As far as legal disputes over holiday displays are concerned, this season has been relatively quiet. Well, there was the kerfuffle over Chicago’s Christkindlmarket, that’s been almost it. Until this past weekend, when Seattle-Tacoma airport officials took down Christmas trees rather than try to figure out how to include everyone in a holiday display.
Can I say that this is a thoughtless overreaction, or was it a thoughtful overreaction? They knew pretty well what they would have to do, and had plenty of time to do it.
I wouldn’t call this part of a "war" on Christmas, but abandonment of everything vaguely religious is the knee-jerk response of the ever-so-sensitive public official.
Update: Little Christmas trees are sprouting at ticket counters, and the big trees are back as well. The initial decision unfortunately spawned a good bit of animosity directed, not at the authorities, but at the rabbi who requested that the airport also put up a menorah. He didn’t want the trees taken down, as he has stressed over and over again. This is a misdirected overreaction to the overreaction.
I also wonder why the airport can’t just put up the menorah, as requested, or permit Chabad (which I’m sure would be happy to do so) to erect one. Absent that enlightened decision, I hope that a private landowner close to one of the major approaches to the airport will permit Chabad to erect a menorah on his or her property.