The Bellingham Herald / Local / Menorah allowed, but not Nativity scene at state Capitol
Even though it is a tired topic this year, I still found this article compelling for a few reasons.
First, it looks like it was researched and written by the Herald. It is so much more informative than the elevator news you get from AP and the likes. And it was good who, what, where, when, and why.
Second thing that was compelling me to read this article was the business of the rabbi threatening to sue the airport. It’s amazing what kind of cannibalistic feeding frenzy results from one small poorly covered story. The real story of Seattle’s Christmas trees.
The nuts and bolts of the story also was compelling. Was it a coincidence that the menorah was added at the request of the same rabbi involved with the airport? But the request was made a year ago. I wonder if it was approved before or after the airport coverage? Timing. Hmm? At least is was good to have a few direct answers as to why the Nativity scene was not allowed.
Now a Nativity scene has been ruled out on the advice of the state attorney general’s office.
Steve Valandra, a spokesman for the Department of General Administration, officials were concerned that in comparison with a tree or menorah, a Nativity scene might carry a stronger impression of government endorsement of religion.
In addition, since Wesselius made his request only this week, lawyers for the state felt there was insufficient time to fully research the issue, Valandra said.
It’s tough for me to swallow the claim of only a week’s notice on the request. We’ve been a state for how long? And how many legislators and governors have been Christian? Or Jewish for that matter. Are these the first requests? I somehow doubt that. As a Christian I am happy seeing one, the other or both a Christmas tree and a Menorah. The miracle of the oil that is represented by the Menorah is no less one of God’s miracles than his birth in Christ. I am happy with all miracles.
The bugger in this whole story was in the last two lines.
Controversy over holiday displays is not new to the Capitol. Last year state Rep. John Ahern, R-Spokane, staged a protest in the rotunda demanding the Association of Washington Business call its donated tree a Christmas tree instead of a holiday tree.
At that time, Ahern also suggested adding a menorah.
Suggesting promotion of one religious symbol and demotion of another, speaks directly to why our founding fathers were careful to craft a nation without a national religion. I am not familiar with this representative, nor the story from last year so my comment is only on what was written.
In a nutshell, I like seeing the Herald do this type of article.