Around New England

Town Christmas Tree Making Last Stand

December 4, 2018

The local Human Rights Commission in Durham, New Hampshire is recommending that the town stop putting up a Christmas tree on a public park after this year because it might be associated with Christianity.

Members of the commission, which last year successfully pushed the town council to declare Columbus Day “Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” expressed concern after a rabbi asked to put up a menorah in the park.

The town administrator said he turned down the rabbi because a menorah is an explicitly religious symbol and there isn’t enough room in the park for symbols of all religions, according to The Union Leader. He said he doesn’t view a Christmas tree as religious.

“The menorah raised a broader concern for me. I have a concern about the display of religious symbols on public property. We should have it for all, or none at all,” town administrator Todd Selig said, according to the Union Leader.

None at all is the answer for some Human Rights Commission members, who are suggested a “winter carnival” theme for December 2019.

Durham is where the University of New Hampshire is. Hillary Clinton carried Durham in 2016 over Donald Trump, 59 to 35 percent. (Clinton only carried the state 47.6 to 47.2 percent.)