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Menorah Lighting Followed by Nativity Scene in Haddonfield

Citizens for a Christian Christmas dedicate creche Thursday.

A group called Citizens for a Christian Christmas held a brief ceremony Thursday afternoon to dedicate a creche in front of the borough library a day after a Jewish group dedicated a Hanukkah menorah yards away.

The Rev. Jim Dever, the pastor of Christ the King Catholic Church read Bible verses as about a dozen people gathered in front of the Nativity scene depicting the birth of Jesus. Organizers of the group said they wanted a Christian symbol at library point during the holiday season in which Christmas and Hanukkah are celebrated.

, a permanent evergreen decorated for the season. A twist this year was calling it a Christmas tree instead of a holiday tree as they had in previous years.

This is the second year for the Nativity scene here. Organizers said its important to have the creche displayed at the library.

"It's a religious symbol for us," said Loula Passes, a leader of Citizens for a Christian Christmas, a group largely composed of local senior citizens. "It's a remembrance of the birth of Christ. The only criteria I would think for anybody to display anything here is respect for each other and our beliefs."

The borough solicitor and commissioners approved the creche after Passes' group filed a permit, as it had last year. Private groups can display religious symbols on public property but a municipality cannot, borough solicitor Mario Iavicoli said.

But some locals still question the display of any religious symbols on public property.

"For the life of me, I just cannot understand why these religious symbols, nativity and menorah, need to be placed on public property," a Patch reader's comment said. "I guess the large nativity scene in front of the church on Kings Highway isn't enough? Or the other nine churches in town? What’s going to happen when the 'Devil Worshipers of America' want to put an inflatable devil next to the menorah and nativity scene? Haddonfield is playing with fire here, if you ask me."

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Reed Rothchild December 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Is this Gaza or Haddonfield? As a great man once said: "Well, you've got your diamonds, And you've got your pretty clothes, and the chauffeur drives your cars, You let everybody know...
Marie December 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Not sure what the above comment is supposed to mean, but, I don't think there is anything so horribly wrong with it - it's Christmas - so that means all evidence of Christ needs to be avoided? In what parallel universe? When I was growing up, Christmas symbols and Menorahs stood side by side in PUBLIC school - I am telling no atheists/agnostics what to believe - but I will NOT be told what to believe by them in turn.
Olive Blacock December 14, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Marie - No one is telling you what to believe. Go to church or synagogue all day long if you want. Knock yourself out! In America, you can practice whatever religion you want. All we are saying is that public land should be free from any religious symbols. God knows (pun intended) we have enough churches in this town to display any mythical symbols about an immaculate conception you want.
HaddonGirl December 14, 2012 at 01:53 PM
That first comment is a reference to a Rolling Stones song, "Playing With Fire". It's pretty much totally irrelevant to the situation. Marie you are spot on. There is no Christmas without acknowledging Christ! No "Holiday" Season with recognizing what the "holidays" are. Merry Christmas to you, and Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish neighbors.
HaddonGirl December 14, 2012 at 01:59 PM
So Olive, are there too many churches in town? And does the HUGE nativity smack in the middle of downtown on Kings Highway bug you? Sounds like it.
Maryann Campling December 14, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Olive B. Immaculate Conception?.....What does that have to do with the Nativity? Reed R: "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might find...you get what you need." (since we are quoting Rolling Stones' songs
Olive Blacock December 14, 2012 at 02:26 PM
HaddonGirl - I'm not bothered by a private church putting a nativity on their land at all. They can do whatever they want. Again, knock yourself out. No one loves virgin births more than me!
Bill Duhart (Editor) December 14, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Folks, it's just been pointed out to me the "Olive..." name is a vulgar gag name favored by Howard Stern listeners... I didn't immediately get it...go figure. Anyway, "Olive's" comments will be moderated from here on in. The comments aren't vulgar, however, and will remain. "Olive," if you are reading, you're welcome back into the dialogue if you want to use another, non-vulgar handle. Cheers.
Lizzie Haddon December 14, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Olive: You are confusing 1) Immaculate Conception and 2) Virgin Birth. Look it up. Two different church doctines. Christmas is not about #1 - it's about #2. And why can't public land have religious/holiday symbols on them? Is that somehow establishing one state religion? Don't think so. And banning them would be prohibiting the "free excercise thereof" (of religion). Go check the constitution and get back to us. Nothing wrong here.
Marie December 16, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Olive - or whomever you are - your comment have shown me what you are - and what you are not. I hope you find happiness one day.
Olive Blacock December 17, 2012 at 02:20 AM
What would you call the conception of a baby without sex? Immaculate? Or, miraculous? I don't follow church doctrine, I follow common sense. Anyway, just so I'm clear, Lizzie Haddon, you are OK with me applying for a permit to place a giant devil next to the nativity and menorah next year? Or, how about a sign that feeds "All religions are a myth". You're fine with that? OK, I'll get started on that. Just google "Santa Monica Nativity" if you want to see how this story will end.
HaddonGirl December 17, 2012 at 05:45 PM
@Soup: You're just spiteful and seem here to be rather unkind. There is a time and place for everything. Is the religion which the menorah represents also a myth which should be disallowed a display, or is it just the nativity that is so irksome? Please find something else -- preferably positive -- to focus your considerable energy on. Taking joy from many does not give it to the few. It simply makes all less joyful.
Olive Blacock December 18, 2012 at 01:41 AM
HaddonGirl, I ask you - Is christianity or judaism the true religion? Which one is not a myth? Please tell me which one is right and I'll follow that one.
Mike McCready December 18, 2012 at 11:31 AM
I have to say, I think Olive is trying to do something positive. Trying to rid the world of very destructive myths is doing something positive. Love is all this world needs not unsubstantiated divisive stories that only work to keep us apart as opposed to bringing us together.
HaddonGirl December 18, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Clearly I feel differently about Christianity and Judaism than Soup and McCready. And I think it's fairly safe to say that a majority of people also do. But feelings are not what rule here. It's freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion that is set forth in founding documents. Public displays of faith based celebrations do not constitute the establishment of a state religion. Where's the tolerance?
Marie December 20, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Olive - Happy Holidays. Whatever that means to you......maybe something nice will happen to you to help rid you of your obsession with and resentment against people that believe in ancient religions. Yes, I know - go ahead - pull apart my words, mince words, find the greyer shades of meaning.....HaddonGirl - forget about "tolerance" - it is least displayed by those who purport to be great supporters of it. How shameful, by the way, to have used the username you did when you initially posted - speaks volumes about your character.
Marie December 20, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Oh also - lots of religions do not rely on "common sense" - which is why lots of people are drawn to them. Dosen't jive with your way of thinking Olive? SO WHAT???
Maryanne Doran Heath December 20, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Olive "Soup"???. Really??? Grow up.

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