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posted: 12/17/2012 5:00 AM

Why can't park light display stay neutral?

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After the buzz generated by the nativity dispute in Arlington Heights, I wanted to articulate what seems to be a minority viewpoint.

I understand that people's deeply held religious beliefs hold special meaning for them at this time of year, and one need only glance around to see that Christmas is the most commonly celebrated holiday in this area.

My goal is not to disrespect anyone's faith, but I cannot agree with the actions of the Thomas More Society in attempting to force a nativity scene into North School Park.

From my perspective as a Christian, Christmas is about celebrating Jesus's birth and spending time with my family. It is not about an activist group with a larger agenda threatening legal action to impose my beliefs on my neighbors who enjoy the park's display each year and don't celebrate Christmas.

People often forget that depending on your beliefs, there are many reasons for the season!

The park is for everyone's enjoyment, and unless we are prepared to honor requests from every faith tradition (which could easily result in disputes and allegations of unfairness), what is so wrong with keeping the theme to trains, toys and other holiday images that appeal to everyone?

I understand the church across the street would have been glad to host the display and I can't help but wonder: If the goal of this action was really for people to be able to see a nativity at Christmas and reflect on its meaning, wouldn't this have been an excellent compromise?

Residents, churches and businesses in town put up so many beautiful decorations representing all faith traditions at this time of year. Is it so much to ask that one public park be open to a neutral display that everyone can come together to enjoy?

Kathryn Huber

Mount Prospect

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