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"Christ" Vs. "Saturn" in Banner Battle

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCPhiladelphia.com

    An atheist group that has been protesting a South Jersey community's “Keep Christ in Christmas” banner has taken a new tactic this year.

    The Madison, Wisc.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation has rented a billboard in Pitman proclaiming, “Keep Saturn in Saturnalia.”

    The group has objected since 2011 to the banner, saying it should not be on public property or hung by town firefighters. Members of the community came together then to display bumper stickers and signs with the "Keep Christ in Christmas" message

    FFRF Co-president Dan Barker tells the Courier-Post the banner show “favoritism to Christianity while censoring nonbelievers.”

    The banner is provided by the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus -- the self-proclaimed “world’s foremost Catholic fraternal benefit society” -- and hangs over a county-owned road between a private utility pole and privately owned building.A+group+responded+to+a+%22Keep+Christ+in+Christmas%22+banner+in+Pitman%2C+N.J.+by+posting+their+own+%22Keep+Saturn+in+Saturnalia%22+billboard.

    The new billboard refers to an ancient celebration of Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture.

    PHOTO CREDIT: Courier-Post

    Pitman Mayor Russell Johnson told the paper that the new billboard has “drawn more attention to the Knights of Columbus banner.”

    “I think it’s rallied a majority of the people here in support of the banner.”