Is Christmas Being Sued Away? Christmas Trees at SEA-TAC Airport Removed


For over 25 years the SEA-TAC Airport decorated for Christmas and for the past 10 years the same Christmas decorations were displayed; however, this year all 15 Christmas trees have been taken down. What makes this year different from years past? A local rabbi threatened to sue unless an 8 foot menorah was displayed. More acts of tolerance during the Christmas season. A Christmas tree being offensive. No, what I would dare say is offensive is any religious leader threatening a lawsuit to get their own way. That is offensive.

A local rabbi wanted to install an 8-foot menorah and have a public lighting ceremony. He threatened to sue if the menorah wasn’t put up, and gave a two-day deadline to remove the trees. (King 5)

One rabbi? Because one rabbi happens to think he can dictate to the majority, he is allowed to get his way. Doesn’t this begin to show the lack of tolerance by those who proclaim they are? Granted, a public setting like an airport should show some diversity and include a menorah during the season of Chanukah. However, to be threatened with a law suit in order to do so is 100% wrong. Of course I am trying to still figure out what grounds a law suit would have been based on other than a nuisance suit.

Christmas Trees Pulled From Washington’s Sea-Tac Airport Following Complaint

For more than 25 years, the airport has celebrated the holidays with Christmas trees over its entrances. But overnight, the Port of Seattle ordered all 15 trees removed.

The Port allowed “holiday” decorations to remain but decided to take down all the Christmas trees after a Seattle rabbi complained they were offensive. (Fox News)

Posted December 10, 2006 by
Bizarre, Religion | 39 comments

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  • Comments

    39 Responses to “Is Christmas Being Sued Away? Christmas Trees at SEA-TAC Airport Removed”

    1. MOLLY on December 10th, 2006 5:28 pm

      He does not represent all Jewish People. This Rabbi is
      a piece of anti-American crap. It is not about religious
      belief, it is a slam against a Christian based Constitution.
      He needs to be {{edit}}. I will light the fire.

    2. December_star on December 10th, 2006 9:07 pm

      Wonder what they would do if someone went in there and said they were offended and threatend to sue by the lack of Christmas trees.

    3. micah on December 10th, 2006 9:45 pm

      The problem is that as soon as Sea-Tac Airport bends for Menorahs – then an Islamic group, or a Hindi group, or a “Jedi” group will come along and say, “Okay, so now we want an 8 ft. ________ in the lobby of this airport!!”.

      Sea-Tac, at the advice of their legal counsel (no doubt) nipped it in the bud and called “the whole thang off”, anticpating the demand for representation by every “wronged” religious group under the sun…

      Such a shame…

    4. Jon on December 10th, 2006 10:22 pm

      Why has all this happened this past year? Menoras, take down crosses, don’t say Merry Christmas, pray on airport floors if you are muslim, kiss my ass if you are a child pedifile, they kill Americans in Aruba, boycott this and boycott that, don’t eat spinich, don’t eat lettuce, don’t eat taco bell onions.
      Someone must be filing a lawsuit to ban candy canes.

    5. Betty on December 10th, 2006 11:53 pm

      If you give them and inch….then they will want a mile..this country is going to the dogs..Such a shame, that we are forced to give up what we believe in, because of some @@s holes.

    6. LilPuma on December 11th, 2006 12:47 am

      They should have put the trees up. It’s Christmas time and is celebrated by most of the people in this country. Especially the retailers. Illegal immigrants take a day off to show how vital they are to our economy. Where would our economy be without Christmas?

      p.s. As a Christian, I don’t like this trend at all, but I thought I’d try a different argument this time.

    7. MOLLY on December 11th, 2006 1:01 am

      Many Jewish owned stores get wealthy wealthy selling Christmas items. Money is ok, it is just the mention
      of the word Christmas and/or Jesus that is bad, JUST

    8. Sue on December 11th, 2006 1:08 am

      As a resident of Taccoma and traveling in and out of sea tac airport.. I have seen these tree’s that adorn the entrance of the airport many many time.. this is just sad
      next they will be sueing malls for having christmas sales

    9. justinsmama on December 11th, 2006 7:16 am

      This is a “privately owned” airport? As in not a government airport? If so, then put the trees back up, have HUGE banners that read Merry Christmas, CHRIST IS BORN, etc. And let the rabbi try to sue.

