The little town of Bethlehem in upstate New York, has banned ‘Merry Christmas’ signs in their holiday displays. The town is located in Albany County, and is named after the biblical city of Bethlehem, which the New Testament identifies as the birth place of Jesus.
Holiday signs have been banned at an intersection in the little town of Bethlehem, New York.
Officials in the suburban town just south of Albany prohibited a sign saying “Merry Christmas” from being placed at the busy intersection. They had a “Happy Hanukkah” sign removed from the same corner.
The Times Union of Albany reports the town allowed a public display of a Christmas tree and a Menorah, but officials banned religious holiday signs so they wouldn’t violate any laws or distract drivers.
A resident offered to purchase a Christmas sign to be placed in front of the Christmas tree, something she had done several years ago.
But a town attorney e-mailed her and stated, “The town cannot endorse one religion over another, so the town must either allow signs for all groups participating in the holiday display, or prohibit signs altogether.”
A rally was held Wednesday evening with about a dozen people holding signs that said “Merry Christmas” and “Little Town of Bethlehem,” referencing the popular Christmas carol.
Motorists passing by honked their horns and shouted “Merry Christmas!” in a show of support for the protesters.