This holiday season, the Florida State Capitol Rotunda has served as a coliseum for the First Amendment. Atheists, Christians, and Satanists all did battle, using Festivus Poles as swords and tiny inanimate Baby Jesus figurines as shields. Each group set up displays in the capitol to make various points about separation of church and state, and how private religious messages should/shouldn't be communicated on public property.
While Christmas may be over, the battle for religious freedom is most certainly not. At least the Assembly of the Knights of Columbus in Tallahassee don't think so.
This past Monday, January 6, the group of dapper old dudes gathered in the Florida State Capitol to put up their own "Epiphany display." The display included a 6-foot wooden cross, painted with three wise men and a little baby Jesus being cradled in his mother's arms. But this isn't an ordinary cross. No, this cross has a name. It's called "Cross of the Nativity: Prince of Peace." (But it prefers Eddie).
Sandra Lee Snowden, founder of Reclaim Christmas for Christ, sponsored the display. Snowden and the Reclaimers (great band name if anyone wants it) received help with the legal permit from the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based not-for-profit public interest law firm. Randal Smith, a Grand Knight from the Knights of Columbus, led the public ceremony, which, judging by the outfits the Knights wear, involved a lot of trumpets.
The display is in honor of the feast of Epiphany, a day when Christians traditionally celebrate the wise men bringing gifts to Baby Jesus. And what better way to celebrate that than with a bunch of old men dressed like Cockatoos?
It would seem that the war on Christmas would be over by January 6th, but the Knights of Columbus and Reclaim Christmas for Christ are keeping the fight alive. I guess even Christmas can't stop the war on Christmas.
It's impossible to predict what will be displayed in the Rotunda next (smart money says Rick Scott's old tuna sandwich), but, whatever it is, it's going to have a hard time upping the showmanship of the Knights of Columbus.