Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas trees removed from Sea-Tac

KING5 reported All of the Christmas trees inside the terminal at Sea-Tac have been removed in response to a complaint by a rabbi. A local rabbi wanted to install an 8-foot menorah and have a public lighting ceremony. He threatened to sue if the menorah wasn’t put up, and gave a two-day deadline to remove the trees.

A Christmas Tree is not a Christian symbol. A Menorah is a symbol of a minor Jewish holiday. I would have told him that we should be able to put up a Nativity Scene, and that the Jewish faith had an opportunity to either put up a menorah for Hannukah, or put up Jewish symbols on some more important Jewish holidays. If Christians get to put up decorations for one holiday, Christmas, then other faiths (with some minimum level of membership in the community) should be able to select one of their holidays and put up decorations for it as well. If we also get to put up decorations for Easter (and I mean a Cross, not some secular Easter Bunny), then they get to select a second Jewish holiday and decorate for it.
Sea-Tac public affairs manager Terri-Ann Betancourt said the trees that adorn the Sea-Tac upper and lower levels may not properly represent all cultures.
Christmas trees represent a secular version of Christmas. The only tie to religion would be to the Druid winter celebration.
She said that since this is their busiest time of year and they don't have time to add a fair representation of all cultures, her department decided to take down all of the decorations, review their policies, and decide if they need to make a change for next year.


Anonymous said...

please note that the quoted news report is patently false and has mistakenly taken away the focus of the discussion from the airport who should have never reacted the way they did.

the money quote -- the FALSE money quote is: "He threatened to sue if the menorah wasn’t put up, and gave a two-day deadline to remove the trees"

please see ap's take here: the rabbi says he's appalled at what happened!.

DonSurber said...

Christmas trees are secular. So this is the separation of state and state?

Don Singleton said...

Christmas trees are secular. So this is the separation of state and state?

Actually it is worse than that. Christmas trees come from the Druid faith's winter festival.

But you are right, Christmas trees and Santa Claus are secular symbols.

I would be happy to see the Jews display a Menorrah for Hanukkah OR something during a more major Jewish holiday such as Passover, and in return Christians should be able to display a Nativity Scene at Christmas. And if the Muslims want something at the start or end of Ramadan if there are enough Muslims in the area they should have it, either at the start or end of Ramadan OR during our period of celebration, but not both.

Michael S. Class said...


Will the Lights Go Out on the National Christmas Tree, Too?

This year, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, near my home town of Seattle, there will be no Christmas. A twelve-member holiday decorations advisory committee of religious, academic, legal and business leaders has put an end to it. The commission mandated that decorations would "reflect the Pacific Northwest environment and our diverse community, and convey universal values, such as peace and harmony."

So what will you see at Seattle's airport in December, 2007? A grove of birch trees hung with mirrors to reflect colored lights, surrounded by artificial snow. Above the trees will be a flock of migrating birds cut out of foam.

Isn't it wonderful?

Political correctness is destroying our most cherished Christmas traditions. Our children are losing an important part of their American heritage. Unless we do something now, our children will live in a sterile world of "holiday" presents, "holiday" trees, "holiday" cookies, "winter" school concerts, and "winter" school breaks. Imagine a world in which our children watch the classic 1947 movie, "Miracle on 34th Street," and upon hearing the store clerks say "Merry Christmas" to customers, they think of it as just an outdated and quaint custom. Is that really what we want in America?

My name is Michael Class. I live in the Seattle area with my wife and two children. I am a retired "dot-com" executive who just couldn't sit by and let the mis-education of America's youth go unchallenged anymore. I'm tired of seeing America's next generation being fed a curriculum of politically-correct misinformation, guilt, and shame. I decided to do something about it.

I wrote, photographed, and published an American history book designed to set the record straight, to teach the real lessons of American history, and to prepare our children for the future. My book is called Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame.

In the book, my real-life son, twelve-year-old Anthony, time-travels into the great events of the 20th Century. Advanced digital photography places Anthony in the cockpit of the Spirit of St. Louis with Charles Lindbergh, on the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, in the laboratories of Thomas Edison and Jonas Salk, and on Normandy beach on D-Day. Anthony "meets" and "talks with" Thomas Edison, Jonas Salk, FDR, Lou Gehrig, Charles Lindbergh, Audie Murphy, and many others. But historical accuracy rules every page of Anthony's adventure in time: Anthony’s conversations with America’s heroes are based on things they really said. My Web site,, displays some of the book's amazing photographs.

