A new Nativity Scene to be unveiled

Ellwood City borough workers began setting up holiday decorations on the front lawn of the Municipal Building on Friday; yet, one display was missing – the Nativity Scene.

New holiday display in former Nativity Scene spot.

Because of a threatened lawsuit by the atheist group “Freedom From Religion Foundation” of Madison, Wis., the Nativity Scene will be off borough property for the first time in over 50 years.  Instead, a Santa Claus and snowman decorate the spot formerly reserved for the religious display.

But, with the help of Ellwood City attorney Joseph Bellissimo, a new nativity will be erected a few blocks away from its former spot.  Bellissimo, owner of the former St. Agatha Church on Fifth Street, is helping to start a new tradition for borough residents.

According to Ellwood City Mayor Anthony Court, on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m., Bellissimo will officially unveil the new Nativity Scene in the front lawn of the former church.

“I still believe the Nativity should be at the Municipal Building, but I’m happy with the new spot,” said Court.  Mayor Court was very vocal last year during the controversy surrounding the Nativity and the atheist group from Wisconsin.

The Mayor also said that he will be helping to create signs that will say, “Ellwood City is a Nativity Scene,” in support of Ellwood’s new Nativity Scene.  He said they will be on a first-come, first served basis.

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17 comments on “A new Nativity Scene to be unveiled

  1. David Williamson on said:

    Thank god you’re keeping your religion in your church.

  2. Sarah Hart on said:

    What is wrong with the Mayor. The borough cannnot ” officially” unveil the new Nativity Scene. The whole point if the City Council vote is that the nativity cannot be sponsored by the borough government. Furthermore, the sign “Ellwood City is A Nativity Scene” is just asking for a lawsuit.

    Mayor Court please stop pushing your religion on the rest of us. In case you haven’t heard, there is a separation of church and state under the 1st amendment.

    • Ms. Hart, Did you read your comment? So you want your rights but in doing so you think its okay to take away Mayor Courts rights. Its just a shame that atheist have no tolerance or love for man kind. Gods word teaches us to love and accept your neighbor. This is why Jesus died for us. For all of us sinners. He even died for you Ms. Hart. Someday you will understand why his birth was so important to mankind. Until then its always better to love thy neighbor and accept all religions. True or false.

      • Sarah Hart on said:

        Anthony Court as a private citizen can go to church, put a nativity in his front lawn and put any sign he wants on his car. At the same time, the borough cannot officially endorse a religious icon or have a religious symbol as its town motto. This is basic Civics 101. It is why the nativity on the town hall lawn needed to come down. I am sorry that you hate the US Constitution so much, but it is the document that made this country great.

        • This must be really embarrassing for you but I just didn’t even give two poops about what you just said there.
          ‘One nation under God.’ ;)

        • TruthBeTold on said:

          You may want to re-examine your “understanding” of the Constitution. First there is not “seperation of church and state” in the Constitution. The concept comes from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a Baptist Association. In fact the one thing that the Constitution does say appears in the 1st Amendment and states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Let me draw you attention to two things. First, it states “Congress” not Ellwood City Council. The amendment was written to prevent the establishment of a NATIONAL religion. Second, you may want to stop ignoring the second part that states, “…or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, …” Clearly you see this document as some sort of “Living” document where most Americans do not. In fact if it were not for a bunch of rich lawyers your bullying would probably be ignored.

        • Sarah Hart, May I suggest you take some time and actually read the constitution. Particularly the 1st amendment.

          • If you ppl dont like it then move! These atheists need to quit pushing their “non-religion” on us! This town has done the same thing for 50 years and all of a sudden its a problem. Christmas is about Jesus Christ and his birth and always will be! Get over it and look the other way if you dont like what you see!

          • Megan W on said:

            LOL! And I suppose you’ve read it. *eye-roll*

    • Susan Zikeli on said:

      The article you are responding to states that Mr. Bellisimo will be unveiling the nativity not the municipality of Ellwood City. I hope to be able to attend the unveiling of the nativity.

  3. Sarah Hart on said:

    The Supreme Court is final arbitrator of Constitutional arguments. The Court in 1879, and many times since, stated that words in the 1st Amendment establishes “a wall of separation between church and state”. It is a metaphor that the courts have adopted. Furthermore, the 14th Amendment means that the principles in the Bill of Rights apply to local governments, not just Congress.

    In 1989, the Supreme Court ruled that Allegheny County must remove the nativity from the county courthouse because it violated the 1st Amendment. Go read this ruling and you will understand why goverment-sponsored nativities are in violation the Constitution. The other arguments made above are completely irrelevant.

    • I just want to let you know that you were basically ‘schooled’ in the comments above. So your comments are irrelevant. Maybe its just because you are not as passionate about your beliefs as the rest of us. I publicly and in big ways show my beliefs, as Mayor Court and it is both our right to do so. Just as you have the right to talk badly about a person in a very high position. In some other countries you would have been executed already. Hiding behind our constitution and making it say what you want it to doesn’t make it right. As well as what happened in Pittsburgh, just because it was ruled that way doesn’t make it right.
      By the way because of people like you there will be more Nativities in this town that you ever seen before. You are welcome!

      • Megan W on said:

        Mmmm I don’t think anyone here has “schooled” Sarah Hart, mmmkay? I’m pretty sure you could learn a thing or two if you’d just pull out a dictionary to help you understand what she’s saying. And there will be more nativity scenes, you say? That’s awesome. Seriously. Have at it! As an atheist I will never argue your right to display the nativity scene on your own property, or on church property. Those ARE your rights and I fully agree with and endorse them. Just don’t put up the display on taxpayer funded property UNLESS you’re willing to allow me some space for my big Humanist display, too. Get it yet?

  4. The atheist group should stay out of it, not there town, town council its displaying not endorsing and I still have not heard anybody complain about have Christmas off. Why dont you protest the WH to not display a Christmas Tree? Or The National Christmas Tree in DC, if your going to go for it, go all the way

    • 1. Nice grammar. 2. A “Christmas” tree is not an outright religious display like the nativity scene. As atheists, we must choose our battles and at this time, fighting against outright religious displays on taxpayer funded property is at the top of the list. Christmas trees are down at the bottom. 3. If the mayor put up a picture of Osama bin Laden giving the thumbs up sign on the lawn, would you still say he is not endorsing a particular idea? Displaying a scene from the bible IS endorsing Christianity. Why else would the mayor have refused the atheist banner? Because he doesn’t want to ENDORSE atheism. My goodness you people are thick.

  5. dilberth on said:

    As long as the City of Elwood is retiring the myth of the birth of that little baby, they should retire the Santa Claus myth also. Wreaths and decorations of the season are enough. Kick that big jerk Santa from the display also.

  6. Megan Wieser on said:

    Sarah Hart, David Williamson, and Dilberth, thank you for being vocal about your beliefs. I agree with both of you all the way. Stay true to yourselves!! It’s sad that everyone who is arguing against you here sounds like complete morons. It’s easy to see who the educated folks are here. I’m glad the nativity scene is where it belongs, on church property. You’ll never see an atheist argue against religious displays on church property and that’s where the morons here are getting it wrong. We aren’t trying to take away your right to put up the display – the display simply shouldn’t be on taxpayer funded property that atheists like me pay into. That’s the simple truth of the matter and if you’re too dimwitted to understand that… well… ignorance is bliss I guess.

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