Monday, December 11, 2006

And a merry Christmas to you, too.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has apparently hosted Christmas trees in and around its terminals for what I'm guessing are several years now.

Well, until just a little while ago, that is.

An area Rabbi -- Elazar Bogomilsky -- decided that the Christmas tree display was missing a menorah, and requested that the airport either install one, or allow him to do the installing a couple of weeks ago.

It seems that not only did he not get a response, but no menorah appeared next to the Yuletide trees.

His lawyer -- yep, welcome to America -- seems to believe that the airport was simply stalling and delaying. The airport says they didn't have enough time to consult with everyone necessary.

Whatever the reason, Rabbi Bogomilsky did the American thing and had his lawyer threaten the airport with a Federal lawsuit if the menorah didn't appear.

I'll give you three guesses as to the reaction by the airport. It was the exact same reaction that everyone else gets when beat about the head and shoulders (metaphorically speaking) with the Civil Rights LawSuit bat: they took down the trees.

Someone whinges that because 'A' is up, they should be allowed to put up 'B'-- then the safest legal route is to simply take down 'A'. No 'A', no reason for 'B', no reason to lose everything you own to a Fed lawsuit.

Now, Rabbi Bogomilsky is claiming that he didn't mean for the trees to come down.

What the hell did he expect when he threatened a Federal Civil Rights lawsuit over the sodding thing? Hmm? What?

Is he a naif that he didn't see this coming?

It is his fault that the trees were taken down, and he should cowboy up and accept the consequences of using the threat of a Federal Civil Rights lawsuit to get his way -- no matter how "unintended" the consequences are.

LawDog

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I suspect the SeaTac airport authority bureaucracy was responsible for the delay in allowing the rebbe to put up a menorah. Typical--any other rational managing authority would have set aside places for other religions to put up their own Yule-related religious imagery.

Absolutely no call for the rabbi to threaten a lawsuit. Moshiach wept, it`s not like it`s a massive loss if there isn`t a menorah up at the airport. Strictly speaking, a menorah is lit in the home and set in the window. It`s not intended as some kind of public display.

Yeesh. The only thing worse the rabbi could have done for Christian/Jewish relations was put of a lighted sign saying "We Pwned Your False Prophet!"

Matt G said...

Honestly, LD, I think that I'd just as soon see it all come down in the public places, and let us celebrate our own Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice/Kwanzaa/Rabid Pig Unity (Reformed) Day Of Atonement holiday as we wish. I like me some Christmas... just not from Halloween to New Year's Day, all the damned time.

Maybe that's the solution. Just take it all down. Quit dilluting a nice day to a 2.5 month season, and let us enjoy it personally.

Ah, nobody'd ever go for it.


--Matt "O Tannenbaum, BahHumBug" G

Anonymous said...

As some might say, "On this, we waste time?!?"

I flew out of SeaTac this morning and I can tell you that my attention was focused on trying to determine which of my fellow travelers would be least likely to "intrigue" the TSA screener so I could avoid getting behind them in line, NOT on whether there was a pagan/coopted-by-Northern-European-Christians tree in the hall.

Happy holidays all.

rwc in PDX

Anonymous said...

Shame Sea-Tac didn't top their tree with what I topped my Tree with, back when I had a tree. My Nana made me a stunning collection of Christmas ornaments, which I still hang, just not from a Christmas tree.
Anyway, I asked her to make me a very special Star for a topper. A Star of David. It seemed appropriate to ME. Jesus, the "reason for the Season", WAS born a Jew. It's ecumenical and beautiful and sentimental. I love it and will pass it down to whichever of my grandchildren has the most highly developed sense of Irony.

AtticJewelry said...

