Village wrong to ban all holiday-themed civic decorations
That is the phrase to sum up the Village of Shorewood’s proposal to ban all religious decorations or displays that could be portrayed as secular from public displays.
This stemmed from discussion about a menorah being put on public display in a park.
At that point, the village released it didn’t have a policy for holiday decorations.
The chance to have a menorah on display in a park should have been a chance for the community to embrace and learn about other cultures.
Instead, Shorewood went in the exact opposite direction.
They decided to be Scrooges.
No Christmas trees or holiday trees. No wrapped gifts. No carolers. But it wasn’t even enough for them to clear the streets for the best time of the year.
Clearing the streets of joy for one month wasn’t enough.
They decided there shouldn’t be any Cupids, leprechauns or turkeys on display.
That was part of a proposal introduced on Sept. 3 that is set to be discussed next on Oct. 10, before going to the full board on Oct. 22.
Someone could be offended.
They must be gone.
Well, now they have gone and done it. By not trying to offend people, instead they have in fact offended a whole lot of other people — average people who want to go out and say “Merry Christmas,” ”Happy Hanukkah,” ”Happy Thanksgiving,” ”Happy Easter” or any other traditional holiday greeting.
Family photo albums over the years are filled with holiday photos.
The holidays are a special time for families to get together and hopefully put differences aside and celebrate.
And the town or village is often a part of that through holiday parades, Easter egg hunts, Christmas tree lighting ceremonies and other fun events.
It’s one thing to try to be sensitive to other cultures. It’s an entirely different thing to strip all holidays from the streets of a community.
Racine does it right. There are holiday celebrations downtown. And the city allows groups to put up displays on Monument Square such as the Nativity or the peace obelisk.
Shorewood should come up with a better way to allow residents to celebrate the holidays. Or at least allow the people to vote for Scrooge to run the village.