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.