At least the Creche survives secularism on the Daley Plaza. To be dedicated on Saturday.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel's decision to alter decades of tradition and call the Christmas tree that has long graced the Daley Plaza a "holiday tree" is marked by ironies.
The greatest irony is the praise heaped on Emanuel for his "welcoming" and "inclusive" gesture by including "all" in this season of joy and happiness. The irony is that he does it by desecrating a symbol of a large segment of the commonweal. How is this "inclusive?"
Another irony is Emanuel's name, which for Christians means the Messiah. But in consideration of everyone's sensibilities, forget that I even mentioned it.
The thought had occurred to me that Emanuel's decision jeopardizes the Menorah, the sacred Jewish candelabrum that also graces the plaza. Will it now be declared the holiday candle? But Pat Hickey beat me to it with this fine commentary on the Secular Purists--the intolerant bunch that would blend us into a nondescript pudding of doubters and non-believers.
Still, there remains one commemoration of Jesus' birth--the only one--in downtown Chicago, the Crèche in Daley Plaza. Here is a press release reminding us of this happy fact:
CHICAGO NATIVITY SCENE RETURNS TO DALEY PLAZA
Tradition Continues, Despite “Political Correctness”
To Eradicate the “Reason for the Season” Across the United States
The annual dedication of the Crèche in Daley Plaza will take place Saturday, November 26th, at 12:00 Noon.
“The Nativity Scene has been an annual tradition in Daley Plaza since l985 when the beautiful life size crèche was first displayed,” said Terrance Hodges, co-chair of the Nativity Scene Committee.
“This remains the sole religious expression of Christmas on a government plaza in downtown Chicago,” said Hodges. “The God Squad, a group of volunteer tradesmen will erect the stable and install the lighting as they have for the over twenty-five years.” The volunteer craftsmen will begin setting up the Nativity display at 9:00, with the ceremony planned for Noon.
The children in attendance will have the honor of placing the Baby Jesus in His manger, marking the continued return of the Christ Child to His rightful place in the hearts of the Chicago community.
The bell choir from Santa Maria del Popolo Catholic Church in Mundelein, Illinois will ring in the sacred season, along with the singing of Christmas hymns.
Daley Plaza is a popular destination for Chicagoans and visitors to wrap themselves in the Christmas spirit throughout the festive season. The recreation of the scene of the birth of Jesus joins the Chicago Christmas tree and Christkindlmarket as downtown celebrations of Christmas.
The Nativity Scene committee invites all Chicago area families to join them on Saturday, November 26th to inaugurate the Christmas season or to stop by Daley Plaza to visit the Christ Child when they come downtown to enjoy the decorations.
The Nativity Scene will remain in Daley Plaza throughout the Christmas season.
Media Contact: Jim Finnegan 847-526-1152
For a detailed history of the Chicago Nativity Scene visit: http://rffm.typepad.com/republicans_for_fair_medi/2007/11/a-christmas-tra.html