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    Default Bah! Humbug!: Town outlaws Merry Christmas sign made by firefighters 50 years ago

    From eagletribune.com:

    http://www.eagletribune.com/punews/l...335011205.html

    By Crystal Bozek
    cbozek@eagletribune.com

    NORTH ANDOVER First it was the menorah on the town common. Now it's the Merry Christmas sign on the fire station.

    The town has put an end to a longtime holiday tradition ordering firefighters to take down their homemade Merry Christmas sign from outside the fire station after people complained. The sign had been up for a week before it was taken down Friday.

    Fire Chief William Martineau said the sign was made by firefighters some 50 years ago and was never an issue before.

    "I think Christmas is officially a religious holiday. But to all of us, it has always been a holiday for the kids," Martineau said. "It just seems sad."

    The sign is now sitting in the basement and there's only one decoration hanging from the station a Happy New Year sign.

    This is the second holiday controversy in two weeks for the town.

    Andover Rabbi Asher Bronstein has threatened a lawsuit against North Andover after the selectmen would not let him place a menorah on the town common for all eight days of Hanukkah.

    Selectmen voted on Nov. 23 to allow the menorah for one day. They argue that their new town common policy only allows displays to stay up for one day, no matter what they are. That way all groups have equal time and there is no discrimination.

    Attorneys for the town and the rabbi are in talks.

    Town officials said yesterday that the menorah fight is what caused Merry Christmas to be outlawed at the fire station for the first time in five decades.

    "This is political correctness run amok," selectmen's Chairman Tracy Watson said. "It's really an unfortunate turn of events. ... This has become all about religion, and from the start it has had nothing to do with religion. We were enforcing a policy."

    Selectmen's phones are ringing off the hook with calls from all sides. The town is divided into people who believe the menorah should get its eight days and those who think the selectmen's policy is fair. Some do not want to see any religious displays on the common, saying even a day is too much.

    Watson said she expects taking down the Merry Christmas sign is only going to rile people up more.

    "It's going to make a lot of people angry," she said.

    Town Manager Mark Rees said the fight over the menorah brought a "heightened sensitivity to these kind of issues."

    "Well, it is a public building and Merry Christmas certainly is a Christian reference," Rees said. "A public building should not be displaying things specific to a particular religion."

    Rees said he hopes to work with the Fire Department to put up a more appropriate sign.

    "Maybe a more generic 'Happy Holidays,'" he said. "Something more inclusive."

    The town has wreaths with red bows hanging on poles throughout downtown and has decorated the trees in the town common with white lights every year. Those are allowed because they are called secular decorations.

    Attorney Robert Meltzer of Framingham, who represents Bronstein on the menorah issue, said it was unfortunate that the sign was taken down from the fire station.

    "I'm sorry they felt the need to do that," Meltzer said. "I don't like to see those things intertwined. ... It has not been part of any of our conversations with the town."

    Meltzer said he is trying to work with North Andover town counsel to resolve the menorah issue without a lawsuit. North Andover selectmen meet in executive session Friday to discuss what to do whether to take on the rabbi or make concessions.

    "We haven't made any decisions yet," Watson said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by f1r3 View Post
    From eagletribune.com:

    http://www.eagletribune.com/punews/l...335011205.html

    By Crystal Bozek
    cbozek@eagletribune.com

    NORTH ANDOVER First it was the menorah on the town common. Now it's the Merry Christmas sign on the fire station.

    The town has put an end to a longtime holiday tradition ordering firefighters to take down their homemade Merry Christmas sign from outside the fire station after people complained. The sign had been up for a week before it was taken down Friday.

    Fire Chief William Martineau said the sign was made by firefighters some 50 years ago and was never an issue before.

    "I think Christmas is officially a religious holiday. But to all of us, it has always been a holiday for the kids," Martineau said. "It just seems sad."

    The sign is now sitting in the basement and there's only one decoration hanging from the station a Happy New Year sign.

    This is the second holiday controversy in two weeks for the town.

    Andover Rabbi Asher Bronstein has threatened a lawsuit against North Andover after the selectmen would not let him place a menorah on the town common for all eight days of Hanukkah.

    Selectmen voted on Nov. 23 to allow the menorah for one day. They argue that their new town common policy only allows displays to stay up for one day, no matter what they are. That way all groups have equal time and there is no discrimination.

    Attorneys for the town and the rabbi are in talks.

    Town officials said yesterday that the menorah fight is what caused Merry Christmas to be outlawed at the fire station for the first time in five decades.

    "This is political correctness run amok," selectmen's Chairman Tracy Watson said. "It's really an unfortunate turn of events. ... This has become all about religion, and from the start it has had nothing to do with religion. We were enforcing a policy."

    Selectmen's phones are ringing off the hook with calls from all sides. The town is divided into people who believe the menorah should get its eight days and those who think the selectmen's policy is fair. Some do not want to see any religious displays on the common, saying even a day is too much.

    Watson said she expects taking down the Merry Christmas sign is only going to rile people up more.

