On Thursday January 5th, the Columbus Dispatch printed my letter concerning the issue of the Nativity scene in Reynoldsburg, Ohio (a suburb of Columbus). Details of the issue can be found in my post from 12/27/05 Reynoldsburg, OH Mayor Ignores Law on Holiday Scenes – Again
Here is the text as printed in the Dispatch:
Reynoldsburg mayor should drop Nativity
Thursday, January 05, 2006
I was quite disappointed in the Dec. 25 Dispatch article “City Hall lawn gets respite from Nativity controversy” concerning the “seasonal controversy” involving Reynoldsburg Mayor Bob McPherson and a donated Nativity scene placed on city property in 2004.
The only “seasonal controversy” is that the mayor continues to ignore not only past U.S. Supreme Court decisions but also the advice of his city attorney. The mayor, in his self-appointed position as arbiter of the front lawn, has decided which religions he will acknowledge when the holiday displays return in 2006.
He has picked a winter solstice and Hindu symbols but the article failed to point out that there are more religions than that. He will also need to select a symbol for Kwanzaa, Jain, Sikh, Witchcraft, magick, the occult, Sumerian, Zoroastrian, Bahai, Islamic, Wicca, neopaganism, Druid, Celtic, and on and on. If McPherson says no to any religious symbol then he is exposing the city of Reynoldsburg to a lawsuit.
I would also take The Dispatch to task for only printing one side of the story. Where was the follow-up with the person who asked the mayor to display the supposed “derogatory” sign in 2004? The article also failed to name the group that complained about the mayor’s actions, yet we get a quote from David DiYanni of the Vineyard Community Church and his view of the issue.
Does The Dispatch always cast those trying to defend their civil rights in such a negative light? Why do it to those who aren’t Christian and want the government out of the religious cheerleading business?
The letter appeared as the first letter in the 1/5/06 edition.