As sure as bullets fall from the sky at New Year’s, here in Florida Thanksgiving means the start of religious protest season.
Yes, the holidays tend to bring out the essence of who we are as a people…petty, vindictive, parochial and selfish. What can I say that hasn’t been said already?
Well, there’s this: the Florida Turnpike Enterprise has now banned holiday displays of any kind from its tollbooths (which until now have been provided at their own expense and initiative by the toll-takers, presumably to add a little joy to an otherwise distasteful operation for all parties) because some Christians complained that Halloween decorations were Satanic.
My favorite is today’s legalistic twist from the Catholic League out of New York (we Floridians are perfectly capable of stirring up our own teapot tempests without outside interference, thank you very much), which has weighed in with a complaint that the City of Boca Raton, by placing a menorah, a Christmas tree and a “Happy Holidays” sign alongside one another in a public building is practicing discrimination against Christians.
According to the complainants, the Second Circuit Court in New York has ruled that the menorah is a purely religious symbol, while the Christmas tree (due to its pagan origins, one would assume) has been deemed secular. So placing a menorah alongside a tree without including a nativity scene is showing a preference for the Jewish faith.
I’m sure the city fathers and mothers of Boca Raton had this intent in mind when they sanctioned the holiday display. After all, they have nothing better to do than figure out obscure and nefarious ways for using public money to circumvent the U.S. Constitution.
I prefer to think they were all bitten by a rabid otter and cannot be held responsible for their acts. Notwithstanding that this is the holiday season in Florida, we should at least pretend to be charitable.