Jersey town bans all religious displays on public property
It feels like it makes the news every year. A town erupts in controversy over religious displays. This year it's Denville's turn.
The Morris County town has some residents outraged over its decision to forever ban any sort of religious display on public property starting in 2018. They say it's a constitutional issue. If a town allows one religion's symbolism in a display they have to allow any others and all. Can this move come down to a resident who requested a hammer to represent their Norse religion? Yep, a hammer indeed went up over one person's request and you have to wonder if the authorities seeing the writing on the wall decided to stop it from here on out.
So next year the front of city hall can have Santa's sleigh. Christmas trees and candy canes are allowed as well because these things have no particular religious meaning. However by next Christmas, Nativity scenes, menorahs, and anything else including that Norse hammer are all coming down. Denville residents will still be able to see them but they'll have to go to Hogan Park. They will be there because that land happens to be private property.
I understand the concept of separation of church and state, and I grasp that it exists to protect people's religious freedoms, not trample them. Yet I always feel these annual arguments are only important to the zealots and activists. I truly never heard anyone of a minority faith tell me how they felt marginalized because they saw a Nativity scene outside a public library or a menorah outside a town hall. Don't presume this is since my religion is well represented on city properties. My religious beliefs are dubious at best, yet I am not at all bothered by various religious displays. In fact I find many of them peaceful and beautiful. I believe the harm in such displays is largely hypothetical and the outrage over them manufactured.
Are you bothered by them? Take our poll below.
More from New Jersey 101.5