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UPDATE: Camera put up to monitor vandals

photoSeen here, the skeleton Santa display is missing his legs. Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Laura Peters

With less than a week until Christmas, vandals have struck again on the courthouse lawn – this time removing the skeleton Santa’s legs. The skeleton Santa display had already been vandalized on Dec. 5 and then on Dec. 10.

The Leesburg Police Department has put up a camera, owned by the sheriff’s office, across the street from the display to keep an eye on the vandalism.

The sheriff’s office maintains the courthouse, Master Police Officer Christopher Tidmore and spokesperson for the Leesburg Police Department said. Per the request of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office the Leesburg Police Department placed the camera there shortly after the Christmas Parade on Dec. 10, according to Tidmore.

“We are enhancing our security measures in response to the incidents that have occurred to the displays,” Kraig Troxell, spokesperson for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said. Troxell would not comment further on the camera.

According to Betsy Fields, research and communications manager for the Town of Leesburg, the camera is not monitored by the town or police department. It was placed there after the Leesburg Police Department had tried to return the camera to the sheriff’s office and they were asked to place it in front of the courthouse, Fields said.

The owner of the display is Middleburg resident Jeff Heflin Jr., according to Julie Withrow, a Loudoun County administrator.

On Heflin’s application for inclusion in the courthouse display, he described his entry as “art work of Santa on a cross to depict society’s materialistic obsessions and addictions and how it is killing the peace, love, joy and kindness that is supposed to be prevalent during the holiday season.” Heflin is not part of any organization and sponsored the display himself.

The courthouse displays have seen such controversy for years. A Loudoun County Board of Supervisors appointed citizen group, the Courthouse Grounds and Facilities Committee, recommended in December 2009 that the county ban courthouse displays. The board later denied the committee’s request. The debate resurfaced in July 2010 when the committee requested a ban be put in place on courthouse lawn displays. The board decided that anyone could put up displays on the lawn on a first-come, first-serve basis, with 10 spots, recently reduced to nine. The board voted on Dec. 6 to move the vote to next year on whether to keep the displays.

A family from Washington, D.C. had heard the buzz being generated over several news sources in the area of the skeleton Santa on the courthouse lawn and made a pilgrimage to Leesburg to see for themselves.

“We don’t believe that you should have a creche on the courthouse lawn … there should be separation of church and state,” Amy, a resident of Washington, D.C. said.
“The message you are sending with just a creche is that there’s no separation of church and state,” she continued.

The family said it was a mix of skepticism that brought them out and thought that it was strange to even put religious symbols on government property.

What they gathered to be the meaning of the skeleton Santa was Christmas was being fueled by commercialism and didn’t understand why residents were so up-in-arms over the display.

“Christmas has already been destroyed,” Maria Zumer said. “It’s so commercialized.”

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for guarding the displays at the courthouse complex and grounds and the Leesburg Police Department also patrols the surrounding area in Historic Downtown, according to Troxell.

“The agency will enhance our current security measures at the courthouse, to include directed patrols in the area,” Troxell said after the first piece of the display was taken on Dec. 10. “We have security measures for the courthouse and the grounds and because they’re county property or considered county jurisdiction, we will investigate any criminal activity on these grounds.”

A report from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said that the display’s theft is under investigation.


Classy people like Dave do not understand what tolerances is. They want to force God onto everything and ignore the growing population on non Christians in this nation. Keep your religion in your household and leave me alone to beleive or not beleive as I like, that was the founders principles.

Liberals always show how intolerant they are towards others and this “display” is just another example.  Atheist scum can “tolerate” one day a year but we must tolerate their behavior in our schools, on our TV, rewriting our history etc…

Since we’re posting Christmas lyrics, try this:

We’re no strangers to love
You know the rules and so do I
A full commitment’s what I’m thinking of
You wouldn’t get this from any other guy

I just wanna tell you how I’m feeling
Gotta make you understand

Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you

We’ve know each other for so long
Your heart’s been aching
But you’re too shy to say it
Inside we both know what’s been going on
We know the game and we’re gonna play it

And if you ask me how I’m feeling
Don’t tell me you’re too blind to see

Never gonna give you up
Find more similar lyrics on http://mp3lyrics.com/ak5Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you

Repeat Chorus

Give you up, give you up
Give you up, give you up
Never gonna give,
Never gonna give, give you up
Never gonna give,
Never gonna give, give you up

We’ve know each other for so long
Your heart’s been aching
But you’re too shy to say it
Inside we both know what’s been going on
We know the game and we’re gonna play it

I just wanna tell you how I’m feeling
Gotta make you understand

You’ve just been Rick Rolled!

I was raised a Catholic but I’m not really religious anymore and would probably be considered an atheists now but I have no problem with Chritmas/religious displays of any kind.

Careful Demi. We Catholics aren’t supposed to reveal ourselves since these Bible thumpers on this thread believe that Catholics are the devil!

“There isn’t a single deputy that will ‘see’ anything happen on the courthouse grounds because they are on God’s side”.

I’m laughing so hard my sides are splitting. OK, Uncle, I give! Can’t you tell you’ve been baited by the non-believers? By posting this fire and brimstone drivel, it only encourages them. Stop. Be the Christian you profess to be.

“Loudoun is the last bastion of Christianity in this region of heathens and you won’t find a jury that’ll convict any good Christian who is fighting this holy way against evil.”

You all give that Bible a good ole’ fashion Virginia thumping. I’m a christian. I go to church each and every Sunday and ever high holy day. But you have to be out of your cotton picking mind to make that drivel up and then post it on a public website. And you can keep your religious fervor to yourself. Sir, may I suggest that you run, don’t walk, to Costco and buy one size larger underwear. Yours is clearly impairing your ability to think clearly.

@Misinformed Professional

Quoting the late Saul Alinsky..“It only takes 2 percent of any region to change the culture if that 2 percent is well organized, well funded, and highly motivated”

Let’s turn back the clock shall we, to the I don’t know…1800’s when Slavery was still legal.  I’m sure the so-called “quiet majority” thought slavery was just A-ok. 

Fast forward to the 1920’s and I’m sure that the “quiet majority” thought women disallowed to vote was just A-ok too.

Fast forward to the 1950’s and I’m sure that the “quiet majority” thought black people should NOT have the same rights as white folks…hell a lot of people in this country still believe that to this day.

Fast forward to the 1970’s and I’m sure the “quiet majority” thought that women having to use a clothes hanger to abort an unwanted fetus was just fine & dandy…and guess what the PRO-lifers still think that is the “healthy” way to go about the Women’s right to choose…just look at the debate over the morning after pill.

You get my point?

What you term as the “screaming MINORITY” is what I would term as the AMERICAN WAY…and without it..well just turn back the clock shall we?  Is that what you want?

@Misinformed Professional

Quoting the late Saul Alinsky..“It only takes 2 percent of any region to change the culture if that 2 percent is well organized, well funded, and highly motivated”

Let’s turn back the clock shall we, to the I don’t know…1800’s when Slavery was still legal.  I’m sure the so-called “quiet majority” thought slavery was just A-ok. 

Fast forward to the 1920’s and I’m sure that the “quiet majority” thought women disallowed to vote was just A-ok too.

Fast forward to the 1950’s and I’m sure that the “quiet majority” thought black people should have the same rights as white folks…hell a lot of people in this country still believe that to this day.

Fast forward to the 1970’s and I’m sure the “quiet majority” thought that women having to use a clothes hanger to abort an unwanted fetus was just fine & dandy…and guess what the PRO-lifers still think that is the “healthy” way to go about the Women’s right to choose…just look at the debate over the morning after pill.

You get my point?

What you term as the “screaming majority” is what I would term as the AMERICAN WAY…and without it..well just turn back the clock shall we?  Is that what you want?

For the record I am a native Northern Virginian in his 30s; born in Fairfax Hospital and raised in Springfield. I am an atheist. Just growing up in the south does not make one religious.

@Who cares? I am a bit offended by your whole dismissal of this matter using the Loudoun’s growing “educated northern professional” population as your argument. My Native Virginia friends would probably categorize me as one who fits into that generalization, so let me interject a different perspective here.

My “northern education” has taught me there is a reason our government was set up to accommodate delegation of rights at the national, state, and local levels, as to not promote a “one size fits all” agenda.  Additionally, an educated person would recognize the value of preservation of both equality AND diversity in America, which would include those who embrace modern southern Christian values. Most of the transplants I know respect the traditions and culture of the area we moved into…the very one we voluntarily chose to be our hometown.  The respect of tradition is the very reason why I, as a gun-control advocate, support hunting in this area, place a yarmulke on my son’s head when we enter a synagogue (although I’m not Jewish), attempt to speak Spanish when visiting Little Havana in Miami, or would cover my hair should I ever decide to visit a Muslim country.

“Who cares” – I do agree that many educated people, even those who call themselves Christians, are dismissing this all as petty BS and are balking at all of the press coverage, controversy, and tax payer dollars spent to mitigate the needs of the various participants. However, what concerns me is that too many of us are carelessly dismissing the actions of self-serving special interest groups by inviting them to run rampant on county courthouse lawns. Running away from “special interest” is the very reason some of us left our big city hometown and took up residency in the Virginia suburbs. Additionally, the arguments presented on this blog only serve to exploit the whole “native vs. northern transplant” conflict you allude to, and apparently dividing the masses appears to be a primary goal of these groups who are instigating this very ill-timed chaos. That kind of disrespect is not only non-productive, but also damaging to those of us who work and volunteer in support of Loudoun County.

I am “big city” born and raised and most of my native Loudoun friends would consider my social political views as liberal, however, if the majority of Loudoun’s citizens support the creche on the courthouse lawn, I will fully support my neighbors because it is a long-honored tradition, and because the Constitution preserves their right to do so. If the crèche or any other display offended me, I would not patronize the town that supports it and/or move to one of those DC area counties where displays are banned from government property.

So, while I agree that many “northern educated” transplants aren’t phased at all by a Santa on a cross, I totally agree with the “Bluedogs” statement that DC nor any other county resident has any place dictating how “sleepy little Loudoun” should be run, and it is that argument which is capturing the interest of people like myself. As my kids like to say “I do me; you do you.” This is not about the educated vs. non-educated “care factor” but rather preserving the rights of the quiet majority of residents, opposed to the screaming minority and/or non-residents, to define what should or should be allowed on our county courthouse lawns.

Bluedog, stop generalizing.  Most of the community doesn’t care about what is going on here.  Only the “poor oppressed Christians”, a few atheists and a few secularists who bother to speak up care.

Believe it or not, sleepy Loudoun has been invaded by educated professionals from up north who don’t go to church and don’t care about petty BS like this.  Non-issue for 90% of us.

