Don't like history the way it happened? Just declare certain portions of it null and void. That appears to be the approach taken by the New York City public school system, which since 2001 has forbidden schools from displaying Christian Nativity scenes, supposedly due to such scenes not being "historical."
In contrast, the NYC public school system considers the Jewish Menorah, the Star of David, and the Islamic star-and-crescent flag to be "historical," and encourages their display during the religious holidays of Hanukkah and Ramadan. The Thomas More Law Center filed suit in 2002 on behalf of Andrea Skoros, mother of two children in the NYC schools. Defendants in the case include New York City and the chancellor of the NYC Department of Education. The Thomas More Law Center is a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to the defense and promotion of the religious freedom of Christians.
Recently, NYC filed legal briefs disputing the claim that the Nativity scene depicts a historical event and that this event is the basis for the celebration of Christmas. In rebuttal, the Law Center filed a motion to temporarily restrain the city from enforcing its ban on Nativity scenes. Robert Muise, the Law Center attorney handling the case, observed, "This case will decide whether public school officials can enforce a policy that shows preference for Judaism and Islam, but disfavors Christianity."
As for the birth of Jesus not being historical, New York City officials obviously either think eminent ancient historians such as Josephus, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Tacitus and Eusebius are all crackpots--since each refers to Jesus as a historical figure--or they think Jesus materialized on this earth without being born.
COPYRIGHT 2003 American Opinion Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.