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The Collective
Saturday, December 2, 2006
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the AP: W.Va. city’s Xmas scene has no Jesus:

Christ is missing from Christmas in this small town. The community’s holiday display has a manger with shepherds, a guiding star, camels and a palm tree, but no baby Jesus, Mary or Joseph.

The parks superintendent said Jesus was left out because of concerns about the separation of church and state. But Mayor Dick Callaway said it was done for purely technical reasons: “It’s not easy to put a light-up representation of a baby in a small manger scene, you know.”

I am not one to buy into the “War on Christmas” hype, but how ridiculous is it to have the star and the shepherds, but no Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus?    Have the scene, or don’t, but this is a remarkably silly compromise.

I honestly have never understood why such displays cause such consternation with some folks in the first place.  If one doesn’t believe in any of it, why not treat it like Santa Claus and his elves as simply being part of one of the many symbols of the season.  Even if one is a full-blown secularist, one likely celebrates Christmas.   If we can have trees and holly and reindeer and elves, why not a manger scene-if it is all a fairy tale, what difference does it make?  Just enjoy the lights and have another eggnog.

And I wonder if by “manger” the article means a stable or if it means a food trough, for while in popular conception we tend to think of a manger scene as being the stable, but the word “manger” means feeding trough.  Surely they didn’t have an empty manger.  Of course, an empty stable is still pretty absurd (maybe they could have, in lights, a sign on the empty stable that says “back in 30 minutes”).  Further, the stable in question in the New Testament was probably a cave, not the wooden structure we usually see in such displays, but I digress…

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Filed under: US Politics, Religion | |

1 Comment

  1. I think they must have thought they were putting Jesus (aka Hey-Zeus) and didn’t want to be seen coddling immigrants.

    Comment by Ratoe — Saturday, December 2, 2006 @ 3:54 pm

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