FFRF victory in Ellwood City, Pa. — crèche will go

FFRF thanks the Borough Council of Ellwood City for honoring the Constitution in the face of a cross-toting mob and a mayor who would rather preach than lead. After weeks of communication with FFRF over their original letter on December 1, 2011, the Borough council, at the recommendation of their attorney, passed a resolution yesterday that will remove the nativity scene from public grounds for good after this year.

The council voted 4-2 in favor of moving the nativity to private property.

Borough Attorney Edward Leymaire presented the council with the two options: “to keep the display in front of the municipal building, with the addition of a banner supplied by [FFRF], or to maintain the display as it is for this year and move it onto private property the following year.” Council President Anthony DeCarbo voted in favor of moving the nativity to private property because, “We took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Pennsylvania.” FFRF commends DeCarbo and the other three council members for making the sensible and constitutional choice.

Mayor Court, who originally offered to hang FFRF’s banner only to break his word after FFRF had mailed the banner, did not agree with the decision, but had no vote.

FFRF’s banner reads:

“At this Season of the Winter Solstice, may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

“This whole kerfuffle shows why the Founders wisely chose to build a wall of separation between state and church — because religion in government is so very divisive,” said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. The solution was simple: move the nativity to private property.

FFRF would also like to thank Prof. Stephen Hirtle of Pittsburgh for his time and dedication to upholding the constitutional principle of the separation of state and church.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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