Holidays Should Celebrate Pluralism

Frontier Airlines customer service agent trims a miniature Christmas tree at a ticket counter at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Washington, photo, 12/11/2006
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
I am going to appoint myself as the official ombudsman of December.

If your town has a problem accommodating various religious expressions in public displays during the holiday, I will be your Solomon. Let's start with Seattle. The airport gets a call a couple of weeks ago from a rabbi who wonders why there's no menorah with the Christmas decorations. The airport responds first by removing all the decorations then puts them back up again when the rabbi says he wont sue.

I say, you should have had a menorah in the first place and putting one or a couple up is pretty easy to do. Pluralism is a good thing. We should even take advantage of the holidays to help express how much we value it.

Fort Collins, Colo. has a Christmas display and the city council voted against a menorah, saying if they add the menorah then where does it stop?

How about, who cares?

How about a park full of symbols we can walk through and say, 'Happy Holidays' everyone?

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
By Harry Smith