The season for fights over holiday displays on government property has begun. In addition to the usual constitutional problems of separating church and state, there are more practical problems like the one in Long Beach, New York: avoiding a race to build the biggest or brightest symbol for one faith.
Residents in this city are up in arms because the city has placed a mere 7-foot Christmas tree next to a towering 20-foot menorah in the plaza in front of city hall. They have demanded parity and not this Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Tis the problem with state-sponsored sectarian symbols, you cannot exclude or under-represent any given religion.
For a prior column on the season for suing over these displays, click here
The question remains: what of the other religions that may demand representations in the Long Beach plaza? It could become a crowded place if the competition over the most prominent display continues. I expect that there are giant sequoias available to close the display gap.
For the full story, click here
6 thoughts on “New York Residents Demand Equality in Christmas Tree to Menorah Ratio”
Decades of pundits cherry-picking through the writings of the Founders to ascertain whether or not the same wanted strict neutrality or not….when will it ever end? 🙂
Let me take my turn. I think one of the writings I would recommend to the interested would be Madison’s famous 1785 “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments.”
Religion is very personal to people. By dispalying any one symbol, which can be quite easily interpreted as recognition or acceptance or even as an endorsement to the exclusion of any or all others, cannot help but upset members of whatever sect has been left out. That’s why the Founders, in contradiction to Mitt Romney’s incorrect pronouncement, wrote our Constitution to be RELIGION neutral. It’s not inclusive of all religions, it’s EXCLUSIVE of any and all. In this case, the majority does NOT rule. That’s the ONLY way to be fair to all.
And well-crafted. No slap-dash effort please.
Ah, the traditional 20-foot Golden Buddha — how that brings back memories of the holidays . . .
This is one of Win-Lose-Win-Lose-Win..Lose..WIN…LOSE situations…
It all started when the Catholics upped the ante with the Twelve Days.
Somewhere, perhaps, there might be a papal dis-dispensation.
I expect that there be a 20 ft Golden Buddha to honor my religion. And it should be made, per tradition, out of metal, wood, or stone and well-crafted……
This is why, if anyone needed persuading, that government not participate in religious activity of any kind, no matter how “neutral” their participation is.
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