Christmas tree, yes; menorah, no, New Jersey town decides

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A complaint over a menorah set up beside a decorated Christmas tree in Lakewood, N.J.'s town square has triggered the menorah’s removal and upset numerous residents and at least one downtown merchant, who says township officials acted rashly. (Photo by Shannon Mullen, Asbury Park Press.)

A complaint over a menorah set up beside a decorated Christmas tree in Lakewood, N.J.'s town square has triggered the menorah’s removal and upset numerous residents and at least one downtown merchant, who says township officials acted rashly. (Photo by Shannon Mullen, Asbury Park Press.)

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Lakewood, N.J., usually had a menorah displayed near its big Christmas tree. But it was removed when a woman insisted on a Nativity scene for religious balance.

  • Observer

    Better to have all the symbols out than none at all. That way all cultures/ religions feel acknowledged and respected.

  • DougSlug

    If one is secure in his religious beliefs, one is not worried about whether his religion is more popular than another’s. Don’t forget, we can decorate our homes and churches any way we wish. The modern day narcissism encouraged by social media has turned the whole thing into a junior high school popularity contest.

    Public spaces should exclude ALL religious symbols so that the religiously unaffiliated, roughly 25% of the population, can also be satisfied.

    Let’s face it, despite the name, Christmas isn’t really about religion anyway–ask anybody camped outside Walmart at 3:00am on Black Friday. It was a Pagan celebration following winter solstice.

    Furthermore, unless a so-called “Christmas tree” contains religious symbols or references, it can be considered merely a seasonal decoration, like dried corn and colored leaves in autumn or beach umbrellas and flip-flops in the summer.

  • Larry

    She wanted to make the distinction that the menorah is a religious symbol and the tree is not,”

    But a nativity scene IS a religious symbol. Being a Christian means never having to be intellectually honest or considerate to beliefs besides your own.

    The Establishment Clause is best dealt with when it comes to religious symbols by displaying many different faiths/beliefs. Showing all faiths are welcomed in a community Exclusion or a singularity of faiths represented smacks of official sectarian bias.

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