    10. Robert on December 11th, 2006 7:18 am

      Does mr.”rabbi” think in Israel all religious symbols should be abandond from public space as well? (As he’s a rabbi he certainly has an opinion about the “promised” land…)

    11. Robert on December 11th, 2006 7:49 am

      As a rabbi he’s a walking advertisement-object himself… Does he think he should be banned from public space as well?

    12. Stephen on December 11th, 2006 8:09 am

      What is so funny is that a Christmas Tree is actually a pagan tradition. Christians and others just co-opted it and then the merchants commercialized it. Let’s face it, people are just stupid and cranky about all manner of things. I am sure that Sea Tac did what would cause them the least possible damage (per legal advice), but in so doing, they open themselves and others to the tyranny of fringe groups everywhere. May God, Yahweh, Wal Mart, an 8 foot Menorahh, etc. have mercy on their black little souls.

    13. viet vet on December 11th, 2006 10:08 am

      Maybe the rabbi needs to look at all the Christian white crosses marking graves in Europe. Those boys died liberating what was left of the European Jews. Maybe we Christians should be less concerned with Jewish problems in the Middle East and cut out he huge foreign aid to Israel. No trees, no aid. And really, what is anti-semetic about a Christmas tree? And how many Jews reap benefits from Christmas gift sales? If you want to live in Jewish State, move to Israel. Next thing he will protest will be BLT’s and ham sandwiches.

    14. JusticeforNatalee on December 11th, 2006 10:46 am

      In our building lobby, we have a mixture of symbols.

      Christmas trees and wreaths/menorahs in the windows.

    15. kay zee ess on December 11th, 2006 11:32 am

      I, for the life of me, see no reason why a menorah couldn’t be placed at the airport. And then when the airport manifests their hissy-fit, we, of course, blame the Jews.

      What, in the name of freedom of expression and religion, are we crying about, anyway. Put up a menorah, for Christs’ sake. I’m pretty sure that our Savior would not mind the extra light. God knows so many here that are keeping themselves in the dark sorely need it right about now. Better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

      Merry Christmas to ALL.

      Yes, Virginia, as Stephen posted earlier, the Christmas tree IS A PAGAN SYMBOL, whether you like it or not. Better to have a beautiful life-Size Creche, as we do at the Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago(right next to a Menorah, no less). And remember, Christ IS, not was, a JEW. Thank you and have a great day.

    16. LilPuma on December 11th, 2006 12:03 pm

      # 7 Molly. So true, so very very true!

      # 10 Robert. The difference is the US has separation of church and state and no national religion. But I understand your point.

      The US is a democracy and 86% of the US population is Christian. No matter how the Christmas tree tradition got started, it is now a Christian symbol. Put the trees up. Say the word Christmas. I will continue to say Happy New Year to my Jewish friends on Rosh Hashana. Jews will continue to leave work early to be home by sundown and take off for Yom Kippur. They have that right because Americans enjoy freedom of religion. I’m not offended by Menorahs and won’t ask that they be taken down, even if they are on public property. We should not give in to those who seem to have a problem with our freedom to celebrate the birth of Christ and display the symbols of that day.

    17. kay zee ess on December 11th, 2006 12:05 pm

      As an aside, to offset the ramblings of the threatening rabbi, if I were the airport the menorah would be put up by any other rabbi BUT him.

      He would be shut out, so to speak, as threats are not appreciated regardless of who the character is that issues them.

      There are many other rabbis with healthier views than this malcontent, even though he had a legitimate point, he diluted the issue with his nonsense.

