AFA of PA ACTION ALERT
December 23, 2011
Ellwood City Nativity Scene
Several weeks ago we sent information to the Borough of Ellwood City; the borough manager, Dom Vicarri immediately called us for additional information. I, in turn, contacted our legal counsel, Liberty Counsel, about the situation. They have communicated several times and advised the borough as to steps they can take to avoid litigation. The issue has come down not to the Christmas display itself, but comments made by some of those representing the borough. The display itself, with the inclusion of Santa, the menorah, etc. alongside the Nativity scene, is constitutionally sound and defensible. However the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is holding the borough hostage because of the above referenced comments especially the offer to include their banner in the display. As Liberty Counsel has advised the borough this could be very quickly resolved by allowing the banner to be included, thus opening the entire display up as a public forum. In turn, allowing you and others to display banners in favor of Christmas and the borough and opposing the FFRF. Click here to see how Chester County handled the Freethought Society, another group of atheists associated with FFRF. However, Borough Council has decided to give into the demands of the FFRF and move the display across the street next year. This would be an unnecessary capitulation of our constitutionally protected freedom of religion and a clear victory of the FFRF. Their original threats were hollow and they would never have won in a court of law. Again, the problem was created when some of those officially representing the borough made unwise comments to the FFRF. Yesterday we again faxed a copy of this article to Mr. Vicarri after he called and left a message that there was a group of concerned citizens who wanted to fight the effort to get the Christmas display moved off borough property.
1.) If you live in the Borough of Ellwood City, please call TODAY and speak with Borough Manager Dom Vicarri. His number is (724) 758-7777. Here’s what you need to say to him: follow the recommendations of Liberty Counsel to display the FFRF banner and thus open the display up as a public forum.
2.) If you do not live in the borough, but know someone who lives there and is concerned about the threat of removing their Nativity scene, please share this information with them.