Away with the manger
The manger in Pemberton provided quite the topic for discussion in December. Was it festive? Representative? Offensive? Assumptive? What was wrong with a little festive Christmas scene?
The manger was erected in Pemberton, at about 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6th, on school district property without the consent of SD #48, without permission from the Village of Pemberton (it is not up to the VOP as to what is put on school property), and without permission from Signal Hill Elementary School (all offices were contacted).
Although there was quite a bit of support for the manger as far as I know, no person or group of people have claimed responsibility for putting it there.
I am not a religious person but I believe that church and state should be separate. A nativity scene on school property is not representative of the community of students at Signal Hill. If anything it shows the minority of kids who are practicing other religions that they live in a community that does not recognize them.
I do not believe the answer is to celebrate all religious holidays at school (to counter the “then they could put a menorah or other religious symbol” argument).
This year Whistler decided to move the menorah that is usually lit in Village Square to Millennium Place so that it did not seem to be endorsing one religion over another. Entirely appropriate as MY Place is a multi-faith facility. Businesses were offered, and some chose to have, an electric menorah displayed in their store window.
This year in Pemberton some people decided it was okay to endorse one religion over all others. Not appropriate.
The trees, lights and decorations in school and around town could be seen as representative of Christian celebration, however their origins are not all based on religious practices and they really do help with the dark of winter. If a person or group would like to erect a manger on private property or church property I'd have no problem with that. But the nativity scene in front of a school, on school property, is not representative of the population and is assumptive even though to some it may be festive.
Pembertonp class=Style1>Keep the religious aspect out
This letter is in response to an observation by Margit de Haan in the last issue (Is our country really free?, Pique letters Dec. 27), and before you read any further I want you to know that I certainly respect your point of view, but due to my beliefs, I can not agree.