Posted by Wordsmith on 14 December, 2006 at 12:28 am. 2 comments already!


I’m sure everyone’s heard about the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Christmas trees that were removed when a Rabbi threatened to sue if a menorah weren’t also displayed with the Christmas decorations. The airport, not wanting to put up the menorah only to open themselves up into having to accomodate every wiccan, Islamist, Kwanzaan, and multiculturalist under the sun, opted to simply remove all Christmas displays in the airport,

And that is not what Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky wanted.

"I am devastated, shocked and appalled at the decision that the Port of Seattle came to," he said Sunday. As news coverage about the airport’s trees spread from CNN to ABC to the Paris-based International Herald Tribune, Bogomilsky on Sunday began to receive hateful messages from people holding him responsible for the removal of the trees.

Like Mary at Freedom Eden, I think it is unfortunate that people found it necessary to send hate mail to the rabbi.

While I was at a client’s home Monday morning, I caught Tammy Bruce on the FOX morning show with that Democratic strategist (whose name escapes me), and both thought the removal of the trees was outrageous. I thought Tammy Bruce had the most eloquent way of expressing it, when she mentioned about the narcissism of multiculturalism, and how we don’t need to see ourselves reflected in everything. Christmas after all is about Jesus Christ. Can you imagine different interest groups wanting to push their identity to be recognized during Cinco de Mayo or Black History Month? It shouldn’t be "all about me". It’s okay to be exclusive. During Nisei Week, I’m not interested in seeing Chicano pride marching in the street parade alongside surviving members of the 442nd, the highly decorated all-Japanese-American WWII battalion. I expect to celebrate the beauty of Japanese-American cultural heritage. You might say that’s different: it doesn’t concern religion. I disagree about the difference. Religious culture is still culture; and true tolerance means you allow any given culture to celebrate in peace, without demanding that your culture also take center stage.

Here is what Tammy Bruce wrote on her blog:

The rabbi should have simply asked, and not threatened to sue. I have no problem at all with the idea of a menorah going up, but the bottom line is, 95 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas. This growing obsession with everyone everywhere needing to see their representation is the impact of narcissism and its increasing control of people’s lives.

As everyone knows, the trees have since been restored in the airport; and we may now all sleep restfully with visions of sugarplum dancing through our heads. Aaah….the wonders of YouTube. God bless the uploader of this:


Here’s what Tammy Bruce said so well:

"It really is narcissism run amok; there’s a point where we don’t need to see ourselves in every single thing- and real multiculturalism, frankly, is being able to enjoy another representation without necessarily seeing yourself in it."

And the Democratic strategist is Bob Beckel…of course! One comment he made which I liked was in pointing out that a menorah is a religious symbol (although, Linda Chavez points out it also represents a cultural and historic celebration in its own right); whereas the Christmas tree, arising out of pagan tradition, is largely secularized. It is a religious symbol, yes; but also, so much more. It is a part of American tradition. And as such, means something to an even wider audience.

My family was never a Christian family; but we honored and celebrated the Christian holiday without feeling alienated or threatened by it; we always had presents under a tree and mailed Christmas cards; and in our own way- with feelings of peace on earth and good will to all, I think that brings honor to Christ….and to American solidarity, as exemplified by being bound by a common tradition:  the tradition of Christmas.

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