Secular Opponents Of Holiday Displays Get Creative


Hey “Sixth Cents” and “Losers in Loudoun Club”.  Don’t you all have a Nike shoe sale to attend today?  Losers - did I strike a nerve?

A couple of points:  (1) Tell “Amy a resident of Washington, DC” that we in Leesburg really don’t care what people in DC say about the displys on our courthouse lawn.  This is our courthouse, not DC’s.  I can’t say I’m fond of all the Occupy people annoying folks at McPherson Square, but I just avoid DC.  (2)  That the Police are expending taxpayer money to monitor a display that the community has largely said is unacceptable is a waste.  As a taxpayer, I want the waste to stop and for the County to withdraw funding.  (3) Finally, that someone has again abused the crucified Santa—good.  Get rid of it and next year let’s have a better plan for dealing with this nonsense.

John 3:16-17
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
This gift of transforming power and strength has the ability to transform and beautify our lives…But a gift offered is not necessarily a gift received. It’s up to you friends and neighbors. Visit a church! Meet God. Meet friends. Live life better. <3

Native Loudouner Right Here. All I have to say is that Loudoun is God’s Country. Anybody who doesn’t like it can march their azz back to where they came from.


Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.  This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.  And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.  Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.  While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”  When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”  So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.  When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.  And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.  The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

6cent, I don’t go to church, so there’s one rant gone.

You have no clue what my religious beliefs are, if any, so there’s another down the tube.

And how funny is it for a troll preaching that he is more enlightened than anyone else calling one set of Christinas “snobs”?

You are way too agitated to pass this off as simple humor that the unenlightened don’t get.

Merry Christmas Everyone!


@ Brother Dim

Sure thing…



Oh Sixth Man - Now you have me really confused or maybe my bulb is dim, but I don’t see a difference between to two.  Maybe oh wise one, you can explain it to me and the other losers here.

In a similar vein…


Spaghetti, Wenches & Metaphysics: Episode 1—The FSM from Matt Tillman on Vimeo:


@ Dim Bulb

I would call that sort of behaviour a free and open exercise of free speech, and taking advantage of the platform that XIANS who VANDALIZED the silly skeleton santa provided for me.

BOOOM…2 points…OH YEAH..what else u got baby?

@ PC-incorrect

PC-incorrect stated:

“I like what “enuf” said.  Skeleton santa on a cross, sex shop, hideous looking 360-degree video camera in a parking space.  It all just looks terrible for an “historic district”.  Problem is that I have to look at it all day as a result of the view from my office.  Lucky me.”

I wouldn’t say you’re that lucky.  I would say your rather sad actually.  Sad b/c you wouldn’t know a good time if it crawled up on your face and started making sweet sweet love to your nose.

And you obviously have no gosh darn sense of humor.

It’s up to you how you wish to live your life, but don’t go soiling the ball so others can’t have fun playing the game of life.

I wish to convey something very simple to you now…a gift, befitting of this holiday season.

Next time you get offended by something…ask yourself…What would Flying Spaghetti Monster Do?

I know he would forget about and go have fun at the Beer Volcano, and the XXX factory. WOOHOOO!!!

Party on Wayne…Party on Garth

@4 cents short of a Dime:

What If I were to tell you about a man who goes about preaching his anti-Xianist rhetoric at the top of his voice or flooding blogs with jibberish…

Would you call that radical behaviour?

@ Barb-a-sell

Barb I don’t think your a true Xian.  I don’t think you bother to read the bible that closely at all.  You might be a Roman Catholic, b/c we all know Catholics only follow the Magesterium, and have never put too much stock in that book of stories.

Roman Catholics have always struck me as a male-only club that thought they were smarter than the average Xian, and therefore decided to base the majority of their rules & guidelines off of a better set of dogmatic documents then the stories in the bible.  You many definitely characterize the Roman Catholics as the intellectual snobs of the Xian world.  They look down upon True Xians who take the bible literally…as they should b/c that’s what is prescribed in the literal teachinges of the bible, again and again, and again.

Barb I suggest you enroll yourself in a bible study class…one taught by Jews…b/c they really get the “cultural significance” and the fact that the stories have more to do with the culture of the time they were written, and were never meant to be copied & pasted to fit any other time period.

One thing you can say about the Roman Catholics, at least they have a more evolved sense when it comes to dogmatic theology.  True Xian Fundamentalist and Biblical literalists are stuck in a Sophist age old philosophy.

I could talk theology all day, but that’s not really what you all care about.

Do you really want to get to know your belief system that well?  I mean you might not like what you find…after all IGNORANCE is BLISS.

@ Enuff said

I would venture a guess that your definition of radical behaviour is a little jaded by your Xian goggles.

If I told you that a group of young men & women go in front of the Supreme Court of the US everyday with Red-Tape over their mouths, while they make a public display of praying against women’s abortion rights…

Would you call that radical behaviour?

If I were to tell you the story of a Roman Catholic woman named Mary Ann from Haggerstown who has made it her mission in life to threaten businesses to move out if they are within 50 yards of an abortion clinic…

Would that be radical behaviour?

If I were to tell you about churches all around the DC area that bring in Nigerian priests so they can lay their hands on people to speak crazy jibberish and fall on the floor…and pronounce that everyone in the church who has back pain is now miraculously cured…

Is that radical behaviour?

If I were to tell you about congress who spend their time voting on measures that force americans to believe that we are founded as a Xian nation…

Would you call that radical behaviour?

What If I were to tell you about men and women who go onto Metro trains and start preaching from the bible, or singing Xian songs at the top of their voice…

Would you call that radical behaviour???

You know what, Xians have been given all the advantages in the world…TAX EXEMPTION…HELLO!!!...and organized religions have Eternal Life which is easier to sell then cake to a fat kid. 

Did you think that monopoly was going to last 4ever? 

I’m sorry but this a dawning of a new age of enlightenment in which Non-believers take a public stand against the unhealthy and dangerous practices of Super-Ideological organized religion when it’s arrogantly thrown in our face in public by morally presumptuous A-holes, and a stand against any kind supersitious behaviour when it intrudes and threatens our chosen healthier lifestyle {healthier yes that’s right…you can have your shame, guilt, and self-righteous persecution and suffering….I’ll take NONE of that SIRS/Madams}.

Ciao 4 now

@Loser complex

Pot meet kettle…Only a loser would make a post about losers, don’t you think?

@Losers in Loudoun - Let me be the 1st to welcome you as a new member of this club.  Congrats!

6cent, not what I said re the Bible, and what is a “True Xian”?  According to you?  hm

I can see why Mr. W thinks you’re so smart.  You agree with him.  lol!

Mr. W, as to getting a ‘glimmer”, hate to break it to you ace, but if your position is that everyone has to suck it up for being offended by your groups’ antics because of the first amendment, then guess what?  YOU get to suck it up when others exercise their first amendment rights to freely express their faith in public.  If it offends you, why not practice what you so aggressively preach and suck it up, rather than gaming the system to shut down those with whom you disagree?

The first amendment isn’t a one way street for anyone.

@FedUpDude - Uh, no I didn’t forget, as it is not my choice to make. I said the Board of Supervisors needs to do something now to stop this mess. I have a day job.  The BOS has control of the situation but I, however, do not. I did email my elected Supervisor multiple times to let him know how I wanted him to respond to this situation. It’s up to him to move forward based on the input of myself and others. 

I love a good political debate as much as anyone, but when it evolves to this level of attack and disrespect of others and their personal beliefs, I choose not to engage, and am kindly asking my fellow Town of Leesburg neighbors to limit their engagement to lobbying of their elected supervisor and not engage in this repulsive and disrespectful back-and-forth. If it doesn’t stop, Loudoun Times and the other publications will continue their coverage and further degrade the good people of Leesburg.

Peace to all, and stay safe this weekend.

Riddle me this:  How do you get 222 idiots to comment on a stupid skeleton in a red suit?  Anyone???  (I think the writer is quietly laughing to himself about how many morons will “come if he keeps writing about it.)”

@Enough already!

You forgot the other option; keep any display off the government property, which is the real point.

This is all getting a bit ridiculous…wouldn’t you say? Here’s an idea as to how to end this spectacle once and for all (and forgive me if someone has already suggested this in one of the hundreds of postings on this and other sites):

As we all know, money is by far the greatest motivator, so those who are offended by these displays should avoid downtown Leesburg. Those who worship spaghetti monsters or whatever these displays represent should put their money where their mouth is and spread their great wealth (which I assume you have since you obviously have much time on your hands and don’t have to work) in and around Downtown Leesburg, especially because this town has accommodated you by giving you a stage on which to present your radical behavior.

Not that I want any of our Downtown Leesburg business owners to suffer because of this courthouse display bruhaha, but I believe once the Town feels the collective pinch of the loss of dollars and/or their valued customer base, the Board of Supervisors will have no choice but to take immediate action and actually stop this nonsense once and for all.

I am a taxpaying Town of Leesburg resident and am growing tired of this and am disgusted as to how my hometown is being represented on national news. We are better than this folks!!!!

Will Helflin let us put an Elvis mask on “Skeleton” for the last couple days? We could have “Blue Christmas” play non stop…LOL

Love this Digital Story of the Nativity on You Tubes!!  (Betty Rubble laugh);-)


@pc - yeah it sucks to have to look at something you find offensive. I think you are starting to get a glimmer.
But, as always, what is offensive depends on whom you ask.
Across the street, some see a sex shop - others see a legitimate business responding to a healthy demand. That’s capitalism, baby! Gotta love it.
A couple of doors down, some see an ugly Big Brother camera taking up a parking space on the street - others see a temporary but necessary response to repeated christian vandalism. Perhaps some criticism of these illegal acts or prosecution of the first perpetrator, caught on video, would have discouraged the repeated violence against one citizens speech rights. But the christian community seemed to think that was great sport, so since the christian community was unwilling or unable to behave as responsible citizens, you brought the camera upon yourselves.
Others see a skeleton santa “traumatizing children” - when really it is only the adults who are suitably “traumatized” that free speech for all isn’t really working out for them.
But it is phony trauma - the kids don’t mind that skeleton any more than they minded them in front of every other house at Halloween. No if you really want to traumatize a little girl, hire a birthday clown.

Ricky Bobby - I’ll give ya that the 6er is smart, however, just not smart enuf.

I like what “enuf” said.  Skeleton santa on a cross, sex shop, hideous looking 360-degree video camera in a parking space.  It all just looks terrible for an “historic district”.  Problem is that I have to look at it all day as a result of the view from my office.  Lucky me.

Sorry Barb - I am not Sixth Cents. I don’t know who it is but they seem really smart to me.

