Florida Family Fights City Hall and Wins

Florida Family Fights City Hall and Wins

They Hyatt family of Plantation, Florida fought off a lawsuit by the city against their Christmas display — and won. The famous display of more than 200,000 Christmas lights has been in and out of the news for several Christmas seasons as the City of Plantation, Florida has tussled with them over traffic and disruption to their neighborhood.

The acrimonious relationship spilled over into the media and soon it became a David-vs-Goliath story as the mayor personally became involved in the dispute.

As local police force and traffic measures were put in place to help deal with the crowds costs escalated for the city. Seeing no recourse, they first fined the Hyatt family and then sued them in court for creating a public nuisance.

Today the court said the Hyatt’s could continue their display — and that the city will just have to deal with it.

The Hyatts have thousands of supporters, both inside and outside of the city limits but none of this patches things up with the neighbors. One neighbor right across the street has moved just to get away from the mess the display creates every December.

According to local media reports the city failed to prove the Hyatts were bothering anyone. They didn’t present a single neighbor to testify against them nor proof the event increased trash or traffic in the area.

Sweden Bans SOME Christmas Lights

Sweden Bans SOME Christmas Lights

An early season debate on Christmas lights in Sweden has led to significant misunderstanding in that country. The government there recently announced a ban on Christmas lights that are traditionally hung from street light poles.

Some right-wing media outlets (Infowars and Breitbart) took the story and ran with it, claiming the country was trying to appease Muslim immigrants with the move.

The truth turns out to be something less spectacular. Christmas lights will be banned from utility poles only this year. Lights will still be permissible — and given Sweden’s love of Christmas — still visible everywhere else.

The problem has more to do with an aging infrastructure and the question of who pays for electrical costs than what the lights are actually for. This situation has been building for years and the government is merely stopping a practice that should have been brought under control long ago for safety and cost reasons.

There is some debate within Sweden that the restrictions are a bit too much. But those arguments in debate have more to do with the potential impact more darkened streets will have on commerce than they will have anything to do with Christmas or Muslims.

Sweden, like many other countries in Europe, has problems like any other country. But a love of Christmas isn’t really one of them.

Texas County Votes Against Atheist Christmas Display

Texas County Votes Against Atheist Christmas Display

A county in Texas denied a petition from an atheist group who wanted to place their own banner next to a Nativity scene at the county courthouse there at Christmas.

The banner was displayed in the courtroom before discussion started.

It read, from top to bottom, the Facebook symbol, then “/KerrvilleFreeThought, Happy Winter Solstice, At this season of the Winter Solstice, we celebrate the Birth of the Unconquered Sun – the TRUE reason for the season. As Americans, let us also honor the birth of our Bill of Rights, which reminds us there can be no freedom OF religion, without freedom FROM religion in government. Freedom From Religion Foundation, FFRF.org.

Pastor Greg Young of Kerrville asked to speak at the start of the regular meeting as he had a live radio show to broadcast at 11 a.m. and commissioners agreed.

Young said FFRF “preys upon small communities like Kerrville” saying the organization’s founder “has absolute disdain for Christianity.” He told a story to say allowing this one request would lead to multiple unwanted actions in the future, eventually pushing out current beliefs and values.

About 200 people were in the district courtroom, standing room only, by 11:20 a.m. when commissioners moved upstairs. Pollard had about a dozen speaker forms, offered one more chance for those, warned he expected order in the room, then called on Whitsett.

In case attendees hadn’t seen the photo of this banner in the agenda packet, Pollard helped Whitsett unroll and display it; and again said Whitsett asked to display the banner, and didn’t ask to block the Nativity scene.

Whitsett said, “I ask only that this banner be put up, and I would rather the other Manger Scene be put up, too. I think Christmas is a fine time to celebrate our Bill of Rights which was ratified near that season,” adding the FFRF Facebook page invites atheists and agnostics to take part in discussions. “We only want equal treatment,” Whitsett said.

The audience was mostly quiet, with a few audible “Amens” and supporting short comments. Every speaker opposed Whitsett’s request, and was applauded by the crowd.

Pam Wood called FFRF perhaps new to Kerrville but known elsewhere as an anti-religion group. She cited a definition of “free thinkers” by that group, saying they specifically mention Christians and Jews, making their argument for freedom from religion “disingenuous.” “They want a refusal because it suits their beliefs and allows them to go to court.”

Kenny Bledsoe said he’s a church-goer, and if this banner was allowed, it would be a foot in the door to Christianity in general for the FFRF. “They have the right to worship as they please, but I am opposed to putting this banner anywhere in Kerr County.”

Pastor Del Way of Calvary Temple Church said, “The problem is, they claim freedom from religion, but they want to do it on our holiday. I oppose this, especially on the courthouse square. We believe they are trying to take over our religion.” Way said he had more than 1,000 signatures on petitions from his church, and told Whitsett, “Leave us alone. Get your own holiday.”

