Archive for December, 2006

A tree removed, Toronto Globe & Mail, December 23, 2006

Saturday, December 23rd, 2006

Ontario Court Justice Marion Cohen’s decision to remove the Christmas tree from the front of the courthouse was absolutely correct, although her reasoning–that it might offend non- Christians–was wrong (McGuinty says Christmas tree ban ‘Unfortunate’–online edition, Dec. 14).

Like it or not, Christmas trees are religious symbols, and in a free, democratic, secular society courthouses are the last places such symbols should be displayed.

Celebrating Diwali or Hanukkah or Eid or Christmas in public is one thing. Celebrating a religious holiday in a courthouse is quite another.

The Charter and The Role of Religion, National Post, December 22, 2006

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

Just because our law is based upon Judeo-Christian principles and the preamble of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms reads “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law….” does not mean we are a Christian nation. None of this means we are subjected to or governed by God’s law or Christ’s law or biblical law or any other law except secular law, which is of course of our own making, regardless of it’s antecedents and foundation.

If there is one thing that history (and present day events too for that matter) tells us it is that the separation of church and state is all important and that we must be ever vigilant to keep it so. Otherwise we really will wind up with courts that are Christian or Jewish or Muslim or some other religion. Religious oppression is a fact and always has been, yes, even by “Christians’ and we must be very careful upon getting on a very slippery slope.

That is why a Christian symbol like a Christmas is totally inappropriate in a courthouse. Like it or not we really do live in a free, democratic and secular society and religious symbols in courthouses imply otherwise.

Atheists opinions count too! Re: Taking political correctness to a Christmas Extreme, Lorne Gunther, National Post, December 18, 2006

Monday, December 18th, 2006

Does Lorne Gunther really believe that
Atheists opinions are less worthy than “outraged Muslims, Jews or Zoroastrians.” What rubbish! as a life long Atheist I take great exception to this. My opinions on matters such as Christmas trees in courthouses are every bit as valid as anyone else’s and Gunther’s saying they are not is insulting and demeaning.

By the way, the Judge’s decision to move the tree from the front of the courthouse was absolutely correct. Like it or not, Christmas trees are religious symbols and in a free, democratic, secular society courthouses are the last places such symbols should be displayed.

Our courts aren’t Christian or Jewish or Muslim and anything that implies that they are must be strictly avoided. Whether non Christians feel welcome in the courthouse (the stated reason for moving the tree) is irrelevant. A Christmas tree in the lobby of a courthouse adds a religious dimension which is simply not on because it blurs the separation between church and state in a setting in which the state has real power over a person’s life, including the power to imprison.

That is the distinction between religious symbols in courthouses and places like public aquares, which are simply a reflection of the multicultural society we live in. Celebrating Diwali or Hanukkah or Eid, or Christmas, in public is one thing. Celebrating a religious holiday in a courthouse is quite another.