I need everyone to make a “vow of faith” and send as much money as you can to me.  God will repay you with even greater riches. 

Let us now go to the inner city neighborhood our marketing department specifically identified due to their status as poor and religious, where this woman gave her last $200 to the Robert Tilton Ministries as a vow of faith.

@ Barb

I pointed out New Testament quotes that are just as bad as the Old Testament quotes…and there plenty more where that came from {http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/cruelty/long.html}

As I said not everyone went thru a horrible religious upbringing b/c their parents were not True Xians and not following the teachings of the bible.

It’s more than convenient but intellectually lazy for you to equate public criticism, discourse, and discussion with “attacking” something.

The predominant trait I have found in True Xians is a black & white view of the world.  It either is or it isn’t.

So either you love the baby jebus and embrace the bible {or only the parts Barb wants you to embrace}....or you hate all Xians and you attack them vigorously.  There is no in between the black & white universe True Xians live in.

It’s sad isn’t it…to limit oneself to such a narrow-minded point of view.

Should we pray for them to open up their minds?

Manybe we can get Heflin to put a speaker w/motion detector on it so that anyone getting close, Skeletor Santa can say “Boo HoHoHo” or maybe “Bah Humbug”.

The head looks more like Late Night’s Geoff’s brother.

Around a dozen people gathered on the courthouse lawn in downtown Leesburg Wednesday night, some simply to sing holiday carols, others to call attention to what they characterized as “rude” displays erected on the grass surrounding them.

Wendi Gill, social events director for the Kincaid Forest HOA, members of St. John the Apostle Roman Catholic Church and other area folks, including Leesburg Town Councilman Dave Butler, came together around 5:30 Dec. 21 for various reasons.

“I’m here to support the carolers, I like to sing,” Butler remarked.

But Gill said her purpose in attending and helping to organize Wednesday night’s gathering was to “put ‘Christ’ back in ‘Christmas.’”
“It’s a collage of neighbors coming together, singing and having hot chocolate. That’s what the holiday is about.”

Jamie Mangovski, who put out the call for carolers to gather on Leesburg’s Facebook page, said she believed “in freedom of speech and religion, but these are not religious displays,” referring to the banners, sculptures, créches and other holiday displays arrayed on the courthouse lawn.

“These are mockeries of religious displays that are placed here every year. To drape a skeleton Santa over a crucifix is in very poor taste.”

Mangovski said her aim was not specifically to protest the so-called “skeleton Santa,” originally erected by Middleburg resident Jeff Heflin Jr. Dec. 5, but to emphasize, “Christmas is about getting together.”

Several children ran about the grounds in advance of the caroling—many in the community had expressed fears that Heflin Jr.‘s display would scare little ones, but Mangovski said her kids were unphased.

“I explained to my kids the differences in religious beliefs, and my kids were OK with it,” she said.

“They thought the Santa cross was rude, but my kids are [ages] 8 and 6. Younger kids—I know a few that were scared, and their parents go out of their way to avoid seeing it.”

Chris Croll, another Leesburg resident and mother of two children, ages 6 and 4, said she attended as “a proud Leesburgian, hoping to bring the holiday spirit.”

“There’s been so much negativity—we wanted to show Leesburg has heart, regardless of anyone’s traditions or practices.”

Croll said she, too, simply talked with her kids about the various courthouse displays, explaining, “some people think these things are funny, others may not. They said they didn’t think [the skeleton Santa] was funny or scary.”

That skeleton head just looks evil. It looks like evil dying on the cross and mocking Christianity.

@Juan of the Manny

I never said it didn’t have a right to be on the courthouse lawn. Does you have a brain comment refer to me?

@just a thought - regardless of its meaning, even if it means death to the Christian religion, it has just as much right to be there as any of the other displays.  Why can’t any of you understand that?  Under today’s law & the Constitution, it’s either all of them or none of them.  It’s just their opinion & if you can’t explain this to anyone, then, well let’s just say nothing & leave it to anyone with half a brain.

Regardless of this diplay supposed meaning…
a skeleton = death
Crucific = death
Santa suit = Christmas

This display represents the personality of the person(s) who insist on it’s display on the taxpayers property

Oh Loudoun is not the only county in this country this is happening in. Your atheist group is working at this all over the United States. What about Henderson County Texas? There was also a couple of spots in PA that refused ( Elwood City, PA). What about Michigan City? Just google FFRF. They come in like bullies, but Christians are starting to push back. They try to put the same dumb signs up that we have on our lawn. Go to the “Christian Post” online for all the most up to date news stories from across the country.

FUD - You’re making the assumption that most Christians really care one way or the other whether there is a Skeletor Santa or not - they don’t.  What we have here in LoCo are a few (a very few) vocal “Christians” & “others” that are against it, for it or for nothing, with possibley 1 or 2 individuals acting on their “emotions”.

Certainly there are atheist out there that put up stuff questioning religion; they have the right too in a free country.

But I am not talking about those cases I am talking about the one in Loudoun. Why are we the only local county that has not figured out it is a bad idea to have religious displays on government property? If you have that this is the natural result.

If Christians keep the religious message on private property there would be no skeleton claus because there would be no establishment issue.

The Atheists say “it’s about separation of church & state” -not so much. It’s about “Mocking Christians” & their faith at a prime time of the year. In other areas where billboards are allowed-they have tried putting huge billboards up with their message of Atheism. Kinda’ like “South of the Border” & if the owners of the billboards say “no”, the cry discrimination & threaten to sue. For them, this courthouse is “for free” advertising & all conflict from mad Christians puts them into the National news. Really it is a brilliant plan & them attempting to make us all angry. It’s only a couple of people in the county who belong to his group. Them saying it was a Christian 15 yr old in the county was another huge lie to keep people from removing it. Caring Loudouners saying “poor kid” -Nah! Rick probably made the cross for the Santa & the whole rig. He’s very handy with tools doncha’ know!

@All - I can prove there is a God.  Just watch this short video clip.  Only God could creat something so cute.  This little girl certainly isn’t a little Atheist.


“Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Fa la’s
Tis the season to be jolly,
Fa la’s
Don we now our gay apparel,
Fa la’s
Troll the ancient Yule tide carol,
Fa la’s

See the blazing Yule before us,
Fa la’s
Strike the harp and join the chorus.
Fa la’s

Follow me in merry measure,
Fa la’s
While I tell of Yule tide treasure,
Fa la’s

Fast away the old year passes,
Fa la’s
Hail the new, ye lads and lasses,
Fa la’s

Sing we joyous, all together,
Fa la’s
Heedless of the wind and weather,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.”

There is a light
It burns brighter than the sun
He steals the night
And casts no shadow
There is hope
Should oceans rise and mountains fall
He never fails

In death by love
The fallen world was overcome
He wears the scars of our freedom
In His Name
All our fears are swept away
He never fails

6th cent, I imagine anyone can find justification for any position in the Bible, as there are passages for just about everything, many in apparent contradiction.

But the Bible evolves from one end to the other, with the “eye for an eye” of some of the Old Testament moving toward the Sermon on the Mount in the New.

If you don’t believe in any of it, don’t, but for someone who projects others to have an unhealthy obsession with something you disregard, you have spent an inordinate amount of time here pretty much wallowing in it.

What happened to you (Rick?) isn’t what happened to everyone, and you certainly have the right to try to spend the rest of your life paying it back as best you can, but again, just as with SkeleSanta (from Marshall, in Fauquier, advertised on facebook and the atheist websites before its first installation) being not perhaps the best PR for those who claim to be above faith, your own posts here don’t do much to advertise your beliefs as something better.

An unattractive evangelist is just that.

I’m glad you’ve apparently found some meaning in your life by attacking others.

Now, when all is said and done, what does THAT mean?

I hope nice things happen to you.  Really.  And that maybe someday you’ll be able to enjoy them, like an adult, and move past the angry adolescent stage.  There’s a lot of good things out in the world, no matter where they came from (and guess what?  NONE of us knows or can prove it—that’s why it’s FAITH, on both sides, with FREE WILL).

Merry Christmas, crabby!  lol

That Santa skeleton died for your sins. Respect him or he shall smite thee.

You are mistaken in the intolerance label. It is about separation of church and state aka the establishment clause; no one is trying to prevent you from having a nativity on your private property or in front of your church.

Oh yea….downtown is looking great these days…crappy signs on the lawn, Santa on a cross, Victoria Secrets wanna be on the corner, now parking space taken up by the stupid camera to watch the lawn.  Seriously, take everything down on the lawn—-complete safety hazard as it’s all horribly distracting.  Christians, let the intolerant atheists have this one.  Atheists go rejoice in your “win”.  Intolerance will not allow for any type of civil discord.  Just sick and tired of it all…..

@6 or should I say 666? - “people have brains and the ability to think for themselves” - yet they do stupid things, day in and day out, ad nauseam.  Even those you think so brilliant.

@ Free Bird

It says a lot about your outlook on life if you feel like you need a “get out of jail free card”. 

Is it normal to describe your existence on earth as “jail” ?  Is that healthy? 

It’s unfortunate that some people just can’t handle the human problems and normal everyday suffering. Instead of embracing reality of being human, they need to grasp at a straw man argument, and wish away their time in “jail”.

Have you ever been in real Jail?

Maybe your view of your current existence might be altered if you’ve spent some time in a real jail cell.

Xians want to feel bad for themselves, and blame two people they’ve never met, Adam & Steve is it? ...for making this world such a awful place to live.

Personaly I choose to hang out with people who take a more mature and healthier approach to looking at their existence on earth, and make the most of the time they have before they die.  They aren’t pre-occupied fantasizing about Fantasy Island, or even thinking that the more you suffer they better off you are.  I usually try to limit my suffering as much as possible, and throw in some pleasure whenever possible.

Have fun in “jail”...let me know how that works out for you.

@ Nothing in life is Free

I’d say sending your son to be tortured is a mark of great parenting…and god made sure to throw in a caveat that it would be very difficult to believe such a story…you know b/c people have brains and the ability to think for themselves….so god is like a Vegas Dealer who has now sent the odds very high.

Once again the carrot has everything to do with death.  It’s perfectly normal and healthy to have a respect for the fear of death….but god wants you to fear death so much that you’re willing to believe anything.

Then again there are talking snakes & unicorns in the bible.

@6 - Just 1:  John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Kind of a “Get out of Jail” card.

