Pennsylvania town rejects lottery plan for Nativity scene

A Pennsylvania town has reportedly rejected a proposed lottery system to solve an atheist group’s concerns over a Nativity scene that has been erected annually on borough property for at least 50 years.

The Beaver County Times reports that the Ellwood City Borough Council voted 4-3 on Monday against a proposal that would have let anyone enter a contest to present a holiday display on borough property. The winner of the lottery would then be allowed to display any type of holiday decoration they wished.

Council President Anthony “Lefty” DeCarbo cast the deciding no vote after Councilwomen Judith Dici and Marilyn Mancini, along with Councilman Glenn Jones, voted against the recommendation. Councilmen George Celli, Ralph Chiappetta and John Todorich voted in favor, the newspaper reports.

“I believe that this country needs to take a stand,” DeCarbo said. “I’m disappointed that others didn’t.”

The existing policy prior to Monday’s vote will now stand. It calls for the Nativity, which has been on borough property for at least 50 years, to be moved on to private property this December. Lawmakers in the borough, which is about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, approved that policy as a condition of avoiding a lawsuit threatened by the Freedom From Religion Foundation in Madison, Wis.

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