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.
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