But the book goes beyond dazzling photography and solid historical facts: The book presents the moral lessons of American history. Anthony learns valuable lessons from what he sees in the past. Anthony compares the people and events of the past with the people and events of his own time. Anthony discusses the nature of good and evil, right and wrong, war and peace, what it means to be an American, honor and discipline, success and achievement, courage and destiny, marriage and family, God and purpose.

The chapter about Lindbergh’s flight is really about choosing one’s destiny. The story of Lou Gehrig is really about living a virtuous life. The chapter about Thomas Edison is really about the benefits of business leadership and hard work. The story of Apollo 11 is about wonder, taking risks, and courage. The story of Dr. Jonas Salk is really about dedicating one’s life to a higher purpose. When Anthony meets his immigrant great-grandfather at Ellis Island, it’s really a story about what it means to be an American. Anthony’s observation of D-Day and the liberation of the death camps during the Holocaust is a testament to the reality of evil and the need to fight it.

The book is written for kids in Grade 6 to Grade 12, and for parents and teachers who want to remember the truth.

In Chapter 9 of the book, Anthony makes this comment about the modern day: "In my time, lawyers take Christ out of Christmas and make it just another Happy Holiday."

Anthony is right.

Every year, there are new efforts to expunge Christ from Christmas, and to remove all mentions of God from public discourse, government buildings, government oaths, American currency, and the Pledge of Allegiance. It's an assault on our American heritage, and our children are the losers. Last year a local public elementary school replaced it's Christmas tree with a "giving" tree, and then even that was replaced with a "giving" counter!

And yet: Christmas is a federal holiday! And, every Christmas season, the President of the United States lights the National Christmas Tree on the White House Lawn!

When the lights go out on the National Christmas Tree, what will our country be like? Is it the country we want to live in?

Remember, the truth is that for more than two hundred years, Americans have trusted in God to guide them and protect them. The evidence is everywhere, and even inscribed in stone!

Here are just a few examples:

"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God." That was President Abraham Lincoln speaking to the American people in 1863.

"God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?" That was Thomas Jefferson in 1776. His words are inscribed in stone at his memorial in Washington, DC.

"It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, and to be grateful for his benefits." That was President George Washington in 1789.

"And this be our motto: In God is our trust." That is the fourth stanza of the National Anthem, written by Francis Scott Key in 1814.

We must preserve the best of American culture and traditions for our children and grandchildren. We must not forget who we are. This year, say "Merry Christmas" to your fellow Americans: It's an all-inclusive message of God's love for every man, woman, and child.

Truth can not be denied. Christmas is a good time to remember that.

So, when the President of the United States lights the national Christmas Tree on the White House lawn later this month, say Merry Christmas! And thank God.

Merry Christmas!

(You can read more about why I wrote the book here:

Michael S. Class
Author / Photographer / Publisher


Web Site:


Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame was named Outstanding Book of the Year by Independent Publisher (2006); awarded the Parent-to-Parent Adding Wisdom Award for Excellent Books (2007); is a celebrated winner of an iParenting Media Award for Excellent Products (2007), was named Reviewers Choice by Midwest Book Review (2006); and garnered Editor's Pick by Homefires: The Journal of Homeschooling Online (2006). Nationally syndicated talk-show host Michael Medved calls the book "entertaining and educational."

Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame helps parents and teachers: The book includes recommendations for 461 books, 595 movies, 217 songs, and 155 places to visit, all keyed to the subjects of each chapter. The recommendations are offered as an exciting addition to any formal history curriculum, and as a way for kids to experience the past. The author's Web site offers a fun final exam.

Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin says "parents and teachers will appreciate the inspiring message this unique history book holds for America's next generation. I recommend this book to all young Americans, may they take us to the stars and beyond."

Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame (hardcover, 225 pages, $25.00) is available at, by calling toll-free 1-800-247-6553, at select bookstores, and on

Amazon link:

Watch the Magic Picture Frame video: