5 thoughts on “Seattle Tacoma Airport Bans Christmas and Hanukah and…Anything Else – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. I’m sorry, all the blame belings to Chabad, not the airport. Chabad has done this over and over in different cities, over many years, they always do it in a provocative way and there is often a big dust-up of one sort or another.

    In my city, Cincinnati, their shenanigans led to a Klu Klux Klan display on Fountain Square (the plaza in the center of downtown). The Klan said their cross was a religious display, just like the menorah and try as they did, our city fathers couldn’t come up with a way to say no to them. That was, I don’t know, at least 10 years ago. Last year, Fountain Square was “privatized,” and like a shopping mall, it will no longer be available for peaceful assmblys or other public expressions of anything. I can’t help but think that Chabad contributed, albeit indirectly, to this happening.

    If Chabad wanted to, by now they could have figured out a way to get menorahs on display in a manner that wouldn’t cause so much discord — after all, they are PR geniuses when it comes to everything else they do.

  2. As I wrote in my post, I don’t have any sympathy whatsoever for Chabad–except in this one matter. If I could have my way, there would be no displays on public property. But once you open the floodgates by allowing anything that smacks of Christmas (& yes, that includes Christmas trees with ornaments), then it’s imperative that no single religious tradition receive preferential treatment.

    Regarding what happened in Cincinnati, as Fountain Sq. was public property, I don’t understand what happened. The Supreme Court has determined what objects may be displayed on public property by determining that things like menorahs (& I think a creche if I’m not mistaken) ARE NOT religious symbols. I don’t agree w. the ruling as a menorah is clearly a religious symbol. But that’s another issue.

    I don’t understand how anyone can construe a cross as anything other than a religious symbol. So constitutionally, the cross must be verboten. Sounds to me like yr City Fathers had an errant interpretation of the Supreme Court’s ruling unless there’s something here I’m not aware of.

    The reason I support Chabad in this matter (while holding my nose) is I think it is imperative that the religious majority not be allowed to assume there are no other traditions in this country. There is a huge pressure for religious homogeneity and conformity in this country, esp. around the holidays. Do you think Christian evangelicals would willingly honor Jewish holiday traditions if they could control our public spaces? Someone has to stand up for minority religious expression. I wish it were someone other than Chabad. But it isn’t.

  3. …”staff didn’t have time TO PLAY cultural anthropologists” . . .???
    ms terri-ann betancourt’s wrong, she’s indifferent,insensitive,
    United States of America is a nation of LOVE

  4. “…after a Jewish religious leader complained that they were offensive.”

    Interesting! Pretty easy to see the prejudice below the statement. The problem with complaints is, it might make it stronger.

    I can see your point, but strictly: Is a Christmas Tree a religious symbol?? Or some cultural trait that developed and that has a complex set of meanings. I find the idea that it might have been taken over from older traditions to more easily get “the pagans” over to a new faith somehow convincing, put another way: Leave them something familiar, e.g. what about the date? And skeptic that I am, I have the suspicion that the idea of the tree symbolizing the cross, may well be an effort to make things fit.


    Maybe the Nativity Scene would be the Christian Christmas symbol, and the tree refers to older traditions that are picked up.

    Maybe it is connected to other customs that try to bring color into the winter season. The choice of the fir tree tells it all. Here in Germany in the Black Forest people cut cherry branches on the fourth of December. They will bloom on Christmas. Today its associated with the “holy Barbara”, but was the tradition older?

    Something comes to mind. Reminds me that I have still not read it:

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