July 24, 2007

War on Christmas Starts Early in Berkeley

I realize it is July, but I'm here to tell you that the War on Christmas is coming early this year. This year's war could get interesting since increasing numbers of atheists seem to be finding a voice and since it provides political candidates with opportunities for more pandering to superstitious voters.

According to The Daily Tribune (update: link no longer active), Berkeley voters are signing petitions to require their city to display a nativity scene and other Christmas symbols on City Hall property this December. It appears that they will have a chance to vote on this requirement in November. If approved, the city charter will be amended to include the requirement.
The petition calls for the city to display the nativity scene along with secular holiday icons so that it is in compliance with existing law, which prohibits displays of only Christian religious icons on government property.
However, something interesting happened last year after the ACLU objected to a nativity scene at City Hall.
The city then included other religious and secular icons with the nativity display to bring it into compliance with existing U.S. Constitutional law on such displays. However, a majority of City Council members voted to remove the display shortly before last Christmas, in part because they felt secular items such as Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman undermined the dignity of the nativity display.
Dignity? Don't make me laugh! I fail to see how a monument to some archaic superstition which any rational person should be embarrassed to acknowledge is in any way dignified.