Captain's Quarters Blog

« Insert Dick Cheney Joke Here | Main | Governor Moonbeam Becomes AG Sunbeam? »

December 12, 2006
Seattle Restores Christmas Trees

Here's one small victory for Christmas:

The nine Christmas trees at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport were supposed to come down quietly over the weekend, in an attempt to avoid litigation and publicity. But it didn't quite work out that way.

"We've created quite a national media sensation," said Seattle Port Commissioner John Creighton, whose agency ordered the trees removed after a rabbi threatened to file a lawsuit unless the airport displayed a menorah, as well as the trees, within 24 hours.

Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky, with the Seattle chapter of Chabad-Lubavitch, had requested that the Port of Seattle include an electric menorah as part of the airport's holiday display this year.

But authorities decided to remove the trees, rather than be subject to accommodating all requests. Now, because of publicity and public outcry, the trees will soon be back.

This is actually a defeat for small-minded bureaucrats rather than any explicit animus towards Christmas. When Rabbi Bogomilsky sent the letter threatening a lawsuit, he didn't want the trees removed; he wanted a response to two months of requests to include an electric Menorah display for Chanukah. He had been asking since October and had been roundly ignored by airport management.

Instead of responding to Bogomilsky, the commissioners took the predictable knee-jerk action -- they canceled Christmas. That created a wave of anger among airport employees, who apparently waited a few nanoseconds before leaking the decision to the press and to bloggers. By Monday, the commissioners had a flood of e-mails and phone calls protesting the removal of the nine trees. Bogomilsky, who only wanted some response to his requests, told the commission that he would not file any lawsuits and wanted the trees reinstated, and the commissioners retreated.

Is this a lesson for those who insist on stripping Christmas from the holiday season? Of course it is. It shows how the attempts to dilute the religious nature of Christmas have given rise to widespread frustration and offense among customers and constituents. However, this particular case is more of a lesson about customer service and bureaucratic overreaction. Had someone just talked to Bogomilsky in the first place, this never would have happened -- and how difficult would it have been to include a lighted Menorah to honor Chanukah, anyway?

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 12, 2006 5:18 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry is

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Seattle Restores Christmas Trees:

» Christmas Trees Go Back Up At Seattle Airport from Stop The ACLU
Seattle Times The holiday trees that went away in the middle of the night are back. Tonight, Port of Seattle staff began putting up the trees they had taken down Friday night after a local rabbi requested that a Hanukkah menorah also be displayed. P... [Read More]

Tracked on December 12, 2006 6:55 AM

» Back with the Christmas Trees from Church and State
The equivalent to a Menorah would be a Nativity scene. Just so we are comparing apples to apples here, when the authorities are planning decorations for next fall, hopefully they'll understand this fact and include a Nativity scene. [Read More]

Tracked on December 12, 2006 11:09 AM

» Media Gives Sea-Tac Rabbi a Bad Rap from Bill's Bites
Atlass has more: Thank the jihad media once again for stirring the pot and putting its leftarded slant (with a healthy dose of Jew hatred) on an otherwise innocuous story. The jihad media claimed the beleagured Rabbi was going to sue the Seattle airpor... [Read More]

Tracked on December 12, 2006 11:39 AM

» A non-battle in Seattle from Polimom Says
The brave soldiers readied for battle. Fingers flexed above keyboards and sensitivity meters turned to the highest possible setting, they prepared to engage the enemy in the ongoing War Against Christmas. (Seattle’s King5:) A local rabbi wanted t... [Read More]

Tracked on December 12, 2006 12:41 PM


Design & Skinning by:
m2 web studios

blog advertising


Proud Ex-Pat Member of the Bear Flag League!