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Santa Johnny Boy

Christmas Defended!

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Santa Johnny Boy

After hearing so much about the Freedom From Religion group and the ACLU trying to remove Christmas from America, I thought I'd tell a story of something miraculous that happened in my own hometown.

For years, a small nativity was displayed on the stairwell inside of the Allegheny County Courthouse located on Grant Street in Downtown Pittsburgh. Few people knew it was there, but those who knew of it would stop by to admire the scene as part of the observance of the Christmas season. It was said that those involved in a criminal case, whether the accuser or defendant, would stop by to say a few prayers before facing the awaiting court. After all, what could it hurt?

Apparently, it offended someone. In 1986 the ACLU and seven individuals sued to have the display removed citing that it endorsed a particular religion. The case was in court for years. The creche was privately owned and no government money was used to set it up. The ACLU was relentless. Poinsettias and Christmas trees were added to give it a more secular look, but that did not satisfy the ACLU. They wanted that creche gone, and would spend whatever money or resources it had to get that done.

In 1989, the case finally went to the Supreme Court in a landmark case. In a 5-4 vote, it was decided that Allegheny County had to remove the beloved nativity. The ACLU celebrated it's victory citing that it brought freedom from religion to the people. It was a dark day for Pittsburgh, but it wouldn't be dark for long.

A group known as the Christian Leader Fellowship, formed by local churches, businesses, labor unions and concerned individuals began to raise money for a new project. It was decided that not only will Pittsburgh have a nativity display, but it would have one like no other in the country. A larger plaza, just two blocks away from the Courthouse and visible to all traffic and passerby's along Grant Street, was donated by the USX Corporation.

For the design, local architects went straight to the top. The asked for, and received, permission from the Vatican to replicate they very creche that adorns St Peter's Square. The original blueprints were obtained, and the original sculptor, Pietro Simonelli, was commissioned to recreate the larger-than-life figures.

For Christmas in 1999, the dreams of so many Pittsburghers came true. The only Vatican-authorized copy of their creche in the entire world, opened in what would be it's new permanent home.

Impressive is not a strong enough word. The display occupies nearly a half-acre of land. It has it's own lighting and sound system. It takes more than a week with tractor trailers, cranes and scaffolding just to set up the stable. Local labor unions donate their time to get everything done.

Each year at it's dedication ceremony there are choirs and local religious leaders to celebrate the event. Different choirs vie to sing at the creche almost daily throughout the season lasting from November to early January. The creche is available for viewing 24 hours a day during this time. This season will be it's tenth year.

Isn't it ironic that a nativity of this magnitude be displayed in the very city famous for a court battle that banned the display of another nativity not so long ago? A public religious display on private property, there is no law prohibiting this and there is no law saying that other religions have to be included. For those that are offended - that's just too bad. The Constitution doesn't protect you from that, either!

For pictures and other information check here: http://www.pittsburghcreche.org/Site/Home.html or Google the Pittsburgh Creche.

If anyone knows of any other stories where Christmas or the Nativity was publicly defended against the ACLU or any other nut group, please post them here and let's take back our holiday!

Edited by Santa Johnny Boy

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Santa Pirate

Thats great, wish it would happen more

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Santa TJS

Great story, I have repainted an repaired a number of nativity scenes over the years including a large one for a local church here. Statue painting is one of my hobbies

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Santa James Branum

I just keep asking myself the same questions when this topic comes up:

Why is the ACLU so concerned about everyones rights except for the Christians? Don't we also have the right of freedom to express our religious beliefs just like everyone else? Who does it hurt if I want to say a prayer in school? Is someone going to die if I display the Ten Commandments in the city hall or a Nativity scene in the courthouse? I am told that I have to be tolerant of everybody else but why doesnt everyone else have to be tolerant of me? Don't we have violence running rampant in our nation now that is a whole lot more important an issue to bring into court? Isn't it true that people are actually starving to death in OUR country that needs to be addressed? Why doesn't the ACLU put their talent and funds into trying to solve these major issues?

Ok enough of my rantings.

Edited by Santa James Branum

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Santa Johnny Boy
I just keep asking myself the same questions when this topic comes up:

Why is the ACLU so concerned about everyones rights except for the Christians? Don't we also have the right of freedom to express our religious beliefs just like everyone else? Who does it hurt if I want to say a prayer in school? Is someone going to die if I display the Ten Commandments in the city hall or a Nativity scene in the courthouse? I am told that I have to be tolerant of everybody else but why doesnt everyone else have to be tolerant of me? Don't we have violence running rampant in our nation now that is a whole lot more important an issue to bring into court? Isn't it true that people are actually starving to death in OUR country that needs to be addressed? Why doesn't the ACLU put their talent and funds into trying to solve these major issues?

Ok enough of my rantings.

As far as I can tell, the ACLU has never done anything to advance civil rights or anything positive in this nation. Seems like they support the rights of radicals, nazis and socialists who wouldn't be able to afford to take their cases to court if it weren't for the backing of the ACLU.

Who donates the money that supports the ACLU is what I would like to know.

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Eileen Strom

A beautiful Christmas Display!! EVERY city should have one! Good for Pittsburgh for coming together to continue to put this on every year since 1999 - Is something extra planned for its 10 yr anniversary?

As far as the ACLU goes, I believe that most of their money comes from dues and private donations - in fact I just looked them up in wikipedia, and it says that 87% of their $ comes from the above method (their revenues were over $85 million)!!

And "No" Santa James, I don't think Christians have rights with the ACLU - because we WANT to express, show, display our views - the 10 Commandments, a crucifix - jewelery or larger, or a creche. We aren't out in peoples faces demanding that they do or don't do, look at or don't look at something, but over and over again we are told to stop what we are doing because it is offensive. Well the last time I looked, "not being offended by something" wasn't guaranteed by the Constitution, and Freedom from Religion wasn't part of it either, but "Religious Freedom" was included. I feel that until the ACLU has the nation completely atheists, or at least NOT Judeo/Christian, it won't be happy!

So more Christmas needs to be out there!!

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Santa Pirate

I just keep asking myself the same questions when this topic comes up:

Why is the ACLU so concerned about everyones rights except for the Christians? Don't we also have the right of freedom to express our religious beliefs just like everyone else? Who does it hurt if I want to say a prayer in school? Is someone going to die if I display the Ten Commandments in the city hall or a Nativity scene in the courthouse? I am told that I have to be tolerant of everybody else but why doesnt everyone else have to be tolerant of me? Don't we have violence running rampant in our nation now that is a whole lot more important an issue to bring into court? Isn't it true that people are actually starving to death in OUR country that needs to be addressed? Why doesn't the ACLU put their talent and funds into trying to solve these major issues?

Ok enough of my ranting

The silent "majority" has to speak out, the few who protest yell louder ,this is their strength, they yell, we have to yell louder!

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VetteCitySanta

A totally awesome creche! And what an inspiring story leading to its creation. The ACLU is the mortal enemy of the Church and a cancer in America. I pray that God will soon help us find a cure.

VetteCitySanta

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Santa Claude

WELL DONE!!> we need more of this type . uclu took a small item turn it ten times greater. :spinthanks::spinthanks::spinthanks::sc_hands::sc_hands::Christmas-Bells: : : :groupwavereversed::congrats::woot_jump:

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Santa Stewart

Excellant Story.Good to see that people have the Christmas spirit! :spinthanks:

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