Social and Political Commentary

Senior Center ban on religious expression

... God not welcome here

by Anne MacGillivray

Last year, through the generosity of a member of the community, a small nativity scene was donated to the Milano Senior Center. At the time I was one of the volunteers. One day I noticed the nativity scene was missing. When I inquired as to its disappearance I was informed that someone complained about and it had to be removed. The Menorah also had its place of honor. When I questioned what the name or names were who complained I was told no name was left.

Consequently, my reflection went back to my working days when, if a complaint was made to a company and no name was left, then the complaint was not granted the dignity of a response.

This week I received an e-mail regarding the decision of the few on the Melrose Board of the Council on Aging regarding religious symbols being displayed at the Senior Center. A decision was made to ban all or any forms of religious expression at the Milano Senior Center. There would be snowmen, "holiday" etc. expressions. Needless to say, the undercurrent of anger among people in the Christian senior community is prevelant regarding this decision. The decision of three or four individuals overruling the desire of the many seniors who frequent the Senior Center and enjoy seeing their Christian heritage; those of the Jewish faith or persons of other religious persuasions seeing theirs, can be equated to the same behavior as the four Supreme Court justices who are exercising judicial tyranny by trying to legalize same sex marriage.

To deliberately make a conscious decision to ban acknowledgment of a Supreme Being during a season where all faiths are celebrating their heritage in any place, silently says to me, "We are Atheists. And you, God, are not welcomed here. Stay out!" It is not the "snowman" season. It is the Christmas season. The season of Hanukkah and any other religious persuasion.

We are not only fighting a war in Iraq. We are fighting a bigger war right here at home. "Spiritual" weapons of mass destruction are being used in the war against God to undermine and destroy the very foundation our forefathers laid down for us. One nation under "God". And if America does not return to worshipping the potter instead of the clay, we will do ourselves in "from" within.

In the meantime, although they continue to eradicate any visual symbol that is a reminder of God, we Christians will continue to cherish and delight in our freedom to not only sing but say, "Praise the Lord, Jesus is coming, Christ is King and MERRY CHRISTMAS."

November 5, 2004

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