November 30, 2009
Catholic League president Bill Donohue opines as follows:
· A woman from Manchester, Massachusetts was told she cannot have a live nativity scene outside her First Parish Church. Why? The church sits on the town common.
· A life-sized crèche has adorned the Chambersburg public square in Pennsylvania for about a half-century, but there won’t be one this year: the decision to censor it was made after Carl Silverman decided he wanted to have a sign, “Celebrating Solstice—Honoring Atheist War Veterans” to accompany the manger.
· Leesburg, Virginia traditionally displays a crèche, menorah and Christmas tree, but this year they have been banned.
· Inside the Capitol in Olympia, Washington, all holiday displays have been nixed.
· A nativity scene has been on display on the grounds of the Manitowoc County Courthouse in Wisconsin since World War II, but this year there will be none.
My favorite so far hails from West Chester, Pennsylvania. Under new rules, four displays are allowed in front of the Court House for a limited period of time, providing they are “content-neutral” in terms of their message. But symbols—religious or secular—are by their very nature content-spec
ific, thus making the request positively oxymoronic.
But guess what? In Patchogue, Long Island they reverted back to calling their Christmas Boat Parade exactly that, shunning last year’s choice of a Holiday Boat Parade. And because Obama hired Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano there will be a Christmas tree in the Capitol once again, and not a generic Holiday tree. Kudos are especially deserved for Colorado’s Larimer County Sheriff, Jim Alderden, who not only is allowing crèches and menorahs, he is selling shirts reading, “Lighten Up. Just say ‘Merry Christmas’” and “Wishing You a Loud and Politically Incorrect ‘Merry Christmas.’”