    18. Robert on December 11th, 2006 1:21 pm

      If people like this rabbi get their way the whole western culture is at stake… What’s next?! Sueing because the names of the days of the week are not Jewish… And the names of the months… Names of city’s, states and so on… The modern solar-calender… There are thousands of things he can sue the governement and private people for! It’s simply ridiculous.
      I think SEA-TAC-Airport should’n have given in! Not one inch!

    19. micah on December 11th, 2006 3:42 pm

      Is anyone offended by these names, if so they should immediately be changed to something secular:
      St.Paul, MN
      Las Cruces, NM
      St. Petersburg, FL
      San Antonio, TX
      Los Angeles, CA.
      Santa Fe, NM
      St. Louis, MO.
      and the list goes on… “PC/Big Brother” is going to take separation of “church and state” to a new low.
      Just wait…

    20. XGI on December 11th, 2006 3:42 pm

      If the airport allowed menorahs, they would also have to allow swastikas or any other symbol

    21. micah on December 11th, 2006 3:44 pm

      Even the oldest city in North America:
      St. Augustine, FL. will receive demanding petitions for a “new”, “less-offensive”, name…


    22. jackson80 on December 11th, 2006 3:55 pm

      all they want to do is abolish christmas as a holiday and obiliterate anything symbol of christmas including a decorated tree, and you accept them.

    23. kay zee ess on December 11th, 2006 5:11 pm

      Micah asks, interestingly enough, “where will this madness stop?”.

      Actually, it should stop with you. The utter and inexplicable reactions regarding this topic would be too humorous and amusing if it were not so serious for those afflicted with this third stage paranoia.

      No one is going to change names of cities, the swastika is not the religious equivalent of a menorah nor a creche for that matter, and the animosity and intolerance exhibited here toward people of non-Christian beliefs is telling indeed. The Bible is a very enlightening book, being the Word of God. It is a shame that it is not represented very well on this particular topic.

      Anyway, Merry Christmas to all at Scared Monkeys and the posters and have a great day!

    24. Robert on December 11th, 2006 5:20 pm

      @ 23 kay zee ess.

      What’s your opinion about the rabbi threatening the airport for discrimination on religious grounds?

    25. viet vet on December 11th, 2006 5:34 pm

      I fail to see any animosity or intolerance exhibited here toward people of non-Christian beliefs. We did not start this, I think it was the anti-Christmas tree rabbi. He cast the first stone.

    26. Carpe Noctem on December 11th, 2006 6:25 pm

      hey # 4 – LOL

      Them Taco Bell green onions…

      mannnnn, they can be a mother!

    27. yoyo muffintop on December 11th, 2006 7:42 pm

      viet vet – you fail to see animosity or intolerence, huh? Did you actually read what LilPuma & Molly have said??
      And while you’re at it, explain what you meant when you said – “And how many jews reap the benefits from Christmas gift sales? If you want to live in Jewish State, move to Israel.” Bet it’s something along the lines of all jews are money hungry, just like Molly & LilPuma’s money remarks…
      We are a Judaeo-Christian society folks, not Christian. Why not display the menorah? Where’s the harm?

    28. micah on December 11th, 2006 7:43 pm

      Kay Zee Ess,
      If left to their own devices, these absurd attacks will never end. This is not 3rd stage paranoia – this is 1937 revisited, and people like you are saying, “Adolf who? Who’s he? A wallpaper hanger – prolly no big deal”.

    29. viet vet on December 11th, 2006 9:25 pm

      Now yoyo, we are not just a Judaeo-Christian society. What about Hindu, Budda, and Islam. And then of course the atheists should have a say in this. It is easy to jump the Christians, they are easy aren’t they yoyo. You, Yoyo are the one saying Jews are money hungry. I do not find it hostile to say if you want to live in a Jewish State, move to Israel. If I were a Jew, I would be there for sure. And if I were a Jew, I would not sell anything pertaining to Christmas IF CHRISTMAS TREES offended me. If the Christmas trees are a pagan symbol, why should the rabbi care. I am a Christian, and people can believe in any religion they want, I do not care. First thing happens when any says anything about the rabbi, some people jump up and say you are a Nazi. Just because we like our trees, does not mean we like Hitler, and he is long dead. He ain’t coming back either. You must be Jewish Yoyo, so Happy Hannakuh.