@ For Speech only I agree with

God tells the Israelites to make slaves out of their neighbors and their families. The “heathens” and “strangers” are to be their possessions forever. Leviticus 25:44-46

After God killed Korah, his family, and 250 innocent bystanders, the people complained saying, “ye have killed the people of the Lord.” So God, who doesn’t take kindly to criticism, sends a plague on the people. And “they that died in the plague were 14,700.” Numbers 16:41-50

If you do show any mercy to such strangers, “give your daughters to any of them, or “take” any of their daughters, then you’ll get God so angry that he’ll “destroy thee suddenly.” Dueteronommy 7:4

In the cities that god “delivers into thine hands” you must kill all the males (including old men, boys, and babies) with “the edge of the sword .... But the women ... shalt thou take unto yourself.” Deuteronomy 20:13

If a man marries, then decides that he hates his wife, he can claim she wasn’t a virgin when they were married. If her father can’t produce the “tokens of her virginity” (bloody sheets), then the woman is to be stoned to death at her father’s doorstep. Dueteronomy 22:13-21

“The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them.” If God doesn’t like you, he’ll send a thunderstorm your way to break your body into little pieces. 1 Samuel 2:10

God has smitten his “enemies upon the cheek bone” and has “broken the teeth of the ungodly.” Psalms 3:7

God will “wound the head of his enemies” so that the righteous can wash their feet “in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same.” Psalms 68:21, 23

God will laugh at your misfortunes, mock you when you are afraid, and ignore you when you ask him for help. And if you seek him, you will not find him. Proverbs 1:26-28

Beating your children with a rod is a sure sign of parental love. Proverbs 13:24

Beat your children and don’t stop just because they cry. Proverbs 19:18

Beat your children hard and often. Don’t worry about hurting them. You may break a few bones and cause some brain damage, but it isn’t going to kill them. And even if they do die, they’ll be better off. They’ll thank you in heaven for beating the hell out of them. Proverbs 23:13-14

Beating your children will make them wise. Proverbs 29:15

Beat your servants (slaves), as though they were your children. Proverbs 29:19

God will “go forth as a mighty man” who cries and roars, and “will cry like a travailing woman.” After he tires of roaring and crying he’ll “destroy and devour.” What a guy. Isiah 42:13

Jesus recommends that to avoid sin we cut off our hands and pluck out our eyes. This advice is given immediately after he says that anyone who looks with lust at any women commits adultery. Matthew 5:29-30

Cities that neither “receive” the disciples nor “hear” their words will be destroyed by God. It will be worse for them than for Sodom and Gomorrah. And you know what God supposedly did to those poor folks (see Gen.19:24). Matthew 10:14-15

God is like a rich man who owns a vineyard and rents it to poor farmers. When he sends servants to collect the rent, the tenants beat or kill them. So he sent his son to collect the rent, and they kill him too. Then the owner comes and kills the farmers and rents the vineyard to others. Matthew 21:33-41

Jesus criticizes the Jews for not killing their disobedient children as required by Old Testament law. (See Ex.21:15, Lev.20:9, Dt.21:18-21) Mark 7:9-10

According to Jesus, only a few will be saved; the vast majority will suffer eternally in hell where “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Luke 13:23-30

The “wrath of God” is on all unbelievers. John 3:36

Homosexuals (those “without natural affection”) and their supporters (those “that have pleasure in them”) are “worthy of death.” Romans 1:31-32

“That which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.”
Apostates will burn in hell with the other non-believers. Hebrews 6:8

Did I miss any?

@Sixy - Apparently, you read a different Bible then the rest of us.  There is one other reason - it just makes you feel loved, happy and feel good.

@ Barb

I would go out on a tiny limb here and say that any children who weren’t traumatized by their religious upbringing is some way, shape, or form had parents/caretakers/guardians who weren’t true Xians or believers in the bible.  B/c If you truly follow the bible’s teachings you have to tell to beat your kids with a ROD…you have to impress upon them if they don’t eat the right food they’ll burn in hell, or if they have impure thoughts of any kind they’ll burn in hell, or if they aren’t born with the right sexuality they’ll burn in hell, or if they don’t worship they right god they’ll burn in hell.

Did I miss any?

@ ID revoked

I’m sure, like you state, there a lot of good reasons to come back to the baby Jebus…I can think of a few popular ones:

1. You just spent years in jail and the cheap & easy way to get out early on good behaviour is to accept the jebus crust as your personal lord & saviour.

2. You’ve been addicted to drugs & alcohol for years and its left you jobless & homeless, and you join AA & NA…and the 12 stop program forces you to accept a supernatural being that has power that is not your own.

3. Your a child growing up in a home where the parents are zealots and if you don’t believe in god you don’t get any supper and you get beaten with a belt every night.

4. You met this really hot chick who happens to be head of the church group and is a huge PRO-lifer who loves jebus & is thinking of joining Rick Perry’s campaign…and to get in those panties you’ll have to accept Jebus crust as your personal lord & saviour.

5. You just moved to a small town and you have no friends yet, and you quickly find out that in order to fit in and be accepted you have to be a member of the xian church, and you have to hate gays, liberals, and black presidents….so you have no choice but to accept jebus crust has your personal lord & saviour.

Did I miss any?

@ ID revoked

I’m sure the little voices inside your head keep telling you that your god’s chosen one, and that Jebus has promised to keep you tight to his bosom while you eat his flesh & drink his blood {not that there is anything wrong with that}.

I’m sure it’s perfectly sane to dream about spending an eternity with a supernatural man who tells you what to do while you worship his body, and praise his “glory” has it washes over you.

That doesn’t sound creepy at all

@Rick Wingrove. No, Rick, you know me & like me! Truth is, I like you too, but I think Santa would say, “You’re a naughty Boy.” You’ve had sadness & anger in your life, but God is knocking on your door. Ready to bring you light & love. It’s never too late to receive his love (unless you die). They say that they think Christopher Hitchens converted just before his death. If there was hope for him, there is hope for you as well. ;-)

@Identity Revealed - It finally dawned on me who you are! You’re that fidgety guy who stands outside the fence when we are putting up our displays, waving his bible in the air, and yelling at passing cars. That doesn’t look crazy at all.

Just by yourself, you account for exactly half of the angry confrontations we’ve had with outraged citizens on the lawn over our displays. You are indeed a valiant warrior for your religion, struggling as you apparently do with a wispy grasp on reality.

But, keep at it, big guy - you just about have me convinced to start re-believing in bronze age deities.

For Free Speech

It is simple; when government land is open to religious display they have to allow anyone a say. In this case someone put up a display with a dead Santa.

People actually tried to rip it down and destroy it and sadly enough others here support that action because they think it is justified when clearly it is not. What if someone took down the nativity? It is clearly hypocrisy and a violation of free speech.

I agree with you on how it is counter productive; it will either end any display there and it is certainly making he message they want to silence better seen.

@Barbara, you brought out an interesting point & Mr Wingrove has answered you that he DOES have “one” extra name he uses…But alas!! Not so!! We KNOW he uses many other names…Humm…Why would he not be truthful? Well, because he CAN! He doesn’t believe in God. Maybe he follows the laws of our country, but for him to tell a lie is “no big deal”. He’s a really GOOD fibber too! He has a kinda’ deadpan look. Why? He wants us to believe he has a large group of followers & friends. Really, he is not so very popular. A persons behavior always comes back on them. I can’t say what will happen or when, but eventually his house of cards will fall.

@FedUpDud - In fact, when the Skeletor Santa was attacked, it allowed that message to be heard nationwide.  These so called vandals actually did more harm to their cause then help.  Just think that the kid had his 15 minutes of fame that a lot of people don’t get.

@FedupDud - So you are saying the 1 or maybe 2 individuals take down or vandalize Skeletor Santa and that denies you your free speech.  I don’t see the connection here, maybe you can explain it further.  No one has kept you from stating your opinion here (your free speech), they’ve certainly commented one you statements (their free speech).  So where is this suppression?

Feeling SO blessed & so excited for the celebration of Christmas. For me it’s been a chance to remind my family, friends & co-workers of my love and admiration for them. I am grateful that God sent his only Son, Jesus, to us to show us the way to live, to spread the message of his love, and to redeem us from our sins. I have enjoyed seeing the Navitity on the Courthouse lawn. It is SO lovely! Thankfully we have been able to enjoy it this year. I am thankful that this contoversary has exposed the fact the not only is God alive & well with many faithful followers, but also that Hell is real. We’ve heard seen the ugliness right here. We’ve seen them taunt us & try to get an “unchristian” reaction. We’ve seen that it is only a small group (200 at most) in Loudoun. But seen our believers grow & their faith grow too. I have seen two new Navitities on my commute. Also there are lit crosses & angels galore amongst the private Christmas lights. At my church, giving is though the roof! At my church each member is active, excited & praying each day. At church Sundays, you feel the presence of God in his house & feel an all out celebration of him by every person. We are not sleeping through the sermon. We are listening attentively, following the message with our Bibles & taking notes. We are hungry to serve our Lord God. Hungry to reach out to our family, friends & co-workers with love or help if needed. We are hungry to know more. We see his goodwill & hear his voice, not just once a day, but many times. God is good!! All the time!!! <3

Seems I touched a nerve by pointing out the true hypocrites here.

Christians are free to say what they want when have I said otherwise. What you are not free to do is quash other people free speech in the form of stealing or taking down the dead Santa. That is not free speech that is suppression of free speech.

FedUpDude fights for free speech, but when Christians try to speak freely about the Glory of God and the sacrifice of the Messiah, all wants to do is shut that message up.

How’s it going Barb?
I only use one alternate ID, but only occasionally, and not at all on this thread, so all the others are really just other people voicing their own opinions.
And it appears that all the anger is coming from the religious community. Methinks you project too much.

@6th - As long as momma gets a new pair of shoes, I’ll drink a little wine & munch on a wafer.

FedUpDude needs a life.  Heck, even a hobby will do.

@FedUpDude:  Another lovely Loudoun citizen who thinks his opinion is the only one that counts.  Well, news flash, some of us are fed up with closed minded people like you.  To each his own opinion.

I stop by once a day to read this thread, and in the course of this show I’ve read a lot of the local atheist websites, all of which are subsets of Mr. Wingrove.

6th cent, are you channelling his writings on his anger at being traumatized by a religious upbringing in the Bible belt, or are you yet another internet manifestation of the author himself?

Some of it is darn near cut and paste—mix it up a bit, huh?  (and some of it IS cut and paste—quoting him being quoted—lol!)


Agree that many Atheists do aspire to be good… and I’d hope that would include respecting others’ beliefs and not antagonizing in discussions at this.

As for the courtyard display - never said it was an Atheist that put it up.  What I said was that it was sad that someone would choose this season to mock and insult others.

I “get” the idea that some might see this as a teachable moment… but the fact is, the mechanism used to teach is just rude and inconsiderate.

