Don Feder of Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation (JAACD) and Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious And Civil Rights today issued the following joint statement:
“We are appalled by the decision of the Seattle Airport (Sea-Tac) to remove the Christmas trees which have graced the airport for 25 years.
“We are saddened that this was in response to a local rabbi, who threatened to sue the Port of Seattle if an eight-foot menorah wasn’t erected to ‘balance’ the Christmas trees.
“Courts have held the Christmas tree is a secular symbol (though associated with the celebration of Christmas). The menorah is clearly a religious symbol. While it would have been nice for the airport to erect a menorah, it wasn’t necessitated by the presence of the trees.
“To the rabbi’s threat, officials at the airport reacted the way bureaucrats usually do—by choosing the path of least resistance. In this case, taking down the trees—thus depriving the majority of travelers of a little holiday cheer.
“The rabbi should withdraw his threat of legal action if he doesn’t get his way. The airport should put the Christmas trees back up—whether or not any other symbol is added. And we should all recall this is supposed to be the season of peace on earth—not animosity on earth and litigation toward man.”