- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 5, 2015

A New Jersey city council member resigned from her position after the council chose to add the word “Christmas” to the name of its tree-lighting ceremony. 

Charlene Storey announced her decision to step down just minutes after the Roselle Park council approved the change Thursday, NJ.com reported

Ms. Story, who was raised a Catholic but now says she is a non-believer, said the council’s decision to change the name of the ceremony from “A Tree Lighting” to “A Christmas Tree Lighting” favors one religion over other. 

“I cannot in good conscience continue to be part of a council that is exclusionary or to work with a mayor who is such,” Ms. Storey said in her resignation letter.

She said changing the name of the ceremony, “turned it form a non-religious event to a religious one.” 

Roselle Park Mayor Carl Hokanson praised Storey for her work on the council. He said everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but also noted that each town can use whatever title it wants to use for the ceremony.

“It’s not a street, it’s not a building, it’s a Christmas tree,” Mr. Hokanson said.

Ms. Storey’s resignation will be effective Jan. 7. 

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