School says, “Christmas Tree yes, Menorah, no.” And judge agrees!
The San Francisco Chronicle reported today, “When a woman in Carmel sought to add an inflatable balloon decorated like a menorah to the tree-lighting ceremony at the school her third-grader attended, the school turned her down — and had a basis for its refusal, a federal judge says.”
The Chronicle went on, “’Although Christmas trees once carried religious connotations, today they typify the secular celebration of Christmas,’ U.S. District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman said, quoting the [Supreme] Court’s 1989 ruling in a Pennsylvania case.”
Although Freeman said aspects of the case were “troubling” she did suggest that the student’s mother, Michele Lyons, could still try to prove the school violated her rights.
In her lawsuit, Lyon’s said that teachers at the school schedule parties around Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter and describe Christmas as an “American holiday” and Hanukkah as an “Israeli holiday.”
Okay, just to be clear, this school is in Carmel CALIFORNIA, not Carmel Texas.
The irony, of course, is that Hanukkah is a holiday with virtually no religious significance but important historical interest. I’ll leave for another time the question of whether the heroes of the story, the Maccabees, were heroic liberators and defenders of religious freedom or intolerant religious zealots, intent on stamping out any attempt to “modernize” Jewish tradition.
But I digress.
So which is it, do we put Christ back in Christmas when it suits us and exclude him when it doesn’t?
I thought I’d turn to Tammy Wynette for the answer.
One last thing. Do you think you can get a good hot pastrami on rye in this Carmel neighborhood? Do you think you can get them to hold the mayo?
Happy Holidays to all…and to all a Good Night.