As someone mentioned on this thread, Christmas is about goodwill and joy, not about superficial things - which includes opinions (IMO)... and all of us can share in that regardless of what we believe.

Of course, I fail to see how putting up an insulting display fosters goodwill and joy in any way.


People can be mocked for anything… I frequently mock Redskins fans, as well as wine snobs :)

Of course, any mocking I do is done in good taste…

When you try to catch the fox in the hen house, don’t tell the fox that you have installed a video camera.

@upset - Children see what you explain to them.  My children were not the least bit upset or traumatized by this.  Skeletons are everywhere around Halloween time, so that image did not scare them.  They don’t understand the symbolism of the cross at 5 & 6, so that did not bother them.  I simply told them it was a Halloween Santa.  I didn’t make a big deal out of it, so they shrugged and we moved on.  It’s often us adults that traumatize our children with our preconceived opinions and views.


It makes perfect sense to practice symbolic cannibalism on Sundays.

Who doesn’t like eating historical Jewish people?

Just to clarify for the folks who are unfamiliar with the inner-workings of the Roman Catholic church…what @We Live Again is referring to by “communion”:

A man in a dress holds up a piece of wafer bread and cap of fermented grape juice and says “HOCUS POCUS” - yes that’s where that comes from in the latin - in which they are magically transubstantianted into the “actual” not just the “allegorical” or “hyperbolical” or “parodical” but “actual” body and blood of a 2,000+ year old jewish man named Jesus, a common name for the time period.  As based in the traditions at the time with other greek, roman, and egyptian gods, the followers are supposed to consume the flesh and blood of their “hero-god” who all were born of a virgin, predicted by an astrological phenomenom, and tortured to death.

Any Questions?

“For instance, a woman may love her favorite pair of shoes, but after a while she has to try on a new pair of shoes and take the risk of it not being as comfortable as her previous pair of shoes.”

It’s simple because all she has to do is take communion and her old shoes become new again.

Its impossible to mock people who don’t believe in gods.

Its the equivalent trying to mock white males, is there anything someone can possibly say that would hurt?

I would love to hear.


I would argue that Atheists do aspire to be “good people”. 

I would reiterate that this display was not thought of by an atheist….so no atheist can take credit for this display.

You know I’ve tried to reason with super-ideological religious folk for many years now…and it’s a complete waste of time.  If they can’t understand a simple choice, how can they understand a more complex one?

For instance, a woman may love her favorite pair of shoes, but after a while she has to try on a new pair of shoes and take the risk of it not being as comfortable as her previous pair of shoes.

For folks caught up in organized religion, there is no such thing as making that simple choice.  Nor understanding why it’s so healthy to choose to try on something different. 

When I was indoctrinated into fanatic belief system I too could not be reasoned with, for I was blind to everything except my narrow-minded subjective point of view based entirely upon faith.  It took the efforts of many to shake me out of that lifestyle..and I’ll tell you it was not a gentle shake…it took some harsh words, mockery, and making me feel embarrassed for having ever thought as ridiculously as I once did.

It was out of love, i believe they call this “tough love” that my friends and peers shook me out of a destructive and unhealthy lifestyle.  At the time I thought it was cruel & insensitive, but of course how else could they have shaken me out of that deep trance.

One must fully respect the power of the seductive pull that super-ideological organized religion has on the human mind.  ETERNAL LIFE.

Perhaps I really meant “coincidental rather than ironic” before…but I digress…

Something we all can probably agree on is that humans can be very stubborn and pig-headed when it comes to learning something new.

This simple display gave us all a unique opportunity to learn something new about the world, and about ourselves.

I am grateful for the dialogue and discussion this “controversial” {you know compared to what I dunno…god implanting a seed into a 15yr old virgin, just so god could become a human and perform a few magic tricks} subject has brought about. 

Most Loudoun County residents probably don’t realize how great of a teaching tool this truly has become. 

And you owe it all to a 15 yr old christian high school student.

It’s correct that people have the right to mock others.  If that’s how someone wants to argue a point or demonstrate their beliefs, no one should stop them.

What saddens me is, regardless of your beliefs, this time of year typically lends itself to understanding and goodwill… and it’s ashame that some people will try to pour cold water on that.

Frankly, it’s just rude and inconsiderate. 

There are better ways to have civil discourse without mockery and rudeness.  There are better ways to make a point without insulting others (this works both ways).

Those who have religious beliefs should be content in their faith that silly displays have no influence on them… and they should turn the other cheek to those who mock them. 

Those who don’t have such beliefs should at least respect their neighbors and show some common goodwill and taste.  Even Atheists should aspire to be good people :)

What I find particularly ironic is how Super-Ideological organized religious folks act the same way that Corporate PR machines do….

They both endorse a method of control.

They both look to force-feed the general population.

They both want you to believe in a fairy-tale life.

They both want you to act without question.

They both want your un-divided attention.

They both think it’s their right to indoctrinate you with their seductive messages and branding.

Makes you think doesn’t it?

@Sixth Cents - You didn’t answer my questions: “If I punched you in the face, what would your rational self do?”

The fact that a 15 yr old high school student was brave enough to put this display up should also deserve our respect, admiration, and our praise.

Most people don’t want to talk about the 500lb elephant in the room.

Commercialization, and Materialization is killing the spirit of the holidays…it’s made watching TV stifling to the sense due to the arrogance and incedible lack of sensitivity to what most families are going thru b/c of the unchecked powers of the 1% in this country.

Many are homeless, many can’t afford simple gifts for their children. 

The media and corporate PR machines increase the despair by promoting the “American Dream” of owning more crap than you possibly need.

What’s sad isn’t this display…What’s sad is how many people eat the media and corporate tripe with a smile, and then ask for seconds and thirds.

That’s why they call it “Sheeple” and not People.

I think it’s worth re-stating the purpose of this display…

The death of the true meaning of the holiday season…

Peace, love, joy, and Family.

@Sixth Cents - If I punched you in the face, what would your rational self do?

Anbody who has escaped from the super-ideoology & fantacism of organized religion understands that people use their “faith” as an excuse for making unhealthy decisions, and for making poor arguments.

When hyper-emotionality is involved one cannot expect a human mind to make a rational choice or to argue logicaly.

It’s like if I punched you in the face, and then gave you 10 seconds to make a decision of which car to buy, or which present you should get for your significant other.

There is a deep well of emotional feelings that get wrapped up with those still caught in the web of lies from super-ideological organized religion. 

A calm, rational, logical human being would ask questions first, before making snap judgements, and displaying knee jerk responses.  That is the basis of rational inquiry…something that is sorely lacking in this debate.

@George Costanza - the operative words are “he leaves presents”  Have you not learned that the kids really don’t care where they come from or who delivers them as long as they get them.  They are assured that at least twice a year they’ll get presents.

you know your kids are going to (if they haven’t already) see far worse on the internet right?  a skeleton santa is amusing at best. but everyone hiding behind their kids “innocence” is blind.

Rick Wingrove makes a mockery of mockering.

Repost from Rick Wingrove on CBS news:

Mocking christianity, or any religion, is not a sign of sickness, but of a mind that can distinguish between reality and mythology. Mockery is a common form of criticism, frequently containing humor. Christianity is not immune from criticism - or humor - and there is much that is mock-worthy.
Christian nationism, and young earth creationism, biblical literalism, and an undeserved but unshakable sense of superiority and entitlement are all worthy of mockery.
Mockery is not illegal in America - it is the essence of free speech and something the mockable are just going to have to live with. Mockery is illegal in Saudi Arabia and the Vatican and in oppressive theocracies throughout history. Where mockery is illegal, it is also illegal to ask inconvenient questions or state opinions contrary to religious authority. That is a system the Founders abandoned over 2 centuries ago, and for obvious reasons.
So, if you don’t like our system, where we can think and speak freely, where we are free to shine a bright light on controversial subjects, to probe for the facts, to be critical of the ridiculous, and to be free of religious authority not of our own choosing, you should probably get your med adjusted.

Will someone please explain how believing in an obese-Nordic guy breaking in your house to leave presents benefits children?

I would love to hear.

Thanks in advance.

@Upset - What do I tell my kids everythime I have to take them by a church with that little manger scene on the lawn??  How do I explain all the other kids fantasies about some mythical fat man in a red suit handing out goodies?

@Upset Mother…

Your point makes me think of something…How do I explain to a child the image a half naked man hanging from a crucifix who has been tortured to death???

Of course children were being let into movie theatres see the “Smashing of the Christ, oops I mean the Passion of the Christ” b/c their parents deemed it a “necessary religious experience”. 

Any idea how much gore, violence, and disgusting behaviour is in the bible?  Slavery is condoned, so is incest, murder, and genocide.

One thing that always amazed me about all the Arrogant, Morally Presumptuous people out in the world is that they stand up for a “super ideology” they don’t even fully understand.
Not only do they stand up for up, but they don’t think just having their own tax-exempt place of worship is good enough…they must infect the rest of society with their “message of love”...which is nothing more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Do you have any idea what the annual budget is for religious organizations for psychotherapy & psychiatrists?  It’s in the billions.

Of course those who proselytize & preach in public are lacking the sensitivity to those who have been hurt by the super ideology of religion, b/c they are blinded by their hyper-emotionality of their zealotry.

Far too long has the super-ideology of organized religion given unchecked and unabated power & authority to sociopaths, bullies, and psychophants.  Intimidation is the predominant behaviour of these cowards. They don’t care who is hurt as long as their over indulgent super ideological religous crusade is carried out.

If you only understood the destructive powers of religious super idealism, and how it’s used in the hands of sociopaths.

Or building on what Meow said you can explain that there is an establishment clause in our nations preventing the government from only allowing one voice on religion from being heard and since Christians keep insisting on having a nativity on public property we have to put up with other view points too. They could just have the nativity at churches and private property and leave well enough alone but for some reason they feel the need to push their view out on public property and this is the result.

@ Upset

1. Don’t your children see things just as morbid at Christmas time?

2. What harm would it do to tell her Santa isn’t real?

3. How does believing in myth benefit your daughter?

@Upset - You sound intellegent, so I don’t see that it would be very difficult to explain this to a child.  You could actually be very truthful to the child - something like: “that some people don’t like Christmas (like the Grinch) and want to put hatefull & hurtfull things up in public.  Our Constitution allows everyone the right to speak freely even if it is stupid.  Just last night your father said…”

@Upset - Really you think it is a big deal? I had much worse in front of my house on Halloween and the kids in the area loved it.

