November 10, 2007
Committee Says Colored Christmas Lights Too Religious
A special task force in a Colorado city has recommended banning red and green lights at the Christmas holiday because they fall among the items that are too religious for the city to sponsor.
“Some symbols, even though the Supreme Court has declared that in many contexts they are secular symbols, often still send a message to some members of the community that they and their traditions are not valued and not wanted. We don’t want to send that message,” Seth Anthony, a spokesman for the committee, told the Fort Collins, Colo., Coloradoan.
He said the recommended language does not specifically address Christmas trees by name, but the consensus was that they would not fall within acceptable decorations.
What will be allowed are white lights and “secular” symbols not associated “with any particular holiday” such as icicles, unadorned greenery and snowflakes, the task force said.
The group was made up of members of the city’s business and religious communities as well as representatives from some community groups. Members met for months to review the existing holiday display policy, which allowed white as well as multi-colored lights and wreaths and garlands.