Sunday, October 12, 2008

Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other?

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Today downtown, as we rounded the corner towards the park, I spied a new structure. It was rectangular with a roof made of branches and twigs and sat smack dab in the city center on the grass. At first I was like....what the hell is that? Is Birmingham throwing their own Renaissance Festival? But a couple of seconds later, I realized that it must be a sukkah, the celebratory, outdoor structure that Jewish people use during the holiday of Sukkot. Ok........

Here's the thing, I'm all for freedom of self-expression in most situations, and sure, if one guy gets to present his case, so should the other, but do we really need an increasing amount of religious pageantry in our civic center? This park, it's the meeting point, it is the city's central area, where all the little whos down in Whoville meet. The grassy block lies right in the middle of the police station, city hall, the community center and the library.

First it was the nativity scene*, then the giant menorah, and now the sukkah. I don't mean to be a scrooge, but in this very specific instance, do we really want all of this? Government and religion should not be mixed. (Although, I just imagined a park full of nativity scenes, some menorah, a giant Buddha, Krishna, some Greek Goddess thrown in. Gotta have a live action wiccan celebration, an atheist, a scientist and Sylvia Browne. Then the park would be a big mess though.)

What do you think?

*Which is right next to my photo of the Britney Spears squirrel!


Judy said...

I tend to agree - where is separation of church and state?

This is predominately what drives me away from the Republican party. I may choose to agree or disagree with some of their personal opinions, but in my mind, many issues that are pushed through the "GOP" are more faith-based than governmental. There are many places a government just doesn't belong, and church is one of them. Isn't that why the pilgrims were here in the first place?

Anonymous said...

All you have to do is mention "nativity scence" and it makes me laugh.

Anonymous said...

oops, "scene"

Kendra Lynn said...

I think I agree on this as well. We have a city near us that covers the lawn of City Hall with Santa, a Menorah, the Baby Jesus, camels, everything you could possibly imagine! While the lights are pretty, and its fun to look at...we are definitely mixing the message there. :)