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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Whatever happened to freedom of speech, or freedom of anything. Its terrible that the small groups of people try to rule this country. Yet those of us that care about freedom sit back and let them. Its terrible what our country has become when you cant have a sign that says merry christmas or happy easter.
John you are correct, the fire station is a government building and the constitution protects the "one religion" issue for discriminatory reasons. This is why most schools stopped celebrating certain religious holidays all together.

Ending tradition is hard to swallow, but it probably should have been removed along time ago. I suggest making a new sign that says "Happy Holidays" that would cover all religious groups.
What is wrong with this world? One day they will all have to answer to why they left Christ out of Christmas. Be what it may, I grew up knowing that Christmas was a time to celebrate the Birth of Jesus. I am ashamed of our world today.
Thanks for your concern Ralph, but after 4 years of Marine Corps Bug Juice the P.C. Kool-Aid is tolerable as long as I have my "nose plug by Limbaugh" on.
bullshit..leave the sign up.
I agree, there should be no issues with Happy Holidays, because several religions observe a holiday in Dec.

What gets me is the number of people up in arms about something not even in their own community. I wonder how many would seriously fight the issue if this was their own departments. Stating that nobody complained in the last 50 years doesn't mean that nobody may have taken offense. It just means nobody said anything for 50 years, I guess slavery and suppressing women rights and even civil rights were OK too because nobody spoke up for years.

A sign at a public building is basically the same as everyone working or affiliated saying the same thing. You know if there is someone other than a Christian religion do they really have the same freedom of speech for the workplace? Why should their voice be stifled because the "mob" prefers something else? Would people be offended if other religious symbols were displayed on public property? Most people here would probably say no, but what if the display was controversial, what if you had Satanists who wanted to display their religious symbols or message on public grounds? How many people would be calling for the removal of that? How many people would take offense?

When a public entity allows one religion it should allow all, despite any controversy, but where is the line drawn between accepted and taboo? In this case, the Rabbi was upset that the Hannakah candle was displayed for one day. By the communities own rule, the Merry Christmas sign should also be one day. In the end it is easier to just keep things "PC" depsite personal objections, than to invite a circus which surely does follow.
How petty and sad. Our consitution grants us freedom of religion not freedom from religion. In a country with millions of different people with millions of different ideas and beliefs we need to be more tolerant. As a christian I would never be offended if somebody wished me Happy Hanukkah and I have never been offended by a menorah.
John and FETC;
I don't know if you've noticed or not but, regardless of logic people are responding in nothing more than a knee-jerk manner. Look at the posts after my last (longer) one. People don't understand the situation and do not want to understand it. They are most comfortable reacting to what they perceive is the issue rather than to the issue directly.

I have tried to point it out multiple times in this discussion yet only 2 or 3 actually directed their response to me and what I had written (and a couple of them were rather rude about it). In other words few if any of them have bothered to even read what others have written, much less bother to go the article linked in the post.

In fact one could almost assume that the WebTeam actually wrote the post in such a way as to slant the issue to one about freedom of speech and religion when in fact, that was not the case. Really it was more of a tit for tat issue between the aggrieved rabbi and the town council. But hey, why let facts get in the way.

People perceive this issue in a way that precludes them from stepping back, reading and thinking about what actually happened and what has been said. This at least (to me) conclusively proves why a democracy is so much more effective and equal than a theocracy could ever be.
It's time for us to tell the politically correct crowd to as we use to say in the Marine Corps "pound sand"
Take your pick.

How "Merry Christmas" is said .....