I don’t care what your religious or political stance is in this world, who in their right mind would approve something like this on public property where children could see this???!!! This is completely unacceptable, being a mother it really upsets me that this is something on public property in the view of so many children. How do parents explain this to their children, does anyone in this county think of the children, Thank goodness my daughter is too young to pick up on things like this, I can’t imagine how anyone would be able to explain this to their children. I know that there are many places where children can see violent images and such, but in front of the county courthouse a parent should not have to explain to their child why someone could be this cruel to portray santa this way. Santa is for the children, not something to be used by troll adults to “make a point” This is a disgrace,“adults” need to use their brains every once in awhile and think about the children in this community! DISCRACEFUL LOUDOUN COUNTY

@ Meow

Love is simply a human emotion that better allowed for the survival of your ancestor’s genes.

Do you also “believe” in hate, jealousy, anger, etc.

I believe in a thing called love..just listen to the rhythm of my heart.

PaulBWaterford another ugly American who does not support our founding documents.

@Kenneth - I stand corrected.  However, I do believe there may possibly be a troll living in your computer. Happy Holidays!  ;)

Open Minded wrote:

Atheism is a belief system just as much as Catholocism, Judism, Muslim etc.


Nice logic there. How is not believing in something a belief system?

Under your logic, not believing in leprechauns, Zeus, or gnomes living in computers is a belief system.

Therefore, the average person had hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of belief systems.


I’d like to high-5 the “vandals” and bitch slap the punk who started all this BS.


So very “Christian” of you. Your supposed “savior” Jesus would be proud of you.

PS- I’d bet $10 you never graduated from college.

@Old St. Nick - Actually today is the second day of Hannukah, not really sure when Christmas became a month long event that everyone else needs to bend to.  Atheism is a belief system just as much as Catholocism, Judism, Muslim etc.  Don’t make yourself the prime example of what I was pointing out in my post.

I’d like to high-5 the “vandals” and bitch slap the punk who started all this BS.

@Open Minded…since when is Athiesm a “religion”???  Why cant CHRISTMAS simply be for those who embrace it?  Why all of a sudden, has it become the time of year (and a proposed Olympic sport) for every looney-tune NON-Christian, to come out of the woodwork and show their stupidity at this particular time of year?  Big deal, there’s a gazillion different religions.  Let them all celebrate whatever it is that they believe in - on another day!

One of the reasons this story is all over the DC news is the fact we are the only county that still has holiday displays on government grounds. Time we joined the 21st century.

Open Minded wrote:
People need to be more open and accepting of each other’s religions.  In the grand scheme of things is this really that big a deal people?


There can be no compromise in the 400 year old death-match between science and religion.

Science is winning.

Maybe they will catch Ken Reid removing christian displays from the courhouse grounds.  After all, that’s what he wants the County to start doing.  See his letter to the editor at Patch.

Atheists have as much a right to put up a display as Catholics do a Nativity scene.  People need to be more open and accepting of each other’s religions.  In the grand scheme of things is this really that big a deal people?

Amy White:

The only true atheist, is the atheist that sits at home and enjoys life without God and keep their mouth shut to prevent themselves from indoctrinating others into their religious beliefs.


Atheism is a religious belief similar to how bald is a hair color.

We’re not indoctrinating you anyways, we’re just pointing out the absurdity of your moronic, bronze age beliefs.

It takes someone either very stupid or very gullible to believe in any Abrahamic religion. Perhaps you fit both categories Amy?

@Park View:
You read into that far to deep. Went way over your head.
Merry Christmas to all.

Oh By the Way, I see how Intelligent you are, you can’t even spell Intelligent!!! LMAO Way to go smarty pants!

@Sterling, you LOLz me. Love your suggestion for going back to your own cave. Too cute. ;-)

Darn it, that should be lawn not laws.

Loudouner - It is in Leesburg because that is where the county government laws open for displays are. It is as simple as that. Most of the displays are from other parts of Loudoun too.

Oh By the Way, I see how Intelligent you are, you can’t even spell Intelligent!!! LMAO Way to go smarty pants!

Don’t let the door hit you in the ARSE!

Here’s how the “inteligent” atheists argue their point. You Chritsians are Dense, Stupid, Dumb, not progressive, not forward thinking. Wow you guys sound like a bunch a geniuses. How great it must be to be as smart as you. I’m in Awe! Guess I’ll go back to my cave, knuckles dragging along the way.

Well Shame on HER!!!  Keep your crap in your own Town!!!

This is not a child’s doing. There is no child in Middleburg named that in Middleburg. The woman responsible lives in Marshall, but that is not Loudoun County. Her name is Embrey. She is part of NoVa Atheists.

I know Middleburg is Loudoun County, but why does he have to bring that down here???  Just to make a statement.  It’s a horrible site for children to see.  Horrible.  He could have just put it on his own front lawn if he likes it so much.


Middleburg is part of Loudoun County; it is the counties lawn. If you are going to open up the County government lawn to displays this is what is going to happen. Why not leave the religious displays on non government property and avoid the whole mess?

Why is this guy Jeff placing this crap on the Loudoun Courthouse Lawn???? Stay in Middleburg!!!!!  I was born and raised here, and I am ashamed by this display for Christmas.    I will not bring my kids anywhere near this.

That is the kind of atheist I am; beleive what you will no skin off my nose. I have never entered into the debate on if God is real or not I am talking about the free speech issue and establishment laws.

As an American that believes in the separation of church and state I do not think we should have religious displays on government property and if you do you have to let everyone else have a say and when you don’t like what they say you do not have the right to rip it down and silence their free speech.

This issue is about free speech and I will not remain silent when Christians want to prevent others from having a say.

FedUpDude — Organized Atheism is technically its own religion. You all believe not to believe and then you run around preaching why nobody else should believe and that your doctrine of the world should be accepted by all.

The only true atheist, is the atheist that sits at home and enjoys life without God and keep their mouth shut to prevent themselves from indoctrinating others into their religious beliefs.


Yeah that will work, up to the point that their vehicle is on tape and the cops just find their license plate and show up at their house.

So ninja on up and quash free speech, they will still catch you.

Shaking My Head

Really the atheist have lacked maturity? They are not stealing the baby Jesus and trying to silence others 1st amendment rights. Many of the so called Christians here are down right unAmerican.

Go to You Tube & watch Eric Bolling from Fox Business News where the atheist got kicked off the show. Very interesting. It shows how this all coming from a National organization that has nothing to do with Loudoun County.

Scottish pastor Alexander MacLaren said: “Rejected light is the parent of the densest darkness, and the man who, having the light, does not trust it, piles around himself thick clouds of obscurity and gloom.” Jesus described this self-imposed spiritual eclipse of heart and mind when He said, “If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt. 6:23).

I agree.  We had people dealing drugs across the street few years ago and tipped the cops.  There was no surveillance for them however, they spend their time watching a stupid skeleton.  I know vandalism is against the law but come on…we have bigger and more serious things to worry about.

Great - now a camera.  More waste of tax payers money.  Enough already.

better yet, with video camera up, vandals should remember to wear black and use a ski mask.

...video cameras?  just wait, the video cameras will be stolen, then the Santa Devil will be knocked over..

The immaturity of the atheists on this thread is rather shocking.  I’ve met some atheists in my time who were mature and could present their view without the vitriol and ugliness of so many here.  Then again, those without God in their lives typically ARE like what you’re seeing here.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised after all.

...as for Santa, I like Santa!  Not the Coca-Cola, consumerist Santa; the real giving ideal of Santa. The beautiful myth and the notion of sharing the spirit and meaning.

I don’t care what you believe in.  I reiterate the following in the face of the so called “war on Christmas” folk:

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

“Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.”
-Benjamin Franklin

“Religions are all alike - founded upon fables and mythologies.”
-Thomas Jefferson

“The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.”
-John Adams

“In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.”
-James Madison

“Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private schools, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and the state forever separated.”
-Ulysses S. Grant

“I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.”
-Susan B. Anthony

“It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”
-Mark Twain

“No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means.”
-George Bernard Shaw

“The world holds two classes of men - intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.”
-Abu Ala Al-Ma’arri

“Whatever we cannot easily understand we call god; this saves much wear and tear on the brain tissues.”
-Edward Abbey

“If it turns out that there is a God, I don’t think that he’s evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever.”
-Woody Allen

“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”
― Christopher Hitchens

The circus goes on.  Thanks Scott York!

Look at me!

I am an atheist and I believe that a bolt of lightning hit a rock and created amino acids thus creating life!  I also believe I am intellectually superior to Christians and try to make my point by mocking their faith in a mean-spirited manner, thus invalidating the charade my fellow atheists perpetuate to treat others with respect.

Look at me! I was unloved as a child.

Merry CHRISTmas!

I believe that Jenelle Hamilton Embrey of Marshall put this up. Her Facebook photo shows the same skeleton and Santa hat. She is affiliated with NOVA Atheists. For some reason she did not use her own name. Shame, maybe?

Stop name dropping.

I find it ridiculous that the LT continues to make this a front-page headline.  It’s trivial and the more you make something of it, the more people are gonna spazz over it.  Bury it in the back !

anonymous: God does not act on your commands. God’s will is your destiny. Whatever God will, it will be. And given that Christmas displays are allowed on the Courthouse Grounds, it is God’s divine will they be there.

The Atheists are attacking Christians all over this country. I loved reading about Athens, TX where 5000 Christians rallied against them & to keep their Navitity. Read “the Christian Post” . Com for all the updates. I loved reading about the billboard they refused to put up that compares Jesus to Satan in Mansfield, OH.
The Atheists who are posting on Loudoun Times Mirror, probably do not live here. Rick Wingrove lives here,but his group has about 200 members locally. However my church is many times over that member wise. I know of many other churches who are also huge in Loudoun. These Atheists are like the gnats that buzz your head in the summertime. Easy enough to ignore if you spray some DEET.

My sons, you are all forgiven once you have accepted Christ, my son into your heart.  He have died for all your sins, past, present & future, so that you’ll have a place in heaven, even you Kenneth.

Dear God,
Please give our new Board of Supervisors the insight to stop this insidious behavior of displays on our Court House lawn that has become no more than an attack on humanity.
Please forgive those who have made comments on being good Christians when they have spewed hate on this blog themselves.
Please forgive those who have lied to their children about what the true meaning of Christmas is about and not some Jolly ole fat man that comes down a chimney bearing gifts.
Forgive those who take this day as a day off and refer to it as no more than a Federal Holiday to get out of work.
Please forgive those that have done harm on black friday to get a materialistic present for a loved one and to those who put a price tag on this day.
And God, please forgive me for not having the strength not to blog.

Though it did not turn out well, you have to admit, they meant well.

I for one think we should take copies of the Virginia Code and the US Code and put them on display out in front of our various churches and synagogues.  What could be wrong with that?

