picture they should be glad they didnt show up because they would have got destroyed in Ellwood City. Also none of them ever looked like they ever served in the service or fought for anything real in their life.

      1. Brian says:

        “Destroyed in Ellwood City?” Really? Bash them over the head with the freshly made wooden crosses and dump their bodies in the woods, huh? That’s some good ol’ fashioned Christian lovin’ for ya right there. It’s quite clear where you come from, John, and there’s no point in discussing things with someone who thinks as you do. The simple point of the matter is there are many, many places where this thing can be displayed without incident — on public property is where it can’t be. But I guess the faith of the religious is so fragile they need government endorsement these days. And I hate to break this to you, but you’re going to find fewer and fewer people who have served in the military as time goes on, although I don’t see how that has to do with any of this.

  33. Brian says:

    A nativity scene belongs at a church.

  34. Heather says:

    I’ll be the first one to debate christianity in this country, if we were founded as a christian country (which I don’t believe we are) and how christmas isn’t really christ’s bday but instead a holiday stolen from other beliefs to try and take over and how the son of god is a myth (I think he was a real man, not son of god, just a man who believed in something and since it was becoming a popular faith man — Constantine the Great – decided to focus upon that one faith instead of many) b/c I love to debate this kind of stuff…in the proper place.

    Driving to a town in a state that has nothing to do with me, it’s too much like what I accuse christians of doing, shoving my beliefs down someone else’s throat. These nativity scene people get so het up about are one of the stupidest reasons to argue/protest that I’ve ever seen. It hurts no one. Tradition isn’t horrible. There aren’t people standing outside the building screaming repent and all that jazz. No one is forcing anyone to do anything except one group and they are suppose to be the ‘tolerant’ ones..

    Find something more interesting to protest.

  35. Dave says:

    Everyone who knows history already knows that we not a secular nation. Our founders were very much believers in God and believed we are a Christian nation. That is something these Atheists can’t deny. All the founders simply wanted is our government not to respect one religion and only one religion only like other counties do.

    1. Matt says:

      >>Our founders were very much believers in God and believed we are a Christian nation<< Who then denied it with Tripoli, etc, or re-wrote the Bible to take out the supernatural parts, etc, etc, etc….

      I never thought I would see the day when history was being rewritten and used as a political tool.

  36. Ricardo says:

    I’m so happy that it turned out well.

    1. James says:

      Me too. A mob of angry Christians waving sticks of wood is always a wonderful sight.

  37. steve says:

    All you liberal morons and non belivers are the biggest morons there is. Stop putting your know-to advice on everything that goes on, like abortion. Who the hell are you to say you cant have one. It is none of your dam buisness what other people do or the choices they make. MORONS

    1. James says:

      You are the moron, First its “morons there are”. Second its the republicans that are against abortion. Where did you get your education?

      1. Matt says:

        you’re going to upset his very christ-like line of reasoning there…

  38. christmas is the season says:

    Sorry, as a christian, I am offended by this so called group from another state.

  39. Hmm says:

    Jesus was not born on December 25th, but that is the day that was set aside to celebrate his birth. It’s a day to remember, it doesn’t have to be the exact date. Therefore it is a Christian holiday. Also, evolution is a theory. Please explain to me how nothing can explode and create something and how it can explode in the first place.

  40. James says:

    Do you really need a god to fear? you guys are weird!

    1. The One says:

      James – You speak as if you were there 2000 years ago… you know nothing of what happened at that time, so please don’t speak as if you do. Gathering your information from Google is not a wise way to live your life.

      If you don’t want to see the nativity, they don’t look at it. the rest of us seem quite happy with it.

    2. Love says:

      James I do not fear God, I know him in my heart and love him.

  41. Ol'Froth says:

    Aaaand…its a tempest in a teapot…from the FFRF website:

    After months of correspondence over a nativity scene in front of the Municipal Building in Ellwood City, Pa., FFRF has won a victory.

    In a recent video interview, Mayor Anthony Court said he refused to take down the crèche but invited FFRF to put up our own display. In an acceptance letter, FFRF reiterated that the nativity is unconstitutional and if Ellwood City persisted in putting up the display, FFRF would accept the Mayor’s generous offer.

