Police Call Hyatt Christmas Irresponsible

Police Call Hyatt Christmas Irresponsible

The ever-escalating Christmas light fight between the city of Plantaion, Florida and the Mark Hyatt Family took another odd turn as the city police have taken the rare step of issuing a public rebuke:

“In their unbridled zeal to promote themselves and their ‘Extreme Christmas’ holiday display in their single family residential neighborhood and without any regard for public safety or the complaints of their neighbors, the Hyatts are acting irresponsibly, and are causing the City to take necessary and well considered steps,”

Reaction on all sides of the issue have been as extreme as the display. The Hyatts have plenty of defenders and detractors from the local area. This was gathered from various social media outlets:

— “Bah humbug to the city of plantation, you really out of your mind thinking there is a problem, you should bee dealing with the cry baby neighbors instead, they are the problem.”

— “Well thank God they are not my neighbors. Imagine the traffic you have to fight to get home every day. Makes sense. The house looks like an amusement park. They are not concerned about the disabled and the elderly. BS.”

— “Again, move in next to these people. Enjoy watching strange men peeing in your front yard…..”

— “We enjoyed going last year, and I think we’ll go again this year. It’s a beautiful display. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Hyatt!!”

— “Seriously though, some people have NO IDEA that they are creating a nuisance for their neighbors. They only see their own “good” intentions, and as such utterly disregard the consequences for the people who live near them. That’s a sign of stupidity.”

— “What does a ferris wheel have to do with Christmas ? The house just has a bunch of electrical hazards in front of it. Ferris wheels need permits I think?”

— “Unless there has been some incident that has caused a danger to the public, then taking “proactive measures” by the police department and calling it such, is simply the opinion of an over zealous police chief. Sounds like the grounds for a lawsuit. I like it… I think I’ll drive by this house in support of their display.”

— “Such a beautiful display! And collecting donations of food for the needy at the holidays from those who visit is truly in the spirit of the season. But it seems some neighbors must have lodged complaints in order for police to be present. PLEASE do not blame the police for doing the job they are told to do- I’m certain that, to a person, NONE of these officers want the display removed. I pray the display will remain and the Hyatt family can continue spreading good cheer in the Christmas season.”

To all this we simply say: Peace on earth, goodwill to all men.

Menorahs Want Equal Time with Wreaths in Boston Library

Menorahs Want Equal Time with Wreaths in Boston Library

The debate of sacred over secular has gone to a new level of absurd in Boston. Esther Weissman, who is Jewish, just wants to display the Menorah along side the Christmas wreaths at Boston City Library. She isn’t asking for the wreaths to be taken down — she just wants the space shared so that the Menorah can be displayed as well.

But she is running into all kinds of opposition — and lots of funny arguments about what is and is not legal.

“The only thing I am asking for is inclusion. I’ve never complained about the wreaths. It’s not about getting rid of the wreaths. The wreaths are lovely,” said ?Esther Weissman, a longtime Back Bay resident. “I just want you to remember that there is a Jewish population of residents here in a city of everybody. And we also need to be represented — it’s our holiday also.”

For more than two years Weissman has led the fight. But the opposition she runs into is that the library’s board of trustees — backed by Mayor Martin J. Walsh and his team of city lawyers — argue that the Menorah is religious while the wreath is not.

Weissman says the wreath is Christian. The Board argues it is a secular symbol that doesn’t represent any religion.

“The wreaths are a seasonal display; they are secular symbols and do not represent any religion,” Walsh spokeswoman Kate Norton said in a statement. “Decorating public places with such secular images as wreaths remain within the boundaries set by the Establishment Clause, as outlined by the Supreme Court. We refrain from all religious holiday displays at the Boston Public Library.”

The Board of Trustees for the Library are wrong on several levels.

First of all, the Constitution doesn’t have ANY boundaries for Christmas set within the Establishment Clause. The Establishment Clause merely states that Congress will not establish a state Church. Putting up ANY religious seasonal decorations is not unconstitutional.