“In God we Trust”

Brought to you by a 1950’s McCarthy-era congress, and their witch-hunts provided one of the most awful eras in the history of the United States.


Because it is there today thanks to the tools in the 1950s does not mean I have to accept it forever. Things change and one day god will not be on our money and it will not be in our pledge like it was before that fool/hypocrite McCarthy.

And no matter how desperately Christians try to stay relevant we as a nation will one day be a majority of secular people like Europe. Not because there is anything wrong with believing in God but as the population becomes more and more educated they just give up on taking things on faith and beleive in what is proven as so many places in the world shows us.

It gets attention because we are the only local county with religious displays on our courthouse lawn.

FedUpDude - I’m curious what currency you live on in America since you find In God We Trust so offensive on every dollar and coin.

I bet the loudoun times staff are the ones slowly taking apart the skeleton.  A lot of attention for such a stupid thing.

@FedUpDude - Glad you finally got something to eat.


Wow you are dense. It is not about ending Christianity it is about removing religious displays from government property. If people simply stuck to keeping nativities on private property problem solved.

A few atheists are not going to get rid of Christianity. If history tells us anything it’s that Christianity survives the most vile persecution. Sorry atheists, Chrsitianity will be around long after you are worm food. Merry Christmas!!!

Look at me!

I’m a Christian and I believe in the supernatural, Jewish scripture, people rising from the dead, spirits, multiple gods, angels, human sacrifice, symbolic cannibalism.

Look at me!

LoCo may be a joke, but it’s one of the richest jokes.

Scott York is a terrible stupidvisor.  He had the chance to fix this problem several times and did nothing.  Loudoun county is the joke of the world thanks to him.

@Jess - If the Leesburg vandal can perform the same miracles, rise from the dead, etc. as Jesus, I’ll give her the same pass.

Jesus stood with the 99%.

An Enlightened Being - He wasn’t arrested for vandalism. He was arrested for Sedition. Jesus was a Vandal doing God’s work. Will you dare condemn Jesus for vandalizing the money changers in the temple?

In response to Julie in Waterford. Maybe you should go read the constitution of our great nation and study about the people who founded it before making your ignorant statements.

Thomas Jefferson: “Believing that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their Legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”

James Madison: “Religion and government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”

The Constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

Jessica - 75% of americans are christians. The nativity scene on the court house lawn is christian. The clowns who want to use public schools to recruit children into bible classes are christian. The football game prayers are christian. The separation deniers in these comments are christians. 
Atheists don’t find the mythologies of the muslims or the hindus or the sun worshippers to be any more convincing than the christian mythology. They are just less of a problem right now for those who want to keep religion and government separated. You do the math.

@Sarah - Uh, he was arrested & crucified, did you forget?

And, again a reminder of the facts about the christmas displays: The atheists are not trying to destroy christmas - they are trying to stop the government from playing favorites with religion. If you have been paying attention, the atheists have put up a display every month for the last year. The atheists have never tried to stop anyone from having their holiday.
As if there were any way to do that.
Claims to the contrary are a christian lie that is meant to ignore the truth and generate hatred and mistrust. Not a very noble approach.
Atheists just want the government to stop being a mouthpiece for religion. Government has no business promoting anyones religion.
Put up the nativity scenes or anything else on the church lawn where it rightly belongs.
It is not the atheists who are the intruders on the Court House lawn - it is those who would corrupt government by demanding special treatment and religioious favoritism.

why cant you atheist go protest muslims and jews? why are you always ragging on christians?

@An Enlightened Being— Lets arrest Jesus because he vandalized the money changer’s tables in the temple. Lets subject God’s Law to Man’s Law. Good thinking.

Tebow sucks…

Abraham you are a poor American. You sound like you want to set up and Christian version of Taliban rule in America. Shame on you.

Just a word about fairness: if you want to know what the “atheist agenda” is, ask an atheist, not someone with an irrational, uninformed, religion-stoked hatred of atheists.
It’s like science - ask a scientist, not someone who hates science because of what science implies for the literal bible. No, don’t expect to get good science at church - get it from real scientists.

boy is this really news
who cares!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bazokajoe - we are actually protected from christian violence by our secular Constitution, and NOT by the good graces of the christians who hate the Constitution, who deny Separation, and who are direct descendents of, and share the same core values as, the Inquisitors.
Judging from the websites, blogs, comments, and emails I see, the christianists want to ignore all Constitutional restraints on religion, make the US a theocracy, and dispatch atheists as quickly as possible to the worst imaginable fate in the universe. Nice.

The real shame is Ken Reid who no is saying he wants all Christian displays removed from the courthouse grounds.  Typical pol - he lies, lies, lies.  To get votes, he claimed he was for Christian expression on the courthouse grounds.  After the election, he wants them gone.  What a guy!

What’s wrong with people!?

I was raised a Catholic but I’m not really religious anymore and would probably be considered an atheists now but I have no problem with Chritmas/religious displays of any kind.

It’s the hating of other religions by each other that’s so sad.  This is a very big country and there is room for all.

Santa, Christmas tree, Angels, Menorah, winter scenes, snowmen etc. can be nicely displayed on the lawn for kids and adults of ALL faiths to enjoy. 

I lived in Leesburg for 17 years and loved every minute of it but I’m glad I’ve moved because it’s sad to see what’s happening. 

Bazoka Joe—You’re an idiot!!!

@BM - Had the original vandal been charged, it may have deterred others.
@Abe - You can quote all the scripture you want, however, God doesn’t like criminals, He forgives them, but doesn’t like them.

enlightened, what proof is there that the woman who originally disassembled the display has continued to do so?

If a camera has been erected, that will provide better evidence than inferential.

It may have become a copycat pastime for people who have no interest whatsoever in the courthouse display conflict, and are just pranking the hoopla—or maybe even some sypathetic to the cause of prohibiting display, who keep the controversy alive by their actions.

OMG can this story just go away?  We’ve all heard or read about it and some have seen the display in person.  Let’s just move on and enjoy Christmas and the New Year!!!!

Enlightened— “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The Lord is for me among those who help me; therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. All nations surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord I will destroy them.” (Psalm 118:6)

@Abraham - That’s just not true.  I’m a Christian and I’m appalled that the vandalism was allowed and the vandal not yet charged.  We know who she is & nothings been done yet.  I hope that the owner of the display brings charges against this so called Christian (a bad representative of Christ) that shows no tolerance toward the law.

the only people crying about the destruction of the displays are the atheists who don’t hold any sway in the county’s political power. you won’t get any tears about the destruction from the majority of folks in the county. in fact, you are likely to find more cheers of support for whomever destroyed that monstrosity.

All these morons taking the display apart are doing is putting the nails in the coffin of having any display at the government building. They are also proving what hypocrites and poor Americans they are.

God Bless Tim Tebow. Let God work through him and bring the message of the Lord to the nation.

Psalm 37

Psalm 37[a]

    Of David.
 1 Do not fret because of those who are evil
   or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
   like green plants they will soon die away.

 3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
   dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the LORD,
   and he will give you the desires of your heart.

 5 Commit your way to the LORD;
   trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
   your vindication like the noonday sun.

 7 Be still before the LORD
   and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
   when they carry out their wicked schemes.

 8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
   do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed,
   but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

 10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
   though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land
   and enjoy peace and prosperity.

Do not fret—it only causes harm. —Psalm 37:8

Does it bother you to see how much attention is paid in today’s culture to people who stand for all the wrong things? Perhaps it is entertainment stars who get the headlines while espousing immoral philosophies in their music, movies, or programs. Or it could be leaders who openly thumb their noses at right-living standards.

It would be easy to fret about this and wring our hands in despair, but Psalm 37 suggests a better way. Listen to David’s wise advice: “Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity” (v.1).

While it is right to be “salt and light” (Matt. 5:13-14) in this tasteless, dark world—attempting to counter sin by reflecting Jesus’ light wherever possible—we cannot let negative forces cause us to live in anger and wrath (Ps. 37:8). Instead, we must rely on God to have the ultimate say about evildoers: “They shall soon be cut down like the grass” (v.2). Beyond that, we should take David’s approach: (1) “Trust in the Lord, and do good.” (2) “Feed on His faithfulness.” (3) “Delight yourself also in the Lord.” (4) “Commit your way to the Lord.” (5) “Rest in the Lord” (vv.3-7).

We may not like what we see and hear from some aspects of society, but remember this: God is in control. Trust Him to do what is right. And don’t fret. —Dave Branon

When tragedy, heartache, and sorrow abound,
When evil appears to have conquered the right,
We center our heart on our Father’s great love,
For He will bring hope in the darkest of night. —D. De Haan

Don’t despair because of evil; God will have the last word.

‘separation of church and state’ just means the church can’t run the Government directly. But separation of church and state doesn’t mean we can’t elect people who have faith in God.

After all, we mandate that all children be indoctrinated into Christianity by saying “One Nation, Under God” every morning from K-12.  God Bless America.

There s no “separation of church and state” in the Constitution. I dare anyone to find it. The phrase is NOT there. It states that the government shall not establish a religion NOR PROHIBIT THE PRACTICE THEREOF.

Paul wrote: majority rule buddy, and the majority are christians.


The majority is always right.

Always. Its never been wrong. Ever.

hey Bluebird, the court staff work for the people. and the people have spoken through the BoS to put displays on the courthouse property which is also owned by the public. majority rule buddy, and the majority are christians.

The courthouse staff should remove this piece of horrible junk off of the lawn and out of sight of human eyes.

Maybe the owners of the creche would display it appropriately on their church grounds next year, thus all other displays would also go to private property.  The Washington Post “feed” for this ongoing saga has made it across the nation now, as have segments from major t.v. stations; the media just loves controversy!

Christian-sanctioned vandalism - PERFECT term to describe the ongoing drama with the Santa Skeleton.  Let’s all see what happens if a vandal were to disturb a Nativity scene.  The suspect would be in handcuffs before they made it off the courthouse lawn.  The debate over the Santa Skeleton truely disgusts me. What ever happened to Christmas being about the little baby in a manger?  Christmas has become an over- commercialized, materialistic holiday.  Everybody wants to air their ridiculous grievances about, “Oh, they are taking out the Christ in Christmas!” Christ has already been taken out of Christmas and buried in the pile of presents under your tree. A pile of gifts that are most likely financed by credit cards.

BazokaJoe wrote:
all of you should be thankful you live in a tolerant christian society. if this was some muslim dominated society, most of you anti-God, pro-atheist people would likely be rounded and imprisoned or dead.


Its persuasive to hear the ignorance of muslims is more than the ignorance of Christians.

Don’t y’all both follow the Old Testament for guidance/ethics?

