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December 13, 2005

Dispatches from the War on Christmas

From the Palm Beach Post...

Adding only a Nativity scene to the village's traditional menorah and Christmas tree display may preempt lawsuits from conservative organizations but invite challenges from more liberal groups, the village attorney says.

The assessment, part of a 10-page recommendation to the council submitted over the weekend, is what officials will work with at 7 tonight at the village council meeting as they decide whether to include a crèche as part of the holiday display.

"I think the question is, 'If you add a Nativity without adding anything else, (are you) increasing the arguably religious nature of the exhibit and losing some of the secular aspects of it?' " Village Attorney Jeff Kurtz said....

Church leaders, conservative legal organizations and dozens of residents and observers have lobbied for the inclusion of the Christian symbol of the birth of Jesus Christ in the display, and the controversy has garnered national attention.

I remember a Louis L'amour short story in which a stage coach station manager kept requesting dynamite from the stage coach headquarters, and kept getting turned down because they didn't see any reason a stage coach station manager would need dynamite. The manager tried to explain that it was to blow up a large boulder some distance from the station, but they saw no harm in the boulder since it was well away from the station.

Then the stage coach company owner (I'm probably getting some details mixed up, but they aren't important to the point) visited. The station manager was able to take him out to the boulder and show him the bodies of two renegade Indians who'd been hiding behind the boulder all morning trying to kill the station manager, and eventually the people in the stage coach. It was only by ricocheting bullet off a nearby rock that the station manager had been able to kill the renegades before they could murder the manager and the stage coach passengers in order to steal anything of value.

The dynamite was sent without delay.

Some people think fighting over what can be displayed where and what can be said where during Christmas is silly. But they don't realize that the freedom to publicly display the symbols of your religion are part of the freedom to worship. The above news story is a perfect example. A menorah is okay but a nativity scene isn't?!? First it's the public display of Christian symbols, next (and currently in some places) it's the content of sermons. It's only a short distance from there to arresting Christians for worshipping illegally or even calling for the killing of Christians.

Or we can recognize that the refusal to allow public displays of religious symbols is intolerance and bigotry, and become a better society.

Posted by Danny Carlton at December 13, 2005 06:45 AM

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Oh please. Why do Christians suddenly feel it is life or death as to whether they can place their symbols in and on every nook and cranny of government buildings?
There is no restriction on the "freedom to publicly display the symbols of your religion". Put 'em in your yard, the churchyard, Wal-Mart's yard, anywhere the owner of the property agrees to it. But please don't try to make me shudder for our freedoms because you can't put a nativity scene up in the one place that that belongs to ALL of us, not just some specific (though majority) cult.

Posted by: grumpy old fart at December 13, 2005 02:36 PM

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