To the editor:
Recently, a writer from the Phoenix questioned the chairperson of the Bristol Christmas Festival committee regarding the use of the term "Christmas" in the title of the annual …
To the editor:
Recently, a writer from the Phoenix questioned the chairperson of the Bristol Christmas Festival committee regarding the use of the term "Christmas" in the title of the annual downtown Bristol holiday celebration, which drew an angry response and letter to the editor from the chairperson, and while I personally do not care what the committee chooses to call it's early December celebration, all it's going to take is one Jew, Muslim, Atheist, or other individual who is offended by the term "Christmas" in the title of the event to contact the ACLU, and Bristol could find itself entangled in a costly and protracted legal battle.
Keep in mind, for Bristol's celebration, the town utilizes the resources of the police, fire, and DPW departments in the planning and execution of the event, and an enterprising and aggressive attorney would surely cite that fact should a non-Christian choose to seek legal action against the town regarding the name of the celebration and the separation of church and state. And while I suspect the majority of Bristolians share my ambivalence regarding the name of the celebration, the festival committee should be proactive and follow the lead of numerous other cities and towns, who have replaced the word Christmas in their celebrations with a more inclusive and secular name.
The Bristol Christmas Festival has enjoyed a great deal of popularity since its inception, and slightly changing the name of the festival will not diminish that popularity and will spare the town from controversy and possible litigation brought by anyone who feels excluded or offended by the town promoting and supporting a certain religion. This is the time of the year when many individuals preach about peace, goodwill, and inclusivity, and the town and festival committee have a golden opportunity to make a slight change in the name of the celebration to something more inclusive and less controversial. Let's hope they both take advantage of this opportunity and spread some joy to everyone during this holiday season.
245 Chestnut St.