If one religious symbol all right, so is another

info@islandpacket.comDecember 1, 2012 

Tanger Outlet is displaying a Hanukkah menorah in the shopper services office. Of course, this is a Jewish religious symbol memorializing God's providence to Jews during a rebellion that took place about 2,000 years ago in the Roman province of Palestine. The mall isn't displaying any Christian symbols, such as a Nativity scene. Coincidentally, this religious symbol also memorializes an event that happened about 2,000 years ago -- the birth of Jesus. (Likely a summer birthday, but let's not confuse the issue.)

The mall does, however, have a Christmas tree, a symbol of pagan mythology and superstition that was prevalent in central Europe thousands of years ago. At that time, Christian converts didn't give up their former cultural holidays. This explains why, in the ardently Christian American colonies, Christmas was illegal: Too much paganism; too little authentic Christianity.

That brings me back to the mall. I'm not against Tanger Outlets. What they are doing is simply emblematic of the confusion in America about Christmas. I don't understand why secular people in commerce, education and government want to remove pagan "Christmas" symbols from the secular holiday of Christmas -- symbols enjoyed by Christians, Jews and "pagans" alike. If they'll allow a Jewish menorah, they should also allow the comparable seasonal Christian symbol. Where's my Nativity scene?

Don Kimball


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