Its not two sides of the same coin or anything.

Did I mention that I’m a god too?

If you worship me and my father, you’re technically a bi-theist.

If you include the Holy Spirit, and pray to “saints”, you’re a pagan.

all of you should be thankful you live in a tolerant christian society. if this was some muslim dominated society, most of you anti-God, pro-atheist people would likely be rounded and imprisoned or dead. just remember you live under the grace of God, protected by his followers. but if you keep trying to shed this society of christianity, you may not like the outcome as islam floods in to fill the vacuum. just look at detroit.

My father demands respect, but if a human doesn’t worship him correctly, they will spend eternity in hell.

But he loves you.

If these Christian vandals were confident of the validity of their bronze-age, middle-eastern derived religion, they’d laugh at this ad-hoc art display.

there isn’t a single deputy that will ‘see’ anything happen on the courthouse grounds because they are on God’s side.

Kevin, though I can’t speak for anybody else, MY reference to atheists pertained to the ignorant comments made by them here.

When will you ignorant idiots learn to keep your mouths shut until you know the facts.  Atheists have nothing to do with this display.  It was originally put up by a Christian youth and dismantled by a Christian woman who found the display offensive.  Stop trying to blame atheists for every dispute of this nature.

Since WHEN does Santa represent Christians??  The argument you frothing atheists make about this being a band of roving Christians, running around stealing the pants off of Skeletor Santa is insane.  Santa wasn’t born to a virgin, and Santa does not redeem my soul.  Jesus did. 

Maybe somebody just hates Santa.  Or skeletons.  Or the color red.  Or pants.

What I want to know is, who is paying for this Level Orange security?  The taxpayer?  Would we be doing all of this if it was the baby Jesus stolen from the creche out front?  Doubtful.

This is all Supervisor York’s fault.  He was challenged to eliminate all displays as the Judges in the courthouse requested.  He ignored it…not one year…but two.  Now he is delaying it for a next years decision so he can give all the credit to the new board.  Even his weak opponent said he was against having the displays during one of the debates but he ignored it and continued to play political games.  Yes, it’s all his fault this community is embarrassed AGAIN!

May our children forgive us, as well as the child within us all. I am just as guilty of engaging in the debate, it seems it comes down to childhood vs adulthood, fantasy vs reason.  Ultimately, I preserve the spirit of Saint Nicholas and Christmas for my child in the spirit it was originally intended.  The American Santa is a consumerist invention.  I challenge anyone in that assertion.  No wonder he is a skeleton of the ideal notion of Saint Nicholas. I challenge so called Christians to find the meaning in Saint Nicholas amidst Christ’s mass.  Oh, try to share the spirit of your faith unless hypocrisy is your greater God.

A couple of things: whatever your beliefs are about the christian mythology, it is not the place of the government to promote it.
Your religion is your business and it is not the business of government to prop up a book of urban legends from before the birth of knowledge.
I haven’t seen any atheists even suggest that anyone not celebrate the holiday in their own way. They merely point out what the founders knew - that it is improper for the government to favor any religion. When govt favors one religion, it is telling everyone else that they are less favored?
What I have seen, however is a great deal of misinformation and, frankly, lies from the christian community, accusing the atheists of a war on christmas. But it has never been about christmas - it has been about the anti-constitutional endorsement of religion by government.
Any religious group can put up any kind of manger or cross or any kind of sign on their own property at any time. Someone please explain to me how this restricts anyones religion in any way.
The government has to be impartial about religion so that everyone gets equal access and equal treatment. Anything else is un-American.

If the Columbine freaks had made it to adulthood, these displays are the kind of stuff they’d be doing now.

BREAKING:  Loudoun County has it’s share of weirdos. 

OK, nothing to see here…please keep moving…

It’s probably the scum owner doing it himself.

And this whole thing is targeting our children’s innocence and fascination with the Christmas spirit.  So shame on you pinko perps.

“This is a developing story”

No ####, we’ll see lots more stories about it I am sure from this website.

Here’s the deal…these flippin’ Communist Atheists will do anything to keep the publicity of this skeleton going…ANYTHING…And if Christians truly were going to vandalize their “thoughtful” displays…we would not just take legs…or a head. We would take all of it away LOCK STOCK & BARREL…It would happen fast & it would have happened already. But, anything to keep on with their “pansy-butt” whine. “Ohhh Mommieeee!! MMMyyyy Santaaa lost his legggssss!!! Unbelieveable. Ya’ll are unreal. Dang Atheist Communists. ....

And we should care what a DC pilgram thinks?  Why?

Loudoun Board of Supervisors go back to nothing allowed on the court house lawn, no more controversy, done deal!

This Santa on the crucifix shall mark the declaration of war on Purcelleville, the home of Loudoun’s radical evangelism.  Let’s put an end to the Loudoun Taliban while we still can.

Another day in Lowdown County.  Now I am a firm believer in the seperation of church and state, but, at some point this is getting rediculous.  Do we really need the kids to see a skeleton clause.  In family law, courts look to the best interest of the children.  Man can’t we as a County take that position.  This is above and beyond stupid.

...Wondering why this has become such important news for the front page of the local paper? Perhaps we should be seeking more interesting news like stories of people reaching out to children and families in our community this CHRISTmas season.  Isin’t that what Christ desires us to do? “Love your neighbor” and GIVE to others? So, how’s about we put the paper down and spread some positive news…like GIVING ~ Merry CHRISTmas! :)

Good point, “Potomac Station Dweller”. Even non-Christians celebrate Christmas. But it’s kind of hard not to remember Christ, when you have to use it to spell Christmas. Never did understand why it’s a “holiday party” when Christmas presents are exchanged as well as Christmas cookies. Go figure. But he got what he wanted. He got attention. Got a media frenzy. Got people riled up. It all worked for him.

I bet the Loudoun Times-Mirror put this display up so they could write another useless article provoking a bunch of pointless comments.

Our lives were built by the laws of God and man. So are the court systems, You deal with them!

Julie - I always thought Virginia was for lovers.

Julie, I’m impressed!

Is there a news crew there again?  What a joke.  Hate crimes are only allowed against Christianity.

“We don’t believe that you should have a creche on the courthouse lawn … there should be separation of church and state,” Amy, a resident of Washington, D.C

Amy, stay in Washington DC. This is Virginia and we live under God’s Law. Take your separation from God back to DC and enjoy the quality of life that DC offers those who are far from God.

Soul St. Nick a anagram for Satan in Germanic lore. Their proclamations of this is: A mean person comming down the chimmney, and taking children back up with him, for being naughty.Germans go to jail too!

Here we go again, non-stop bickering between the atheists and the Christian Dominionists.

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us”).

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.  But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Yeah, vandalism is funny and totally acceptable as long as it is happening to the other guy. Kinda like Kristallnacht - what a hoot that was. The christian majority in Germany was fine with that one too. Nevertheless, the skeleton and Santa suit and material cost over $1000. That makes it a Class 6 felony in VA. And, btw - there is a new camera right across the street put up as a response to the previous incidents of christian-sanctioned vandalism. We should see some results soon.
But it just goes to show exactly why we have separation of church and state built into our Constitution: because, left to themselves, christians and christianists are so entitled that they respect neither the constitution nor the rights of anyone but themselves, and, as history has shown, will do violence in defense of their mythology. THAT is why the founders took away their police powers.

you guys hide behind freedom of speech just like the Westboro Baptist Church.

@Irving Swartz —-  The courthouse is Public Property and the people have spoken. Christmas will exist on public property. If you don’t like it, take it out at the ballot box or move to another region.

When will your foolish Atheist get the message? Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Dec.25th is [Christ]mas and a celebration of his birth. Anybody who attempts to disgrace Christmas with nonsense like skeletons in santa suits will not be tolerated in Loudoun County.  Loudoun is the last bastion of Christianity in this region of heathens and you won’t find a jury that’ll convict any good Christian who is fighting this holy way against evil.

If it’s bringing in tourists, you can bet it’s going to stay.


It’s not the vandals’ property to destroy. Are the various Christians here *really* using the rent-a-mobs that got up in arms over the Bomb Head Mohammad cartoons as an example—and would they be as blasé about it all if it were someone cutting off St. Joseph’s legs in a manger scene?

I walked with my wife and my four year old daughter past the display and pointed it out to her matter of factly. My daughter said it was silly, that Santa was a person not a skeleton.

I’m thinking this is something where the parents get more spun up about it than the actual kids.

I saw the Flying Spaghetti Monster display. I have to admit, it was funny.

I’ve made my point before here, I’ll make it again: God is be glorious now, and God will be glorious next year even if the Heflins and the Flying Spaghetti Monsters get all 10 spots in line.

Why are we, as Christians, letting stunts like this rattle our faith?

When did “SANTA, CHRIS KRINGAL, FATHER CHRISTMAS etc.” ever represent Chirstianity?  The only thing close with this duslay is the cross.  It is a court of law, nothing belongs there, take them all home to your front yard, your business, your Vol. Rescue Squad in Marshall VA, your roof top.  Leave the courts, the staff alone of the county alone they have enough work not to have to deal with this sort of junk for your personal pleasure.

This is very funny!

agree with no more please…..we’ve had our fill of all this.  Having a nativity scene on govt property for two weeks isn’t going to prove the government is promoting or enforcing religion.  Everyone needs to get a grip and stop trying to be right and instead be grown up and understand the opinions are to be respected on ALL fronts.  There has a been an atheist display on the courthouse lawn all summer long—- good for you. Give the religious folks a week or two and let’s just try to be tolerant instead of so pigheaded.

Your message is about as coherent as the Occupy Wall Street animals.

I find it quite amusing that this keeps happening…it’s like, the vandals are just proving the original point over, and over, and over.

Really, another story about this joke?

Clearly Potomac Station Dweller doesn’t get it.  It’s not an anti-Christian message.  It’s a pro-separation of church and state message. 

As soon as the pro-Christian displays go away from government property, so will the anti-Christian messages.

If in fact this display is mocking the commercialization of Christmas, as it stated in it objective, then the Christians should be behind it 100% and I’m (as a Christian) all for it.

Anti-Christian messages like this really borders on hate crimes, and the “vandalism” should be commended.  Swatstika’s on Jewish holidays, burning crosses on Martin Luther King Day, etc…same line.

This is a federal holiday, regardless of your religious affiliation; a day meant for “Peace on earth, goodwill toward man” even if you choose not to believe in the focal point of Christmas.

Why don’t you atheists make up a holiday so people who don’t share your lack of beliefs can put up their displays?  Same principle.

Maybe the neighborhood dogs got them. I thought I saw Judge Horne looking out the window!

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