Today's Newsday reports:
Mitchell Pashkin, 39, an attorney from Huntington, filed his suit in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, saying the nativity scene, Christmas tree and two signs on the Village Green that read "Peace on Earth" violated his constitutional rights because of their religious overtones.Yesterday's Newsday recounted another Long Island shitstorm:
Judge Leonard Wexler helped broker a compromise between Pashkin and the town Friday afternoon that allowed the tree ceremony to take place, Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone said. The deal calls for the town to put up large signs stating the nativity scene was donated by Huntington's Knights of Columbus and that the menorah came from the Chabad-Lubavitch in Melville, Petrone said. The signs are expected to be up Saturday and also must say that the nativity scene and the menorah are not town property.
When the Rev. Nick Zientarski invoked the name of Jesus Christ during his traditional blessing of the official Christmas tree lighting in Manhasset last week, he had no idea he had signed on as a soldier in the culture wars over Christmas.Oh you can just smell the shit hitting the fan after Jon Kaiman opened his mouth during the ceremony while the priest was speaking. Every year a different person is called upon to lead the tree lighting ceremony.
Even as he spoke, the Roman Catholic priest said he could hear North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman angrily objecting behind him, "this is inappropriate." Then, Kaiman got up and told the crowd, "I just want to make it clear that this is in no way a religious ceremony."
A collective gasp came from the 200 adults and children gathered around the gazebo across from Town Hall. Nothing has been the same since in this well-heeled community that counts at least a dozen houses of worship in about 2 square miles.Ellis Henican, outspoken Newsday columnist, both friend and foe of Bill O'Lielly had this to say in his biting commentary on page 2 yesterday...
"I have to tell you that Manhasset is in an uproar" over Kaiman's remarks, said Christine Roberts, who is Jewish and attended the ceremony with her two sons. "It really was the wrong thing to say at the wrong time. There is a lot of hostility going around. Angry letters to the editor of the local paper. Angry conversations. Insanity has absolutely overtaken this town." Read the whole debacle here. heh.
OK, let me say this right up front so there will be no misunderstanding.Newsday, Long Island's official newspaper, has been printing a lot about Christmas lately, probably to show that there is no war on Christmas. Insannity and O'Lielly are L.I. denizens as you know, but they hardly represent your typical Islander, thank gawd. We just want to hang our lights on our houses and get along with everyone.
There is no war on Christmas.
Can I be any plainer than that? There is no war on Christmas.
What there is instead is a handful of dopey or impolite people, on both sides of an emotionally charged debate, who don't have the foggiest understanding of the uniquely American separation between church and state.
Have you seen the parking lot at the Roosevelt Field mall? Have you tried to get within a block of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree? Good luck finding a seat this year at midnight Mass.
If Christmas were doing any better, we'd still be lighting Advent candles into July. (he goes on to rip Falwell a new one.)
- How to decorate your tree like a pro. Some guy who charges $1000 to professionally decorate rich people's homes gives advice.
- Christmas TV shows schedule There are lots of Christmas episodes this week.
- They are making a movie about a Christmas Tiff in Greenlawn, an independent film titled "The Town That Banned Christmas," a holiday comedy about a community that stopped Christmas because of an out-of-control holiday decorating contest.
- An hilarious piece about a "Man's Man Christmas" (Do not build a lighted arch made with PVC over your driveway. ... the arch is ugly. In the daylight it looks like a plumber's revenge for an unpaid bill.)
- Even the President is attempting to be inclusive, wishing readers of his "holiday card" "best wishes for a holiday season of hope and happiness 2005" heh.
- The war on Sears and Target
- Charlie Brown's Christmas 40 years later.
There was even a 2 page spread illustration the difference between a Holiday Tree and A Christmas Tree. who knew?