    In our letter of acceptance, FFRF wrote: “We will provide our display but expect that the Borough Manager will erect it this year, store the display, and put it up next year.” Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of FFRF, spoke on the phone with Borough Manager Dom Vicarri on Thursday. Vicarri instructed FFRF to send the banner and provided an address where it could be mailed.

    FFRF’s letter was also careful to lay out how the banner should be displayed “We expect that you will show the same courtesy to our message as you show to the Christian message. That means our banner must be as prominently displayed as the crèche, in front of the entrance to the same city building. We would be happy with a placement just below or above your ‘Happy Holidays’ banner, however we would prefer placement above the nativity itself. We would also like to express our full confidence that the City will treat our message with the same respect and give it the same protections as the crèche (this should be easy given that it will be hanging right outside the police station).”

    Recent news stories about FFRF’s opposition to the nativity have claimed that FFRF was “headed to Ellwood City in busloads” and that a motorcycle gang “with the stated objective of using the motorcycles to drown out the voices of any atheists with the temerity to protest.” FFRF did not arrange for any such protests.

    So the KDKA story is factually challenged on a couple of fronts. One, there was no FFRF protest planned, so there was nothing to counter-protest. Two, the story makes no mention that Ellwood City agreed to display the FFRF message,

    Your SCLM (so-called liberal media) at work!

  42. g2-a400ddac5e73ae88bd1a86c8078ec88b says:

    Interesting…many of my comments, none of which used foul or defametory language, have been deleted. Guess KDKA has a problem with criticism of the biases of their reporters and editors.

  43. The Real Deal says:

    What happened to these supposed Motorcycle Clubs that Marty Griffin reported were supposed to show up?

    Seriously bad reporting & not verifying facts comes to mind.

    No REAL Motorcycle Club (MC) would have been involved in something so trivial.

    Maybe a Riding Club (RC) such as the War Dogs, Sons of Christ or some other group of motorcycle enthusiasts to the liking, but not a true MC!

    Jus Sayin~

  44. Mayor of GBD says:

    Beat the others over the head with a cross….then turn the other cheek!

  45. Smith says:

    The Nativity Scene that was put up is a beautiful one that has been part of Ellwood City’s tradition for more than 50 years. The Mayor is simply defending the tradition. I drove by it last night and it is a lovely display that is not “overwhelmingly religious”. Just a traditional nativity scene. It isn’t even the biggest I have seen. You might have missed it if it weren’t for the news trucks in front of it.

    I grew up catholic, but don’t currently practice any specific religion, but do support all faiths. This display does not make me feel as though my rights or tax paid money is being hindered. They didn’t go out and buy Christian only displays every year with expense to the tax payers. The Mayor has stated that if there is a group that feels they want their holiday represented than they are welcome to do so, however he is not spending the City money to do so. They would need to be willing to donate the items to the City for display. I think that is fair and Churches and individuals wanting that representation should do that. Keep in mind that this town is a small one and that the majority of the residence are “traditional” and have been there for generations. It is 45 minutes North of Pittsburgh and it isn’t right off the highway. People going to Ellwood are their purposefully and their town hall display reflects the people of Ellwood. If it were the City of Pittsburgh town hall display than there would be more of an issue as the bigger city represents more religious groups, agnostics, and atheists.

    Let Ellwood City keep their tradition, take the atheism you are trying to promote to your city hall and let Ellwood residents manage their own. There is no harm and the City Residence came out to protect it….there were more than 1000 yesterday to support the mayor, not a few hundred as reported above. The more news coverage this gets just will bring more support from the small town of Ellwood for the Nativity Scene.

  46. peacebewithyou says:

    The Nativity is a positive scene that doesn’t represent any thing but the birth of Jesus. A sign that would bring anger and contempt such as ““There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”. A Banner like that is meant to offend religions while a nativity scene doesn’t incite such anger. Wouldn’t the empty space in the lawn represent the atheists and agnostics more appropriately?

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