    "It's going to make a lot of people angry," she said.

    Town Manager Mark Rees said the fight over the menorah brought a "heightened sensitivity to these kind of issues."

    "Well, it is a public building and Merry Christmas certainly is a Christian reference," Rees said. "A public building should not be displaying things specific to a particular religion."

    Rees said he hopes to work with the Fire Department to put up a more appropriate sign.

    "Maybe a more generic 'Happy Holidays,'" he said. "Something more inclusive."

    The town has wreaths with red bows hanging on poles throughout downtown and has decorated the trees in the town common with white lights every year. Those are allowed because they are called secular decorations.

    Attorney Robert Meltzer of Framingham, who represents Bronstein on the menorah issue, said it was unfortunate that the sign was taken down from the fire station.

    "I'm sorry they felt the need to do that," Meltzer said. "I don't like to see those things intertwined. ... It has not been part of any of our conversations with the town."

    Meltzer said he is trying to work with North Andover town counsel to resolve the menorah issue without a lawsuit. North Andover selectmen meet in executive session Friday to discuss what to do whether to take on the rabbi or make concessions.

    "We haven't made any decisions yet," Watson said.
    I absolutely refuse to say Happy Holidays. Its Christmas, we're a Christian country, don't like it, there's a departure lounge at the airport. I have no problem with signs about Hannukah, Ramadan, Chinese New Year etc. You celebrate your way, we'll celebrate ours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanLoader View Post
    I absolutely refuse to say Happy Holidays. Its Christmas, we're a Christian country, don't like it, there's a departure lounge at the airport. I have no problem with signs about Hannukah, Ramadan, Chinese New Year etc. You celebrate your way, we'll celebrate ours.

    ABSOLUTELY, WHAT HE SAID!!!...............



    I See no Problem with ANY Religous Display on ANY Property, Public or Private, EXCEPT, No one should be barred from a reasonable accomodation on Public Property. A Manger Scene, A Menorah, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and anything else can co-exist on the Firehouse, City Hall Lawn, or whatever......

    There is another Flap over Chrismas decorations in Leesburg, Va as reported in the Washington Post this morning........ If we're real nice in asking, maybe Malahat27 can dig that one up and post it.............


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    Political correctness seems to discriminate more than be all inclusive it looks like. You just wait they'll ban football because it's too violent.

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    Yet another reason the states that call themselves "Commonwealths" ought to be called "The Peoples Republic of..."

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    Have you ever noticed that people who are offended by Christmas are always willing to take the day off work or take advantage of it in some other way?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanLoader View Post
    I absolutely refuse to say Happy Holidays. Its Christmas, we're a Christian, don't like it, there's a departure lounge at the airport.
    I agree with the spirit of this statement, but not the actual statement itself.

    We are NOT a Christian Country (USA). We do not have an official Christian state church. That is exactly the thing the founders of our country were running away from.

    We are however a country whose citizens are mostly Christian. We are also a country that has a very diverse culture, and we should be damn proud of that. Every religion is represented here and we are able to get that accomplished without killing each other left and right.

    The problem with the situation in this article is that it seeks to achieve equality by repression. Instead of giving everybody an equal chance to celebrate their holiday, we have been keeping it equal by making sure that nobody gets to celebrate their holiday.

    If I put up a big nativity at the city square and the local Jewish/Muslim/Buddhist/Whatever complains about it I shouldn't have to take it down. But I would be more than glad to let them use the space next to mine to put up a display to celebrate their holiday as well.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Meltzer is a crap sitirrer. One of Framingham's polling places was moved to a church hall while the building it was normally in was being renovated.

    He filed suit against the town, as he stated that as a Jew he could not enter another faith's building, as it was against his religion....
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Perfectly said MarcusKspn my feeling exactly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanLoader View Post
    I absolutely refuse to say Happy Holidays. Its Christmas, we're a Christian country, don't like it, there's a departure lounge at the airport. I have no problem with signs about Hannukah, Ramadan, Chinese New Year etc. You celebrate your way, we'll celebrate ours.
    DITTO. Our entire society is based on the birth of Christ. The biggest holiday in the U.S. is Christmas. heck, even our calendar is based on the birth and death of Christ (AD and BC). Curious question BC is before Christ, AD is after death, what are the years in between?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusKspn View Post
    I agree with the spirit of this statement, but not the actual statement itself.

    We are NOT a Christian Country (USA). We do not have an official Christian state church. That is exactly the thing the founders of our country were running away from.

    We are however a country whose citizens are mostly Christian. We are also a country that has a very diverse culture, and we should be damn proud of that. Every religion is represented here and we are able to get that accomplished without killing each other left and right.

    The problem with the situation in this article is that it seeks to achieve equality by repression. Instead of giving everybody an equal chance to celebrate their holiday, we have been keeping it equal by making sure that nobody gets to celebrate their holiday.

