Back with the Christmas Trees

12 12 2006

Filed under: Menorah, Seattle, Christmas

Did you hear about the ridiculous story about the Christmas trees being removed in Seattle? Well, they’re back.

The holiday trees that went away in the middle of the night are back.

Tonight, Port of Seattle staff began putting up the trees they had taken down Friday night after a local rabbi requested that a Hanukkah menorah also be displayed. Port officials said the rabbi’s lawyer had threatened to imminently file a lawsuit, leaving them with insufficient time to consider all the issues.

A nationwide furor erupted over the weekend as news of the trees’ removal spread, with a flood of calls to Port officials and harshly worded e-mails to Jewish organizations. Today, Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky said he would not file a lawsuit and the Port, in response, said it would put the trees back up.

“This has been an unfortunate situation for all of us in Seattle,” Port of Seattle Commission President Pat Davis said in a statement. “The rabbi never asked us to remove the trees; it was the Port’s decision based on what we knew at the time. We very much appreciate the rabbi’s willingness to work with us as we move forward.”

A menorah will not be displayed this year.

Port spokesman Bob Parker said “we look forward to sitting down after the first of the year with not only Rabbi Bogomilsky but others as well, and finding ways to make sure there’s an appropriate winter holiday representation for all faiths. We want to find out a way to celebrate the winter holidays that is sensitive to all faiths.”

Jay Stephenson:

They better make sure they cover all their bases next year or someone else might get offended.

Captain Ed:

Is this a lesson for those who insist on stripping Christmas from the holiday season? Of course it is. It shows how the attempts to dilute the religious nature of Christmas have given rise to widespread frustration and offense among customers and constituents. However, this particular case is more of a lesson about customer service and bureaucratic overreaction. Had someone just talked to Bogomilsky in the first place, this never would have happened — and how difficult would it have been to include a lighted Menorah to honor Chanukah, anyway?

Rhymes With Right:

And I hope the menorah the rabi wants is put up — and that a Nativity scene is added. After all, the rabbi has demanded the introduction of religious symbols to the airport’s holiday display, which had been secular up to this point.

Removing Christmas trees to be fair to another religion accomplishes little. Authorities brought the extra work on themselves. In some Christian circles, a Christmas tree is a sign of not focusing on the real Reason for the Season. I don’t agree with that, but it’s typical of liberal groups, Jews in this case, use an allegedly Christian symbol, the Christmas tree, to demand equal religious representation.

The equivalent to a Menorah would be a Nativity scene. Just so we are comparing apples to apples here, when the authorities are planning decorations for next fall, hopefully they’ll understand this fact and include a Nativity scene. But based on their trigger-happy reaction from this year, chances are they’ll want to avoid the ACLU at all costs. No big deal, we’ll just turn the ACLJ on them.

Others: Woman Honor Thyself

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