Thursday, December 19, 2013
Saturnalia Billboard Angers Town Residents
In the small town of Pitman, New Jersey, for over 40 years a large banner proclaiming "Keep Christ in Christmas" has hung over a street in the city's business district. Philly.com reports that the Freedom from Religion Foundation has been rebuffed for several years in its attempt to get permission to put up a competing sign, so instead they have now rented billboard space at a busy intersection to display their message: "Keep the Saturn in Saturnalia." This has apparently incensed some Pitman residents, and protests are escalating. On Sunday, a family attempted to shroud the billboard with a picture of Jesus, and on Tuesday night, two men attempted unsuccessfully to burn down the billboard after pouring gasoline at its base. The police chief says that patrols near the billboard will be increased, and the arsonists will be prosecuted if caught.