Santa Monica Gets It Right: Public Parks No Place for Xmas Displays

November 20, 2012

One year after an atheist group smartly gamed a cumbersome lottery, seizing a majority of the display slots under a clumsy system for ensuring diversity in "holiday" displays at a public park, Santa Monica, California, got the message. (Or rather, a wise Federal judge had to get it for them.) The message is that holiday displays with religious overtones have no business in the public square, whether they're Christian, Jewish, Wiccan, Muslim, or whatever. Even atheist or humanist displays that comment on the bankruptcy of all religions can be blocked, it seems to me, if the benefit is that ALL religious displays, especially those representative of majority faith positions, are blocked also. There is more than enough property belonging to religious institutions and private owners where creches, trees, Santas, menorahs, and the like can be displayed at the upcoming time of year. Public spaces should be for everyone -- and "everyone" includes people who are celebrating any number of holidays at this time of year, as well as others with no celebration whatever in their plans.

2012 marks my 28th year "Yule Free," and as the season accelerates I will blog more often on the inevitable December dilemmas. Contrary to Fox News, there's no such thing as the War on Christmas. But there should be!