While a majority of Springfield residents in Springfield Patch's informal poll said they favored having a Menorah outside of the municipal building as part of the the township's holiday celebration, a significant minority oppose the measure and several commenters voiced reservations about adding an overt religious symbol to the Springfield holiday display.
Of the 87 votes in the poll, 63 respondents favored having a Menorah dispay and 24 opposed. In addition to voting in the poll, several readers took to the comments to debate the Menorah.
While the Menorah would be fitting of the town in light of its considerable Jewish population, readers worry that the Menorah would be too overt of a religious symbol. Several readers drew a distinction between the religous aspects of Christmas and the more cultural and commercial ones.
"A Menorah is a religous symbol where a Christmas tree decorated with lights is a decoration for the season as is Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman and Elves," one commenter wrote.
Another wrote that "To Christian believers holiday light displays are a secular symbol that is often misunderstood as being a symbol of the Christian celebration of the birth of Christ" and argued that a Menorah should be paired with a Nativity scene to represent Christians and Jews.
Interestingly, this debate reached town hall this week. Committee member Marc Krauss made a motion to put a Menorah on the town lawn that did not pass, instead garnering two votes in favor, one opposed and one abstaining vote.
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