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Chan Lowe: 'Tis the season for religious strife


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.

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AS your past cartoon has so justly claimed---The real symbols of the season is visa and master card.

"while the Christmas tree (due to its pagan origins, one would assume) has been deemed secular."

That doesn't make sense, after all paganism is a religion.

Going to Church or Temple, doesn't make you a religious person, anymore than standing in your garage, makes you a car...So- Why the big fuss, over this nonsense.?? Believe, or not believe....Leave the rest of us alone.....

Chad I always love your cartoons and look forward to them everyday. Your comments are usually spot on with what I am thinking. With this post I completely agree. Those people who said the Halloween decorations were satanic I bet you they took their little kiddies out to get free candy on Halloween. It just takes the joy out of everything when people start complaining and it happens every year. Don't we have other things to worry about these days?

I'm insulted as well... where's the Festivus pole?

Yaniel--I've done Hanukkah on my FB page....Doing Xmas now...Then, Kwanzaa...
Followed by Festivus....Stay tuned, you are not forgotten...

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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