December 7, 2009

Harmony on the Square: Nativity and Light of Peace

Nativity on the Square; Light of Peace is at left

Peace reigns on Monument Square tonight, with a Christian Nativity scene somewhat crowding out, but no longer blocking entirely a Peace obelisk representing many different religions.

The two symbols share the north end of the square. The Nativity, with Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus and two lighted Christmas trees, and six small billboards, was erected today by a group of Christian churches.

The Light of Peace, a small, octagonal, eight-ft. tall, white obelisk decorated with the word "peace" in many languages, along with the symbols of many different religions, was erected over the weekend by Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church. It is an effort "to honor all traditions," said the Rev. Tony Larsen when it was put up for the first time last year.

The two symbols were closer together last year. This year, the Nativity at first was erected in front of the obelisk, blocking its view from the square, until members of Olympia Brown moved it somewhat to the west today, so both are visible -- although if you don't look carefully you could miss the obelisk entirely.

The relative harmony is in stark contrast to 2007's holiday display, when an Atheists' Pyramid was erected on the exact spot where the Light of Peace now stands.

Here's the view from the other side.

15 comments:

  1. Will this inappropiate monument to christianity continue to grow larger on our public square? I don't wish to rehash the controversy but this thing is no longer just a manger.

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  2. 9:06 - move out of the city, state or better yet the country if you don't like it.

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  3. In honor of John Lennon's death 29 years ago today...
    Give peace a chance

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  4. 9:22 - I don't like it, and fortunatlly i live in a country where i don't have to.

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  5. 9:22 - "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands: one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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  6. It is a public square and no public money goes to it.

    Stop your hatred.

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  7. Why can't we agree to disagree in a civilized way? The one thing all my out-of-state visitors notice about Racine is the rage simmering just below the surface. I know that people mock the guy who said that Racine's history is "A Tale of Two Cities," but I'm afraid he's all-too-accurate. The poor, the working class and the struggling lower middle class exist in one Racine while the upper middle class and the elite reside in another Racine. Each Racine has no use for its opposite number and refuses to examine the other Racine's side of practically any issue you'd care to name.

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  8. 12:41 - Racine while the upper middle class and the elite reside in another Racine. Each Racine has no use for its opposite number and refuses to examine the other Racine's side of practically any issue you'd care to name.

    And your point is?

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  9. Just ask any sociology instructor about the class clash in this country, in this state and in this town. Because of their opportunities or lack of them, different classes like different things. In general, college-educated advantaged people enjoy decorations like the Light of Peace while blue-collar folks (and a handful of college graduates from church-affiliated institutions) prefer Nativity Scenes. (You'll encounter the same dichotomy where Frank Lloyd Wright is concerned. By and large, people with advanced degrees from secular universities and six-figure annual incomes admire Wright and his work. Conversely, many low-income folks who didn't attend college and middle class people who studied at conservative church-related universities can't stand Wright and his outre architecture.)

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  10. Unless we solve our country's economic problems, the class clash between haves and have-nots will join the race issue and destroy any hope we may have for national consensus and unity.

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  11. Our society is rapidly fragmenting along economic, educational and racial/ethnic lines. Whatever happened to the concept of an American culture which all our citizens could share?

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  12. It never existed. America's the country where the rich have it all, the yuppies have a ball, the workers have to crawl and the poor die in the brawl. Years ago a pal of mine said this. Sad to say, he wasn't wrong then and his statement remains valid today.

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  13. Our much-vaunted liberty is nothing but the freedom of the poor to flail and fail while the rich possess the license to exploit everything and everyone in their predatory path.

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  14. Those that do - succeed. Those that don't - fail - it's as easy as that.

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