Don Feder of Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation (JAACD) and Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious And Civil Rights today issued the following joint statement:
"We are appalled by the decision of the Seattle Airport (SEA-TAC) to remove the Christmas trees which have graced the airport for 25 years.
"We are saddened that this was in response to a local rabbi, who threatened to sue the Port of Seattle if an eight-foot menorah wasn't erected to ‘balance' the Christmas trees.
"Courts have held the Christmas tree is a secular symbol (though associated with the celebration of Christmas). The menorah is clearly a religious symbol. While it would have been nice for the airport to erect a menorah, it wasn't necessitated by the presence of the trees.
"To the rabbi's threat, officials at the airport reacted the way bureaucrats usually do — by choosing the path of least resistance. In this case, taking down the trees — thus depriving the majority of travelers of a little holiday cheer.
"The rabbi should withdraw his threat of legal action if he doesn't get his way. The airport should put the Christmas trees back up — whether or not any other symbol is added. And we should all recall this is supposed to be the season of peace on earth — not animosity on earth and litigation toward man."
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