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Christmas Displays Removed Due to Lawsuit Threat
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Post Christmas Displays Removed Due to Lawsuit Threat 
Live by the lawsuit, Die by the lawsuit...


Airport Removes Christmas Trees
AP
SEATAC, Wash. (Dec. 10) - All nine Christmas trees have been removed from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport instead of adding a giant Jewish menorah to the holiday display as a rabbi had requested.
Maintenance workers boxed up the trees during the graveyard shift early Saturday, when airport bosses believed few people would notice.

"We decided to take the trees down because we didn't want to be exclusive," said airport spokeswoman Terri-Ann Betancourt. "We're trying to be thoughtful and respectful, and will review policies after the first of the year."

Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky, who made his request weeks ago, said he was appalled by the decision. He had hired a lawyer and threatened to sue if the Port of Seattle didn't add the menorah next to the trees, which had been festooned with red ribbons and bows.

"Everyone should have their spirit of the holiday. For many people the trees are the spirit of the holidays, and adding a menorah adds light to the season," said Bogomilsky, who works in Seattle at the regional headquarters for Chabad Lubavitch, a Jewish education foundation.

After consulting with lawyers, port staff believed that adding the menorah would have required adding symbols for other religions and cultures in the Northwest. The holidays are the busiest season at the airport, Betancourt said, and staff didn't have time to play cultural anthropologists.

Hanukkah begins this Friday at sundown.

"They've darkened the hall instead of turning the lights up," said Bogomilsky's lawyer, Harvey Grad. "There is a concern here that the Jewish community will be portrayed as the Grinch."

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Post Inclusion to the point of stupidity 
Perhaps the Jewish Community should look more closely at the motive in the original threat of a lawsuit if they're worried about being seen as the Grinch.


This is a season of beauty and celebration regardless of which religion celebrates a holiday.

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Not sure what this has to do with Minneapolis.

However, this is no surprise. I don't blame the rabbi for wanting a menorah included; his sole mistake was threatening to sue over the matter, which would seem to me to be ratcheting the matter up to a high volume prematurely. It's not clear from the article, but sometimes asking without threatening to sue works better than leading off with the threat of a lawsuit.

That being said, there's nothing wrong with adding a menorah. After all, were it not for Judaism, there would be no Christianity.

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Post Cultural Cleansing 
Well, Craig, there are plenty of topics on this board that have nothing to do with Minneapolis, so I thought I'd post it as a matter for discussion.
The general theme is this: when we choose to use the legal system to enforce or require diversity, all too often those in authority respond by removing any identifiable cultural symbols rather than risk legal action by someone who may not have been included and has a lawyer on speed dial.
The result is that instead of enjoying "the rich mosaic" of various cultures joined together in one nation, we are bit by bit seeing our society sanitized so that no one can display the unique symbols and heritage of their national origins. Not exactly what the Founders had in mind, I suspect.

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I think we agree more than we disagree, Thrice.

Yet I place more blame on the airport for pulling down what they already had up, than I place on the rabbi for asking for some inclusion.

Yes, the rabbi didn't need to involve a lawyer and the Constitution does not guarantee a right not to be offended, but it was the airport that chose to act like a child and "take their ball and go home," so to speak.

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