July 13, 2006

ACLU Strikes Again, Menorah A No Go In Fort Collins

To be precise, the ACLU hasn't struck just yet, but one can discern the ACLU stench all over this one--

A Christmas tree, because of its pagan roots, is to be the only holiday symbol in Fort Collins, so that the council can avoid the messiness of "the picking and choosing business":
With 165 days til Christmas, Fort Collins has already decided on its holiday display: Christmas trees but no Hannukah menorah.

"I'm as inclusive as the next guy, but instead of knocking yourself out with being inclusive, we're just going to have a Christmas tree," Councilman Kurt Kastein said Wednesday.

The issue arose last year after a Jewish group, the Chabad of Northern Colorado, asked that a menorah be included in the display of Christmas trees and wreaths.

When the issue came up last year, the City Council agreed to allow the menorah on city grounds briefly each night during Hanukkah.

At Tuesday's work session, the council reviewed about 170 written comments on holiday displays and decided to keep it simple and secular.

"The Christmas trees aren't a problem because they were originally pagan," said Councilman Ben Manvel. "If we allowed the menorah and a creche, then we'd end up with a parade of other religious symbols."
Heaven forfend! The menorah and nativity (who the heck used crèche--or knew what it meant--before it became an MSM meme replacement for "nativity"?) Oh, so anything originally "pagan" is ok, since those "pagans" aren't around today? Anti-religion policy, or more precisely, CYA to prevent ACLU lawsuits, ensues:
Besides the request for a menorah, the city had received only the request for a nativity scene, said Mayor Doug Hutchinson.

But council members feared requests for angels, pagan displays, reindeer and assorted religious symbols, Hutchinson said.

"If we don't include all symbols, we can't just pick and choose what we think belongs there," said Councilman David Roy.

"We just didn't want to get into the picking and choosing business," said Manvel.
Not quite sure when reindeer entered the pantheon of potential religious symbols, but Fort Collins obviously intends to avoid the kerfuffles that might arise from other "pagan displays", pagan displays that obviously do not include pagan symbols like the Christmas tree. At least they refer to it as a Christmas tree, and not a Holiday tree, or a Giving Tree, or . . .


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