The Oskaloosa Herald
Letter to the editor:
I taught high school government for about 30 years, 13 in Oskaloosa — I am a pastor; and I once worked for the Iowa Attorney General. Let me say this, I hope every church, every former student of mine and everyone goes to voice their concern and support the city council at the special meeting when they reject this ridiculous idea of removing the Nativity scene. I spent a lot of time teaching and studying the Bill of Rights and the Establishment Clause,
Christmas exists because it is a birthday. Yes it is religious but it is a major part of our culture. There is a White House Christmas tree, Osky has a lighted Christmas parade; Christmas is not a Hindu holiday or a Muslim one or a Druid one. It is a nationally observed , sanctioned by Congress holiday as is Thanksgiving. It is not required to put up any other relgious symbols. We observe Lnicoln’s and Martin Luther King’s birthdays without putting up others whose birthdays are not that day. The real catcher is this — In 1983 in the Supreme Court case Lynch vs. Douglas, the Court upheld a town in Rhode Island and the free practice of putting up Nativity scenes as not being in violation of the Establishment Clause . The Burger Court set the precedent as did Marsh vs. Chambers and many cases since for the continuation of creche displays on public property and city property. No Hindu or other religions need displayed . As long as other symbols of Christmas like trees, reindeer or one of many other cultural icons of Christmas, no set number or type, were shown there was and is no problem. The court’s majority opinion said that we “ are a religious people,i.e. “ one nation under God”; “ In God we trust” and cited several other manifestations of our culture. They also said that creche scenes are simply an acknowledgement of the cultural fact that that holiday is significant in our culture and is recognized as the birthday of Christ. It is okay because it is a cultural phenomena in this nation.
If I had more time and space I could cite more examples. Point — Council, Osky — do not budge or cave. You do not have to. It is still Merry Christmas not Merry Mohammed or Merry Hare Krisna. Enough from the revisionist crowd! If you need help contact me or Jay Seckulow’s organization . Stand firm.
Rev. Richard Grimes
Christ at the Crossroads Ministries