Afrikaans: Geseënde Kersfees
Afrikander: Een Plesierige Kerfees
African/ Eritrean/ Tigrinja: Rehus-Beal-Ledeats
Albanian:Gezur Krislinjden
Arabic: Milad Majid
Argentine: Feliz Navidad
Armenian: Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand
Azeri: Tezze Iliniz Yahsi Olsun
Bahasa Malaysia: Selamat Hari Natal
Basque: Zorionak eta Urte Berri On!
Bengali: Shuvo Naba Barsha
Bohemian: Vesele Vanoce
Bosnian: (BOSANSKI) Cestit Bozic i Sretna Nova godina
Brazilian: Feliz Natal
Breton: Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat
Bulgarian: Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo
Catalan: Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Nou!
Chile: Feliz Navidad
Chinese: (Cantonese) Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun
Chinese: (Mandarin) Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan
Choctaw: Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito
Columbia: Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo
Cornish: Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth
Corsian: Pace e salute
Crazanian: Rot Yikji Dol La Roo
Cree: Mitho Makosi Kesikansi
Croatian: Sretan Bozic
Czech: Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok
Danish: Glædelig Jul
Duri: Christmas-e- Shoma Mobarak
Dutch: Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast
English: Merry Christmas
Eskimo: (inupik) Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo!
Esperanto: Gajan Kristnaskon
Estonian: Rõõmsaid Jõulupühi
Ethiopian: (Amharic) Melkin Yelidet Beaal
Faeroese: Gledhilig jol og eydnurikt nyggjar!
Farsi: Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad
Finnish: Hyvaa joulua
Flemish: Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar
French: Joyeux Noel
Frisian: Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier!
Galician: Bo Nada
Gaelic: Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr!
German: Fröhliche Weihnachten
Greek: Kala Christouyenna!
Haiti: (Creole) Jwaye Nowel or to Jesus Edo Bri'cho o Rish D'Shato Brichto
Hausa: Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!
Hawaiian: Mele Kalikimaka
Hebrew: Mo'adim Lesimkha. Chena tova
Hindi: Shub Naya Baras (good New Year not Merry Christmas)
Hungarian: Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket
Icelandic: Gledileg Jol
Indonesian: Selamat Hari Natal
Iraqi: Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Irish: Nollaig Shona Dhuit, or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat
Iroquois: Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson honungradon nagwutut. Ojenyunyat osrasay.
Italian: Buone Feste Natalizie
Japanese: Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto
Jiberish: Mithag Crithagsigathmithags
Korean: Sung Tan Chuk Ha
Lao: souksan van Christmas
Latin: Natale hilare et Annum Faustum!
Latvian: Prieci'gus Ziemsve'tkus un Laimi'gu Jauno Gadu!
Lausitzian:Wjesole hody a strowe nowe leto
Lettish: Priecigus Ziemassvetkus
Lithuanian: Linksmu Kaledu
Low Saxon: Heughliche Winachten un 'n moi Nijaar
Luxembourgish: Schèine Chreschtdaag an e gudde Rutsch
Macedonian: Sreken Bozhik
Maltese: IL-Milied It-tajjeb
Manx: Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa
Maori: Meri Kirihimete
Marathi: Shub Naya Varsh (good New Year not Merry Christmas)
Navajo: Merry Keshmish
Norwegian: God Jul, or Gledelig Jul
Occitan: Pulit nadal e bona annado
Papiamento: Bon Pasco
Papua New Guinea: Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu
Pennsylvania German: En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr!
Peru: Feliz Navidad y un Venturoso Año Nuevo
Philipines: Maligayan Pasko!
Polish: Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia or Boze Narodzenie
Portuguese:Feliz Natal
Pushto: Christmas Aao Ne-way Kaal Mo Mobarak Sha
Rapa-Nui (Easter Island): Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi. Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua
Rhetian: Bellas festas da nadal e bun onn
Romanche: (sursilvan dialect): Legreivlas fiastas da Nadal e bien niev onn!
Rumanian: Sarbatori vesele or Craciun fericit
Russian: Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom
Sami: Buorrit Juovllat
Samoan: La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou
Sardinian: Bonu nadale e prosperu annu nou
Scots Gaelic: Nollaig chridheil huibh
Serbian: Hristos se rodi.
Singhalese: Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa
Slovak: Vesele Vianoce. A stastlivy Novy Rok
Slovene: Vesele Bozicne Praznike Srecno Novo Leto or Vesel Bozic in srecno Novo leto
Spanish: Feliz Navidad
Swedish: God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År
Tagalog: Maligayamg Pasko. Masaganang Bagong Taon
Tamil: (Tamizh) Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal (good New Year not Merry Christmas)
Trukeese: (Micronesian) Neekiriisimas annim oo iyer seefe feyiyeech!
Thai: Sawadee Pee Mai or souksan wan Christmas
Turkish: Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Ukrainian: Srozhdestvom Kristovym or Z RIZDVOM HRYSTOVYM
Urdu: Naya Saal Mubarak Ho (good New Year not Merry Christmas)
Vietnamese: Chuc Mung Giang Sinh
Welsh: Nadolig Llawen
Yoruba: E ku odun, e ku iye'dun!" target="_blank">
I am not an American but i had been in NY for some years,i had seen how Christian,Muslims,Jewish,etc.celebrate freely their holidays and other celebrations. I think it's the fault of politicians there,this is unfair for the citizens of North Andover,Massachussets.
As an American, the action taken against the firehall makes me very worried about the future of our country. I am not a christian. But I believe you have the right to express whatever religious belief you have. Putting a sign up celebrating your religious belief offends me in no way. If it did indeed offend someone, then it offended them. Deal with it. I see offensive stuff every day. We all do. But being an American DOES NOT give me the right to take away someone elses rights of expression. Read the full article again. If it is a legal matter (i.e. town laws or regulations) then you as an American need to step up to the plate and change it. I guess I'm not seeing this as a religious matter. That "sucking" sound you hear are your rights going down the drain. I suggest we plug the drain.

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