Christmas Lights Too Uni-Cultural

Via DhimmiWatch comes a story from the Times Online edition:

Christmas lights fail to shine in equality zone

A COUNCIL is planning to scrap grants for festive lights because Christmas does not fit in with its “core values of equality and diversity”.

A report drawn up by the council in Suffolk concedes that the move could lead to officials being accused of “not supporting the spirit of Christmas”.

The move is the latest in a string of decisions by organisations to downplay the celebration of the birth of Christ — ostensibly to prevent offence being caused to non-Christian religions. Last week it emerged that Lambeth council in south London had insisted on renaming its Christmas lighting displays as “winter” or “celebrity” lights.

The latest is Conservative-controlled Waveney council in Lowestoft which provides grants totalling £10,000 for festive lights. Its report states that because Christmas focuses only on the Christian faith, continuing the funding would “not fit well with the council’s core values of equality and diversity”.

Officials are proposing to cut the lights grants to £5,000 next year and to stop them altogether by 2007. The report is due to go before councillors on Thursday.

Now, they say that it is an economic decision. The money usually granted for “festive” lights could be better used elsewhere. The chairman of the lights committee, Sue Allen, said: “It will just mean that we will have to work harder to raise funds for the Christmas lights in the future.”

I still would like to know how the celebration of the birth of Christ, by Christians, causes offense to those of non Christian religions. Eid, Channukah, and Diwali do not offend me.

Here’s another story I just found at BBC:

Row as Christmas lights renamed

A decision to call Christmas lights “Winter Lights” in south London has been condemned as showing a “total lack of respect” for Christians.

Advertisements for the switch-on of the lights in multi-cultural Lambeth have renamed them, apparently for fear of offending other faiths.

Tory councillor Bernard Gentry told the BBC: “Christmas appears to have been cancelled in our borough”.

A spokesman said it was an error by a junior official and not council policy.

In three of Lambeth’s main town centres, the lights were referred to as “Winter Lights”, while in a fourth they were called “Celebrity Lights”.

The council spokeswoman said an official was concerned about people from other religions.

She said: “It was a junior-level decision and it happened to go into print which was an error basically.

“I think it was certainly not a council policy that we should call the lights winter lights.”

But it has led to a series of headlines such as “Christmas is banned” and “The PC [politically correct] lights show” and led some members of other faiths to call it “ridiculous”.

And Mr Gentry, a Conservative member of the joint Lib Dem-Tory controlled borough, told the BBC it went against efforts to promote respect for all faiths.

“It just seems totally against everything that we as members of the council have said, when officers try to airbrush out one of the main festivals of what is still the biggest religion in Lambeth.”

“The idea that, in some way, the religious festival of Christmas is offensive to others is just daft – I have never heard a single person who’s said that.”

The advert appeared in Lambeth Life – a newspaper distributed by the council – and on posters.

I started to put my Christmas lights up last Friday, but they were broken so I had to buy new ones. I put them up yesterday. I’ll plug them in on Thanksgiving.

For me, Christmas lights make a silent Joyful Noise unto the Lord.

Some people Shout: (see for more)

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Others are more subtle:

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Previous stories:
Free Piglet
Now It’s Piggy Banks
And Now The Three Little Pigs Too
Peppermint Pigs for Christmas!
“Holiday Tree” Too Inclusive

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