The latest battle in the "war on Christmas" has come home to Franklin County's seat, and it comes down to the baby in the manger.
The borough has a decades-long tradition of allowing the local garden club to place a Nativity scene, depicting nearly lifesize statues of a kneeling Mary, Joseph and a swaddled Jesus, shepherds and kings, on the ground surrounding the Memorial Fountain. . . . Earlier this month, PA Nonbelievers Capital Area director Carl Silverman wrote the borough a letter stating its intention to erect [a sign reading "Celebrating Solstice -- Honoring Atheist War Veterans."]
While the group believed it did not need the borough's permission because the creche required none, it was submitting a proposed design in "the spirit of cooperation," the letter said. . . . "We didn't want to take Jesus out of the public square," Silverman, of Camp Hill, said. "We want to put atheism in the public square."
Bill McLaughlin, president of the Chambersburg Borough Council, said that after discussion with the borough solicitor, two practical options emerged -- officials could allow everything or allow nothing to be displayed at the fountain.
The council chose to allow nothing, he said.
McLaughlin said he took PA Nonbelievers' letter as "a demand, with an implied threat of legal action."
The council came to the rather unstartling, but apparently difficult-for-xianists-to-comprehend conclusion that: "The downside of 'everything' is it means everything," McLaughlin said. And, [t]hat was something council could not live with, he said.
I've recounted before the story about a xian group that sued the local public school system and won the right to force the local public schools to send home announcements about church activities in kids' bookbags. Yet, when a group of local Pagans took advantage of the same ruling to send home notices about a Yule celebration at the local UU church, the xians went ballistic. Eventually, the school system decided, reasonably, to just not send home any kind of non-school notices.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."