NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - An annual "Merry Christmas" sign on a North Andover fire station has been ordered removed.

Town officials told firefighters last week to take down the homemade sign after they said people complained.

Fire Chief William Martineau said Monday that the sign was made by firefighters about 50 years ago and never had been an issue before.

The order comes a week after selectmen voted to allow a menorah display on the town common for only one day instead of all eight days of Hanukkah. They said a new town common policy only allows displays to stay up for one day, no matter what they are.

Town Manager Mark Rees said the town's public buildings should not be displaying things specific to a particular religion.


Information from: Eagle Tribune,

Bah! Humbug!: Town outlaws Merry Christmas sign

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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ok what is this world turing into? i'm sorry but for really what is wrong with merry christmas? if fact "MERRY CHRISTMAS'' every one.
Also, allow me to point out to you that describing the perpetrators of Mr. Damour's death as a 'herd of animals' could be considered by some as racist.
Let's not make the discussion something it's not.

The mere fact that a human being(s) trampled another human being in the interest of grabbing a bargain tends to put them in the "animal" category in my books as well. Nothing to do with race- purely based on their actions....

I don't often quote Frenchmen, but a frog of some distinction once wrote about the "tyranny of the majority". Although Jack is clearly wrong, he's not wrong because he is nearly alone.

Do yourself a favor and check out the quote.
Why do we as Free speaking Americans have to always BEND OVER BACKWARDS to please the minority. This is totally STUPID.
Mac, Well fine and dandy. Good to see you take these things in the spirit in which they were intended.
I did indeed look at the link you so conveniently provided. I would not make any assumptions on the one picture of people before the doors opened. Other than that they must have gotten there earliest. As for comments about racism, hey, you called it a ghetto, not me (I would have thought it was just the inner-city). I still stand by 'trampled by animals' comment. It had nothing to do with race, simple an opinion of a group of people that would behave that way for a sale. That ain't human no matter the color.

How is it that my "strong views on freedom of religion, and freedom of speech supercede the rights of others." Really I'm going to need clarification on this one. You are more than able to express freedom of speech and religion, I don't care one way or the other. I simply agreed that if the town manager says take the sign down, it comes down. It was on municipal property. End of story, really.

Anything else I've written was in response to some rather highly negative (in my opinion) comments regarding the article as well as my comments. I guess then, in your eyes I'm the only one that has trampled on your rights? The only one that's done any trampling at all?

You mention my 'strong views' and I would agree with you. Yet those others with equally strong views (that apparently are aligned with yours) you don't find objectionable? Curious.
All this argument/discussion over a Pagan Holiday, go figure...........
Jack,I dont agree with your opinion on this subject ,but I STRONGLY defend your right to it .And stand by your right to it BROTHER. This country is built on FREEDOM of speech and EVERYONES right to it. Once that right is gone WE are in BIG trouble. 225 years ago give or take a few years ,a bunch of guys with crazy idea's used to have to meet in secret in safe houses or taverns for fear of reprisal from the british for what they said or what they thought"First they took my guns,then my speech,then they came for me....."Merry Christmas to you and your family Jack .Sorry if I offended you ,Oh well your not the first person or the last !. Keep up the posts
I disagree Michael. A community going about inviting lawsuits for something as so frivoulous as a holiday display is assinine. The elected officials are supposed to be good stewards of the taxpayer and to provide the services to the taxpayer. There is nothing saying that elected officials should take on a frivolous lawsuit just because the majority disagree with a sign being taken down. What does that tell people of other faiths in the community? Their voice is no more important? Fight for the display of a Merry Christmas, so what about the Muslim, Jewish, Buddist etc neighbor that calls 911. Are they any less important because they don't share the same sentiment? How does removing a holiday display at a public building really infringe on your personal rights?

Are you saying EVERYONE in the state of Massachusettes can not say Christmas tree or under God? I highly, highly, most extremely doubt that. There is absolutely nothing against having a holiday display in your yard, displaying Merry Christmas or even recreating a live Nativity for all that matters. No body is saying you can't do that, in fact that is why we have freedoms...PERSONAL freedoms, nothing saying that something that belongs to the public (IE firestation) is being infringed upon. I have the freedom to say Merry Christmas, I have the freedom to display what I want in my yard, however, if a display at the station is to be removed, then so be it.

I personally have no problem with any religious display, I try to go to church and live the teachings, but I don't see a reason to be all worked up about a display of Merry Christmas being removed.
Jack, I wouldn't have you change your opinion for anything in the world. This is America and just because most of us disagree with you and have let you know about it does not mean that we need you to change your opinion. kum by yah (or however it is spelled) is a kids song. We are all adults and can tollerate diverse opinions. But we also have the right to express ours.
You my friend, are amazing. If i didnt know any better i would say i had a twin.
Though Jack and I don't always agree, it is not unlike some of the others that may have disagreements.
What we ALL agree on is that every one of us have a right to express our opinions.
Whether you agree or not is NEVER the issue. The issue will always be an unfettered right to say what we believe.
We all have our reasons for harboring the opinions that we share.
And we shouldn't be attacked for expressing them.
Disagree/agree and move on.
Tim, no offense was taken brother. Thanks for thought.
Stay safe

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