Second, Weissman’s argument that the Christmas wreath is a Christian symbol has merit. If it were not true why is it that you don’t see Muslims decorating for Christmas with wreaths? Christmas wreaths, Christmas trees, Christmas candles, anything with the colors red, white, green, and gold are inherently Christian. The Library Board seems to have appointed themselves experts in this case. We recommend they look in their own library to learn they don’t know what they are talking about.

Massachusetts is famous for fighting over Nativities and such. This one should head to court because a Menorah — or a Festivus tree, a Satanic Temple display, or an Atheist placard embracing Winter Solstice — should be allowable as part of ANY holiday display on public property.

Topless Protester Fined for Christmas Church Service Disruption

Topless Protester Fined for Christmas Church Service Disruption

It was Christmas of last year and church services were in full swing. That was the moment Josephine Witt scaled the altar with her bare chest bearing the words “I am God” to the shock and dismay of holiday worshipers. The Cologne District Court found Josephine Witt guilty on Wednesday on the charge of “disturbance of religious practice” and fined her 1,200 euros ($1,480).

Jumping on the altar was a show of freedom of expression, Witt said. “I did not want to harass anyone,” she added. “Even Jesus is hanging half naked on the cross.”

Judge Gerd Krämer called Witt’s deed “targeted ideological expression” and said she had “deliberately and grossly disturbed worship.”

After cathedral guards led her away on Christmas 2013, Witt said she had staged her protest in light of the Catholic Church’s attitudes toward women and the anti-abortion stance of Joachim Meisner, then the archbishop of Cologne. She faced three years in prison.

Witt’s fine was not the only legal fallout from her protest. One worshiper slapped her after the iconic cathedral’s staff pulled her down from the altar on that Christmas morning. The churchgoer later settled the legal case over the blow for 500 euros.

Femen, which was founded in Ukraine in 2008, has compared Witt’s case to the trial against the Russian activists Pussy Riot, who had conducted a protest in an Orthodox church in Moscow. Despite protests from Germany and other countries, three of Pussy Riot’s members were imprisoned.

Cologne Cathedral provost Norbert Feldhoff, however, dubbed Femen’s comparison as “completely overblown,” saying that the German and Russian justice systems were hardly comparable. “This isn’t just about the Catholic Church, it’s about free practice of religion in its widest sense, it’s about living together peacefully.”

After the group’s founders fled Ukraine following attacks in 2013, Femen is now based in Paris. Several international branches have become known for organizing topless protests against a host of subjects, including sexism, homophobia and sex tourism.

Merry Christmas Signs Return for 3rd Year

Merry Christmas Signs Return for 3rd Year

It’s Ok to Say Merry Christmas — that’s the message from an anonymous person in Redmond, Washington where for the third year the green signs with white lettering are showing up all over town.

“The ‘It’s OK to say, Merry CHRISTMAS’ signs are a form of free speech, much like political signs,” noted Redmond Mayor John Marchione. The city has no plans to remove the signs, he added. Since the signs began appearing two years ago, those placing the signs have removed them by New Year’s Day.

Local media says the reaction is mostly positive to the campaign but that there are some concerns out there:

One Redmond resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said they weren’t sure yet of their stand on the signs, but they are outspoken on the scenario.

“You have to think how much money, time and effort has gone into this, so my question is, ‘Is this good use of resources or would this money, effort and time have been better spent on doing something tangible for others?’ I think it would depend on who is putting them up, why they are putting it up and what they are trying to accomplish,” the resident wrote in an email. “Each year, this is getting bigger and seems to be spreading. This year, they added cards that they want people to take and spread around and these cards are very evangelical. Is this as far as they are going, or are they planning to go even bigger next year?'”

Hyatt Extreme Christmas Elevates Fight Against City

The Hyatt family will not pony up the cash to pay for extra police to direct traffic and keep the peace caused by the disruption of city life by their Christmas display but they can pay for sponsored posts on Facebook urging Plantation, Florida voters to replace the mayor. From the looks of things it appears the City’s action to get control over the situation and placate the complaining neighbors of the Hyatt’s must be working: