Christ in Christmas Banners Taken Down in San Antonio

Christ in Christmas Banners Taken Down in San Antonio

The Knights of Columbus — a private organization — paid money to the utility company to put up a banner between two light poles (private property). The banners said “Keep Christ in Christmas”. Somebody called and complained so the city took the banners down. Right or wrong?

It is an all too familiar story. A local college professor says it was the right move. If the city allowed the banners to remain they would be violating the “establishment clause” of the Constitution. But the Knights of Columbus say “no so fast”. It seems the policy of the utility allows for the banners if they support a non-profit event. The Knights of Columbus are non-profit and Christmas, they claim, is an event. The city says it won’t charge them for the contract and the banners are back up on more private property.

And nobody in San Antonio appears to be happy about any of this. More here.

FDNY Takes Down Christmas Trees

FDNY Takes Down Christmas Trees

The Fire Department of New York is coming under fire today for taking the real trees displayed in apartment buildings due to code violations. Residents are crying “bah humbug!”. The FDNY says they are just doing their jobs. The Christmas tree fires reported in apartment buildings have been so prolific that New York cannot spare the danger or the cost. Speaking of the cost, no word yet on any imposed fines. Read more about it here.

Note: most FDNY stations have live trees, too.

Nearly As Many People Believe There is a War On Christmas as Believe in Santa Claus

Nearly As Many People Believe There is a War On Christmas as Believe in Santa Claus

In a wide ranging new poll from Public Policy Polling 47 percent of respondents said there is a War on Christmas — nearly as many (52 percent) said they believed in Santa Claus. (44 percent also said Santa is a Democrat).

While this poll is interesting it should be noted that the data was generated between December 5 and December 7, 2012, right at the height of the annual media circus surrounding the “War on Christmas”.

Our own polling on the topic consistently shows most Americans (78 percent) do NOT believe there is a War on Christmas. Most of our polling is done in late summer/early fall.

The definition of “war on Christmas” is disputed about as much as any kind of element of it. Many believe that the “War on Christmas” means an outright removal of Christmas from society. But with evidence of so much Christmas around us — from decorations to advertisements to parties to music to movies to foods — there is little evidence that such a “war” is having any real affect. How can there be a war when one side is winning so completely?

American Atheists Plaster Times Square with Anti-Christian Campaign

American Atheists Plaster Times Square with Anti-Christian Campaign

“If you know God is a myth, you do not have to lie and call yourself Christian in order to have a festive holiday season,” David Silverman, president of American Atheists, said. “You can be merry without the myth, and indeed, you should.” These comments came as the media was giving him love for the launch of this festive attack ad in Times Square:

American Atheist Attack Ad in Times Square, NYC
American Atheist Attack Ad in Times Square, NYC

It should be noted that nowhere in the media is this called offensive. It should likewise be noted that nobody is crying out for its removal because it is offensive.

Let the hate email begin, now that the obvious observations have been made.

Just remember, if you don’t like it, wait til next year when they do it again.

Ellwood, Pa. Man Takes Nativity Mobile in Fight Against FFRF

Ellwood, Pa. Man Takes Nativity Mobile in Fight Against FFRF

A trailer carrying a Nativity display remained parked along Lawrence Avenue in front of the Ellwood City Municipal Building Friday, and the man who helped put it there said he hoped it would remain throughout the holiday season.

“I’m going to try to keep it there at least through Christmas,” said Mike Parisi, of Ellwood City. Parisi was a vocal supporter of keeping a Nativity display on the municipal building lawn, in keeping with a borough tradition going back at least a half-century.

Parisi was on a committee earlier this year to devise a way to keep a display at the municipal building, while avoiding a threatened lawsuit by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which had opposed the tradition on First Amendment establishment clause grounds.

This year, the community Nativity is on private property at the former St. Agatha Church along Fifth Street and Spring Avenue.

The trailer Nativity belongs to the Moose club in Ellwood City. Parisi, who is a Moose member, proposed putting the display on a trailer and parking it in front of the municipal building, which he did Thursday evening.

Approximately 250 people attended the Nativity’s arrival, Parisi said, and those who turned out donated approximately $275 to Mooseheart, a resident school in Illinois for children in need.

Under borough parking regulations, any trailer parked on borough streets must be connected to a towing vehicle at all times, and no trailer can remain in the same parking space for more than seven consecutive days. Ellwood City traditionally suspends enforcement of parking meters between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, allowing two hours of free parking between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the Lawrence Avenue business district.

While the trailer was not moved Friday, it was not ticketed. Parisi said he would move the trailer periodically, as necessary to remain in compliance with borough regulations.

“I want to stay within the law,” he said.

Ellwood City Mayor Anthony Court said the Nativity trailer has done that.

“As long as they comply with the law, there’s nothing we can do about it,” he said.