Leesburg to Loudoun: You Can't Stop Christmas

"I am lighting a menorah for Chanukah": Reid

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors decided against the traditional Christmas displays this year and now the people are fighting back.

Don't forget to bring your lumps of coal.

Leesburg Town Councilmember Ken Reid said he has agreed to help the Rotary Club of Leesburg and other citizens "restore their rights to display these symbols on the courthouse lawn."

According to a statement released by Reid, the ban on putting up a Christmas tree or a Chanukah menorah on the Courthouse lawn have "nothing to do with state law.. because our Town Council is holding a tree lighting Friday, Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. on the Town Green on West Market Street."

"Plus, I am lighting a menorah for Chanukah," he added.

Take that Loudoun County.

For almost 50 years, the Rotary Club of Leesburg has placed a Christmas tree on the courthouse grounds, Leesburg Today reported. For 20 years, Dennis and Debbie Welch set up the courthouse nativity scene.

But on Nov. 24 -- two days before Thanksgiving, the Facilities and Grounds Committee came with a new policy that prohibits any displays, according to Leesburg Today.

Phil Rusciolelli has spearheaded the Rotary Club's Christmas tree initiative the past five years.

"I do not understand the rationale for this decision but I do know it flies a face of any holiday or Christmas spirit," Rusciolelli said. "We are a traditional county and town founded on the freedoms that include freedom of religion."

The Facilities and Grounds Committee said it's just following the county government's policy against displays on county grounds.

But Reid and followers say it's about freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion, and that "the Loudoun County Courthouse has no authority to take away this right of the people."

According to the petition, the Board of Supervisors will be holding a public input session Monday, Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m. at One Harrison Street. Those in support of Reid and co. should wear red and bring some coal.

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