Public displays of the Nativity scene, unlike Jewish menorahs or Christmas trees, always seem to ruffle a few feathers. In fact, they're banned at New York schools, though activists regularly seek to challenge (so far unsuccessfully) the ruling on the basis of discrimination. Liesl Schillinger, in a 2007 slide-show essay reprinted below, tracks the evolution of what she calls a "3-D representation of the holiest of holy moments."
Round about Halloween this year, New York's Catholic League sent a letter to the local Department of Education, protesting the ban of Christian Nativity scenes in area schools—where Jewish menorahs and Muslim emblems of Ramadan are permitted. Is this a clear case of discrimination against the majority and favoritism of the minority? Christmas envy? Or is something else going on? In the words of of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ, Superstar (set around a different Christian holiday), "What's the buzz? Tell me what's a-happening?!"
Read the Crèche Course slide-show essay about the Christmas crèche.
TODAY IN SLATE
The World’s Politest Protesters
The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.
The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans
The Feds Have Declared War on Encryption—and the New Privacy Measures From Apple and Google
The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You
It spreads slowly.
These “Dark” Lego Masterpieces Are Delightful and Evocative
How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.
Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.