Compromise saves Christmas symbols
The Messenger. 11.29.07
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — City Council members rejected a proposal to create a strictly secular, multicultural display of the holiday season starting next year, choosing instead to stick with Christmas trees and wreaths.
Seeking compromise in yet another battle over religious holiday symbols on public property, the council voted 6-1 to allow colored lights and Christmas trees and wreaths on the exterior of city buildings and other city property. But inside buildings, only secular displays and messages will be allowed.
Religious and cultural symbols will be allowed at locations other than a city-owned museum but only if part of a larger, educational piece of artwork.
A task force representing religious groups, businesses and community organizations had recommended strictly white lights, bare garlands and secular symbols such as snowflakes be hung on city property.
The group reasoned that colored lights and ornamented trees suggested a religious theme. The council rejected that view.
“In my opinion these traditions should stand,” said Mayor Doug Hutchinson, who acknowledged the controversy has hurt the city’s reputation and image.