    30. Jon on December 11th, 2006 9:34 pm

      @13 I couldn’t have said your thoughts better.

    31. yoyo muffintop on December 12th, 2006 12:07 am

      viet vet – re-read comment #7: “Many Jewish owned stores get wealthy selling Christmas items. Money is ok, it is just the mention of the word Christmas and/or Jesus that is bad, JUST GIVE US JEWS AND MUSLIMS THE MONEY.” Still “fail to see any animosity or intolerance exhibited here toward people of non-Christian beliefs.”? God help us if you can’t.
      Your slippery slope arguement is silly. The rabbi never asked them to take down the trees, just put an 8ft menorah next to one of the 23ft trees. You should be venting your anger on the airport, not the rabbi. They were trying to skirt around the law by taking the trees down because then legally they did not have to put up the menorah.
      But you know what they say, whenever lawyers are brought into any situation, everything goes to crap.
      And it does not matter my faith, but Happy Hannakuh to you as well.

    32. yoyo muffintop on December 12th, 2006 1:02 am

      Quick reminder: almost 6 million Jews were exterminated a little over 60 years ago. If he wants an 8ft menorah next to a 23ft Christmas tree, what’s the big deal? After all Jesus was a Jew, right?

    33. kay zee ess on December 12th, 2006 8:26 am

      This may be a repeat post of sorts as I do not see my first post on this.

      Robert, read 17 for my reply, if the Rabbi indeed made those outlandish demands.

      Bill O’Reilley had him on last night and was very supportive of this Rabbi, who denied making those threatening statements to the airport.

      Anyone else see this?

    34. cathicus on December 12th, 2006 9:17 am

      The trees are back up at SEA TAC!

    35. viet vet on December 12th, 2006 10:36 am

      Yoyo, I don’t care if he puts a 28 foot menorah next to the trees, hell it might match up nicely. I think Jesus was half Jewish if you want to be precise. And wasn’t it Jews that wanted him killed, (I saw Mel Gibson’s movie)? Still, I have no hatred for Jewish people or the Jewish faith. Christainity came from the Jewish faith, the Jewish faith from Hebrew, and Islam also came from Hebrew. All go back to Abraham. Seems to me that the Jewish bloodline is related to the Moslem bloodline. Mohammed was descended from Abraham, right. My argument is a mirror image of yours. You are paranoid if you think the people in here are attacking Jews. Probably 100 to 125 million people died in World War II. That war should never have happened, it was a result of World War I. Another tragic waste of people. I think Yoyo, you are a Sephartic Jew, who lives in Aruba or the Netherlands and sides with Joran van der Sloot. Who is probably your cousin. You speak for yourself, not the Jews of the world. Send a donation to the menorah decorations fund. Merry Christmas

    36. viet vet on December 12th, 2006 10:41 am

      Then of course Yoyo could me Kelmal.

    37. Robert on December 12th, 2006 10:55 am

      I’m glad the trees are back… But there’s still a problem; what will happen next year? I bett pagans, Othin-worshippers and many others, may demand that their symbols can have a little place on the airport as well during the wintersolstice-period!!!
      I hope the rabbi is not offended by Othin-symbols (for the nazis dragged Othin in their ideology amongst other germanic symbols)…
      I smell the smell of money…

    38. LilPuma on December 12th, 2006 11:10 am

      I just heard on Fox that the trees are back up, but a spokesperson for the airport said that (contrary to recent reports) a lawsuit had, in fact, been drafted.

    39. US politicians honor ISLAM - Aircraft of World War II - Warbird Forums on October 7th, 2007 3:48 am

      [...] please ? Because I did find one article about an airport being sued for its christmas tree. Is Christmas Being Sued Away? Christmas Trees at SEA-TAC Airport Removed | Scared Monkeys But guess who was behind it? A local rabbi. But well … the USA are build on judeo-christian [...]

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