DENVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The constitutional separation of church and state is the talk of a township in New Jersey, where religious symbols may no longer be displayed in a holiday tradition on public property.
A menorah on display has been a 30 year tradition in Denville, but next year town officials said it has to move to private property.READ MORE: 4-Year-Old Boy Injured When Bullet Flies Through Window On Long Island
“I just think we should be able to represent everybody, especially this time of the season,” Iris Hernandez said.
Inside town hall, a decorated Christmas tree will stay. So will a giant sleigh filled with Christmas presents.
The town said the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that Christmas trees, reindeer, Santa and the like are secular symbols, not religious symbols.
“I mean listen, Jesus is the reason for the season. No, I’m kidding, I honestly think we should be able to honor all religions; Muslim, Jewish, Christian,” Romain Paterson said.
Town officials wouldn’t go on camera, but said the nativity and the menorah have been deemed as religious symbols by the Supreme Court.READ MORE: Man Accused Of Sexually Assaulting 2 Women Hours Apart In Brooklyn
“For this reason, and to avoid controversial and what might widely be considered as ‘hate-based’ groups from being permitted to erect displays on township property, the township has made the determination that religious displays will no longer be permitted on township property,” they said.
“It doesn’t bother me as long as there is equal representation,” Tom said.
A nativity scene was in full view to motorists turning into town off of Rt. 46, but it sits on private property.
Thor’s hammer, a symbol of the Norse religion will be on display in Hogan Park, but removed by January 1.
“I think someone might have complained. It’s Christmas, that’s what it’s all about. Little silly they did that,” Mircea Cornell said.MORE NEWS: NYPD: 2 Gunmen Wanted After 10 Shot In Front Of Queens Business; 'A Brazen, Coordinated Attack'
CBS2 could not find anyone who wanted the symbols removed, but the township said it’s working with the Chabad of Mountain Lakes, Boonton, and Denville to find a permanent home for the menorah on private property.