    If I put up a big nativity at the city square and the local Jewish/Muslim/Buddhist/Whatever complains about it I shouldn't have to take it down. But I would be more than glad to let them use the space next to mine to put up a display to celebrate their holiday as well.
    The founding fathers were Christians, not Muslims, not Jews, not Buddhists. Just food for thought. Also, our entire calendar is based on the death of Christ. Should we also change the numbering of the years?

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    It's against MY religion to be politically correct.



    C'mon, this is too much. each religion has a right to celebrate equally. But then again, that's what us simple humans have been fighting over for centuries. We won't solve this problem no matter how many twelve packs we go through.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    The founding fathers were Christians, not Muslims, not Jews, not Buddhists. Just food for thought. Also, our entire calendar is based on the death of Christ. Should we also change the numbering of the years?
    You don't know much about anything, do you? Thankfully, the Founding Fathers were smart enough to protect our nation from idiotic zealots like you. Do we have to go through this every time Christmas rolls around? It's a made-up holiday, based mostly on pagan rituals about the winter solstice. If you took all the secular and pagan aspects out of it, Americans would lose their minds...and interest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    DITTO. Our entire society is based on the birth of Christ.
    That's a pretty stupid thing to write, even by your standards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    You don't know much about anything, do you? Thankfully, the Founding Fathers were smart enough to protect our nation from idiotic zealots like you. Do we have to go through this every time Christmas rolls around? It's a made-up holiday, based mostly on pagan rituals about the winter solstice. If you took all the secular and pagan aspects out of it, Americans would lose their minds...and interest.
    Christmas is a real holiday. What planet are you from???? Want a phony made up holiday? Try this one - Kwanzaa. The made up part of Christmas is the commercialization of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    DITTO. Our entire society is based on the birth of Christ. The biggest holiday in the U.S. is Christmas. heck, even our calendar is based on the birth and death of Christ (AD and BC). Curious question BC is before Christ, AD is after death, what are the years in between?
    What is the matter? Is "Wiki" and "Google" down?

    PS: AD is the abbreviation for "Anno Domini"... Latin for "Year of our Lord"

    PPS: Since in your mind, the biggest holiday is Christmas... give us all a gift... go away and never, ever post again!
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Meltzer is a crap sitirrer. One of Framingham's polling places was moved to a church hall while the building it was normally in was being renovated.

    He filed suit against the town, as he stated that as a Jew he could not enter another faith's building, as it was against his religion....
    I keep telling the IRS that it is against my religion to pay taxes, but they never get back to me. Anybody have Meltzer's phone number?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    PS: AD is the abbreviation for "Anno Domini"... Latin for "Year of our Lord"
    I live in one of those little towns that still looks like it did in the 50s. All official town paperwork is still dated "In the year of our Lord". Don't tell the PC zealots.

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    Once Christians quit being vicious warriors, their fate was pretty much sealed. Now society is run by a bunch of whining sissies.

    And our nation was founded on Deistic, not Christian, principles.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Christmas is a real holiday. What planet are you from???? Want a phony made up holiday? Try this one - Kwanzaa. The made up part of Christmas is the commercialization of it.
    Every post you make continues to demonstrate just how uneducated you really are, despite your constant crowing to the contrary. Seriously; do some real research, or STFU.

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    Default The Irony...

    I love holiday fights! My Jesus and your Ala should "rassle"....

    I think it funny that, while studying Behavioral Emergencies last night the Holiday Season was near the top of the suicide check list.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny46 View Post
    And our nation was founded on Deistic, not Christian, principles.
    Exactly. Many of the Founding Fathers despised organized religion and its influence on government, hence our completely secular Constitution. Believe me, if they had wanted to establish America as a "Christian nation" or any other type of theocracy for that matter, they certainly could have done so. Why this fact continues to elude modern day Christians is beyond me.

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    A personal pet peeve of mine:

    When I hear the people that always complain that "This is a Christian nation, Christmas is a US holiday, Christianity this, Jesus that..blah blah blah" I like to ask them the following question:

    When was the last time you prayed? When was the last time you shared the story of Christ with another person?

    To me, Christianity is about a personal relationship with my Savior and the great commission. Not about Christmas lights and decorations.

    If the PC world manages to remove every piece of Christmas decoration from this country, it would not change the fact that Jesus was born to take the punishment for all sin.

    If you take away a "Holiday" that is celebrated on the Winter Solstice, full of pegan idols, and is more commercialized than Valentines Day, it would not change the fact that God loved us so much that He was born into a world that ended up killing Him.

    Jesus was not born to look at pretty Christmas decorations. He was born to take the punishment that we deserve, and to allow us to have a relationship with our Father.

    That's the end of my soap box, I'll be quiet now, thank you.
    Last edited by MarcusKspn; 12-02-2009 at 10:47 AM.
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    Never had any issused like that in my area.
    Kinda sad to see that ONE individual is spoiling a tradition of 50 years over such a small issue.
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    The PC Police thinks by generalizing everything makes it better? How are we gonna win the diversity dillemma if the PC Police keeps on saying we can't express ourselves for the sake of hurting others.

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