Massachusetts

Residents Debate if Holy Bible and Faith Should be Removed from Groton Town Seal

Since the late 1800s, the town seal in Groton, Massachusetts, has featured a Holy Bible and the word faith.

“It's been a farming community for many, many years,” said Groton’s Town Manager Mark Haddad. “It's based on people's beliefs at the time in terms of what they needed to survive.”

But recently, 10 residents petitioned the town to consider changing the seal and removing the religious aspects.

“I do believe there should be a stronger separation of church and state,” said resident Sean Gaines.

However, other residents feel replacing the sign would be wrong.

“People have too much time on their hands. It's been like this forever,” said restaurant owner Ozzie Filho.

Replacing the seal won’t be easy. It is everywhere, on the town’s uniforms, public works vehicles, and police and fire trucks.

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“Plaques and buildings that have been built have the town seal on it. All of the doors here if you go through town hall have the town seal on it,” Haddad said.

The board of selectman will vote in two weeks on whether the town should establish a committee to replace what some call a cherished relic.

“I look forward to the debate at the town meeting,” said Peter Cunningham, a town selectman.

Replacing the seals will cost the town more than $70,000 according to Haddad.

The town will take up the petition during a board meeting on Monday, April 24.

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