South Jersey Christmas sign sparks controversy

PITMAN - A religious banner hanging above the main street in one Gloucester County community is causing a stir.

The banner reads "Keep Christ in Christmas." Neighbors say the Catholic organization the Knights of Columbus hangs the sign every year.

Many residents say the banner is a fixture, but some living in Pitman don't think the banner is appropriate. A group of neighbors has complained to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, which is demanding that the banner come down. Some residents, however, disagree with this demand.

Freedom from Religion says because the banner hangs from a municipal light pole and was put up by Pitman's volunteer firefighters, it violates the separation of church and state by endorsing a religion.

Freedom from Religion says if the town won't remove the banner, the Wisconsin-based group wants its own banner, which says there is no God, to hang alongside it.

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