Chambersburg Borough Council Decides Nativity Scene Must Be Removed From Memorial Square Fountain Area

December 3, 2009

Author: Rob Luff

Source: Public Opinion

An atheistic and agnostic group plans to seek legal action against the Borough of Chambersburg following a decision Monday night that bans anything other than flags and flowers from adorning the Memorial Square fountain war memorial.

The unanimous decision from Chambersburg Borough Council came after Carl Silverman, director of the mid-state chapter of PA Nonbelievers, asked permission to place an atheist-oriented sign on the fountain, near the nativity scene.

The sign, which he said has not yet been made, would have had a picture of a sun rising over the words "Celebrating Solstice. Honoring Atheist War Veterans." The sun would have had an italicized "A" in the middle.

In response, council decided to replace its existing policy, approved in December 1995, with one that bans all adornments and messages from the square, except for those that do not violate any law.

The nativity, which was placed by the Chambersburg Garden Club, must be taken down as soon as possible.

According to Thomas J. Finucane, flowers and the American flag are the only things that meet the new requirements.