January 7, 2013

Spread spirit of Christmas, not dwell on disputed information, writer says

The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — Letter to the editor:

In the Friday 14 December issue of the Oskaloosa Herald, the good Reverend Grimes offered a couple of Supreme Court cases to bolster his argument. The 1983 Lynch vs. Douglas case does not exist. However, in 1984 the high court produced a 5-4 split decision in the case of Lynch vs. Donnelly. It found that the Pawtucket, Rhode Island city council did not violate the Establishment Clause to pay for the presentation and maintenance of a Christmas display that included a crèche on private property. The court basically said that a tradition begun in 1943 over-ruled the nearly 200 year old law of the land — the U.S. Constitution. The Oskaloosa situation is different than the Pawtucket case in that there is no tradition of a nativity displayed on public property. In the second case, Rev. Grimes implicitly stated that Marsh vs. Chambers in 1984 supported the display of nativity scenes on public property. It does not. In that case the court ruled in favor of the Nebraska legislature in allowing a prayer prior to the opening of every session. I think the Oskaloosa City Council has received, at best, misleading information. My recommendation is that everyone switch off the Fox news network cable channel permanently and go out and spread the Spirit of Christmas amongst your neighbors, friends, and family.


Jim North