By: Michael Barber.
This article was originally published on The Pragmatic Philistinist.
Attention residents of Seattle, Seattle, or Seattle, Washington! (By the way, have you heard about Friday’s Seattle City Council vote to ban the personal use of most B-roll and projection lenses on city vehicles?) I know you don’t want people to say your city is now a home for “Christ Child Killers,” but does it help to draw attention to the offending agenda?
Here’s a mild suggestion for the city to consider:
Do we really need to have a tree in one of the parks on the city lot next to the city-owned dog park next to City Hall?
To make a long story short, the new rules include a list of “tree exfoliation or removal dates.” Over the long period of two decades, the city has decorated the tree with over two million pounds of tree ornaments.
When a private donor offered to pay for the replacement tree that would be grown from seedling varieties and harvested from a natural site next to City Hall, the city rejected the offer and so now taxpayers are picking up the tab for a replacement tree with ornaments weighing at least twenty-one pounds each.
Now people have to climb on a ladder on the city lot and carry these ornaments off the tree! They then run up the steps to the roof of the city office building with the ornaments in their hands, bringing them down to where there is a generator of electricity and place the ornaments on the new replacement tree for Christmas.
I think we can all agree that is not the best idea. Why not spend a little more time trying to convince the city to plant more trees in a less visible location that is also a part of the city park?
However, if City Hall finally decides to give in to these demands from the activists, here is what else they could request:
Require the city to invite a community or non-profit organization to construct a menorah out of recycled, non-flammable, energy-efficient “fire proof” materials. I think the city of Seattle has found a very economical way to put the menorah on a 50-foot pole, by replacing the existing tree, which is mainly used for shade and healing, with a menorah that is not going to burn for over twenty years and then after the carolers have danced around the pole, there will be a tree less than twenty-feet away that will be a much better shade spot than the one now in City Hall.
Perhaps if the city bans trees at City Hall on December 25, and so does the estimated $150,000 it costs to decorate City Hall with over 2 million pounds of tree ornaments, the city could use that as a target to launch a huge public project: a giant menorah, lighting up the night sky and a fabulous display of the true meaning of Christmas, celebrating the life of a Jew by lighting the Grand Night Stars, symbolizing the rededication of the Temple at the time of Christ’s birth in 26 CE.
In any event, if the City can’t afford a manger for Christmas, then it should sponsor a menorah for the annual celebration of Rosh Hashanah.
To better understand more about Jewish-Christian relations, please contact me at that address listed above (a profile of Michael Barber, author of Love Thy Neighbor, The Jewish and Christian Church for Peace, is available at www.newwealth.org and at Amazon.com).
About the Author: Michael Barber is author of Love Thy Neighbor: The Jewish and Christian Church for Peace, a book that draws on Biblical and spiritual insight to make us wiser, more compassionate, more caring and more just people.