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, http://www.eagletribune.com

Related
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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Sorry, si realy happend!! Merry christmas to all.
and this is wat our country is coming to this is absolutly rediculous.we have the freedom of our own religion for a reason and can celebrate it however the hell we want. i say merry christmas to all.
It states that the government shall not establish and force people to worship one religion. It doesn't say that you are not allowed to display and worship your way or not to worship if you so choose.

we have the freedom of our own religion for a reason and can celebrate it however the hell we want.


Really what is the confusion here? Nobody is stating you can't celebrate your religion however you want, you absolutely have that freedom. If you want to walk down the street yelling praise and saying Merry Christmas, that is your right, nobody is taking that from you.

Yes, the Constitution states that the govt shall not establish one religion, and what do you think a fire station is? It is a govt building. It is a service representing all people and all faiths. People may not have had a problem with the sign for 50 years, but there is an issue now, is it truly this big of deal? Sure this is most likely a case of "pissing in the Cheerios" but still, there is no reason for a stupid lawsuit just because of a sign on a publicly owned building.
WTF??? This political correctness has got to come to an abrupt end at some point. Why doesn't the majority speak out against this stuff?? I don't remember things being this way when I was a kid. Next thing you know, someone is going to complain about a Santa Claus parade and that will be gone! Enough is enough!!!
You have got to be kidding me - again! Someone bowed to political correctness by putting "In God We Trust" on the edge of our new coins now some jackass(s) want to elimanate "Merry Christmas". How is that any different from Quansa or however it is spelled and any of the other holidays celebrated by the various religous denominations in this country that is displayed at the churches, synagoges, temples, etc. We need a reality check bad and soon.

Sorry for any and all typos as I am really p-offed right now.
Maybe the "selectmen" need to be unselected at the next election. I guess some of the principles that this country was founded on are going to the wayside.
This is a bunch of horse hockey.. We are a country founded on god, sweat, and tears. I see nothing wrong with saying "Merry Chirstmas!". Why should anyone who believes in christmas be denied the right to celebrate it with putting up a sign. It is only a sign. Why should the people of the community or the United States have to stop all their freedoms of expression, religion and speech to make other religions happy. This is a melting pot society if you don't like it go back to where you came from or learn to adapt.
I see your point but its christmas which is for the kids and family. The religious side of the holiday is falling away so i don't see a reason why to ban displays or saying Merry christmas etc.. If this is the case and what is happening then the next thing will be. You are not allowed to decorate for your favorite football team or St. Patricks day, or the Fourth of July because it may upset someone. Unfortunately Lawsuits are the only way this country knows how to deal with a problem. Instead of telling the cry baby not to look at the sign or to display his own sign everyone in the town gets punished. So since displays are only allowed up for a DAY does this also affect the citizens homes?
It must be nice in todays climate and times that people have the extra time to find things to complain about. Our country is founded on religious pricipals, our court rooms have you swear to tell the thruth the whole thruth and nothing but the truth so help you...GOD. Why would they do that? Maybe because the founding fathers knew a thing or two about what that means.
It seems like everyone has the right to have their religion displayed and are the first to complain if they are discriminated against. Well guess what, for this firefighter it STOPS HERE AND NOW. I believe in GOD, and in his son Jesus Christ. I believe in the firefighters prayers and in my brothers. When the chips are on the line and I have to be there to save someone or be saved by someone I pray to GOD that they are there.
It is rediculous that "selectment" think they have the right to do this and get away with it. also the people who are complaining about it need to calm down and step down from there high horse. if you dont like something or you dont believe in it then dont look and it. just because they dont want to see it doesnt mean that no one should.
I am surprised at the number of people that haven't bothered to read the article included with the post. It really explains it all.

There was/is no conspiracy to take away your christmas, your religion, your right to believe or your freedom of speech. It's all explained here - http://www.eagletribune.com/permalink/local_story_335011205.html

Yet how many people jumped in and parroted the same thing(s) about freedom of speech, the constitution, and that if someone doesn't like it they should leave this country? How many people were thinking that the town of north andover was banning christmas signs, decorations and the holiday itself?

What happened to that great christian compassion? There is a palpable anger in many of the responses. How is that christian? Hell, how is that american? It would appear that many of the respondents do not believe that freedom of speech applies to other people, other groups or other religions, or to anyone that happens to disagree with them.

I saw little respect for opposing views or non-christian religions. The prevailing themes were that this is a christian nation, it was founded as a christian nation, and that opposing views must/need/should leave this country. One person (who then deleted his response) thought that if someone wanted signs up for ramadan that some 'politically correct' politician would allow it. Think about that.

While it is obvious that the majority of this nation is -or at least loudly proclaims itself to be- christian, many of the comments came across as quite un-christian. Didn't jesus teach love, acceptance, inclusion and compassion?

The following from Thomas Jefferson:
"The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society."
"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
"In a government bottomed on the will of all, the...liberty of every individual citizen becomes interesting to all. "
"I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others. "

I would add that where discussions pertaining to paid v volunteer generally get shut down long before they get as far as this discussion did, this one has been allowed to persist, without regard to some of the negativity and personal attacks herein.

I'm guessing that the WebChief felt that this one was better behaved than others that have been closed (although with far less rancor than this one). Or that he agrees with the majority.
Pugsley67 proves my point(s) admirably.

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