Eugene, Oregon and inhuman rights

It has been about 4 weeks since the Eugene police shot and killed a person with a mental problem. At that same time the Lane County was having an "“informal limited" hearing concerning a “not for profit” in Cottage Grove, Oregon engaging in fraudulent housing practices funded by Federal dollars. So what, you might say. What does it matter if the HOME TBA program does not follow federal regulations. So what, if they retaliate by kicking a disabled person off of a federally funded housing program. So what if the Lane County Human Services Department not only condones the practice, but forces a “limited” hearing so that the known abuses will not be heard. We were shot at by our landlord. The first time a deputy went up to talk with him, you could hear them laughing. Over a 2-week period he shot at our house 13 times with a shotgun. You could hear the pellets hitting the building and rolling off the porch. We were able to capture the sound of the shot and the pellets hitting the house while on the phone with 911. The three Lane County Deputies watched the tape, I gave them a copy. The next day they went and told the landlord, “don’t do that any more.” The Lane County Human Services Department were aware that the “not for profit” had violated HUD regulations, that the person in charge of HOME TBA in their department had sent our landlords lawyer bogus rental papers in an attempt to get us illegally evicted. They knew that there was an on going process to harass and intimidate us. Yet they decided that it was OK by their standards. So why should you care? At the same time, Lane County Oregon was approving a 10-year plan to end homelessness. The HOME TBA is part of that plan. It is being cloned in over 200 Counties across the United States. When I asked the State of Oregon’s Housing and Community Service’s how I would get a hearing through them, they wrote the grant for the federal funds for the HOME TBA Program. They said, “ we have no control over how the “not for profit” administers the program, there is no hearing or grievance process.” That is why you should be concerned. No matter which state you live in, they are setting up a process in 200 counties across the USA for 10-years with no oversight or process to complain. A few BILLION DOLLARS of money with no accountability.

Anonymous said...

"...a very special Star for a topper. A Star of David. It seemed appropriate to ME. Jesus, the "reason for the Season", WAS born a Jew."

Last time I read that part of the geneologies, I recall the Bible says Jesus was of the line of King David.

I'd say that star fits real well.

mustanger98 on THR

Doug said...

And now the Rabbi is worried that he is going to be seen as the "grinch".

Gee, ya think?

Chris said...

You know, Dawg, this sort of thing is right up there with not having the Ten Commandments in a County Courthouse sort of thing. It's a damned shame, really. Whatever happened to Live and Let Live?

One of these days, I'm gonna go to a place of Crescent Moons, The Star of David, or the like, and start b___ing and moaning about a lack of a cross.

I'll probably get the same reaction that I would if I tried to proport "White History Month."

markhb said...

If this Rabbi actually wielded a Civil Rights Suit, then damn straight - his ass his Grinch. Pardon my franglais.

Either way, I say take it all down anyway. Or give us freedom back on the airlines. If we're being de-shoed, de-belted and on the verge of being stuffed into white paper bunny suits to ride a flight, why even pretend that any of us are happy about it in the first gorram place?

D.W. Drang said...

Late bulletin: The Port of Seattle says it was all a mistake, the Rabi has decided not to sue and he really wasn't all that upset about the tress, anyway... Right! Anyway, the trees are back.
Always makes me giggle when I see Christians--and now Jews!--get their knickers in a knot over the secular symbol of a secular holiday celebration, especially as it was originally a pre-Christian Pagan practice anyway. Just because the Pope decided to hijack a Roman Pagan celebration by declaring that Jesus was born during Saturnalia...

Kristopher said...

Amazing.

Sanity actually prevailed.

Mikael Hallin said...

And the whole santa comes down the chimney bringing gifts thing is taken from a Same(no, not english word "same") religion. That's the reindeer herders living in the far north of scandinavia/finland. Originally it was the Shaman who would go on a spirit journey on a specially colored reindeer(I think it was all-white) and return through the chimney(of their reindeer hide tents, similar to those used by native americans), bearing gifts(of wisdom, from his spirit journey.)

Somehow that got turned into Santa.

Ulises from California said...

Oy vey, what a mess he made!

I think that one can get Menorah ornaments for one's Christmas trees nowadays.

It was impractical of the Rabbi and his lawyers to threaten a Fed. lawsuit over a tree in the airport. This goes against the standard by which Rabbis are judged: were they practical? A better tactic would've been to have discussed this with the airport IN JANUARY & just integrated some Hannukah symbols onto the tree NEXT YEAR!

If the rabbi is so blind that he cannot forsee the consequences of his actions, then he & the lawyers really ought to play golf AT NIGHT!

(From a joke a Real Rabbi told me many years ago.)

Happy Hannukah & Merry Christmas & even Happy Kwanzaa!