John Hammack said America has been a nation under God since Columbus arrived; and asked commissioners “not to let some pagan atheist take Christ out of Christmas,” historically set Dec. 25.
Patricia Carson declared her faith in Jesus, and said it’s His birthday that’s celebrated. “If these other people want a special day, they need to get another special day.”

Starting with Buster Baldwin, commissioners said they are representative of citizens in their precincts, and hired to take care of citizens’ business. “That’s why there’s a ‘no’ vote from me,” Baldwin said.

One by one, Tom Moser, Judge Tom Pollard, Jonathan Letz and Bob Reeves said they agreed. Moser suggested the actual winter solstice Dec. 21 might be a better date, and protests from the audience were quickly quieted. Commissioners voted 5-0 to deny Whitsell’s request.

Firefighters Punished for Merry Christmas Billboard

Firefighters Punished for Merry Christmas Billboard

A fire fighting crew from Ohio has received disciplinary action against them for chipping in money to pay for a billboard wishing their community a Merry Christmas.

Seventeen firefighters belonging to one shift, known as Crew 3 or Super Crew 3, have received punishments ranging from reprimands for the firefighters and suspensions and probationary periods for three lieutenants and a captain. In addition, a retired captain has been barred from all fire stations in Lancaster.

The billboard was paid for by the firefighters, who decided that they would show “crew pride” instead of exchanging gifts. The billboard was in place from November 30 to December 15 when it was ordered removed. A city attorney determined it presented a civil liability because the “Merry Christmas” message expressed religious favoritism. Those involved are also in trouble for failing to get permission to take the picture at a Lancaster firehouse while they were on duty.

Once again, the arbitrary decision of one (the city attorney) determines the fate of many proving once again that no good deed goes unpunished.

Media Claims Thanksgiving Closings Fights Christmas Creep

Media Claims Thanksgiving Closings Fights Christmas Creep

The trend of Christmas shopping 2016 is for malls to stay closed on Thanksgiving Day. The media declares this development a fight against Christmas creep.

Having a hard time putting your head around that? Yeah, us too.

Television KSDK in St. Louis is claiming in a new report that a local mall is giving up its Thanksgiving business in order to give mall employees a chance to stay home for the traditional family holiday. This, they claim, is the mall’s way of fighting back against Christmas creep.

Let’s give KSDK a little lesson. We’ll bet them any amount of money that all four of the local malls own by CBL Properties in St. Louis put their Christmas decorations up the first week of November.

You see, they don’t give a rat’s ass about Christmas creep. (And the public doesn’t either).

CBL is closing their malls on Thanksgiving Day for one reason and one reason only: money. Oh, and news reporters. They can’t have news reporters showing empty malls on Thanksgiving Day. And that’s exactly what they reported last year when malls DID open on Thanksgiving Day. Yes, shoppers did shop some last Thanksgiving. Just not at a mall.

They went to Kmart, Walmart and Macy’s, the big retailers really driving the shop-on-Thanksgiving trends.

Sorry, KSDK. The malls are no heroes. If they want to be, let’s see them give employees the same days off but just for the whole weekend.

Oh, never going to happen? Right. This is about money. And nothing more.

Fighting “Christmas Creep” is kind of like going to war against fog. It can be done….but who cares? You see, Christmas creep is a myth. A total myth. It doesn’t exist and there aren’t enough dumb television stations in the world to convince us other wise.

Fox13 in Tampa Declares Christmas Creep Season

Fox13 in Tampa Declares Christmas Creep Season

Even with a major hurricane bearing down on them Fox13 in Tampa is reporting the early presence of Christmas in stores as “a thing”. Forget the fact we’ve shown over and over that Christmas creep isn’t new or even bothersome. They insist “Christmas is creeping into stores earlier than ever” and that it is a “sign of the times”.

Clearly, this is yet another media agenda driven attempt to re-write history and create something out of nothing.

They cite a Credit Card.com “survey” that says three fourths of respondents object to early Christmas in stores. The survey was done with just 1000 people and they claim it was “scientific”. That same scientific survey also reported that more than 34 million shoppers had completed their Christmas shopping already.

Wow. That’s a lot of really upset people spending against their will.

None of these are real numbers. In fact, these numbers are suspiciously similar to the numbers they reported last year. (Fox13 wouldn’t know that because they did ZERO research on this non-story).

If Christmas creep is really a “thing” then why do retailers bother putting out product that supposedly doesn’t sell?

And where’s the “outrage” when we see lawn mowers in January or swim suits in April? Halloween stores have been open for two months yet there’s nary a word about Halloween creep.

The problem with media outlets like Fox13 in Tampa is that they are lazy. They don’t bother to research before they report “a story”. Christmas trees in Costco in October is NOT a story.

This is, by the way, why people still insist there is a “war on Christmas”. Pointless stories that paint Christmas as some kind of demon really do have a point — and even a media entity such as Fox13 Tampa which makes their money from advertisers at Christmas time are part of the problem.