Monday, December 11, 2006

"The law is a (Christmas) ass"

O Christmas tree...

To be honest, to me Christmas trees are about as "Christian" as this guy:

So I'm not really impressed with this decision, or the complaint:

All nine Christmas trees have been removed from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport instead of adding a giant Jewish menorah to the holiday display as a rabbi had requested.

Maintenance workers boxed up the trees during the graveyard shift early Saturday, when airport bosses believed few people would notice.

"We decided to take the trees down because we didn't want to be exclusive," said airport spokeswoman Terri-Ann Betancourt. "We're trying to be thoughtful and respectful, and will review policies after the first of the year."

Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky, who made his request weeks ago, said he was appalled by the decision. He had hired a lawyer and threatened to sue if the Port of Seattle didn't add the menorah next to the trees, which had been festooned with red ribbons and bows.

"Everyone should have their spirit of the holiday. For many people the trees are the spirit of the holidays, and adding a menorah adds light to the season," said Bogomilsky, who works in Seattle at the regional headquarters for Chabad Lubavitch, a Jewish education foundation.
Not sure that spirit is spread by litigation, I must say.

On the other hand, there's nothing particulary Jewish about a Christmas tree, either. Or Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, or Sikh. So there's a point to be made here, somewhere.

I just don't think anyone has made it.

Wonder if a Homer Santa is ecumenical?


Well, follow the link above now, you'll get this story:

Christmas trees are going back up at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
The rabbi has assured the Port of Seattle commission that his group had no plans to sue, and he has offered an electric menorrah to add to the seasonal display. Sadly, this entire affair did provoke some animosity:

The rabbi had received "all kinds of calls and emails," many of them "odious," Grad said, adding he was "trying to figure out how this is consistent with the spirit of Christmas."
And clearly the whole thing was the kind of problem most problems are: a matter of miscommunication. Perhaps the spirit of Christmas, of goodwill to all, should indeed prevail.'

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