Skubick: Annual battle over holiday symbols on the Capitol lawn heats up

Michigan

The annual battle over what symbols can be displayed on the Capitol lawn during the holidays is in full bloom with the Jewish community seeking a permanent Menorah right next to the state Christmas tree.  

The Capitol lawn is a popular spot for protestors but during the holiday season now unfolding, the protesting focuses on symbols.

The Jewish community has no problem with a state Christmas tree but one state senator wants a Menorah next to that tree.

Sen. Jeremy Moss says they do that in Detroit but the state only allows a four-foot menorah and it must be taken down each day and put up again in the morning.

“We admire the grand 60 foot holiday Christmas tree,” said Sen. Jeremy Moss. “Our menorah is puny and in the corner and it’s taken down at night.  That’s not fair.”

The State Capitol Commission appears to be sympathetic to the senator’s concerns but it can not act until and unless the House and Senate pass a resolution to do it.

and the Senate Republican leader Mike Shirkey will not sign off.

He is concerned about other groups, like those that worship Satan, will also want equal treatment.

Sen. Shirkey: “It’s a can of worms that leads to many things and creating more friction.”

Skubick: “Sen. Moss says he wants a permanent structure.”

Sen. Shirkey: “I’m fully aware of what Senator Moss says.”

Sen. Moss responds, “it’s a shame that the majority favors the freedom of one religions at the Capitol. Jews across the state want to have the same rights and privileges as any other religion and the fact that our menorah is four feet tall and the 60-foot Christmas tree is paid for with tax dollars doesn’t show that parity there.”

But unless Mr. Shirkey changes his mind, the menorah will not get a permanent spot on the Capitol lawn.

Skubick: “If the senator was standing here right now, you would say…”

Sen. Moss: “I’d say shalom, happy Hanukkah and can we please have our menorah?”

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